Why SEO Marketing is Still the Best Digital Tactic

Apr 2024
SEO marketing

Why is SEO marketing still the best tactic for companies to grow online? 

In a world dominated by talk of AI and TikTok, the slow-and-steady approach of SEO marketing might seem unglamorous or even outdated. But KWSM’s success with SEO campaigns since our inception in 2010 proves that slow and steady does, in fact, win the race for many businesses.

Before you put all your chips on SEO marketing based on those three sentences, however, let’s dive into what SEO marketing is and why businesses should choose to incorporate it into their Digital Marketing Strategy.

What is SEO Marketing?

Search engine optimization (SEO) marketing, also commonly known as organic or inbound marketing, means creating and publishing content designed to rank highly on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) when users query Google or other search engines.

As a form of online marketing, SEO is different because you aren’t paying to promote your content like you would in a typical ad campaign. You’re creating outputs that are designed to answer relevant user questions in a valuable and trustworthy way so that Google’s algorithm will present your website, landing page, video, or blog post as the best solution for what prospects are searching for. 

(Note: We recognize that not everyone relies on Google for search and that other platforms may weigh ranking factors differently. That said, given that Google represents more than 90% of all search traffic online, we’ll use “Google” and “search engine” interchangeably throughout this post.)

Your SEO marketing collateral can include everything from your website and videos to your social media presence. Over time, these marketing assets can become the foundation of your brand’s online authority. If you’re strategic and consistent about publishing, SEO marketing can drive more traffic and qualified leads to your pages and generate sustainable revenue. 

Let’s examine some more of the benefits that SEO marketing can bring to your business.

4 Benefits of SEO Marketing for Businesses

Many organizations with compelling offers and a proven track record of success opt for SEO as their primary marketing initiative for a number of reasons, and budget is often at the top of that list.

“SEO marketing is the only marketing tactic that doesn’t interrupt your potential clients’ life to get their attention. They are choosing to search in order to solve a problem or learn something. You get to help them by satisfying what they are looking for as they go about their life. This makes SEO marketing extremely effective.”

Matt Enser, SEO Specialist

1. SEO Marketing is More Budget-Friendly

SEO or organic marketing is often a budget-friendly foundational starting point for businesses in comparison to paid ad campaigns. 

Advertising campaigns on platforms like Google, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok require significant front-end investments to set up. You’ll need to create the ads themselves, landing pages for the ads to link to, and an airtight back-end infrastructure to capture the leads and prospects that your ads bring in. 

Of course, that’s assuming your ads actually bring in leads and prospects. If your industry is competitive or your sales funnel isn’t compelling, you could spend your marketing budget on campaigns that fail to yield adequate results – or worse, any results.

Combining Marketing Tactics Strategically

In contrast, if you already have a website that is indexed by Google, writing and publishing optimized blog posts or local landing pages (more on these later) are much more cost-effective.

Having said that, we won’t try to claim that SEO is a cure-all for your marketing needs either. 

You’ll need to publish captivating content consistently over time to appear in search results, which can be a chore to create. Further, this process can take months, especially if your industry or local market is competitive. Paid ads, in contrast, can start generating results as soon as your campaigns are online. 

Many organizations find that the best results come from a combination of paid ads and organic content creation within a Digital Marketing Strategy designed to achieve specific goals. But if you’re concerned about budget and forced to choose between SEO and paid ads, SEO marketing has additional benefits worth considering, including a longer lifespan for your organic content.

Also, keep in mind that the best SEO-rich content is usually robust and written from experience. A long-time professional or a seasoned writing team working with that expert can craft content that is more likely to boost SEO.

2. Optimized Content Has a Longer Lifespan

Paid ads stop delivering results as soon as your budget runs out. Most SEO content, in contrast, is evergreen, optimized for search engines, and always accessible.

In simple terms, as long as people are searching for what your content is about, you’ll have a chance to appear in their search results and turn them into leads.

Further, you can always be strategic and refresh and update organic content with new information or images to stay relevant. By strategically adding new copy or updating links, you show the search engines’ algorithms that your content is still the best option for searchers. In contrast, new paid ad campaigns often have to start from scratch because of audience saturation and creative fatigue.

