This might sound strange coming from the owner of an SEO agency, but SEO is not the fix all solution to your online marketing. While SEO is one of the most important things you can do to help your online business grow and succeed, it is only one piece of the puzzle. SEO, in conjunction with content marketing and social media marketing, form the cornerstones of a strong Internet marketing campaign. While focusing on one or two disciplines is good, integrating all three is much more valuable in the long run. Heres why:
Ranking 1St Isnt Enough To Convert Business (Or Even Get Clicks!)
A recent study from SlingshotSEO found that in the past 5 years, the click-through-rate for the first ranked site in Google has dropped from 42.1% to 18.2%; imagine if your company was to lose that much business over 5 years! To me, that is an indication that searchers are getting smarter. They know that sites use SEO and other online marketing tactics to rank well in the search engines, but that ranking first doesnt automatically mean its the best site to meet their needs. Searchers are getting more selective about which sites they click over to and arent afraid to comb through the first few pages to find exactly what they are looking for.
Clearly, ranking well isnt enough to keep an online business alive! Ranking first means your site is trusted by the search engines, but that doesnt always mean you have the brand awareness or online presence to have earned the trust of your target audience. SEO alone isnt enough to get you over that hurdle.
Content Drives Social Signals Which Fuel SEO
Lets visit that sentence from back to front. In the world of SEO, much of your search engine trust comes from how many links you have and what kind of sites those links come from. The more quality inbound links a site has the more valuable it is to the search engines. One of the latest forms of links a site can earn is through social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Visitors to your blog can share individual posts to their networks on the social media site of their choice. Each time a piece of your content is shared/tweeted/Liked/posted to a social networking site another link is created. But without great content to share you cant get those social signals that tell the search engines your content is useful. Think of it like a ladder"if youre missing one of the rungs, how can you get to the top?
One Touch Point Will Not Convince Someone To Become Your Customer
Too often site owners forget to think like their customers. Waiting in line at your local coffee shop, shopping online for a birthday present, ordering lunch at the drive-through"we are all customers at one point or another. What drives you to act? How many times did you drive past that restaurant, hear their ads on the radio and get flyers tapped to your door before you decided to finally check them out? You are not a passive customer, buying whatever someone tells you to buy just because they said so. Your target audience isnt passive either! One blog post or one Tweet or one link isnt going to send floods of new customers to your site. You have to build a veritable arsenal of online touch points so you can interact with your target audience as frequently as possible. You want your site to rank well for a variety of related keywords, your social network to grow and your blog to be found by targeted readers.
SEO, social media marketing and content marketing all prop each other up. They all perform better when they are fully integrated and feeding into each other. If you want your online marketing to succeed you need to make sure you are doing all three at full-throttle!