How much do you know about search engine optimization? You must have heard the buzz around among digital marketers about SEO and how it can turn the fate of your business around.
Guy Kawasaki said,
”If you have more money than brains you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing”
Outbound marketing often refers to the traditional forms of marketing such as radio and TV. This kind of marketing often imposes itself on the audience and it is almost impossible to know whether an audience is interested in a product or not. With the world going digital, outbound marketing is slowly losing ground to inbound marketing.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is more content driven and a highly targeted form of marketing. Inbound marketing targets interest groups and drives this group down the sales funnel and converts them into buying customers.
There are many advantages with inbound marketing and that is why many companies in Kenya are slowly moving away from outbound marketing strategies and focusing more on inbound marketing strategies.
Small businesses have fully embraced inbound marketing strategies, especially because of the low budget involved. Inbound marketing has created a level playing ground between big corporations and small business. Your creativity in how you market your content will determine your wins.
With Inbound Marketing, it is all about your strategy!
5 SEO Strategies to use in 2019
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is an example of an inbound marketing strategy that many organizations and small businesses use to get customers online.
SEO is simply the concept of customer acquisition through search engines. In this digital era, Kenyans tend to look for solutions on the internet and therefore turn to websites such as Google to get information.
These ‘info seekers’ online are potential customers. They might be having a problem and your business might be offering the solution. Getting the attention of such a potential customer increases your chance of making a sale.
Have you ever tried selling a sofa to a random client not interested in buying a sofa? (This is essentially outbound marketing)
Now, here is someone searching for a “recliner seat” on Google or any other search engine and your business actually sells recliner seats. Before we dive deeper into the benefits of search engine optimization for your business, we shall first focus on the SEO strategy.
#1 It Start with a Good Keyword Research
Keyword research is the backbone of Search Engine Optimization. It is not enough to choose a keyword, you need to choose the right keywords. You always want to pick a keyword with a high click through rate. Make use of different keyword research tools to identify these keywords you can take advantage of.
#2 First Page Analysis on Google | Bing
After identifying the keyword, you need to do further analysis on this particular keyword. This is a simple case of ‘googling’ the keyword to identify how it is working for your competitors. Focus on the first page results only and try to identify similarities in the results.
#3 Generate Unique Intriguing Content
Now that you have an idea of what to write about, how about you do it better than what you have analyzed. Write unique content, though different, but following the patterns that you gathered in #2. If it is an article, you can try making yours longer with more creative content.
#4 Backlinks still work Great
Backlinking has in the past couple of years come under fire. However, this is an SEO strategy that still works in 2019. It is not in the number of links, but in the quality of links. As a leader in your industry, why would other users link to your website? If you find this hook, you can include it in your content to ensure that you get natural links back to your website.
#5 Up your On-Page Optimization Game
This is the basic SEO strategies that you should implement on your website. You can find a lot of SEO articles illustrating how to go about On-Page SEO. The guidelines are simple and if followed, can improve general ranking for your website. These could include site meta, internal linking, image optimization, smart URLs etc.
Benefits of Search Engine Optimization
Now that we understand a bit about the strategies, let us dig into 10 benefits of search engine optimization that your business needs to take advantage of.
#1 Your Potential Clients are Online
With a population of more than 50 million people in Kenya, it is estimated that 43.3 million of Kenyans are online. That sets the internet penetration rate at 85%, which is very impressive. Most of these internet users use the internet as a research tool. Globally, internet users make an average of 3.5 billion searches using different search engines each day.
Looking at these impressive numbers, you can imagine the opportunities available for your business through search engines.
#2 SEO Traffic is Highly Targeted
We have determined that most internet users in Kenya use the technology as a research tool. Many businesses and organizations have websites, therefore offering products and services that many users are looking for.
When a user has a need and decides to initiate his research on the internet, they will use their favorite search engine. Of course, this is if they do not already have a solution in mind. This is the main difference between inbound marketing and outbound marketing strategies. The user already shows interest in a solution that your business provides.
When this kind of traffic lands on your website, it is highly targeted and therefore has better conversion potential. Even when you compare search engine optimization to other inbound marketing strategies, it still offers a better conversion rate because of the nature of the targeted traffic.
#3 SEO will Help you Generate Leads and Increase Sales
Once you get SEO right, the results will start reflecting on your leads and sales. Many companies in Kenya have registered great success by using the right search engine optimization techniques. SEO campaigns start showing positive results at around 6 – 12 months, depending on the competition in your niche.
You will find that you eventually use less in your marketing to acquire a single customer. This means that you have a low cost per acquisition. Once your website starts ranking, you will have no cost incurred for generating leads. The traffic that your website will be enjoying is somewhat free.
In general, the close rate with SEO traffic (Organic Leads) is 14.6%. Other outbound marketing techniques have an average close rate of 1.7%. (Aren’t you mind blown?)
#4 Constant Placement of your Business
The reason why SEO is normally termed as the best internet marketing strategy is because of the constant visibility your business enjoys once it starts working. Your website will show up in results that your website is ranking for.
