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Natascha Thomson

SEO 101: Why is SEO Important?

Natascha Thomson
SEO 101: Why is SEO Important?

Is there any marketing topic that seems more important than search engine optimization (SEO)?

Well, okay, maybe inbound marketing, but the two go hand-in-hand.

For the busy marketer who is already trying to keep up with the ever-changing demands of digital media, SEO can be intimidating.

But do not despair: there are a few simple tactics and strategies that you can build into your day-to-day marketing practice to move the needle that won’t take over your life.

What matters most is to know what you don’t know (yet). You need to define your key objectives concerning SEO and what you can realistically accomplish on your own or with the staff at your disposal. There might be a point in time where it makes sense to bring in “the expert.” Being realistic requires understanding first.

But let me start at the beginning. Why does SEO matter so much?

SEO matters because we live in the digital age where almost anything you might want to know can be found online. If your product or service can’t be discovered via Google search, the likelihood is high that your prospects will be shopping somewhere else. That certainly applies to me, both as a businessperson and a consumer.

Whether you are in the B2B or B2C space does not matter; a well-known Forrester study (and many others) show that most people are 70-90% through the traditional sales cycle before they will ever talk to a sales person. At this point, there is a short list of vendors and products, and it’s too late to get on it.

And that’s all that inbound marketing means: the prospect finds you (you pull them in) vs. you pushing out information to them.

Of course, traditional marketing is not dead and email marketing, in particular, is alive and kicking, but the combination of push and pull marketing is what generally works best (like peas and carrots).

Social media is in the twilight zone when it comes to push and pull.

  • On the one hand, your tweets, Facebook status updates and blogs are information that you push out to your followers and fans.
  • But on the other hand, much of information published via social media can be discovered in search on Google also.
  • And most importantly: if you play social media right, you don’t just amplify but engage with your clients; push and pull in action.

Hence, there is the term Social Media Optimization (SMO).

SMO is your social media activity that helps you increase your discoverability and brand awareness.

As we all know, we live in the day of secret algorithms.

Nobody is 100% sure how Google decides what content to serve up first, or how Facebook decides which 2% of your page fans get to see the content you post organically.

But, there are many best practices from people who have been successful in ranking high in search results and who have – to a degree – reverse engineered the algorithms. Of course, to keep us on our toes, the platform vendors keep modifying the algorithms.

My point is, it is a fact that social media activity helps with SEO (or SMO; semantics).

If you would like to learn more, please check out my webinar deck about SEO and SMO for beginners:

http://www.slideshare.net/NataschaThomson/seo-smo-for-beginners

I welcome your feedback in the comments below.

Natascha Thomson is the Owner and Founder of MarketingXLerator, a B2B Social Media Marketing Consultancy, and the co-author of the book 42 Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing

Comments

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L. Itsuo Fukui
L. Itsuo Fukui
Very true and more small business owners need to be educated on SEO and the importance it has on their ONLINE business presence which can make the difference between being SEEN or not being SEEN. It's hard as most business owners don't have the time nor skills to learn about SEO but it is so necessary in order to survive online and it is more and more a mobile market so business owners get onboard with mobile and SEO for the best optimized opportunity to get your business indexed by Google, Bing and Yahoo Creating an SEO Optimized Website takes some work and commitment but it is doable.
albinocombino
totally unnecessary post...at least at this page :)
Tara M. Clapper
albinocombino
We do like to publish a variety of posts, from 101 to advanced, especially within the realm of SEO. Please feel free to browse or search the blog to find something closer to your own experience level. Thanks for the comment!
albinocombino
Tara M. Clapper
hey Tara, sorry, I didnt mean to be rude.
btw - do you have any suggestions how can I add semrush to my rss including only the advanced stuff? (again - i dont want to be rude, but 70 posts/week and maybe 5 is useful for me)
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