A question that is often debated is “What is SEO?”, many think it’s about creating keyword optimised pages, others think it’s about creating Google friendly site architecture, you have those who think it’s all about quality content and those who think it’s all about links.
Whilst all of the above are valuable SEO techniques, none of them describe SEO in a broad sense.
So what is it? Is it ranking higher on Google? Is it simply driving organic traffic to your pages? Well in my opinion SEO or search engine optimisation (or even optimization for those of you over the pond) is so much more than this; SEO in my mind is quite simply the most powerful marketing tool you could ever want.
In this post I am going to try and explain what I mean, I am going to go through what I think is the threefold mission of SEO, (by the way that’s just a term I made up )
As you can see from the above image I believe the 3 main areas of SEO marketing are core market ranking, brand promotion and long tail optimisation, all are needed in a successful SEO campaign but let’s break this down a little.
How do we promote our brand through SEO?
Well it’s simple really, as your site grows more people will become aware of your services/product and if your good at what you do your brand may be passed by word of mouth, how valuable do you think it would be for someone to say “simply search [you brand] on Google and they’ll pop up”?
Let me show you something before we go any further;
As you can see last month there were 160 clicks on my site from keywords including my brand, now I know the figure isn’t huge but as the brand grows so will the traffic.
Think about it, it’s not just word of mouth business, say a visitor somehow drops on one of your pages, reads and likes it but forgets to bookmark it or subscribe, they come online the next day and fancy reading your content again, how are they going to find you? Probably by typing your brand into Google.
Ranking for your brand is something you need to implement immediately and it is so easy. If you have a solid link profile the chances are you already rank, however its good practice to try and get your brand name in your title tag.
If your site is new it is best to start by creating some social media profiles using your brand name, these will rank quickly and help channel traffic searching for your brand to your actual site.
Long Tail Optimisation
OK I know I have banged on about this enough so I will keep it short.
Long tail optimisation is optimising your deep content for low competition keyword variations, it’s a slow way of building traffic but one that will pay huge dividends.
Read my post here on long tail optimisation.
Once you have mastered this optimisation technique you will be able to grow your organic traffic with every new bit of content you add to your site.
Long tail traffic will not convert as well as precision targeted traffic but with a little keyword research before each new post or article and over time you will see a profitable return.
Core Market Ranking
At the start of any SEO campaign we do our keyword research and we identify our core market, or the keywords with the most amount of traffic and profitability.
These keywords are going to be the hardest to rank for and it may take you up to a year or even two years before ranking for your most competitive term.
This is very much a long term aspect of your search engine strategy but when you land this one it can take your business from minor profitability to huge profitability.
Your homepage will usually be targeted at these keywords and this is where the majority of your link building will be focused, I’d say as much as 80% of your link building efforts need to be aimed at landing these terms. The long tail and branding is not about links as long as the content is there the rest will take care of itself, the power keywords on the other hand require huge link building efforts and your aim should be the top 5 if not the number 1.
So why is it important to implement a full SEO strategy?
If you only concentrate on your core market it will take you years to see results and you will probably give up, if you only concentrate on branding and long tail optimisation your simply missing out on huge earning potential.
You need to incorporate all these strategies to create a successful campaign and this in my opinion is what SEO is, using Google as a platform for marketing your business on multiple levels.