How To Use SEO To Futureproof Your Digital Marketing
Why is SEO Important?
SEO is a term we bandy around every day, but why is it so important? Well, essentially, without SEO your website would sit, alone, invisible and unvisited, less of a resource and more of a drain on resource. Not an ideal state of affairs when you need it to work hard driving high quality traffic, converting customers and leads and bringing in revenue.
We use SEO as a bit of a blanket term to cover a variety of disciplines. They all have something in common though because they are all designed to make your website more effective at converting. Be it ecommerce sales, B2C enquiries or B2B leads, that is the aim, to make websites more effective selling tools.
What Is SEO?
There are a wide variety of disciplines that come under the SEO banner, some more than others. However, the disciplines that we feel are key to future proofing your website, especially in light of Google’s focus on the visitor experience, include on-page SEO, Technical SEO, Content Marketing, CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) and UX (User Experience).
On-page SEO is essentially the work implemented to improve elements of the website that you can see on the page. It covers content, images, the way your content is arranged and presented. Off page SEO refers to a range of factors that impact the visibility of your site and focuses on links from other sites to your pages that signal trust, authority and popularity.
Off-page SEO refers to all the activities undertaken away from your website to improve your rankings and visibility organically. Link building is commonly known for being the go-to off-page SEO tactic, however, there are other practices which are important for off-page optimisation. Off-page factors are brand mentions, social networking, bookmarking, guest posting, guest blogs, videos, and link building. Enhancing your off-page SEO is key to optimising your website and creating a firmer digital footprint.
Technical SEO refers to elements of your site health such as crawlability, page speed, interactivity, mobile usability, link integrity and security, though these are just a few examples. Technical site health is essential to effective performance, though technical health cannot deliver results without the other elements of SEO equally aligned, no site that has poor technical health will see effective results either.
The research and development of an effective content marketing strategy, ensures that you are creating and sharing content on your site that is tailored specifically for your target audience. Understanding your target audience(s) and their specific needs means you can effectively deliver content that responds to those needs, engages them and drives them towards conversion.
Content isn’t solely for your audience though, well not directly anyway. Your content is also the way to help search engines better understand the purpose of your pages and to rank them. Great content means that search engines see the purpose of the page, the value it adds and the problems it solves and so it ranks higher in SERPs for relevant searches. So, great content adds value in a number of ways and not only on your website but via social media and biddable media too.
Quality content and usability is essential for ranking well within the digital marketplace and understanding your audience and their search habits are a must. People want to find relevant and valuable content when looking for a product, service, or information through a search query. Creating informative content for your business, and the topics that surround it as essential for ranking well in Google.
CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation)
CRO is the art of optimising website pages, and the user journey through them, to encourage conversion. Be it a form fill, a purchase or a registration, whatever the goal, CRO removes and reduces friction, enhances the journey and removes obstacles to the conversion. CRO also looks at converting those visitors that have not stayed on your site, through lead nurture, remarketing and other techniques to maximise the value of every site visitor.
UX (User Experience)
User Experience is closely linked to CRO in that both disciplines are designed to convert website traffic into customers, or at least into high quality MQLs (marketing qualified leads). However, UX is a broader discipline encompassing the design of your website and its usability, information architecture, how easy the interface is to use and how frictionless the various user journeys are from landing through to conversion. Enhancing your UX might include incorporating an element of conversational marketing with a chat bot or live chat. Equally you might consider automation to manage workflows that nurture users towards conversion, even after they have interacted with you.
What Is Happening In Digital Marketing?
Right now, we are seeing focus shifting ever more towards the quality of user experience. Google’s Core Web Vitals algorithm update, the concurrent Page Experience update and the removal of third party cookies, planned for next year, are just three elements of a long term programme of evolution in search that aims to put the user at its heart.
Google is even changing the way it interprets and responds to searches, in order to better serve users. By investing in AI, Google is looking to deliver ever better, more contextual and in depth search results, the forthcoming launch of their new language model MUM will change the way that the search engine selects and ranks information to present in SERPs
Even past developments, such as the introduction of SSL certification and responsive websites way back when, were all a part of the move towards improving user experience in search.
Failing to keep up with these evolutions means falling behind and losing not only visibility but rankings, competitive advantage, traffic and ultimately revenue too.
Using best practice SEO, elements of which we have outlined above, is the most effective way to futureproof your site against the negative impact that the current and predicted evolutions in search could have on it. Ensuring that your site is healthy, offers the content your users are looking for, as well as an attractive, easy to access solution to their problems are all ways to align with what search engines are looking for, whilst simultaneously engaging with your audiences effectively.
Looking At The Future of SEO
Looking ahead at evolutions in search helps stay abreast of new technologies and trends. Being aware of how search is changing enables you to position your brand in the places your audiences inhabit online, giving them easy access to you in the ways they want to interact online.
Effective search isn’t just about getting position in standard SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). As users continue to change the way they search, for example using home devices like Amazon’s Alexa, then channels such as voice search will continue to evolve and gain importance.
Voice search has been on the rise since smartphones became popular, and with over millions of people introducing voice-based AI-powered digital assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa, into their homes; voice search is the new way to search online. When it comes to voice search there is not a list of results to pick from, there is only one result. For search queries that are associated with your brand or priority keywords, you need to be that result. Bring your A game to the digital marketplace by optimising for long-tail keywords and marking-up your content for Google’s Featured Snippet, as these regularly end up as a voice search result.
This level of personalised, immediate interaction is replicated in the emergence of AI driven conversational marketing, where bots can be used to more effectively interact, delivering a more human experience to the user.
Search is all about user experience whether that is on page, via voice or in the interactions the user has on your site. Hence the changes in Googles algorithm to address elements of user experience in terms of interactivity, load time and page experience. Not to mention mobile performance.
Looking forward, it’s clear that the future of best practice SEO is aligned with the goal of ensuring an omnichannel, friction-free user experience for every search. Delivering that search experience will mean driving not only visibility, share of voice and rankings but also exceptional sales, retention and customer lifetime value as well.
How Can You Use Best Practice SEO To Protect Your Website?
The answer is investment. Investing in good quality, up to date SEO, across a range of relevant disciplines, is the only long term way to ensure that your website is robust and performs, regardless of the various changes in search that are happening. There is no shortcut, or silver bullet, no one change that will deliver results. Maintaining best practice technical SEO, content, CRO, user experience and on and off page SEO takes time, investment and expertise but the results speak, and pay, for themselves.
If you’d like to talk to us about your SEO challenges and the best way to architect a solution specific to your business and audiences then we’d love to hear from you. A conversation is always a great place to start and there’s nothing to lose and everything to learn.
Why not call us on 0333 772 0509 or use the form on this page and we’ll get back to you ASAP.