Businesses often ask us if they can focus solely on just SEO, or content, or social media and still achieve significant gains in their online reach. Perhaps this is because of limited marketing resources or because they aren’t yet convinced of the value of all three.
In any case, our response is usually no. A company cannot achieve significant online reach without fully incorporating all three. Now, the degree to which each needs to be utilized will vary based on the business, but generally speaking, organizations that utilize all three in their marketing will see growth in their reach. Let's discuss why.
1. Search Engine Optimization—It's changed, but it's still extremely relevant.
Some content-centric experts will say SEO is no longer relevant, but the truth is that, although effective SEO tactics have changed over the years and will continue to change, there are still important factors that marketers need to keep in mind to achieve maximum exposure.
Check out our post on Ten Essential SEO Checklist Items to learn more about specific technical components that are still very relevant. Things like ensuring there aren't robots.txt files blocking crawlers, keeping an eye out for broken links, and checking search volumes of keywords are all parts of SEO that remain crucial for getting your site to rank well.
Get your SEO team to partner with your creative content team so that the most relevant and high-search-volume keywords are incorporated into your content plan. We're not talking about keyword stuffing but simply identifying which keywords are relevant to your market and crafting content to address the needs expressed by these searches.
2. Content Marketing—If you build it, will they come?
Effective search engine optimization nowadays involves a combination of technical (think meta tags, title tags), content, and "link-building" or outreach strategies. Without quality onsite content, search engine optimization efforts will be severely limited. Search engines want to see engaging and relevant content, and a good amount of it. A successful SEO campaign will ensure that quality content exists, is being created on an ongoing basis, and is targeting the audience and keywords that are bringing the traffic you want.
But if you build it, will they come? If you keep publishing content on your blog, will it automatically bring the traffic and sales you're looking for? Content is essential for an effective marketing campaign, and over time, quality onsite content will be identified for search engines and will improve your site ranking. But to make your content work even more effectively and swiftly, content promotion and amplification is required. This is where social media excels.
3. Social Media—Grab your megaphone and build your audience.
Social media has become an incredible tool for businesses to reach audiences on a massive scale. Rather than simply waiting for people to find their website via search engines, brands can now connect with audiences already present on social media, and then attract those audiences to their website.
For instance, utilizing hashtags, partnering with influencers, and incorporating paid social media campaigns will all significantly boost your online reach. Your brand can inform audiences via social media about the quality content you have on your website, thus increasing the likelihood of leads generated and sales. Your SEO efforts will also benefit from your social media posts as social signals play a role in SEO ranking. And as more people find your content online, the more likely they are to link to it.
In summary, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket as you plan out your online marketing. Each of these components work together to help your brand achieve maximum online reach. Put your customers first, provide content most relevant to their needs, ensure that your content is optimized for search engines, and then amplify it on social media.