SEO Still Matters In 2020

There are many strategies touted as the next-best in marketing, but one of the mainstays of the industry has been SEO. So is it still the go-to for marketing strategy in 2020?

 

Marketing is an industry that is always changing. There is always a new strategy, trending technique or masterful way to engage audiences, but some techniques, like search engine optimization (SEO) or search engine marketing (SEM), keep popping up as the way to reach audiences.

However, SEO has changed. The focus has shifted to optimizing content based on search intent rather than keywords. The way people are using technology has evolved, and the increased use of voice search has changed the way that SEO works, and content is truly king.

Local Market

SEO is one of the best customer acquisition strategies for locally-focused businesses. SMEs need to focus on content creation that answers searches and boosts their rankings. With so many people using search engines with simple phrases like ‘find a mechanic near me’ or ‘best coffee near me’, the best way to appear is through content that answers such questions.

With local SEO, you can reach prospective customers by targeting users searching in your local area. Google tailors the search results to your geographic location, so your website can dominate local search results for your niche if you optimise correctly.

To do that you need to:

  • Add content to your website with keywords focused on local business.
  • Fill out your Google My Business profile and other directory profiles.
  • Post positive reviews from past clients or customers on your website.
  • Conduct backlink outreach to increase your visibility in local search.

Optimizing For Search Intent Through Site Content

Google’s BERT algorithm, using NLP, is better at understanding the context and intent of users’ searches. This means that websites that publish content that matches what users are searching for are likely to be given higher priority in searches. The focus is on the intention of the search, not on keywords.

You need to create content that answers users’ questions and provides value to your audience. There are two ways you can approach this to optimize your content:

Service

Do a Google search of the term you want to use and take note of which pages are ranking in the search results. If the majority of results are service pages, improve this section of your website. Break down the services that you offer, how to contact you, client results, etc.

Content

What’s currently ranking can give you a good idea of the type of content you should create. Craft content that best answers the users’ intentions. Give definitions of a subject, in-depth research results, how-to blogs and other content that answers questions.

If your company is dependent on organic traffic, maximising traffic-generated potential by creating optimised content that answers the questions that your target audience is looking for will improve your search ranking. Think of how people ask questions and write responses understanding the intention of the question.

Adopting A Multichannel Approach

A multichannel approach is the best way to ensure that you reach your audience in more than one way. While you might rank number one in one facet of search, if you aren’t using all the channels at your disposal you are quickly forgotten or pushed from the forefront of the minds of your audience who are busy researching, using multiple channels and reading reviews and comments.

When your audience sees your content across platforms, it creates a connection. If your brand is strong and reviews positive, your audience will begin to share your content and your growth can take off.

Brand Authority And Reach

According to a 2014 survey, 84{735f2e4b65c3f1982e3012daf49d8651419bebdced28f8d40dc0564cadc91c3b} of the respondents, who identified as millennials, said that they do not like advertising and tend not to trust it. Buyers are less inclined to respond to traditional forms of advertising contact, such as email and cold calls.

SEO is different because SEO is inbound marketing. Businesses are reaching people, even in the millennial demographic, who are already searching for them by answering a question. SEO marketing draws customers to your brand, rather than pushing your brand in front of audiences.

You can broaden your brand’s reach by:

  • Targeting long-tail keywords that attract highly-targeted traffic.
  • Ranking for question-based (“How do I … ?”) or comparative (“brand A versus brand B”).
  • Using keywords that solidify your brand as an authority on a topic.

You can also use descriptive keywords that draw in a wider audience. For example, broad terms like “B2B marketing” or “best sunscreen” can be highly competitive, but they also receive a higher number of searches per month.

The best way to use these broad terms is to gain good rankings and traffic by targeting long-tail keywords. When you start seeing results using such terms, you can start to focus on broad terms with higher traffic-generating potential. Combining the two techniques can improve your SEO rankings and improve your ability as a brand to answer customer questions and drive traffic toward your website.

Conclusion

SEO is still important to your marketing strategy in 2020. SEO acts as an inbound marketing tool that is highly effective when used correctly. If yours is a local business, SEO marketing is one of the most effective tools you have when reaching a new audience.

Using your content to connect with consumers in organic ways, be generous with your knowledge and resources to develop trust with potential customers, build your brand and grow your business. Customers want a genuine connection with your brand, and SEO can help you to deliver on that request.

 

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