Goal #2: Improve SEO

We’ve covered paid search, measuring leads and analyzing data, but the debate continues…

One question we hear on every call regarding online marketing is, “How important is my organic ranking?” We also hear, “What is the perfect balance between paid search (SEM) results and organic (SEO) results?” Let’s address these questions head on.

First, there is no “perfect” balance between paid search and organic search. It will ultimately be determined by your business’s vertical and ability to track leads. Second, both are valuable to your business and are supported by endless online chatter about where businesses should allocate their marketing dollars. It comes as no surprise that the chatter usually supports a company that offers either SEM or SEO.  If you research it enough, you can find statistics that support one side or the other.

So what is the right answer? The reality is that you need to have an online strategy that includes both paid and organic search programs, and they need to work hand-in-hand in order to maximize results. The constant evolution of Google and other search engines continues to show the value of marketing online with SEO as a critical piece to the puzzle. The challenge is understanding how SEO really works and committing to an SEO strategy that is ongoing.

There tends to be a great amount of criticism around the trackability of paid search and its effect on the bottom line. Using Google Analytics to set up appropriate goals for your business is key in aggregating the statistical data that many businesspeople crave. And, many studies show that SEO on your website increases leads. In fact, pages ranking in the top three of Google’s organic results get 68% of all non-branded clicks. For branded inquiries, they garner an overwhelming 90% of all clicks.

Search engine optimization can happen on many different levels—on the back end of the website things like backlinks, local listings, meta data, alt tags, sitemap, site speed and headings are just a few examples of things that have an impact on organic ranking. The biggest contributor to organic ranking, though, is fresh and engaging content. It’s old news by now, but Google’s latest algorithm, Hummingbird, underscored and already critical piece of SEO—your website must matter. Rather than focusing on stuffing keywords and using link-building software, you should focus on making your website as a resource for consumers to go for information—be useful, be informative, answer questions, entertain, and engage.

If you are working with two different companies, one for PPC and one for SEO, you are not getting the most out of your digital marketing dollars. To maximize your online impact, your SEO and SEM strategies need to be seamlessly synthesized—the data from each effort should fuel the other. If you’re ready to take your digital efforts to the next level, let’s talk integration.