The Link Between Organic Marketing and SEO
One of the first conversations with our clients is the relationship between organic marketing and SEO. In some cases, we get the eyeroll – “Oh, is blogging really important nowadays? We just want to be on page one of Google in a couple of months.”
Our agency is a little different from other agencies in that we spend a lot of time with new clients to understand their needs, their competitors and their expectations. We work with businesses of all sizes, but really specialize in small to mid size businesses. Examples include: doctors, attorneys (lots of those), addiction recovery (quite a few of those), retail stores, fashion brands, SaaS, even car dealerships.
The analogy I like to use goes something like this: “Mr. Client, you’ve been practicing law for seven years. You haven’t touched your website in five years. Some of your competitors have had their practices for 20 years. One of these competitors has 150 pages of content on their site and more than 1500 blog posts. Why do you think you can be on page one of Google in just two months?” After explaining to him the importance of organic marketing and SEO, the client realized that skipping this step had put him years behind his competitors.
Most of our clients are savvy in building a business, but are challenged as to how to build a robust marketing plan and measure their ROI. Some want leads right away – right now- and for those clients, we put them into paid ads (on Google and Facebook). But no matter what their timeline, we always, always stress the importance of inbound marketing.
First, the cold, hard truth: while organic marketing (aka content marketing or inbound marketing) is very important, it takes a long time to move the needle. How long? Six months is safe bet, and this is only possible if you’re prolific with your blogging. Once a week is the minimum, but twice a week is better.
What is Organic Marketing?
Organic marketing is the process of creating content that users will find organically. As an example: let’s say you’re a Chiropractor in Irvine, California. If you search for Chiropractors in Irvine, here’s what you’ll see:
The top two listings are ads/paid listings (Google Ads, using Pay per click).
Then, moving down a little, you’ll see the map which is reference to the listings from “local search results.” Local search results are listed based on where you’re sitting when you do your online search. Google knows if you’re sitting in Irvine or in Palmdale and as a result, the listings you will see are very different based on where you’re sitting.
The next picture shows the organic listings. These listings are displayed in the order of their “SEO juice.” In other words, how robust their content is.
Google ranks this based on a number of factors:
- Length of the content on any page – Blog posts should be at least 1500 words per post.
- Freshness – is the content many years old? I sure hope not.
- Mobile website design – if your website is not optimized for mobile, Google is scoring you low and pushing your content down the page.
- Domain authority – How long your website has been up and running and properly indexed within Google.
- User experience – if your page navigation a hot mess? Are your bounce rates high? If so, Google is penalizing you.
- Relevant content – When a person enters a long-tail search word or phrase, is your content optimized?
With all the hype around video content, it’s tempting to think that blogging is over. But don’t let this popular notion short-change your content strategy.
Your 2019 strategy should still involve blogging as usual. Because blogging is, and will remain, an essential game plan to reach your audience. Organic Marketing and SEO should be the first thing you address in any plan to drive rankings for your website.
One only has to look at a couple of sobering statistics to realize this:
- You have a 434% higher chance of being ranked highly on search engines if you feature a blog as part of your website (Tech Client).
- Businesses using blogs as part of their content marketing mix get 67% more leads than those who don’t (Hubspot).
And if that’s not enough reason to place a high value on your blog, then here are ten more reasons why.
Think of Organic Marketing in Easier Terms
No matter what type of business you have – old or now, online sales or no sales, B2B or B2C – organic marketing lays the foundation upon which you will grow your search engine rankings.
Over time and with a sustained, careful effort, your content will help grow your presence over time. Blogging does this. Just like building a skyscraper, if you want to be seen, you need to build it brick by brick until you rise above the others.
It also helps to have an SEO expert go through your website regularly. At the very least, schema markup is important. Beyond that, things like H1 tags, meta descriptions, alt-img tags are top of the list. If you don’t know what these are or how to fix them, hire a professional – now. Not addressing them is hoping a leaky pipe will fix itself.
Blogging is still a critical content marketing tactic for 2019.
HupSpot published a study in 2018 that showed 52% of respondents on a recent content marketing survey agreed that blogging is their most critical content marketing tactic.
Blogging was followed by email newsletters (40%), social media content (40%), then ebooks, in-person events, and webinars. And video? Only 30% of respondents consider video to be vital.
Blogging is still the best way to talk about products or service.
Yes, video is engaging. But when it comes to drilling down and providing the nitty gritty on a subject, long form content (that’s 1500 words or more) performs systematically well.
This especially holds true when, according to Google, up to 10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic.
People place more trust in blogs.
Your blog is the human angle of your business. It’s where you find your voice.
- It’s where you explore your audience’s issues and concerns.
