how to integrate seo into marketing strategy

Table of Contents

Integrating SEO Into The Marketing Strategy

In this blog, I am going to give you 4 ways to integrate SEO into your marketing strategy, and 3 things to be wary of that may harm your efforts.

When you’re coming up with a marketing strategy, you are likely to cover the Four Ps. Or the Five As. Or a different acronym of your choice. But our acronym of choice is SEO.  Because if you aren’t pleasing the Google Overlords, your carefully crafted content isn’t going to have the reach it needs to really bring home the bacon.

Without well optimised websites, strategic keywords, and great user signals, you might find your website is buried on…gulp…PAGE 2.  

So, I am going to run through 4 really easy ways you can embed SEO into your day-to-day marketing plan. You won’t need to be a super SEO-er to do them either.

And then, I will go through 3 SEO tactics I often see well meaning marketeers do that have fallen behind the times a little bit.

Integrating SEO into your marketing mix in a nutshell:

  1. Pay attention to user signals.
    • Drive traffic.
    • Keep them on site.
    • Bring them back.
  2. Optimise the website properly.
    • Be thoughtful about keyword strategy.
    • Don’t just bang a meta title and description in there.
    • Substance over style with tags
    • Consider user journey.
  3. Use content pillars and shoulder niches to maximise helpful content.
    • Write well researched, detailed blogs.
    • Repurpose that content for socials.
    • Underpin every message with web content.
  4. Don’t neglect off site.
    • Reviews
    • Directories
    • Backlinks and PR opportunities

Avoid:

  1. AI generated blogs
  2. Spammy tactics
  3. Reciprocal link building

Let’s dig in.

Pay Attention To User Signals

  1. Drive traffic.
  2. Keep them on site.
  3. Bring them back.

The first way to easily integrate SEO into your marketing mix is to consider your user signals.

User signals are all the bits of information that tell us how people are using your website. Google considers these important because it helps them understand the usefulness and benefit of a site.

Logic says if lots of people visit the site, spend time on it and return to it, it must be a good site. So, Google will rank it higher and allow more traffic to go to it.

So, when you are considering your marketing activity, have in the back of your mind how you can get more people to the site, keep them there for longer, and get them to return.

Having strong user signals will allow more new traffic to come to your site and increase your customer base.

User signals include:

  • Time spent on each page.
  • Time spent on your overall site.
  • Number of pages per visit
  • Number of visitors
  • What percentage of those are returning visitors
  • Where they are coming from (acquisition)

Now, there is a little conflict here between wanting people to convert quickly, say by downloading a brochure, and wanting people to come back time and again and browse some pages. So, finding the balance is key.

Give people plenty of reason and opportunity to come to the site, even after they have enquired, purchased, or downloaded the brochure.

Here are some ideas:

  • Have an aftersales section with tips and advice on getting the most out of the product or service.
  • Have a retargeting email list for people who have taken an onsite action and direct them to your website via useful blogs (without selling to them).
  • Share your content on your social media platforms and in related groups.
  • Have two- or three-part articles on your website and encourage people to subscribe to your feed.
  • Add fresh, informative content regularly.
  • Make sure your content is genuinely helpful and answers questions people are asking-not just industry news or company updates.
  • Run competitions and giveaways with the application process on your website (or the answer to a question buried in a blog).
  • Have a really solid email newsletter with links back to your blog (don’t just plonk the whole article in your newsletter).
  • Engage in online PR (more on this later) to get your website mentioned in as many places as possible.

Essentially, make sure there is lots of great content that targets people at every stage of the buyer journey and share it as many ways as possible to encourage people to click through.

Optimise Your Website Properly

  • Be thoughtful about keyword strategy.
  • Don’t just bang a meta title and description in there.
  • Substance over style with tags
  • Consider user journey.

A lot of marketeers assume that the optimisation has been done when the website was built, but a lot of web developers don’t really do it with a thoughtful keyword strategy. Often, they just fill in Yoast.

To incorporate SEO into your marketing mix, you should be regularly optimising your website to make sure it isn’t falling behind what Google want.

Plus, the optimisation of your site can change as Google crawls and recrawls it and pages are indexed and deindexed.

Really research your keyword strategy. Make sure that you have a primary keyword on each of your service pages and they are specific. Don’t be tempted to optimise any pages with words like ‘FAQ’, ‘about us’, or ‘contact us’.

