SEO marketing is one of the most important concepts in the world of Internet marketing. This abbreviation stands for 'Search Engine Optimisation'. In Dutch, this is also called search engine optimisation. If you are not familiar with this, this definition may not mean much to you. Time for an explanation.
Throughout the years, the use of search engines has become increasingly important. Think about how often you use a search engine. This is probably almost daily. For example, to search for products or services, but also to find information, find out the science behind certain facts, and so on. Because the Internet is becoming more and more prominent in our daily lives, the importance of offline marketing is also shifting to online marketing. If you, as a company, want to be found by a larger target group, you will also have to be found better in search engines.
Google's goal is to keep the search results as relevant as possible. By offering only relevant information, they can improve the user experience and thereby secure their position as the world's largest search engine. However, the world wide web is so big that it is almost impossible to control which information is relevant and which is not. Therefore, Google uses more than 600 algorithms. SEO is applied in order to be better read by Google and thus to achieve a higher position. Based on hundreds of factors, Google determines which websites will be ranked high and which will drop far.
The broader the search query, the more difficult it is to rank high in the search results. Think for example of the keyword 'home accessories'. The chance is great that you will find thousands of pages of information. However, people often look no further than the first two pages and even the first three search results. That's why it's important to end up higher in the search results that are important for your website and company. This way, you attract more visitors and find more potential customers.
Important pillars within SEO
SEO marketing makes use of three important pillars. If you score high within all these pillars, you can be sure that your marketing strategy will be effective. The following pillars are used:
- Sharing relevant content. Here we should especially emphasise the word 'relevant'. The haphazard posting of content to score on keywords has been less effective for some time now. Google values relevance and quality content. Therefore, it is important to invest less time in collecting the right keywords and making up the content to go with them, but to create content that fits your website and use keywords if necessary. The goal is to inform and inspire the target group and to be a reliable source of information. This is only possible if you keep the customer in mind when creating content and not only look at the way your marketing strategy will work. Funnily enough, this actually works out better for your position within Google than if you infinitely pull keywords and desperately try to reach that position. Quality and a better user experience should always be a top priority.
- Improve the quality of the website. Be aware that people also arrive at your website via search results and want to benefit from a good user experience. A page that loads badly or takes a long time to load will immediately result in dissatisfaction. Moreover, this will also have an effect on your position within Google. A good website is therefore the foundation of an effective SEO campaign.
- Being seen as an authority. Google tries to keep the user experience of its visitors as good as possible. Therefore, they attach great value to qualitative and relevant content. The algorithm is therefore constantly looking for valuable sources of information. An authority position can be achieved, for example, by collecting backlinks. Link building is therefore one of the most important SEO techniques at the moment.
Organic search results
SEO marketing makes use of organic results. This means that a higher position within Google is achieved in a natural way. Not by advertising or trying other paid options, but 'simply' by providing more valuable content and improving the quality of the website.
There are various ways of ending up higher in the search results. This can be done entirely organically, but it can also be done through advertisements. When you choose for paid advertisements, we speak of SEA marketing. SEA is the abbreviation for 'Search Engine Advertising'. Freely translated, this means that you use advertisements in order to get a higher ranking in the search engines. At Google, this is possible by means of Google Ads.
Google Ads is an incredibly powerful marketing tool. By using this tool correctly, you can get a lot of return from your website. However, if this is not done in the right way, it can be very expensive and not very effective. That is why it is important that you advertise on the right keywords, so that the right target group can find you and you also lose less on your marketing budget.
Google Ads is a good solution when you want to put your website on the map in the short term. You often see the effect the same day. SEA marketing also gives you the opportunity to score higher in organic search results at the same time. This way, you kill two birds with one stone.
Advantages of Google Ads
Google Ads was specially founded by Google and offers companies the opportunity to put their website on the digital map quickly. You pay for each time someone clicks on your website via a keyword of your choice. This has many advantages:
- You see the results immediately. This is in contrast to SEO where it often takes longer before the result is actually visible. Moreover, the results are also clearly visible, so that you know exactly which campaign is effective and which is not.
- You get maximum return from your website.
- Once a Google Ads campaign is up and running, you do not have to worry about it any more and you can reap the benefits of your improved position within Google at the same time.
A few comments
Of course, this all sounds very rosy. So rosy in fact, that you might wonder why not every company is using Google Ads. Therefore, we must also make some important comments.
Google Ads is not suitable for every company. Moreover, it must be done in the right way. If you are a small company and you try to score on a frequently used keyword, it will quickly cost a lot of money. Moreover, you will still attract few visitors. A waste of money and not very effective.
That is why it is important to talk to an SEA marketer. They can perform a keyword analysis and determine which keywords can be advertised and to what extent this is profitable for your company.
With the right strategy and the help of a good marketer, setting up a good Google Adwords campaign is a lot easier. Be sure to put forward your own wishes and ideas and decide together which keywords are the most relevant for your company. Usually you get more return by advertising on two or three word searches. Think for example of 'clothing shop Limburg' or 'buy ladies clothing Limburg'. In this way, you make the target group more specific and the chance of finding potential customers is much greater.
The biggest differences between SEO and SEA marketing
Now that we know what the abbreviations SEO and SEA marketing mean exactly, it's time to look at the differences. Where exactly is the biggest difference? After all, the goals are the same: ranking higher in Google and thus generating more visitors.
The biggest difference lies in the way this is done. With SEO, this is done organically. For example, by writing quality content, collecting backlinks and improving the website. All this ensures that Google's robots can read the website better and regard it as authoritative. As a result, the website will end up higher in Google. With SEA marketing, you pay to end up at the top of the search results.
A major advantage of SEA marketing compared to SEO marketing is that the effect is visible much sooner. You can already reap the benefits of your marketing strategy on the same day. Investing in SEO can take months to really show its effect. However, do realise that if you opt for SEA, you are spending money to get higher in Google. When you stop paying, your visibility will disappear again. SEO, on the other hand, takes a lot longer to get results, but - if properly maintained - it does give long-term results. Indeed, in many cases it is permanent. Moreover, the use of SEO techniques is often much cheaper. Something that makes SEO especially accessible for small entrepreneurs.
The big advantage of SEO marketing is that not only the position within Google is addressed, but also the quality of the website. As a result, you reap the benefits of your new marketing strategy on all fronts. After all, don't forget that you want to reach the customer. Therefore, a good user experience is essential. Just compare it to a shop. Here, too, you want to be received well, enjoy a pleasant atmosphere and be helped quickly. If this shop only invests a lot of time in advertising and then forgets about the user experience in the shop itself, it will ultimately yield little. With the help of SEO marketing, you do not lose sight of the importance of a good user experience either.
Online marketers are asked almost daily how they should make a choice between SEO and SEA marketing. Our answer? Don't do it! There's no need to make choices. Why shouldn't you use SEO and SEA together? Although both have the same goal, there are certain elements where one falls short. That is why it is good to apply both and thus form one beautiful harmonious whole. Everything for a better position in Google.
Where SEO has less effect, for example, you can put more emphasis on SEA. Or the other way around, of course. Moreover, it is also important to discover to what extent SEO or SEA is relevant to your company. SEO is indispensable for every company. SEA, on the other hand, doesn't always work so well. Certainly not for the smallest entrepreneurs. That is why it is good to consult with an online marketer before you start a marketing campaign.
Based on your personal wishes, ideas, the company and the competition within your field, they can come up with a plan of approach. Often there is no need to make huge choices, but it is only important to find a good coherence in order to draw up an effective marketing campaign.