SEO is just one part of the Marketing Puzzle
SEO (search engine optimization) is often misunderstood. many business owners think it can be a magic bullet to leads and sales. but it’s apart of a larger marketing stratgey when this happens.
This topic came about on a Reddit post where the user wanted insights as to why SEOs didn’t focus on leads and sales as their success metrics.
Read the post here: New to interviewing SEO candidates, I’ve seen a pattern where they focus on SEO-specific metrics to define success while all I want for my business is simply more leads. Is it a common misconception in the industry?
The Short Answer – most businesses see SEO as a lead or sales generating machine. But it’s not. It’s apart of a larger marketing effort for leads and sales. Search Engine Optimization is an search engine awareness channel. If we increase awareness, leads and sales should also increase. But there is more to the mix to make this successful such as content, conversion optimization, messaging, etc.
When you’re goal is to increase leads SEO can be a great place to put in some effort. But leads can come from paid ads, social media, influencer marketing, and a whole host of other channels.
Same goes for sales. SEO can be a great option to help increase your sales effort, but it’s not a driver of sales. It’s a driver of awareness of what you have to offer. Once the person finds your product and service you’ll still have to do your best to get them to buy.
SEO is part of a larger Marketing Strategy
A marketing strategy includes goals and objectives wrapped into a plan about how you’re going to sell your products or services. A plan about how you’ll reach and attract your ideal customer so you can hopefully sell to them.
Marketing strategies often include building out digital assets like websites, social media profiles, online shopping carts, email newsletters, blogs, etc. Each online asset has its own set of skills and tools needed to make that channel the best it can be.
Your website is an important digital asset. This is where SEO comes into play.
More often than not, if you have a business you have a website.If you don’t have a website, you should consider it.
A facebook page is not the samething as a website.
If it’s not obvious, your website is one of the most important digital assets you can have for your business. It’s a representation of who you are, what you do, and why you do it. It’s also the main place people can find important information about your business. If you make it hard to find information about your business, they’ll find your competitor.
SEO Helps Your Website get found by targeted customers
Targeted customers are those that need an answer. This could be for a simple question or for a product or service.
When someone starts looking for something they generally start with a search engine like Google, or Bing.
A Targeted Customer is one that is looking for an answer.
Search engines scan websites and catalog the content of those websites in indexes. It will then match up the query the user is searching for with an appropriate website. If your website shows on the first page of the search results you have a much, much better chance at getting that customer to look at your website.
This is what SEO is good for. It can help your website show up in the right spot when people are searching for what you offer.
SEO, Paid ads, and search intent
It’s worth mentioning ads and the differences really quick. When you pay for ads you hope that your message reaches someone in the right place and at right time. You’ll target people based on their search intent (ready to buy), or push an ad in front of them based on interest or topical relevance (social ads).
There are essentially two types of paid ads most people use:
Search Ads: You pay for your ads to show up when people search in a certain key phrase. A popular service for this is called Google Ads. They have several different types.
Display Ads, Includes Social Ads: These ads show up when topically relevant. These are commonly displayed as banner ads on websites or in your social media feeds. These ads show up when the platform thinks you “might” be interested in what they have to offer.
I wrapped social media ads in with display ads because the way they work are similar. It’s based on topical relevance. You visit a site about gardening tools and you might see an ad for shoves at a local store. Or you like a post about gardening on your social media feed and you get an ad for gardening tools at your local big box store.
SEO is for organic search results
It’s worth noting that your SEO efforts are for the organic listings in the search results.
Organic listings show up below ads if there are any. This is what SEO efforts go into. The higher up in the organic results the better.
If you’re doing a search for a local product or service you’ll likely see what’s called a map pack. It’s a listing with a map and several businesses. This is also part of the organic listings. Learn more about how to improve your local organic listings in the map pack on My Google Business Profile Page.
SEO Aligns with Search Intent
SEO is driven by keywords. These keywords are sprinkled around your content. When search engines scan your content they pick up your keywords and try to understand what your page is about. Once they do this they can serve up a page in your website when someone searches.
With this in mind we can use SEO to narrow down who we are trying to attract, but we have to first understand how they might search so we can connect the dots between them and the website. This is one reason why I like working in SEO and websites. We get to attract users when they are searching, and not interrupting their day with flashy ads that are intrusive.
For instance, lets say your a gardener who needs new shovel. You’ll likely go to a search engine and look for “where to buy a shovel” or “gardening store”, etc. Using SEO you can get your website to rank for keywords related to this search. The closer you are to the top spot for search phrases the better your chance of attracting potential buyers.
SEO isn’t FREE traffic
Since we’re clarifying SEO and where it fits in for your business I feel I need to mention that SEO isn’t free. If you see this type of lingo it’s a sales talking point. SEO efforts can last for a very long time. But If you don’t know how to do SEO it’s going to cost you some cash to get it done.
SEO requires maintenance
In order for SEO to be effective and remain effective you will need to continue to work on it. If SEO is a good channel for your business you’ll want to continue to improve it. It’s not a one-and-done thing. Search engines are constantly updating their platform. Competitors are working on their SEO. Your product or service changes or you find a new way to speak to your customers. These are all valid reasons to continue workig on your SEO.
SEO isn’t always the best marketing channel
Since SEO takes time it’s not always the best place to start. In some businesses it might not be necessary and focusing on other channels would be better.
If you’re on a limited budget and your business needs sales a better option would be to find those channels that can bring in those sales the fastest. This could be in the form of ads, sales people, cold outreach, etc. Once there is some incoming revenue and a better marketing budget SEO should be considered.
There are also businesses that are in such a niche category that it would make sense to have a nice website, but spending money on SEO wouldn’t be worth it. If the businesses has a service or product that isn’t yet widely known, or so new that there aren’t competitors, and there isn’t going to be much of a search demand. If people aren’t looking you’ll need another way to gain attention.
when you need more than SEO
If you think your business needs more sales and leads but you’re not sure where to start or how to get them, you likely need a person that can help you understand all the facets of digital marketing.
SEO might be a great channel for your business, but it might be a longer timeline than what you’re expecting. You might need to invest money in marketing channels that are already established. A person like a Digital Marketing Strategist, Marketing Manager, Lead Generation Specialist, Search Engine Marketing Strategist might be a better fit. This person should know about all the different areas you can maketiet your business and figure out wherer the best channel is for you at this time.
Most of the time people who work in SEO also have a good sense of other marketing channels. It’s worth asking the question about what they offer and where they think you’re busineses will fit.
Tinkerlytics – Digital Maketing Strategist Spcializing in SEO consulting, Copywriting, and Marketing Analytics
Tinkerlytics specailizes in SEO, Copywriting, and Marketing analytics but I considered my business a digital marketing company. I feel that all of these skills can really help most businesses succeed.
- SEO to attract more customer,
- copywriting to help communicate your message and gain the sale,
- and marketing analytics to help track your efforts.
But SEO and PPC are also very close and I’ve ran several PPC campaigns in Facebook ads and Google ads. That’s why I consider Tinkerlytics a digital marketing company. We can help you understand where you might need to put your efforts. That might be content marketing, paid ads, SEO, etc.
If you’re not sure what you need to do for your busienss you can always reach out to Tinkerlytics. I’m well versed in several areas of digital marketing.