What would you say if a digital marketing firm told you that one of the goals of competent SEO was to actually move beyond SEO itself? Though it might sound self-defeating, that is exactly the case. SEO is a good starting point for getting organizations much needed online exposure. But if it is done correctly, SEO should eventually take a backseat to more valuable marketing methods.
Today’s SEO starts with keyword research to improve results on search engine result pages (SERPs). But that is just the start. Modern SEO also includes:
- local SEO concentration
- link building
- content marketing
- PPC ad campaigns
- web development.
It all adds up to creating an online environment that does not necessarily have to depend on SERPs over the long term. It is not that SEO experts would stop putting time and effort into organic search engine results, but that more time and effort would be spent cultivating a brand-loyal audience.
Keeping Customers Happy
If this all sounds counterproductive, think of the old business principle that says it is cheaper to keep current customers happy than continually recruiting new customers to replace those that have gone elsewhere. The same principle applies to SEO.
When Salt Lake City’s Webtek Digital Marketing takes on a new client, one of the first things they do is prepare a basic SEO strategy designed to immediately start improving search engine results. The goal is to start driving traffic. From there, they work on things like online reputation, social media outreach, and local SEO.
If the Webtek team does the job they are expected to do, the client’s SERP performance and traffic should improve. Conversion rates should go up. But then what? There comes a point at which the benefits of maintaining a top-ranking position begin to level off.
Visiting Without a Search Engine
The logical conclusion of effective SEO is to create an online environment that customers automatically go to without ever using a search engine. For purposes of illustration, imagine a company that offers heating and cooling services. They install new systems and offer maintenance and repair services.
It is important that the company’s digital marketing provider ensures ongoing SEO success. It is important that their website ranks highly for the most productive keywords. But ultimately, the company wants a loyal base of customers who return time and again. For those customers, the website should be an invaluable source of information.
For instance, a customer isn’t going to call the company to ask for advice about HVAC filters. But if that customer has questions, it is better for them to go directly to the company website than using a search engine. Why? Because a search engine might direct them to a competitor’s site. The HVAC company doesn’t want that. They want customers to come directly to their site for answers to their questions.
A Library of Information
So, how do you get beyond SEO to engage customers without a search engine? By building a comprehensive library of content. You do it by finding a way to answer questions so that they don’t have to search elsewhere.
The library strategy obviously takes time to develop. Publishing one new blog post per month isn’t going to get it done. You have to put up new content as often as you can, organized and categorized it so that it’s easy to navigate.
Successfully building a content library goes beyond SEO. It should be the ultimate goal of every SEO provider in digital marketing. If you can get beyond SEO, you will be in the business of retaining customers rather than just bringing new customers into the fold.