written by
Lisa Van Impe

A Beginner's Guide to SEO Marketing

Search Engine Optimization 11 min read

Do you ever find yourself wondering, “is SEO marketing really worth my time?” when developing your overall marketing strategy?

What’s the most crucial aspect of building a website? Of course, you need to ensure that your website is visually stunning and easily navigable. Also, you need to add high-quality and relevant content to individual web pages. But can good design and content guarantee that your website will attract plenty of visitors?

The short answer to this question is “no.”

That’s because there are more than 400 million active websites in the world. Unless you own an exceptionally popular brand, you can’t expect your target audience to find your website on the internet.

Instead, you have to reach them through the right channel at the right time. That’s why it is essential to build a search engine optimization (SEO) marketing strategy even before you launch your website.

In the absence of SEO marketing, your website will lose its voice amidst the online clutter of mediocre websites. Even if you publish the most outstanding content, it won't attract the right readers unless you've optimized it using the right keywords. Whether you’re promoting an e-commerce store or a local bakery, it’s high time you prioritize website SEO marketing.

But what is SEO? Let’s find out.

Table of content:

What is SEO?

Simply put, SEO refers to a set of techniques aimed at driving increased organic traffic from search engines to your website. In other words, it helps improve your website’s search engine ranking for relevant search queries. When implemented correctly, a good SEO strategy helps attract qualified website visitors who’re actively searching for information related to your product or brand.

Online SEO marketing involves a series of steps such as website audit, keyword research, competitor analysis, backlink building, etc. The purpose of most SEO marketing techniques is to optimize your website’s layout, content, and architecture. That, in turn, makes it easier for search engines to find your website and understand what it’s all about.

Typically, you can divide SEO marketing into three components, namely:

  • On-page SEO
  • Off-page SEO
  • Technical SEO

While on-page SEO involves optimizing different aspects of various web pages, technical SEO focuses on improving the site architecture. On the other hand, off-page SEO refers to everything you do outside your website to boost its search engine ranking. It includes techniques such as guest posting, identifying broken link opportunities, etc.

Technical SEO vs. on-page SEO vs. off-page SEO
Technical SEO vs. on-page SEO vs. off-page SEO | Image via Wordstream

How Does SEO Marketing Work?

Search engines such as Google and Bing strive to deliver the best search experience to their users. That's why they use bots called spiders or crawlers to scan the internet and index new web pages regularly. Whenever a search engine spider comes across a new web page, it stores the web page in a relevant index (database). If a web page has been recently updated, the spider updates the same information in the corresponding index.

  1. Content quality
  2. Website speed
  3. Mobile-responsiveness
  4. Content relevance
  5. Website architecture

After this analysis, the algorithm decides how relevant web pages should appear in the search results. If you've used SEO marketing to optimize your website's content and structure, the algorithm will likely rank it higher. Unless your website appears in the top search results, it won't attract too many visitors.

The SEO Marketing Cycle
The SEO Marketing Cycle

Why is SEO Marketing Important?

Irrespective of whether you're using your website to sell products or showcase company information, you must prioritize SEO marketing. That is particularly important, considering that more than 87,500 search queries are executed every second.

Also, 87% of today’s shoppers use digital channels to start searching for a new product. That means whenever they want to buy something new, they likely resort to search engines for valid and reliable suggestions. Now imagine the number of conversions and sales you could drive by reaching these consumers exactly when looking for such information on search engines.

That's why SEO and digital marketing have become wholly intertwined. A good SEO strategy positively impacts all other aspects of your digital marketing campaign, including content, social media, etc.

If you're still wondering whether you need to prioritize SEO marketing, check out a few more benefits:

Qualified Website Visitors

A well-defined SEO marketing strategy doesn’t just drive random people to your website. Instead, it helps you attract potential customers who’ve expressed an interest in your product/brand/niche.

They’ve actively searched for information related to your product or a problem that your product can solve. Such website visitors are more likely to convert into paying customers sooner or later.

Amplified Brand Awareness and Authority

When your website ranks higher in relevant search results, it gives increased online visibility to your brand. Also, it positions your website as a trusted and reliable source of information. Thus, your target audience starts perceiving your brand as an industry authority.

Increased Credibility and Trust

A higher search engine ranking often acts as a stamp of approval. It tells your target audience that the search engine found your website to be the most relevant out of all the available options. That, in turn, improves brand credibility and reputation. Moreover, it encourages website visitors to trust your brand, increasing their chances of converting into customers.

Long-Term Results

First things first - it's going to take a while before your website climbs to the top of relevant search engine results pages (SERPs). But once it gets there, it's likely going to maintain a high rank (provided you've only used white hat SEO techniques).

Thus, a robust SEO marketing strategy stands the test of time and continues to deliver results long after implementing it. That makes it more cost-effective than other search engine marketing techniques such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Also, it helps drive conversions and ultimately has a positive impact on your revenue.

Now that you know about the advantages of SEO marketing, let's see how it's linked to content marketing.

SEO and Content Marketing

SEO is to content marketing what peanut butter is to jelly and macaroni is to cheese. You can’t build a successful content marketing strategy without focusing on SEO.

For instance, you need to identify relevant and trending keywords to optimize your blog posts. You can even use these keywords to craft social media captions and research relevant hashtags.

Likewise, you need relevant, well-researched, and valuable content to implement your SEO marketing strategy. In the absence of high-quality content, you can't retain the attention of website visitors, and that would impact your SEO too. Good content also helps you attract genuine backlinks from authoritative websites, thus boosting your website's search engine ranking even further.

