SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results as opposed to paid search. It makes a website and its pages easy to find and crawl. Good SEO can land your website on the first page or even first position of the first page for Google search results with important keywords your customers use.
A Digital Marketing Plan without SEO is a bad plan. However, I also think any Digital Marketing Plan with SEO but without a heavy focus on it is also a bad plan. The lack of it can certainly cause a business to not reach its full marketing, revenue, and profit potential.
There are many components within a digital marketing plan. Different digital marketing firms, websites, and articles have various opinions on what components should be used to build a digital marketing plan. Although most people would probably say that a digital marketing plan is made of 5 to 7 different components, I believe that a comprehensive digital marketing plan consists of all the following components:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
- Affiliate Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Web Analytics
- Video Marketing
- Influencer Marketing
- Conversion Rate Optimization
There are several good reasons why a digital marketing plan which has all of these components without a heavy focus on SEO is still a bad plan.
1. SEO Has a Higher Return on Investment (ROI) Than All Other Components
According to a recent Poll among Search Engine Journal’s Twitter audience, Organic Search had the highest ROI of all other Digital Marketing Channels. A higher ROI means it is much more cost-effective than the other components.
2. How much you spend on SEO will continually decrease over time compared to most other digital marketing components, but in return, it will produce a lot of traffic and sales
In the beginning, the time and cost to plan and execute SEO will be greater compared to how much immediate traffic and sales it produces. However, after the initial on-page and off-page optimization efforts such as keyword research, creating local listings, building up a large number of backlinks from high domain authority websites, and updating meta tags, the amount of time and money spent on it should decrease in comparison to the amount of traffic and sales it produces.
3. SEO is the foundation and key part of any digital marketing strategy
Keyword research is something that is usually done with SEO. It determines what keywords should be focused on that will drive traffic to your site with Google and which keywords you will want to use in your social media posts, blog posts, email marketing, and other digital marketing efforts. It drives customers to your business organically because of your website’s content such as pictures, videos, blogs, and products. These things put together a picture for Google which lets it know more about the website, and the products and services your business offers. It also helps your customers discover your business and what makes it unique among the thousands of other companies.
4. SEO Is More Important Than Paid Search Campaigns in the Long Run
SEO takes time for the results to show, but it has a longer-lasting effect than paid search campaigns because SEO can potentially help your keywords rank high for months or even years down the road. After your keywords start to rank well, it can start saving you the high PPC cost for multiple keywords you want clicks for by helping your keywords rank well organically.
We already learned that SEO has a higher ROI over other digital marketing components including paid search campaigns. It’s important to note that it also drives high quality, cost-effective, targeted traffic from keywords organically based on the content of the pages from your site. Organic results are also much more likely to be clicked on than paid search results resulting in a higher CTR.
Because it tends to also help increase the CTR and reduce the cost of paid search campaigns such as PPC, SEO can also help your paid search campaigns later on if you decide to use them. Paid search campaigns would require that you pay to rank well on different search engines such as Google and Bing. SEO, however, helps your site rank well on multiple search engines without the additional cost of paying for each search engine’s ads.
Although SEO takes more time for it to produce results than other digital marketing methods, the high ROI it yields, along with the other benefits, makes it well worth the effort. It’s important not to neglect the other digital marketing components when putting together and executing a digital marketing plan since they are all important in achieving the most results for a business. SEO, however, should still be the most critical part of any digital marketing plan.