Unfortunately, print media is a dying art and technology is becoming increasingly more important with each passing year. According to a recent study, just 44% of consumers surveyed use traditional newspapers to find local business information whereas nearly 75% of consumers turned to their favorite search engine. As consumers come to rely on the Internet more and more, digital marketing strategy can make or break a business. No matter how big your business may be, you get away from the importance of SEO but, as important as SEO is, it is just one part of a successful digital marketing strategy. In this article, you will learn why SEO is important for digital marketing but, more importantly, how it is just a small part of the greater whole for successful digital marketing.

Why is SEO Important for Digital Marketing? 

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is how your website (and therefore your business) gets found on the internet. By defining your target audience, choosing your keywords, and making sure that your web content comes together cohesively with these things you can make sure that your website ranks higher than the competition in search engine results. As you can imagine, the higher your search engine rankings, the more traffic that flows to your site, and the more your business grows! It is really that simple. But why exactly is SEO so important for digital marketing and how does it really work?

How Does SEO Work with Your Digital Marketing Strategy?

The term SEO is thrown around in online communities and it is used in reference to a number of different things. SEO relates to keywords, URLs, meta tags and titles, quality content, and more. Effective use of SEO will help your target audience find your business more easily, it will make your site run faster and it will lead new users to your business – all of these things add up to more money in your pocket. If you’re still having trouble seeing the bigger picture, think about this: many of the people who visit your site aren’t actually looking for your business - your website came up in a list of search results– take the follow page of search results for “overnight dry cleaning” as an example:

SEO is the reason your business name showed up on that list and its position in the list either increased or decreased the chances of that person clicking on the link. While advertising and direct marketing campaigns certainly play a role in driving traffic to your site, a successful digital marketing strategy will also include SEO. Keep in mind that SEO encompasses a variety of different digital strategies that you can tailor to suit your business’ online marketing plan.

The Top 6 Components of a Strong Digital Marketing Strategy 

In our technology-driven world, a business is unlikely to survive without a digital presence. More and more, sales are flowing away from brick-and-mortar stores to online suppliers. A strong digital marketing strategy is the best way for a modern business to achieve their goals from building their brand and acquiring new clients to generating revenue and fueling growth. A strong digital marketing strategy will be unique to each individual business, but there are certain components that must be included. Digital marketing includes everything from organic search and content marketing to mobile marketing, social media, paid ads, and more. Here are the top six components of a strong digital marketing strategy that any modern business should consider incorporating into their plan:

  1. Website and Mobile Optimization – Simply put, if your business doesn’t have a website you simply won’t be found by a majority of your target audience. Not only do you need to have a website, but it needs to be designed correctly in alignment with your brand identity. Your website should communicate your company’s values, offer relevant and up-to-date content, generate leads, and be mobile-friendly.
  2. Email Marketing – Once you get potential customers to your site, you need to engage them and earn their business. One of the most effective ways to do this is through email marketing. With email marketing you can educate a large audience about your business services and build credibility. Weekly or monthly newsletters and other relevant content will also help to keep your business at the forefront of people’s minds.
  3. Quality Content – Both your website and your email marketing plan will be driven by quality content. Search engines no longer prioritize websites that churn out low-quality content stuffed with keywords – quality content is relevant, up-to-date, and valuable to your customers. Your digital marketing strategy should involve a variety of content types, all of which are original and representative of your brand’s values. Make sure that the way you present your content is appropriate for your target audience as well.
  4. Organic Search (SEO) – Organic search is one of the most promising marketing channels to drive traffic and acquire new business. Though SEO has changed over the years, search engines continue to drive more targeted traffic to websites than to any other digital marketing channel. Quality content plays an important role in SEO, helping your target audience to find your business more quickly and more easily – you’ll also find that some of your new business comes from people outside that audience who found your business based on keywords.
  5. Social Media Marketing – If you really want to build an online presence with your company, you need to engage in active social media marketing. Social media has become one of the most powerful digital tools for distributing content, sharing information about products or services, and for creating opportunities for businesses to connect with their customers and with other businesses. Though social media is useful for businesses of all sizes, it is particularly effective for small to medium-sized businesses. According to a recent study, spending on social media marketing is expected to grow to more than $7.8 billion, up from just $1.1 billion in 2011.
  6. Paid Ads – No digital marketing strategy would be complete without some emphasis on paid ads, though this is no longer the only way to drum up business. With new businesses rising up each and every day, visibility is the key to success, and paid advertisements driven by Google Adwords and other tools are extremely valuable for gaining exposure with online search results. Paid ads can also be very cost-effective because you have control over your spending budget and you can choose to pay only if the individual clicks on the ad. You can also really zone in on your target audience depending on where you post your ads.

No matter how large or small your business may be, digital marketing is the key to your future. According to data leaked from AOL search query logs, the first ten results on a search page receive nearly 90% of all click-through traffic. If you neglect to acknowledge the digital side of your marketing strategy you could end up among the 10% fighting for scraps. Take some of the tips provided above to heart and really think about how you can use SEO as a part of your larger digital marketing strategy to drive traffic to your site and to increase sales.