What role does SEO play on your digital marketing strategy?
Search engine optimisation, or SEO for short, is a key part of any digital marketing strategy worth its salt. Why? Well, let’s begin by looking at the overall customer journey.
When a user starts a search, it’s essentially the start of that ‘journey’, ending with your desired action - whether that be a download, purchase, etc.
So to effectively market your business in the digital sphere, you must introduce SEO best practices into your strategy from the get-go.
Read on to find out why people use search and how you can incorporate SEO into your ongoing digital strategy for long-term success.
Why the customer journey starts at the search engines
To succeed with search, you need to understand the customer journey. The customer journey can be broken up into five stages:
Each journey is unique, highly personalised and will vary in length and importance. So it’s critical that marketers reach the right person at the right time with the right message. And this starts at the search engines.
A Forrester Consulting study found that 71% of customers began their journey by using a search engine to discover new products and services (initiation). So in order to fully optimise our strategies, we need to know what they’re searching for in the first place.
Stage 1: Search
Did you know the average Internet user searches for information 129 times each month? And of these searches, half use phrases (i.e. “How do I change a tyre?”) and half use fragments (i.e. “How change tyre”).
There’s no doubt that in the fast paced digital world SEO is always evolving. But one thing that remains constant is why people conduct searches in the first place.
Simply put, people search to achieve something, whether that be to solve a problem, accomplish a task or anything in-between.
Let’s dig a little deeper. Searches can usually be divided into three main areas, known as do-know-go:
Do (Transactional Queries) - Where the user wants to achieve a specific action, i.e. purchase a specific product, book a service, etc.
Know (Informational Queries) - Where the user wants to learn something, i.e. the local weather, directions, where to eat, etc.
Go (Navigational Queries) - Where the user is looking to go to a specific website or location
So in order to best serve your customers, your business must understand what their problems are, what kind of solutions they’re looking for and what’s on their mind when they’re searching for answers online.
Incorporating search into digital strategy
There are three main tenets of any solid marketing strategy:
Mostly, search focuses on the first phrase: Attract. In today’s digital climate, businesses must attract customers via multiple channels and outlets. Businesses should aim to land in the top 30 of a search in order to appear relevant to their audience and attract potential customers to their website over their competitors.
Besides an obvious reason being to get noticed, there’s also data to support this statement. Approximately 30% of all visitors click the first result in their search, 15% click the second and 10% click the third. So the higher you climb the search engine ranks, the more likely you are to be clicked on.
On top of avoiding easy-to-make SEO mistakes that could be made, here are some of the tactics you can use in your SEO strategy to get higher on the search engines include:
Understanding personas and the role of SEO in the customer journey
Developing a high quality keyword list
Creating a solid content strategy
Optimising your website using SEO best practices
Using data-driven insights to inform your SEO decision making