3. SEO Marketing Generates Qualified Leads

When you appear prominently in search results for questions or phrases related to your products or services, the prospects who click through and land on your website are more likely to be interested in what you offer.

“Users are trying to satisfy an intent when they search on Google. If your content, page, or product satisfies that intent, you will be a great match and rank high. This leads to qualified leads because when you target the right terms, users who search for those terms essentially qualify themselves.” 

Matt Enser, SEO Specialist

Paid ads can produce these results as well, but businesses can struggle to reach the right audience segments in competitive ad auctions on platforms like Google and Meta. Further, privacy changes like Apple’s iOS 14 update and Google’s long-threatened elimination of third-party cookies have made tracking and attribution much more difficult for advertisers to match qualified leads and sales directly to ad spend.

4. Target Local Audiences & Build Relationships

SEO marketing content can establish your brand as an industry authority as well as an engaged member of your community. 

Using localized keywords like city and county names throughout your website and marketing content shows Google’s search algorithm that you should appear in location-specific results. Local SEO can also reduce the likelihood that you appear in search results for prospects that are outside of your target market, which leads to getting the right traffic. 

Also, local searches are often less competitive, meaning even less authoritative websites can rank well if you find the right keywords. This includes topics like “What Does [name of service or product] Cost in [state, city, or region]”, articles about a local regulation related to your industry, or articles relevant to trends in your area. 

Google Business Profile

Another important aspect of local search is an optimized Google Business Profile. This helps you appear in the right search category and boosts your rankings through the number and quality of your reviews

In addition, when you write local-focused content as discussed above, you should post these as “Updates” on your Google business profile. This shows Google you are updating your profile and are relevant for that location.

Paid ads can also be useful in building a local audience, but all of the drawbacks listed above – murky attribution, budget, etc. – still apply. 

In contrast, SEO marketing draws the right users to your website organically. And if prospects beyond your geographical area do happen to land on one of your pages, at least you didn’t spend money on an ad to lure them in.

SEO Marketing Case Study: CPA Lead Generation

A Southern California-based public accountant specializing in trust accounting and elder care financial services came to KWSM for lead generation. We put together a long-term Digital Marketing Strategy that relied on organic SEO tactics like blogging, regular website updates, and social media posts for brand awareness. 

Over six years of consistent content creation, we were able to generate a 19x increase in website users per month and increase annual website leads from zero to more than 150.

“We have been working with KWSM for many years. During that time, they learned my business and all its details. They have set up my website, continue to maintain it and do an amazing job of researching for blogs to post to the website. My business has grown immensely because of their input and hard work. We receive three or more inquiries per week from the website and more from the internet because of the SEO keywords used. The inquiries come from the whole state of California, surrounding states and across the country.”

Marcia Campbell, Owner, Marcia Campbell CPA

6 SEO Marketing Must-Haves for Your Website

Now that you’re thoroughly convinced that SEO marketing is right for your business, we’ll look at a half-dozen must-haves for your campaigns to generate results.

1. Clear Navigation

Google’s spiders crawl and index your website regularly to include it in search results. And they’re looking for the same intuitive pathways and access to relevant information that your users expect. 

To maximize SEO results, it’s important to have a clear sitemap that is easy to navigate. You’ll also need a healthy ecosystem of internal links that connects related pages to each other in an organic way. 

Clarifying on-page updates, such as ensuring that every page on your site has a relevant title and useful content, is another way to improve your website’s SEO acuity over time.

2. E-E-A-T

While Google likes to play coy about the specific ingredients of their search ranking recipe, they have shared useful internal standards that brands and businesses can leverage to increase SERP visibility.

These quality rater guidelines, which Google recommends as part of a good content experience providing helpful, relevant information, include four categories called “E-E-A-T”:

  1. Expertise
  2. Experience
  3. Authoritativeness
  4. Trustworthiness

For SEO marketing purposes, these are four fundamentals to strive for when you’re creating content like blogs and videos. Google even goes so far as to suggest that “creators seeking to understand how to self-assess their own content to be successful in Google Search” use E-E-A-T as their template.

Learn more about how we use E-E-A-T for marketing purposes in this post.