You can check what keywords people are searching for using Keyword Planner, or just doing a Google search to see what it suggests when it auto-fills your search query or in the ‘people also ask’ section. I like using Gemini for this as well, with a prompt that includes asking for search volume.

I recommend keeping a list of which pages have been optimised for which keyword, so you don’t accidentally have keyword cannibalisation further down the line and also to make sure you can utilise secondary and semantic keywords on your child pages.

Once you have got your keyword, don’t just fill in the meta title and description with it. Pepper it through your content, include it in the image title and be sure to use it in your H1 and 2 tags too.

Speaking of H tags, make sure you have 1 H1 tag and a couple of h2 tags on each page. Don’t choose an H2 tag for your primary title because it looks better. Alter the size of the H1 tag if it’s too big, rather than using a different H tag.

H1 tags are important but each page only needs 1.

Once each page is optimised, consider optimising the site. Remove all unused or unnecessary plug ins, compress the CSS and JavaScript and make sure it is caching on the browser. You can use a plug in to help with this. We like LiteSpeed Cache. Make sure it is compatible with your version of the website.

Ensure all your plug ins are up to date and you have anti-spam measures, like comments turned off (unless necessary) and ReCAPTCHA in place.

Don’t forget to compress the images too. Smush is good for this.

Sites that load quickly and are secure, rank better.

Finally, consider the user journey. Can they click through to every single page if they wanted? Are the calls to action frequent but strategic? Do all the forms work and are simple to use? Is the menu clear? Are there accessibility features on the site?

A well thought out user journey will improve your user signals, boost conversions rates, and help you site rank on those coveted front pages.

Use Content Pillars And Shoulder Niches To Maximise Helpful Content

  1. Write well researched, detailed blogs.
  2. Repurpose that content for socials.
  3. Underpin every message with web content.

Content pillars are a really crucial way of ensuring your web content is structured, useful and purposeful. Shoulder niches are a fantastic way of really leveraging the content in your pillars.

Which is Google’s preoccupation at the moment. They are working really hard to reward sites that have well written, thoughtful, genuinely useful content and ‘penalise’ sites that don’t. (I use quotation marks because I mean penalise in the broad sense, not in the SEO sense-although some sites have been served Google penalties through the March 2024 update).

The majority of the algorithm updates in the last 12 months have been about reducing spam (including AI generated content), thin or duplicate content and encouraging us to write rich, informative content.

We all know that blogging is absolutely essential to ranking a website well and improving your user signals.

  • It builds trust between you and your reader.
  • Helps build you as a voice of authority.
  • Shows Google you know your stuff.
  • Tells Google what your site is about.
  • Gives you opportunity to get your long tail and secondary key phrases in.
  • Brings traffic to the site.
  • Gives them a reason to return.

But since the Helpful Content Update, that first hit out SERPS in 2022, that content needs to be informative, educational, well researched, valuable, rich.  

But because you are a busy marketeer, you can leverage all this content for a bigger impact.

Consider this:

Your site is about Antique Tea Pots.

So, your content pillars are: Victorian Tea Pots, Post War Tea Pots and Art Dec Tea Pots.

Victorian Tea Pots

Web PageChild pageBlogsInfographicSocial Post
Buy Victorian Tea Pots (page)Our credentialsHow To Identify A Genuine Victorian Tea PotVisual guide with photos. Embedded in the blog.Share infographic
Showcase a tea pot
Share tips 1-3
Share tips 4-6
Category pagesShare testimonial about the genuine tea pot someone bought

Essentially, every piece of content that goes out can be repurposed for your website, socials, and newsletter. This enhances your content and strengthens your messaging. Your messaging is cohesive and, because you are adding quality content to the website, you are integrating SEO into your regular marketing practice without really having to do that much extra.

Don’t Neglect Off-site.

  • Reviews
  • Directories
  • Backlinks and PR opportunities

Offsite SEO is oft overlooked but it is incredibly important in the SEO mix.

We know Google wants your site to demonstrate E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authority, and trust). Offsite SEO helps demonstrate your expertise, authority and trust.

Gathering reviews is hard work, especially if your business is a service, but it pays off. Trust signals are important for your SEO and your customers, so be sure to give options for people to leave reviews and integrate it with your site.