But enough about the advantages of SEO. Let’s take a look at some brands that have actually benefited from it.

SEO Marketing Success Stories To Inspire You

In this section, we’ll take a look at a few companies and marketers who have successfully used SEO marketing to skyrocket website traffic and revenue:

  • Columnist Andrew Dennis used optimized content creation and used backlink building to attract 100,000 visitors to his brand new website, Siege Media, within the first twelve months.
  • SEO expert Mario Deal quadrupled a client’s website traffic within six months using techniques such as website audit, guest posting, and anchor text optimization.
  • Singapore-based blogger Leanne Wong used a 5-step SEO marketing strategy to skyrocket her website to the first and second position on relevant Google search results.

By now, you should have a better idea of all the fantastic things you can accomplish with a rock-solid SEO marketing strategy.

Can’t wait to build one for your website? Here’s how you can get started.

How to Build an SEO Marketing Strategy: A Step-by-Step Guide

SEO marketing isn’t just about finding relevant keywords and randomly including them on your website. It requires significant time, effort, and resources to build an excellent SEO marketing strategy. Also, you need to use a plethora of tools for keyword research, competitor analysis, etc. It’s equally important to monitor your website and determine whether the SEO strategy is headed in the right direction.

SEO Marketing Process graph
The SEO Marketing Process | Image Source: Neil Patel

Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to help you build a powerful and effective SEO marketing strategy:

1. Perform a Thorough Site Audit

Before you start outlining a new SEO marketing strategy, it’s crucial to find out where your website stands. Use tools like Google Analytics, ahrefs, and SEMrush to monitor your website traffic and identify top-performing pages.

Moreover, you should use rank tracking tools like SEMrush and ahrefs to find the keywords your website is already ranking for. It’s also an excellent time to identify gaps in your existing SEO marketing strategy.

2. Know Your Audience

When you think of SEO marketing, you can’t ignore the importance of understanding your target audience.

You need to have a clear idea of their problems and pain points. It goes without saying that you should also identify relevant demographic parameters such as age group, gender, household income, location, etc.

You need to have a fair idea of their online behavior and spending habits as well. Apart from Google Analytics, you can use social media analytics, social media polls, live Q&A sessions, and online surveys to conduct audience research.

Using all this information, you’ll be able to create content targeted towards them.

3. Pick the Right Keywords

This step is likely the most critical in building an SEO marketing strategy. Simply put, keyword research helps you identify terms and phrases your audience will use in their search queries.

It's essential to identify relevant and popular keywords in your niche. If you've identified the questions your target audience is likely to ask, part of your job is already done.

You can run a simple Google search for one of these questions to identify keyword variations. Alternatively, you can use keyword research tools such as:

ubersuggest

Once you've selected potential keywords, validate them in terms of competition and search volume. That will help you determine whether a particular keyword is worth targeting at all. You should also focus on voice search queries as well as local search queries and long-tail keywords.

4. Perform Competitor Analysis

A simple tactic of boosting your SEO game is to find out what your online competitors are doing right. If it’s working for your competitor, it’ll also likely work for you.

The first step is to run a simple Google search and identify your competitors. Next, you can analyze their SEO marketing strategy by entering their website URL into competitor analysis tools such as:

  1. SpyFu
  2. Site Explorer by Ahrefs
  3. BuzzSumo
  4. Similarweb
  5. MozBar

5. Publish Outstanding Content

The fate of your SEO marketing strategy depends on the quality of the content you create. Whether you're writing blog posts or product descriptions, make sure you include relevant keywords in the content. However, it is vital that you stay away from black hat SEO practices such as keyword stuffing. Instead, you should strategically place the keywords in sections such as:

  1. Page title
  2. Meta title and description
  3. Subheadings
  4. Introduction and conclusion
  5. Image alt text

This can all be overwhelming, we know. That’s why we’ve designed StoryChief in such a way that you can quickly figure out if your post is SEO-optimized. All you have to do is enter your target keyword, and we'll guide you through the SEO optimization.

SEO marketing

And that’s not all!

To help you improve the quality of your post, we've also incorporated a readability guide. This guide will update as you write your post on the platform. It'll help you identify gaps in your writing, such as transition words, passive voice, and more.

SEO marketing readability score

6. Attract High-Quality Backlinks

Check your competitors’ inbound link profiles and find domains that link to their websites. Approach the owners/admins of these domains to explore link building opportunities.

You can also monitor relevant blogs in your niche and look for broken links. Likewise, you should leverage guest posting to grow your audience and build authoritative backlinks.

And the best part?

Your readers may link back to your website if they find your blog posts valuable. It can help in improving your SEO too.

7. Optimize Site Architecture and Performance

Use internal linking to create a seamless website architecture. Also, check your website’s navigation and ensure that it’s easy to move from one page to another.

What’s more?

It’s critical to ensure that there are no broken links on your website. Finally, make sure your website is fast and mobile-responsive as well.

SEO Marketing Tools

Here are a few tools you can use in different stages of your SEO marketing strategy:

seo marketing tool chart

Final Thoughts

To summarize, here’s a brief outline of the step-by-step SEO guide:

SEO marketing step by step guide

Convinced SEO marketing is worth it yet? We thought so! To help you navigate through the tricky waters of SEO and content marketing, turn to StoryChief. Our start to finish platform will have you creating and posting the best content to your website and social media channels in no time!

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