Search Engine Optimization.
SEO is by far the most ambiguous, dynamic, and complex system to hit the digital marketing world. Most marketers can’t (and shouldn’t) have a conversation about copy or content without brining up SEO.
It permeates every single aspect of your digital presence and is tough to fully grasp, like an entrance exam with ever-changing answers. As soon as you think you’ve figured it out, the rules switch up forcing you to rethink and reinvent a strategy that complies with the new algorithm.
What is SEO and why should you pay attention to it? Let’s find out.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization is the process of building your digital voice in a way that ranks high in organic, or unpaid, online search results. The goal of SEO is for your content (website, blog, podcast, video, etc.) to come up as a top-ranking item when someone types in a keyword or phrase.
With SEO there are three main players:
- The search engine
- The user
If you are writing an article on the importance of sustainable fashion, for example, you would want the search engine to display your article as a top result when someone searches for “sustainable fashion.”
In essence, SEO is about cozying up to Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines because they are the gatekeepers between you and your ideal clients. Think of SEO as a matchmaker—matching users with the best result for their search and you want your article/product/service to be the best match.
How does it work?
There is no concrete rule book for SEO, rather it is a complex web of keywords, backlinks, reliability, and more. When people talk about optimizing their digital presence, they are talking about crafting website copy, blog content, landing pages, social media, podcasts, videos, and more in a way that makes search engines happy.
A lot of times, this means ranking for important industry keywords. Let’s bring back our fashion brand for a minute. They might try to rank for keywords like,
- Sustainable fashion
- Ethical fashion
- Green fashion
- Organic fashion
This means that they would want to include their top keywords and phrases in their marketing collateral like landing pages, articles, social media, and more.
But as with most things in life, you need balance.
Stuffing your blog posts and web copy with over-used keywords will turn your readers off and Google’s algorithm has gotten better at detecting tactics like this.
People can use SEO in a myriad of ways. You can follow all of the rules for SEO to a ‘T’ but you will likely find that your online presence doesn’t feel quite like you. Let’s think about it in terms of grammar rules. While grammar can be helpful in terms of readability and overall quality, the rules don’t apply to every written medium.
For example, most people are off-put by a blog post that tried to sound like a research paper. Read the room. Rules need to be broken for the sake of genre, personality, tone, style, and more.
The same thing can be said for SEO. While you need to have a strategy, plugging in basic keywords, even when they don’t naturally fit, won’t do you any favors in the long run. You need to find a happy medium—respecting the rules but not being afraid to break them once in a while.
You want SEO to be a tool, not the rulebook. So after learning all of this, does it still make sense to pay attention to? The short answer is yes. Let’s find out why.
Why should you pay attention to it?
Nearly every user experience begins with an online search. Google processes about 3.5 billion searches per day. When someone searches services related to your business, you want them to be able to find you—a strong SEO strategy can help you do that.
Our rule of thumb? Start small and do a few things really well. You don’t need to be an SEO master to make search engines happy. In reality, you need a strong strategy that comprises the following:
- Original, high-quality content
- Proper keyword research and implementation
- Cohesive digital presence
As you can see, all three of these ideas are ongoing. SEO isn’t a one-and-done process—it is an encompassing aspect of your digital presence, especially in your marketing plan.
Here at Perfectly Planned Content, we look at the SEO long game. That means creating relevant, engaging, original content that is tailored to your target market. This is the best way to establish trust and thought-leadership in your area, and isn’t that what marketing should be all about?
Are you ready for a content refresh? Take some time to talk with our team today.