3. Accessibility

In the parlance of SEO and web design, “accessibility” means ensuring that your website is fully functional and capable of serving individuals with disabilities. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides guidance to help meet these requirements, but maintaining an accessible website is also important for SEO. Although Google does not specifically look at accessibility as a ranking factor, the search algorithm does prioritize user experience. Content that is accessible in addition to being relevant and authoritative should help your ranking results rise.

4. Web & SEO Maintenance

The websites that perform well in search results don’t just have clear, accessible experiences and compelling, relevant content. They also have impeccably maintained infrastructure.  

Factors like page speed, security, downtime, metadata, and URL keywords – all of which are basically invisible to the average user – are crucial if you’re trying to prove to the algorithm that your website belongs at the top of relevant search results pages. 

The only way to keep these technical components ship-shape is to have someone regularly analyze and update your website to make sure it’s performing as designed. 

If you’re working with a marketing agency on a website update, for example, make sure to discuss your ongoing maintenance needs. You’ll need a plan to keep your site up-to-date and secure in the weeks and months to come. And if you have someone managing your company’s website in-house, it’s important to verify that those regular updates are happening. You need to do everything you can to give users a safe and valuable experience.

Click here to learn more about the importance of website maintenance for your business.

5. Blogs & Landing Pages

The must-haves above apply to your website as a whole. But SEO marketing also requires regular content outputs that show Google, and your visitors, that you have the credible and relevant information they’re looking for in their search results.

For many brands, blogging and landing pages that target specific geographic areas and key terms are the most effective ways to connect with your target audience and share your message through organic search. But that doesn’t mean that you can write about whatever you feel like that day, hit Publish, and expect to see results.

Blogging and landing pages for SEO marketing requires adhering to E-E-A-T guidelines and delivering content that directly answers common search queries, as well as strategically targeting the keywords and phrases that those searchers use. You’ll also need to incorporate both internal and off-site links, images with metadata, and other technical necessities that will help your blogs perform in the crowded digital marketplace.

Once you find the right keyword, there is a lot that goes into trying to rank number one in Google search results. The most important thing to consider to rank first on Google is to be the best at satisfying the search intent by creating blogs and landing pages that are helpful, reliable, and serve your audience well. 

6. Link Building

Link building is an example of offsite SEO, or building your search engine visibility through strategic connections outside of your own website.

Links to your website from credible third parties show the search engine algorithms that your brand is similarly qualified. This boosts your site’s domain authority and increases the likelihood that you’ll appear at the top of relevant searches.

There are many ways to generate links back to your website. However, the right strategy for your business will depend on your industry, budget, and marketing goals. That said, here are two easy ways to start link building for your brand:

  1. Public Relations: Press releases, announcements, and connections through the Help a Reporter Out (HARO) platform can generate links on relevant industry topics that increase your site’s authority. 
  2. Professional Organizations & Directories: There are lots of industry-specific organizations and professional directories that will link to your website if you complete a company profile and/or pay a membership fee. A few well-known examples include FindLaw for attorneys and the National Association of Home Builders for residential construction professionals, but there are many others that can help you increase traffic and demonstrate your credibility to search engines.
  3. Social Media Profile Ownership: There are a lot of reasons to control your company’s social media profiles. Brand awareness, customer engagement, and reputation management are just a few. Search optimization also ranks high on that list. (Pun intended.) Linking your social media accounts to your website, and vice versa, shows the algorithms that you’re a credible online presence – and it doesn’t cost a thing.

Why You Should Work With an SEO Marketing Agency

If you’ve read this far, you probably realize that SEO marketing is a significant, time- and effort-intensive undertaking that requires a variety of technical and creative skills. (Also, if you’ve read this far – thanks!) 

With that in mind, your answer to the question “Can I do my own SEO?” might not be as confident as it was before you got here.

But that’s okay! With a knowledgeable and resourceful SEO marketing partner like KWSM, you don’t need to be responsible for all of the optimization and content creation required for an SEO-based strategy. Our team of copywriters, graphic designers, website developers and more will do all the heavy lifting based on a personalized and customized Digital Marketing Strategy designed to achieve your business goals.

Finally, if you’re ready to get started, contact us sooner rather than later. Even though slow and steady wins the race, you still have to start the race. 😉

Fill out the form below to discuss your SEO marketing needs with the KWSM team.

Fill out the form below to start your conversation with KWSM.

Core Values at KWSM a digital marketing agency