SEO is not all about organic rankings. And yet, many marketers continue to promote the idea that a place in positions 1 through 10 is not just the one and only goal of SEO, but the foremost goal of any digital marketing campaign.
This is an oversimplification. And, if you opt for simple solutions, you will only see simple results. That’s why Page 1 Solutions advocates a multi-channel approach to marketing that emphasizes a complement of strategies and KPIs. Some strategies improve SEO (organic rankings, local listings, backlink profiles, and more). Some improve client engagement and education. Some improve online reputation. Some improve lead generation.
However, what they ALL do is drive visibility for the client’s brand and improve the likelihood that a website visitor becomes a lead.
Let’s take a look at some of the marketing channels that naysayers claim have no effect on SEO. In some cases, this 1+1 arithmetic is right. However, I encourage you to think beyond the simple answer for success, and reconsider what success means in crowded online marketplaces.
How Does Video Affect SEO?
“If you have a video on YouTube on a popular topic, it can get a ton of search. YouTube is one of the most popular search engines out there. And what people aren’t doing is optimizing for YouTube search.”
YouTube might be owned by Google, but that by no means guarantees that YouTube videos rank on the first page of organic search listings. However, YouTube is a search engine unto itself. Users flock there to learn the what, why, and – perhaps most consistently – the how-to behind everyday questions, practical knowledge, and purchasing decisions.
High-quality video content educates your prospective clients. By answering the questions that influence purchasing decisions for your services, you set your practice apart as a reliable source of information.
Having established your practice as an authority, the next step in your video marketing campaign is to embed relevant, highly trafficked videos on your most visible blog posts and pages. Combining well-written content with engaging video enhances your ability to educate prospective clients. What’s more, Google My Business listings can be enhanced with video uploads, giving potential clients the ability to see high-quality video content from your practice when they search locally.
Google algorithms are designed to deliver the best result for select questions, and video is an in-demand source for information. If website visitors vote with their clicks, your page might indeed be ranked first in the SERPs. More importantly, you’ll generate high-quality leads when you and your team appear on-camera to demonstrate your expertise and build rapport with prospective clients so they choose your practice over a competitor.
How Do Reviews Affect SEO?
Google itself cites managing and responding to reviews as crucial for visibility on the Google My Business platform. As with most aspects of modern digital marketing, quality is more important than quantity. Your practice needs to deliver excellent service in order to cultivate genuine reviews from clients; do not buy a pack of fake positive reviews, as real users and Google alike will see through the fraudulent strategy.
Ideally your positive reviews will vastly outnumber the negative ones. An occasional negative review by itself represents only a moderate threat to your practice; your response to them, however, is absolutely crucial.
Genuine reviews and an open give-and-take with the clients who take the time to review your practice – positively or negatively – are effective strategies for building a quality reputation online. The users most likely to find your business listing (complete with average star rating and number of reviews) in local search results are the people who are geographically closest to your office.
Your website may or may not appear in the organic SERPs for a specific query. But, when searchers see a practice that a). is nearby, b). has a lot of reviews, and c). has predominantly positive feedback, your practice has a likelihood of being the local listing they click.
How Does Chat Affect SEO? What about Other Lead Tracking Tools?
Some marketing agencies assert that the presence of online chat keeps users on the site longer, resulting in higher time on site. Time on site is indeed one of Google’s ranking factors, but it is just one of those factors; any boost the chat agent provides is not going to launch your website to the first page of rankings.
What’s more, this bizarre claim completely misses the forest for the trees. Even if chat does help SEO, that effect is negligible compared to its importance as a means of generating and tracking online leads.
The more important SEO consideration with online chat is ensuring the design and functionality don’t run afoul of Google best practices. Despite its vested interest in the subject, Apex Chat provides thoughtful insight on this topic. Google rewards user-friendly websites and penalizes ones that move slowly or put up obstacles to a smooth user experience.
If you’re thinking about introducing live chat to your practice website, make sure your agency prioritizes speed, functionality, and mobile-friendliness. An online chat that fits these criteria is more likely to generate leads, thus resulting in higher ROI.
How Does Social Media Affect SEO?
More than 5 years ago, a highly placed search authority at Google revealed that the search engine does not include social signals among its ranking factors. There is no word from Google that that statement has changed, so the debate on SEO and social is over, right?
Not exactly. An experiment performed by Hootsuite last year demonstrated that content shared on social media and promoted through paid social ads enjoyed improved search visibility compared to content that received no social media assistance. At Page 1 Solutions, our social media marketing specialists have observed the same effect for campaigns we run for clients, providing them with multiple platforms to become publishers and curators of quality content outside of their websites
Social media marketing is a great way to bring content to the attention of your followers and influencers within your industry or syndication. A good outcome is that your post gets shared by other users; the more people who access the content, the stronger the signal to the search engines that your content provides value. An even better outcome is earning a backlink from a credible website that discovered your content through high-quality social posting.
Social media is a tool that prompts conversation and discovery. Although shares, likes, etc. might not factor directly into the algorithm for ranking results, they can drive traffic to your website and enhance off-site SEO by generating backlinks. These latter strategies will likely benefit SEO, but they absolutely help you build visibility and authority with your target audience.
It’s tempting for marketers to present a rigid picture of what does and does not affect SEO. Unfortunately, such a narrow conception of SEO needlessly limits opportunities for visibility, traffic, and leads.
For most users, the journey to making a purchase begins with a Google search. It doesn’t end on the SERPs, yet far too many marketers treat positioning a client’s website in the top 1-10 spots as mission accomplished.
At Page 1 Solutions, we realize that the true success both for our agency and our clients is leads that become genuine cases. First-page search rankings are an important tool to achieve this goal, certainly, but we have found that multiple marketing channels working together lead not only to better search rankings, but more visibility, more website traffic, more engagement with prospective clients, and more generation of better qualified leads.
If you’re ready to start building a multi-channel digital marketing strategy, call Page 1 Solutions today at 800-368-9910. Your initial website and marketing evaluation is complimentary!