Online directories don’t have the clout they used to, and they don’t give you a backlink, but they verify your business is genuine and help you claim the knowledge graph in Google. Essentially Google uses them to confirm your details are consistent across the web, and therefore likely to be accurate and trustworthy.

It is worth spending an hour or two each month adding your site to these directories to support your trust signals.

Some examples of decent ones we use are:

  • directory.mirror.co.uk
  • Foursquare
  • Yelp
  • Cylex
  • Brownbook.net
  • Bizify
  • Infobel
  • Free Index
  • Hotfrog
  • Cybo
  • Opendi
  • MisterWhat
  • The Trade Finder
  • Yalwa

Backlink building remains a cornerstone of good SEO practice. This is the process of getting other people to link to articles on your website because it helps to verify that what you are saying is accurate and is about what you say it is about (expertise and authority).

As long as (and this is a big caveat-you can tell; it’s in bold):

  1. The site linking to you is relevant to the topic you are writing about.
  2. The site linking is trustworthy and not spammy.
  3. You haven’t done anything reciprocal to get this link (more on that below)

Google says that if you write good content and it ranks well, people will link to it. And that is true. They are very much against reciprocal links because they aren’t genuine. In fact, it will damage your site if you have a link network, or obviously disingenuous links to your site.

But there are some ways you can get genuine backlinks without breaking the rules:

  • Create great content and share it far and wide.
  • Guest blog on relevant sites (an original article-not one from your site) and link back
  • Engage in online PR (interviews, articles, think pieces)
  • Write a whitepaper.
  • Conduct original research and write about it.
  • Create infographics and share them.

You are pretty much already creating the content needed if you have followed the advice above, so the key is to share it. Send it out to as many places as possible. Say something genuinely useful and original to others. Be generous with your knowledge.

What to Avoid

  1. AI generated blogs
  2. Spammy tactics
  3. Reciprocal link building

The world of SEO moves fast and you can easily fall foul of an update if you don’t keep on top of it.

But who has time for that, right?

I do. It’s literally my job. Lol. So don’t you worry. I got you!

Here are 3 things to avoid when you are embedding SEO into your marketing strategy.

Hopefully, you are going to read this and say ‘no shit, Hannah. I would never do these’, but no shame if you are doing some of them. Just…ya know…stop.

Ok, my first big no-no is AI generated blogs.

You can use AI to help structure content, give you ideas, and even to write a banging bit of sales copy for a brochure or an ad.

But since the March Core Update, a lot of sites that used AI for content have been hit with a penalty. An actual penalty. Or just seen their rankings tank.

This update was another one tackling spam, and, whilst Google said they weren’t specifically tackling AI written content, they did say they were tackling low-quality content.

There is a saying in SEO that correlation does not always equal causation so it could be a coincidence that all these sites were written using AI and it was just not very good content.

We don’t really know how AI and SEO are going to pan out. But for now, to future-proof your SEO practice, we are recommending you don’t use it for blogs. I wrote a more detailed rundown of why not here. In a nutshell, Google wants well-researched, genuinely useful content that has reliable sources. In the words of the great Bob Dylan, it ain’t AI, babe.

AI is awesome though for generating ideas, keywords, directing you to good research, helping tart up a product description or offline brochure, or researching PR opportunities.

The second SEO strategy to leave alone is anything that is considered spammy.

So, fake reviews or fake traffic, cloaking, hidden content, buying backlinks etc. I HOPE you are insulted at the mere insinuation and clutching your pearls.

It’s not worth it. Sure, it might work for a bit, but it will eventually actively harm your website.

And finally reciprocal backlink building.

So, asking someone for a backlink in exchange for a freebie, a backlink to their site, or money. Sometimes you have to pay a small upload fee, but you shouldn’t be placing blogs on places that lets anyone post for a hefty fee.

It goes against Google’s webmaster guidelines and can damage your site or result in a penalty.

Conclusion

So, there you have it. 4 ways to integrate SEO into your marketing strategy, and 3 things to stay away from.

Hopefully this has been helpful, but if you would like to ask a question or clarify something (or, of course, access one of our brilliant services) then you can email me on hw@growtraffic.co.uk or fill in the contact form here.

Home » Search Engines » SEO » Integrating SEO Into The Marketing Strategy

Share this post