What is SEO Marketing? (It’s Not What You Think)

Jen Saunders
Reading Time: 5 minutes

SEO marketing is the ability to attract, nurture and convert clicks into customers using search engine optimization techniques. When it comes to all the different digital marketing strategies, SEO is likely going to be the first one that businesses think about, because it is clearly the most talked-about and popular option, has the potential to offer the lowest cost per acquisition, and can even run free marketing campaigns for years after services have stopped, under certain circumstances.

But here’s what most people fail to recognize in SEO marketing: based on the specific needs of a business, SEO can take on the semblance of a unique strategic direction best suited for specific company goals, whether they involve increasing sales, brand awareness, or reputation management.

Then there is the big question: how should SEO marketing be offered? In some cases, based on business goals, SEO marketing is best suited as a solo strategy, or it might be ideal to pair alongside PPC services. Or if the sales cycle is lengthy and the products have high price-points, SEO as part of a growth marketing stack would likely be the best investment.

Really, when you contact an SEO marketing agency, you will want to make sure they dive into your sales data, understand how your customers make purchasing decisions, and get a good grasp on your sales cycle, products, and goals before determining what kind of an SEO marketing strategy is best suited to garner success.

This article is intended to help business owners, internal marketing managers, and members of the C-Suite get a better understanding of what SEO marketing is in our contemporary landscape of digital marketing, and the various types worth exploring when it comes to trying to hit your business growth goals.

SEO marketing and growth stacks

SEO Marketing as a Solitary Strategy

If SEO marketing is the only digital marketing strategy you are investing in, you will want to communicate with your SEO agency and ask which of these components are needed for success:

  • On-site technical SEO
  • Webpage content optimization
  • Landing page content optimization
  • Internal linking strategy
  • Backlink strategy
  • Blog clusters and pillar pages

Some of these tactics are basic, while others are more advanced and take a significant amount of time for teams to invest in. For example, on-site technical SEO requires pulling titles, tags and meta descriptions from a site, analyzing them, and re-writing them to improve SEO potential, which is a standard task that SEO marketing agencies have been doing for over a decade and that’s still important for getting great results.

On the flip side, creating pillar pages and blog clusters requires advanced SEO marketing specialists with a strong background in content to spend hours of research and design a strategy calling for unique, highly strategic content to help businesses not only attract traffic at a higher quantity, but more important traffic that’s higher quality (those likely to convert into customers and not simply people who click).

SEO as a solitary strategy can be basic, or hyper advanced. The right SEO marketing strategy to use will vary based on the unique needs of every business, and the various SEO agencies you reach out to should always take the approach of helping their potential clients explore these options and collaborate to select the best method.

SEO agency LA

SEO Marketing Running with PPC

The best SEO marketing approach for many clients includes running PPC alongside an organic search strategy. The best SEO agencies will also have a paid media department where a PPC manager will create a strategy based on client goals and conversion data in a manner that’s effective, completely measurable, and scalable. SEO and PPC managers will work closely together to run both strategies simultaneously while ensuring they work together towards achieving the same goals. In addition, data from SEO and PPC can be shared across departments to optimize strategies and enhance audience targeting. For example, negative keywords used in PPC strategies can help SEO teams know which buyer audiences to exclude targeting through organic content strategies. And data showing dwell time and engagement on various web pages and blogs can help PPC managers optimize their campaigns. Running SEO and PPC together is a very powerful marketing solution and one that fits most business models.

SEO experts

SEO as a Strategy for Growth Marketing Stacks

SEO marketing solutions that fit the needs of organizations with longer sales cycles and products with higher price points (for example, custom swimming pool builders and B2B tech companies) will typically help companies hit their goals when the strategy runs alongside an inbound marketing strategy that utilized marketing automation technology, and a multi-channel approach to driving traffic.

Think about it: people who search Google for things like the “best deals on iPhones” or for “bottled cold pressed juice” don’t typically spend a month or more to decide where to buy a product, or what type of product to buy. All you need to do is organically rank well for the appropriate search terms related to such products with compelling content that converts well, and you are golden. But nobody is going to drop 100K on a swimming pool after reading a page of content that ranks well, nor is a member of the C-Suite going to spend 500K on digital tech tools for their agency as an impulse buy–these types of buyers do lots of research, and go through various stages of a buyer’s journey before they convert to a paying customer. This is why SEO marketing alone is not the best solution for companies with longer sales cycles and higher price points, and why SEO needs to synch with other marketing strategies to attract the right buyers, segment them into lead types, market educational and specific content based on their buyer persona through email marketing and downloadable buying guides, and nurture them through a process that enables them to make an informed, educated decision. This is what a growth marketing stack does, and SEO can be used to generate leads at every stage of the conversion funnel.

Learn More About Your Options and How they Align with Your Goals

Are you an ideal candidate for SEO marketing as a solo strategy, or does a growth marketing stack seem to better fit your business model? Start by learning about WEBITMD’s modern approach to SEO and then give us a call, let us get to learn more about your goals, clients and products, and let’s explore your various options for SEO-driven marketing solutions that will improve your bottom line.
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