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One of the biggest advantages of SEO is that it’s an inbound marketing strategy.
Unlike traditional “outbound” advertising channels, which involve reaching out to consumers whether they want to hear from you or not, inbound methods center on making it easy for your audience to find you when they want information.
The idea that keywords are the most important part of SEO isn’t an outright lie — but it’s certainly outdated.
Ever since the rollout of Hummingbird in 2013, Google has increasingly prioritized user intent over the exact keywords they use.
That means that today, you don’t need to focus as much on specific words and phrases.
To be clear, keywords are still an important part of SEO, and keyword research can help guide your strategy.
But as you incorporate them, make sure to do so naturally, and write your content in a way that prioritizes addressing the intent behind them overusing the same exact phrase repeatedly on your page.
Many site owners new to SEO make the mistake of focusing their efforts on keywords with extremely high search volume.
After all, wouldn’t it be awesome to rank on the first page for a keyword that gets searched tens of thousands of times per month?
But for most sites, that’s simply not a realistic goal. Considering how difficult it is to rank for these keywords, focusing a strategy on them is unlikely to produce any significant rankings — or traffic — at all.
Instead, it’s much more effective to focus on longer, less competitive keywords. And in case you think that these keywords aren’t worth your time, just consider that long-tail keywords account for 70% of searches.
If you come across anyone promising SEO results within a matter of weeks, run.
Many of us might wish that this were possible, but that’s simply not the case. In fact, it generally takes four to six months for an SEO strategy to start showing results.
So while the idea of fast and easy results might be tempting, don’t fall for it. Find an SEO professional that offers a clear outline of their strategy and a realistic timeline for results, and you’ll be more satisfied with the outcome.
So, to answer the question of, “what is SEO in marketing?,” the simplest explanation is that it’s the best way to improve your online visibility and reach consumers as they’re actively searching for information.
It also presents a wealth of benefits that no other digital marketing tactic can offer. For many marketers, the biggest draw is that it enables them to earn new customers without paying for ad space. For others, it’s that organic results earn even more clicks and attention than ads.
Beyond that, the right strategy can also help you improve your brand’s PR and move ahead of your competitors. And considering all of these clear advantages, there’s no reason not to optimize your site. If you’re ready to jump straight to the technical explanation, you can check out our resource on how to do SEO to rank and convert better. But we recommend having a solid understanding of how search engines work before you make any changes. So if you want to start from the beginning, you can find all of the information you need to establish a strong base in our resource on how Google search works.