Social media has quickly become very popular and apparently sexier than SEO. There is certainly more “hype” around social media marketing services in comparison to SEO marketing. I believe the dominance of social media marketing is mainly because businesses want quick results, rather than building a long-term marketing strategy.
Don’t misunderstand me, social media such as Facebook is a great place to grow your business online. However, is social media the best use of your time and budgets, or should you be focussing more of your efforts on SEO? You need to take into consideration factors such as whether you are selling B2B/B2C, what your competitors are doing and where are potential customers currently researching your product/service.
Before writing this article I used Google Trends to do some research. In all honesty, I thought that social media services search queries would completely trump SEO services queries but the results said differently. I have embedded a graph that shows r data to back up the ongoing demand for SEO.
This blog should give you some insights about the importance of SEO and how it will adapt going into 2019.
SEO & Buying Intent
When somebody is searching using a search engine, they are proactively looking for something, perhaps information about a product, a service or a solution to a particular problem. A search engine then presents various relevant results based on the search criteria used. Unlike on social media, where users are bombarded with all sorts of ads; most of them not relevant to their particular need(s) at that point in time.
The good thing about SEO is that you can optimise your web pages for different levels of buying intent and as a result, the conversion rate can be higher. Optimising for long-tail keywords is a good strategy for capturing someone who may be close to actually making a purchase.
At Fly High Media, we have a high conversion rate on our own pages, because they are optimised to attract and convert visitors who are ready to take the first steps towards hiring a digital marketing agency.
In your business, you could easily spend lots of money on social media ads in the hope that someone, who is interested in your product or service, will see them. Alternatively, you could invest in SEO which will get your offer in front of people who are genuinely interested in the exact product or service you are promoting.
SEO & Facebook Ads
The organic traffic that comes to your website, will already be interested in your offer, assuming your website is optimised for the right keywords. However, research suggests that consumers need to see your offer about seven times before they are ready to buy from you. Therefore, you need to build a rapport with these visitors to win their trust. The most effective way to build rapport is to retarget visitors using Facebook ads to encourage them to go back to one of your service pages, a blog, a product or eBook. Facebook ads are relatively inexpensive and will certainly help to move your visitor traffic towards eventually making a purchase.
SEO & Conversion Rates
A key part of SEO is conversion rate optimisation (CRO). This is the process of testing and optimising web pages to ensure they convert visitors into customers. Successful CRO is heavily dependent on the user experience which, incidentally, is also a key factor when Google ranks a website in search results. Any work undertaken to optimise a webpage for conversions will also help improve PPC campaigns and social ad campaigns. Other key aspects of successful CRO are the degree of mobile responsiveness, page speed, navigation and more.
As marketers, we must respond to the volume of people who are now searching with voice commands, using technology such as Alexa, Siri and Google Home.
This means optimising search queries to be more conversational, optimising for local search and further optimising for mobile. By 2020, 50 per cent of all searches will be voice searches according to Comscore. This means that your audience will be searching for your business using voice search.
Here are some more statistics to think about when it comes to SEO in 2019:
- 57% of B2B marketers stated that SEO generates more leads than any other marketing initiative. Source: Junto
- 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles. Source: Wordstream
- 50% of people who conduct mobile searches for a local business will visit the store within one day. Source: Search Engine Land
- 80% of people ignore paid search results, choosing to only click on organic listings. Source: imFORZA
- SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads have a 1.7% close rate. Source: Search Engine Journal
- 45% of marketers plan to increase their SEO budgets. Source: Marketing Charts
In conclusion, SEO covers a lot of things. There are lots of exciting advances coming in 2019 and there is no time like the present to start planning your marketing budget. Before making any decisions, make sure you plan based on your audience. See what competitors are doing and what are the search volumes are like for the keywords for your products/services.
If you are weighing up your digital marketing options going into 2019 then why not bounce ideas off one of the Fly High Media team? Book a free consultation to get the ball rolling for a successful 2019.