What is it you do again? asked one of my attendees of my weekly Digital Sales and Marketing workshop. He is a medical practitioner of 10 years and runs a clinic in my neighbourhood. What will SEO do for my practice? he asked.
This was not an easy question to answer. The challenge was to give a concise, without jargon, clear description of what we do as an SEO professional.
Hey professionals, my name is Anup and I work at Digi Insta. Today we’re going to be talking about SEO, what is it, why we need one, and how vital it is for your business.
So essentially to answer the question of the doctor, I asked other attendees how they would describe what SEO does for business. I got a lot of different answers, and all of them I’m resonating with.
They’re all things that I would probably say myself. But it’s just interesting how many different answers there were to the question, “What value do SEO provide?”
Why is this so hard?
So let’s dive right in. As I mentioned, there are so many different answers to this “what do you say SEO does” type question. I think it’s hard to kind of come up with a concise explanation for a few different reasons.
- SEO refers to a set of specialties
There are lots of specialties within SEO.
Digital Market has advanced over the last two plus decades. It has become very diverse, and there are lots of different facets in SEO.
Some businesses require content-focused SEOs, and those are people that are your keyword research aficionados. There are the people that write search engine optimized content to drive traffic to your website. You have your link builders, people that focus almost exclusively on that.
You have your local SEOs, and you have your analysts. You have your tech SEOs, people that either work on a dev team or closely with a dev team. So when there are a lot of different specialties within SEO, I think it’s natural to get a lot of different answers.
- Different audiences
There are different audiences. We’re not always going to be talking to the same kind of person. It depends on who in the organization you are talking to. The CEO or Marketing Head or the Dev team. To me, those are more revenue-focused conversations.
They want to know: What’s the value of what you do? How does it affect my bottom line? How does it help me run my business and stay afloat and stay profitable? If you’re talking to a developer, that’s going to be a slightly different conversation. So, I think it’s okay if we kind of tweak our answers to make it a little bit more palatable for the people that we’re talking to.
- Algorithm maturity
Three, why this is hard is there’s been, obviously, a lot of changes all the time in the algorithm, and as it matures, it’s going to look like the SEO’s job is completely different than last year just because the algorithm keeps maturing and it looks like our jobs are changing all the time. So I think that’s a reality that we have to live with, but I still think it’s important, even though things are changing all the time, to have a baseline kind of pitch that we give people when they ask us what it is we do.
So let’s dive right into my kind of answer.
My answer is SEO is marketing, just with search engines.
Now professionals, depending on what stage of a funnel you are SEO will look different. So we have the funnel here — awareness, consideration, and decision.
Awareness: Rank and attract clicks for informational queries.
First of all, I think it’s important to note that SEO can help you rank and attract clicks for informational queries.
Consideration: Rank and attract clicks for evaluation queries.
So when your audience is searching for information, they want to solve their pain points, they’re not ready to buy, they’re just searching, we’re meeting them there with content that brings them to the site, informs them, and now they’re familiar with your brand. Those are great assisted conversions. Rank and attract clicks for evaluation queries. When your audience is starting to compare their options, you want to be there. You want to meet them there, and we can do that with SEO.
Decision: Rank, attract clicks, and promote conversion for bottom-funnel queries
At the decision phase, you can kind of promote conversions for bottom of funnel queries. When people are in their “I want to buy” stage, SEO can meet them there.
So I think it’s important to realize that SEO isn’t kind of like a cost center and not a profit center. It’s not like a bottom of funnel thing. It’s just important to kind of draw attention to the fact that SEO is integrated throughout your marketing funnel. It’s not relegated to one stage or another.
But how does SEO work?
We talked about rank and attract clicks and promote conversions. But how do we do that? So this is how I explain it. I think really, for me, there are two sides to the SEO’s coin. We have driving, and we have supporting.
When someone searches a phrase or a keyword in Google, SEO make sure the business’ website shows up in the non-ad results. The Google shows search results with both paid ads and non-paid entries. SEO shows your website in non-paid ads area.
This is done through content that answers your prospect’s questions, links that help search engines find your content and show signs of authority and popularity of your content, and accessibility. That’s kind of your technical foundation.
You’re making sure that your website is crawlable and it that it’s index the way that you want it to be indexed. When people get there, it works. It works on mobile and on desktop. It’s fast.
These are really the three big pillars of driving SEO — content, links, and making sure your website is technically sound.
The second proactive side of SEO is supporting.
- Always available to answer
There are a lot of people working for you. They have their different perspectives. A good SEO is always available to answer questions they have. This is kind of helps guide people and understand what is going to affect your organic search presence.
- Assist marketing
Two, SEO assists marketing.
As experienced professionals we have different marketing strategies.
It could be our job as SEOs to take that plan, take that strategy and translate it into something digital. I think that’s a really important value that SEOs can add. We can actually assist marketing as well as drive our own efforts.
- Fix mistakes
SEOs are here to fix mistakes when they happen and train people so that they don’t happen again.
It’s SEO job to kind of dive in, diagnose what happened, and not only that but support and be there to help fix it or guide the fixes, and then train and educate and make sure that people know what it is that happened and how it shouldn’t happen again.
That’s it. This pretty much sums up what SEO does to your business. So now you know that SEO does pretty much everything to make your business visible in search engines organic results and successfully answers your prospects’ queries in an assistive and supportive manner.