Ever wondered what search engine optimization (SEO) is, why it’s so popular among businesses these days, and how you can be an SEO professional yourself? Turns out that SEO is not as complex and difficult to grasp as it may sound.
SEO is an important strategy in digital marketing. It helps businesses reach more target audiences and improve their sales output. It also helps them flesh out the potential of their business model and go beyond their goals as an organization. That’s why the demand for expert SEO marketers is on the rise today and which is why this is easily one of the best online courses for people looking to get a job in the industry. It’s also one of the most popular courses here at Course Belt.
In this guide for SEO beginners, we’ll cover the basics of SEO Marketing and how you can drive growth for your business (or for your clients) using this strategy.
- What is SEO Marketing
- How SEO Works
- How to Drive Business Growth using SEO
- How to Become an SEO Marketer
- Four Tips that Expert SEO Marketers Swear By
What is SEO Marketing?
SEO marketing is the process of acquiring leads and customers by optimizing the business’s digital channels, such as its websites, and driving traffic there organically. The optimization requires delivering content that is “attractive” to search engines, based on certain algorithms. So when a potential customer types in certain keywords on the search engine, the business’s landing page will appear first on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
How SEO Works
Understanding SEO marketing requires a basic understanding of how SEO works so let’s get down to it.
How does SEO work? For starters, imagine looking for answers online and typing in “best bicycle brands under $200.” Without following certain algorithms, search engines can just throw in random contents that are unrelated to the topic. This does not serve the best interest of the user.
So search engines have to follow certain standards like keywords, length of article, and how the article is referred to in other articles using backlinks. These standards aim to improve the ability of the search engine to deliver relevant content to the user.
However, results in the SERPs will vary from time to time as the algorithms that search engines follow occasionally change.
And as search engines comb through the billions of content on the internet, they will find new contents that may appear more relevant to users. They crawl, index, and rank websites and landing pages based on certain standards.
They may also find new ways to determine what “relevant content” is. This is the reason why the job of SEO marketers is to determine what algorithms search engines follow so they can dish out contents that will get their clients’ business websites on top of SERPs.
How to Drive Business Growth using SEO
The next step in SEO is, naturally, to understand how to use SEO’s principles in establishing long-term, profitable relationships with customers.
Driving growth using SEO usually follows these five stages:
- Getting Your Website to Appear on the SERPs
Getting your website to appear on top of SERPs requires you to understand concepts like improving domain authorities, getting or creating backlinks, optimizing content based on keywords, publishing content regularly, and many more.
Performing all these would allow search engines like Google to notice your website and evaluate whether it gives out relevant content to its users. This is the first step to acquiring leads.
When a potential customer types in certain keywords based on a need, say “best makeup products for teenagers” and your website will appear on top, chances are that potential customer would click on your link and read what you have to say about “best makeup products” for “teenagers.”
- Getting Customers to Click on Your Website Link
But not all websites that appear on top will get clicked on by that potential customer. It’s important to know how to phrase your titles, how the meta description would appear to potential customers, or how the search engine itself would show portions of your blog post to potential customers on the SERP itself.
These are important factors that would influence potential customers’ decision-making and get them to click on your website link.
- Engaging Customers with Useful and Relevant Content
After clicking on the link, the next challenge is to sustain the potential customer’s interest and get him or her to read the rest of the article and finally click on the Call-to-Action (CTA) button.
The article’s content should not only contain relevant information to avoid the reader from leaving your website but it should also be informative to make it easy for readers to make a purchase decision.
- Getting Customers to Click on your Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons
Websites’ CTA buttons should be clear, noticeable, and accessible. If you aim to get your readers to fill out a form, make sure to only require important information. When you want them to leave their credit card information, make sure your “trust marks” are noticeable. Let your readers know what steps you took to ensure their privacy and security.
- Getting Customers to Buy from You Again
The business relationship does not end when a lead successfully makes his or her first purchase. It’s only the start of your sales process. Your goal should be to encourage customers to buy from you again and secure their brand loyalty.
Your repeat purchase rate should be around 27% or more. They may also be responsible for up to 80% of your overall sales. So it’s best to craft an effective strategy around getting customers to make a repeat purchase.
More than that, remember that it’s much cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire new ones.
How to Become an SEO Marketer
Becoming an SEO marketer requires you to have a basic understanding of digital marketing and how SEO works. But more than that, take note of the following:
- Boost your confidence with an SEO class
Even if you’ve read from hundreds of blog posts, it can get a little intimidating as an SEO beginner when you aren’t yet certified.
It’s easy to solve this problem by getting a formal SEO class and get yourself certified. But remember to get a class you can afford. Talk to experts in the industry so you can gain firsthand knowledge of how the industry works.
- Get a deeper understanding of how search engines work
Go beyond the regular blog posts that discuss how SEO works. Read from public forums or threads that involve SEO experts. Join communities that are interested in discussing the topic in detail and what best practices they use to advance the interest of their clients. Expand your knowledge.
- Experiment with your own website
It’s time to put those theories into test. Nothing beats experience— the best way to get a practical knowledge of how SEO works is to test it on your very own website. This way, you could be potentially rewarded more at lesser risks when you discover techniques that no one had discovered before.
- Master a specific skill in SEO or a particular industry
After mastering the basics, to be an “expert SEO marketer” and successfully sell yourself as an SEO professional, it’s best to master a specific SEO skill or a niche in the market.
This way, you can differentiate yourself from the rest of “SEO professionals” or anyone who claims that they know SEO. This makes it easier for you to get a job or get a deal with a client.
Four Tips that Expert SEO Marketers Swear By
So what do experts in the industry say about their jobs? What should you do as an SEO beginner? What best practice could prove useful for you in the future as an SEO professional?
Check out these four tips that expert SEO marketers swear by:
- Never stop learning
Another thing that is not constant in this world is SEO. In 2018 alone, Google reported that it has made over 3,200 algorithm changes to its search systems. So it’s best to keep on learning about these changes so you can keep your websites on top of SERPs.
- Create systems that you can swear by yourself
As you will be getting clients from different backgrounds and with different needs, you’ll be finding yourself lost in the process and get stuck in disarray more often than expected.
Creating systems is the best way for you to deal with this diversity of needs. And when you repeatedly test and refine this system, you’ll find yourself able to work faster and it’ll be easier for you to work with others.
- Patience is the key
It’s easy to give up learning on something unfamiliar and complicated but think about the rewards when you keep on learning this craft.
- Remember to write for humans first, search engines second
Search engines speak a different language than humans, but humans are your customers and they will determine whether the content you’re giving out is relevant to their needs. Look for ways to strike a balance, but remember to write for humans first and search engines, second.
Get Your First Course Here
Master the basics of SEO and marketing and drive business growth using this strategy. Take the first step to becoming an SEO professional and get your first course here.