- It’s where your business personality increases the potential of how likeable your brand is.
- It’s what differentiates you from your competition.
Which is why it’s no surprise to learn that blogs are the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information.
Blogging drives traffic to your website.
Your blog is an evolving collection of articles, keywords, and expertise that any reliable search engine optimization (SEO) campaign demands.
Research shows that 75% of users don’t scroll beyond the first page of search results.
Obvioiusly, being on page one of Google, and other search engines, is important. The more you feature in search engine results, the more traffic you get to your website. And you get there by using keywords and blogging. A lot.
The SEO industry couldn’t survive without words. Your blog is where your words go. Organic Marketing and SEO are inextricably linked because Google has built their whole business based on organic search. Paid search
Blogging encourages inbound links.
Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website than those who don’t. That’s a rather staggering statistic. One you can’t ignore.
Inbound links (hyperlinks that go back to your site) are the lifeblood of any website. They’re the currency of the internet because high quality backlinks, from a variety of sites, give your website a higher rank in search engine results. The more you blog about all things useful, the higher the chances of you getting those inbound links. Organic marketing and SEO are inextricably linked in this way, too.
Blogging performs well.
Just under 55% of bloggers report that they get positive results from blogging. 30% of them go as far as to say they get strong marketing results.
Which means most bloggers see a return on their investment.
Blogging is better than social posts.
Interacting with your customers doesn’t have to be done exclusively on social media. Your blog offers a great opportunity for you to start discussions with your readers.
Some great ways to start a conversation are:
- Have an open comments section. This allows your audience to comment and give feedback on the blog posts themselves. You can learn how to configure your HubSpot blog comments here.
- Encourage your readers to share a post they like. This can be enabled with options to share on social media or email to a friend/colleague.
- Link to forums. If comment sections aren’t a viable option, then linking to a forum enables peer-to-peer discussions on related topics.
Blogging is supports a successful social marketing plan.
Blogging and social media were once two different animals. Blogging was where you crafted your long-form, serious content. Social media was where you were less serious. Two different types of content.
Now your blog informs your social media posts. You promote your blog there, enriching your followers’ experience with articles and other content.
Without a blog to promote on social, you’re missing an opportunity to drive high quality engagement with your audience.
Need to configure your blog’s social icons on HubSpot? Learn how here.
Blogging is a softer form of advertising.
People don’t like being sold to. They want a more human approach. Your blog functions as your advertising, only better. Most people use a company blog to find out more about that company.
Some basic dos and don’ts.
I’ve been in digital marketing in one form or another since 1994. The first website I built was for NGK Spark Plugs and it used Flash Animation as an intro. Times have changed. Today, it’s a full time effort just to be found on the internet.
I’m still fascinated by a client who said “I need to make a little money before I can advertise.” This client owned a new Asian-fusion restaurant in Los Angeles County. If you know anything about this town, you’d know that there are already 10 gazillion of these places.
I went online while sitting with him and showed him how his business was virtually invisible on search results. He was languishing 10 pages down on Google search, and too many pages down on Yelp to ever have any hope of finding his establishment.
I presented a robust, scalable plan that included social media advertising, events for Yelp Elites and a proper (but affordable website). When he finally understood it, he finally relented. It’s the same story over and over – digital marketing is scary.
The close of my pitch is always to remind clients that digital marketing is unlike buying ads in magazines, newspapers or on billboards – the results are clearly trackable in reports. There’s no guesswork and you always know which dollars are producing results and which aren’t.
Once we show the correlation between organic marketing and SEO as part of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, they start to get it.
So, with all that said, here are some basic dos and don’ts:
Do: Develop a content marketing plan after you’ve done the research on how people are searching for businesses like yours
Do: Make sure you have Google Analytics installed on your site and that your on-page SEO has been done by a professional company. It’s best to pay for this monthly, as you do NOT want to foot this bill in one lump sum. Most agencies will prefer this arrangement, anyway.
Don’t: Don’t try to write the content yourself unless you have a professional content writer on staffer. Remember one critical thing: you’re writing for Google, too, so your blog posts need to stick to a keyword or keyword phrase for best results. Organic marketing and SEO work best when there’s cohesion between the Blog posts and the on-page messaging.
Do: Hire a professional writer but make sure you have that content marketing plan in place before you do. Expect to pay between $0.08 to $0.25 a word for quality content.
Do: Make sure your blog posts are at least 1500 words.
Do: Post your articles on social media as a teaser with a backlink to the full article on your website.
Your takeaway: Even if you’ve blogged regularly for the last however many years, and your blog is ranked, don’t give up on it just yet. Make sure it’s part of your 2018 content strategy, and concentrate on producing in-depth, valuable content this year.