Sometimes a buzzword seems to define an entire industry. In digital marketing, that buzzword seems to be SEO. When I introduce myself to someone and say I'm a digital marketer, the most common response is “Oh, you do SEO!”
Well yes, we do SEO. Oftentimes we’ll have a customer contact us asking for SEO, but when we dig into their needs we discover that SEO isn’t really what they’re looking for, and it’s often not the best solution.
SEO is an outstanding tool to make yourself more attractive to search engines. When the technical elements that the search engines want to see are present on your website, combined with a good mix of well-researched keywords and content that is appealing to your audience, you stand a good chance of rising to the top of search rankings.
The fact of the matter though is that search engines are changing constantly. Chasing SEO as your only digital marketing strategy can be a difficult and expensive proposition. Every new tweak to a search algorithm may require extensive changes to your website, and sometimes an entirely new approach.
The other element of SEO that many people don't understand is that it only makes your site visible when somebody is actually searching for your product or service. (Learn more about push vs. pull marketing!) That is a great time to reach a consumer, as it is when they're most likely making their buying decision. but there is definitely something to be said for having your company visible and present in the consumer's life before they reach that point. Proactively getting in front of your target audience well ahead of a buying decision is a great way to increase your visibility and ensure that your company is the brand consumers identify when they think of your industry.
SEO makes great sense as part of a larger overall marketing strategy. Combining good technical presentation of your website with quality content, effective responsive layouts, and a well-rounded digital marketing strategy that combines push and pull marketing is the best way to ensure that your website and your business are represented the way you want them to be in the digital space.