Digital Marketing Deep Dive Part I: Search Engine Optimization

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

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For many small business owners, Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click campaigns are just two nebulous online marketing services offered by a digital marketing company. But these two tools can each play a unique part in the success of your business in our brave new online world.

We went over both SEO and PPC in the broadest possible brush strokes in our previous post, but this time, we are going to dig deep into these two often misunderstood and misapplied techniques.

Search Engine Optimization
Each month, up to 100 billion inquiries are made on search engines. That is a lot of potential traffic that you want to be cashing in on. The issue is that a majority of searchers will simply look over the first page of results (known as Search Engine Results Pages, or SERPs) without clicking to the second page.

But who decides what ends up on the first page? It is all based on a top-secret Google algorithm that is designed to suss out whether or not your website is a credible source on any given topic. Those coveted first-page rankings are based on a wide range of factors, and Google is less than forthcoming about what those factors are. That being said, the best SEO experts have gotten pretty good at cracking the code.

Thus, search engine optimization is a tool that will help your site rank higher on search engines, and thereby bring more traffic onto your site.

Benefits
As mentioned above, the most significant advantage is the increased traffic to your site, which can help you make more sales. Another significant advantage to working with a digital marketing company is the fact that, in order to rank more highly on a search, you must have some level of authority on an issue. This will likely help to win the trust of the people who do visit your website and has been shown to increase your return on investment.

Pitfalls
Despite SEOs importance, people often either neglect it altogether or focus on poor keywords. If you are a car dealership here in Charleston, for instance, focusing on overly broad keywords like “used car” or “cars for sale” will very likely put you in competition with the biggest auto manufacturers in the world, making it extremely unlikely you’ll ever reach the first page of the SERPs. But if you choose keywords that signal purchase intent (think “used cars for sale in Charleston” or “used cars under $8,000”), not only will you have a better chance of actually ranking, you will also be drawing in more apropos clientele.

Another significant disadvantage with SEO is that Google will often make changes to how they are ranking their search results, and those changes may or may not be announced. That means that a well optimized site on Tuesday might be twenty pages back by Wednesday Morning. That is why it is so important to speak with a digital marketing company that knows how to anticipate and adapt to these changes.

Hopefully, this first half of our deep dive has given you a better understanding of SEO marketing and how it can help your small business. In the next part of this series, we will examine another important component of online marketing strategies: Pay Per Click Ads.