What Is SEO Marketing? + How to Improve Your SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing process that involves optimising your website and its content to increase visibility on search engines like Google. When someone conducts a search query, an SEO-friendly site with relevant content will rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP). By optimising your site for SEO, you make it easier for internet searchers to find your content, products, and services organically without the use of paid ads.

What is SEO Marketing?

SEO marketing is a strategy that makes it easier for search engines to "crawl" your content and determine how it should rank on SERPs. SEO tends to fall into three categories:

  1. On-page SEO: Refers to a webpage's content and how it's crafted. Search engines look for content that is relevant to the keyword, satisfies searcher intent, is well-structured and easy to navigate, and offers authoritative information within an industry.
  2. Off-page SEO: Refers to the backlinks a site acquires. Backlinks occur when other sites link to pages on your site. The more authoritative and relevant, the better for SEO.
  3. Technical SEO: Refers to the backend aspects of your site, including title tags and meta descriptions, site structure and navigation, how pages are linked, and the site's loading time.

The goal is to optimise elements in all three of these categories and have them operate harmoniously, so your website and its content gain greater organic visibility.

Why is SEO Marketing Important?

An SEO-friendly site has many benefits, including attracting more consumers in your target market without relying heavily on paid ads.

1. User Experience

When you've optimized your website, visitors are more likely to enjoy their experience in the following ways:

SEO Element

User Experience

Optimized site architecture and navigation

Clicking from one page to another with ease

Optimized content on every page

Reading a webpage easily, absorbing authoritative and relevant information, taking actions such as subscribing to emails, filling out a contact form, or making a purchase

Faster load times

Clicking and scrolling faster with minimal delays in viewing information

2. Visibility

Where you rank on SERP matters. The first organic (unpaid) search result on Google receives 27.6 percent of clicks. There also tends to be a significant decline in clicks for results on the second page, meaning that appearing on the first page is better.

3. Organic Traffic

Paid ads are one way to drive traffic to your site, but this can be an expensive option. By using an SEO digital marketing strategy, you can rank well in search results and attract more organic (free) traffic to your site, meaning people find and click on your content without paid ads. What's more, 95 percent of clicks on Google go to organic search results. In addition, you can become a trusted source of information in the marketplace, which can increase the effectiveness of your paid ads.

4. Customer Insights

Much of running a successful business is knowing what customers want. You can gain customer insights throughout the SEO marketing process, including:

  • Keyword research about the terms customers are searching for
  • Understanding searcher intent or why customers search for particular keywords
  • Learning what content drives actions such as subscribing or purchasing products

How to Build an SEO Marketing Strategy

1. Analyze Your Competitors

Just as you perform a competitive analysis to identify market gaps and differentiate your products and marketing efforts, you'll need to investigate and analyze competitors' SEO. Make a list of your competitors, including ones you're already familiar with and ones that rank at the top of SERPs for keywords related to your products and services.

  • Audit competitors' web content, site structure, and navigation, as well as user-experience features.
  • Use an SEO tool to determine what keywords these competitors are ranking for on each webpage, including secondary or related keywords and the search volume for each one.
  • Find out what meta tags your competitors are using by right-clicking anywhere on their sites and selecting "view page source" from the menu that pops up.

2. Understand Your Target Audience from an SEO Perspective

Once you understand your competitors, it's important to consider your audience, including what they search for online and the intent behind it, so that you can generate content your audience finds relevant.

  • Install a Google Chrome extension, such as MozBar or Keyword Surfer, to explore relevant keywords.
  • Use an SEO tool to determine searcher intent for each keyword, including navigational, informational, transactional, and commercial.
  • Analyze SERPs to discover what questions searchers ask, related searches and questions, featured snippets that Google predicts searchers will click on, and more.

3. Create SEO-friendly Content

Creating SEO-friendly content that your target audience finds valuable is the result of consistent effort. You'll want to optimize every page of your website, including the home page, about page, and other static pages, as well as blogs, articles, sales pages, and lead capture landing pages.

  • Written content should include unique, authoritative information that satisfies searcher intent for a particular keyword.
  • Integrate the keyword and related keywords into your subheadings and text seamlessly and grammatically, without overusing them.
  • Structure the content on each page to provide a logical and easy-to-navigate reading experience, using subheadings, bullet points, and numbered lists.
  • Embed relevant images, graphics, and videos to enhance the reading experience.
  • Include links to other relevant pages of your site in anchor text.
  • Include helpful calls-to-action to make it easy for site visitors to subscribe, fill out forms, and make purchases.

4. Improve Your Technical SEO

Businesses often work with web developers or IT professionals to improve their sites' technical SEO. If you have access to your site's admin panel, you may be able to make these improvements or fix issues yourself.

For each webpage:

  • Craft a title tag that includes the keyword you want the page to rank for, and that clearly describes the content of each page in 50 to 60 characters.
  • Craft a page description that contains the keyword, summarizes the page, and conveys the page's unique value, in up to 160 characters.
  • Reduce the size of images so that they load quickly.
  • Name image files with keywords and descriptions, separated by hyphens (e.g., "dark-roast-coffee.jpg").

For the site as a whole:

  • Set up a clear navigation menu to help site visitors find pages.
  • Create a site map with information about your site's pages, videos, and files, and the relationship between them.
  • Create a Google Search Console account and submit your site map, so that Google can crawl your site more effectively.

5. Acquire Relevant, Authoritative Backlinks

To improve your off-page SEO, create a plan for getting other sites to link to your content.

  • Make a list of sites that are relevant to your website, not competitors, and have high domain authority.
  • Reach out to these site creators or content managers to request backlinks, offering incentives such as high-quality content or proposing a guest blog post.
  • Post pages from your site to social media and include links in your email marketing to increase the chances that other sites will choose to link to your content.

By following these steps, you can develop an effective SEO marketing strategy that helps improve your website's visibility, attracts more organic traffic, and provides a better user experience for your target audience.

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