Unlike paid adverts, you do not pay any more money to have your website appear in the SERPS.
They normally say, “if you want to hide a dead body, bury it in page 2 of Google”. Click To Tweet 92% of users click on the first page results and never bother to look into the results that appear on the second page of Google.
It is also worth mentioning that the first result enjoys 33% of the clicks. 71.3% of the clicks are on organic results, while other pages get 5.6% of the clicks.
#5 Brand Awareness through Visibility on Search Engines
Kenyans will almost trust anything they find on Google. Sounds bad, but is true across the world. Google has constantly invested in improving the quality of searches and give back credible results to its users.
By extension, if you appear among the top results, you not only get visibility, but also credibility. The more you appear for keywords in your niche, the more you place your brand as a leader in your industry. If customers constantly see your brand in search engines, it subconsciously builds trust and chances are that they will eventually buy from you.
#6 SEO is a Long-Term Strategy
As earlier stated, it takes about 6 to 12 months to start reaping the benefits of search engine optimization. Within this time period, it is required that you are consistent with the right SEO strategy.
After results start trickling in, it becomes easier to better your SEO campaign. Depending on how good your strategy is, you will enjoy the results over a long period of time. The beauty about all this is that, your website will be enjoying traffic with much less effort and much less investment.
You should always be wary of your competition and that is why you should never relax, just because you are on the first page of Google. Also, search engines tend to change their algorithms from time to time and it is therefore important that you are on top of your game.
#7 SEO is Very Affordable
How much do you think an advert on Kenya TV Stations or Radio costs? When you compare SEO to other outbound marketing techniques, it has much less financial implications.
There are different ways you can choose to go about this. You can have an SEO expert internally at your company, choose to hire a freelancer or hire a digital marketing company to work on your search engine optimization strategy. With the results you will get, you will still find SEO as a much cheaper and sustainable option compared to outbound marketing strategies you know.
#8 SEO is a Measurable Inbound Marketing Technique
Setting up a billboard on the busiest roads in Nairobi can sound very strategic. How would you gauge the number of people who saw it? How many leads can you attribute to this billboard and how many of those converted into buying customers?
One might get figures to these questions, but they will be highly approximated. You simply cannot measure some of these outbound marketing techniques. On the other hand, SEO is measured with a very high degree of accuracy depending on your campaign set up.
You can measure every source of your traffic and follow through to conversion. SEO can get you invaluable insights about the behavior of your customers that can help you better your product and services. You can learn from your competitors how to improve your product and services and constantly better your business.
However, you might need to invest in good SEO tools if you want to get in-depth analysis about your SEO campaigns.
#9 SEO Offers Support to Offline Sales and Marketing
You might get that your product or services require a customer to physically buy at your shop. Not all businesses are exclusively online. However, most research is done online and that is how SEO greatly supports offline sales.
For instance, if a customer is looking for a massage parlor in Nairobi. They would mostly search on Google for the term. If they are impressed by what they find on your website, they would either grab your phone number and call or simply get information about your location and visit.
SEO is therefore not left for ecommerce businesses and those that exclusively rely on the internet to drive sales.
#10 SEO Offers Access to External Markets
The internet is a global market. There is an endless opportunity that the internet offers for businesses across the world. SEO offers this opportunity to reach out to external markets for products and services.
A good example is the tour/safari or hospitality industry. Most of their clients are from foreign countries. SEO offers a great opportunity for the local tour companies to reach out to clients seeking holidays in Kenya.
If you have products that you are selling online, you do not have to limit yourself to Kenya. It might be logistically challenging to send products to some parts of the world, but East Africa can still be a great market to start with.
#11 Small Businesses have an Edge
Search Engine Optimization is so wide that it has created a level playground for small businesses online. In your own small way, you can create a very robust SEO strategy that will surely deliver customers to your business at a very low cost.
While large organizations have big marketing budgets, they can spend on outbound marketing, small business can optimize their spend on inbound marketing solutions that will bring them better results.
#12 Impressive Return on Investment
SEO is an investment and with any investment, you expect an ROI. When you implement your SEO strategy the right way and rank for the right keywords, you are guaranteed a return on your investment.
This is because of the targeted nature of the traffic and leads that you will be getting. If you focus on converting these leads and constantly improving your conversion rates, you will get an impressive return on your investment.
Some Points to take Home
Search Engine Optimization is a very effective online marketing technique that has delivered results to very many businesses across the world. The SEO world is changing fast, but the benefits of SEO have been almost constant.
SEO is estimated to be a $65billion industry and by 2020, it is estimated to reach $80 billion dollars.
You have mostly heard the craze with mobile. That is where the future of the internet and SEO is. The rise of smartphones has shifted the SEO wars to mobile. Users are accessing information via different mobile devices. It is therefore important that you align your SEO strategy, according to the emerging trends in the industry.
Once you get to page one for keywords with high search volumes, you will reap the benefits of your hard work for a long time. Keep improving your SEO strategy and website, keep an eye on your competitors and get information about emerging trends and changes within the SEO industry.
Have we left out any other benefits of Search Engine Optimization? Please share in the comment section below.