There is a perception that understanding search engine optimisation is only about your website’s technical performance. Admittedly it’s in the name and the tactic was initially about efficiency and tinkering to improve functionality. While this is important, efficiency is not the same as effectiveness and the latter comes about by understanding that marketing tactics don’t work in silos. SEO is part of marketing and marketing is part of SEO.
Efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the right things.
It is better to have a website that is technically imperfect but has a high organic search ranking than a perfectly optimised website that receives no interest at all. Demand fulfilment and demand generation are two separate things.
How does SEO work?
SEO itself does not generate demand for a business. It is part ofto ensure it works so that when customers are searching for a service, brand or product it becomes easy to find and is relevant to the user.
It’s a bit like designing a shop: it must be easy to access and navigate otherwise people will get frustrated because they can’t find what they are looking for and go elsewhere. However, getting people into the shop in the first place is not only down to the design and layout.
Generating demand requires other tactics, such as PR and advertising, to complement SEO efforts. Sometimes this is achieved through link building - using high-quality domains as sources of referral traffic. Or in plain English, getting attention in the media so potential customers are aware of the brand, product or service which in turn makes them more likely to search for information or click on a link.
In the old days, the idea was to send out as many requests for links to be placed as possible. It wasn’t about quality, it was about quantity. You could pay someone to create thousands of backlinks to boost your website in Google search. However, those unethical days are long gone. Things have changed, they’ve become more mature and more aligned with. It’s now more important to aim for links in contextually appropriate media rather than relying on the quantity of referral links. For example, if you’re a large car manufacturer then you will want to feature in relevant online and offline media to gain maximum exposure and reach. For example, Maserati might aim to feature their new car in a luxury print publication using an article or advertisement. The new Seat might aim to feature in Autotrader instead. This activity in turn will naturally result in higher search traffic as some potential customers will search online for more information about the product, service or brand.
Good SEO and good marketing
Good SEO is about understanding what it does and how other tactics and their outcomes influence SEO, which is what good marketing is all about. It’s seeing the bigger strategic picture. Operating in silos is always bad. A great PR story hosted on a high authority website such as the Guardian will generate far more interest. If activity acts in isolation, then none of it will really work as well as it could do.
Below is a simple example of how PR campaigns can influence search traffic.
the former Co-founder and CEO of Moz.com, an SEO industry icon, said back in 2014:
“The more advanced Google becomes, the more SEO feels like getting marketing and web dev right.”
The lesson here is to recognise that SEO shouldn’t act in isolation and neither should any other marketing tactic. Everything works better together, complementing each other and doing the respective jobs they do best to suit the needs of clients and generate not just efficient results, but effective ones.
Shooting Star offers a wide range of marketing services including PR, digital and marketing. We work closely with all our clients to ensure they use the right tactics for their needs. To find out how we can help you,