With the rise of targeted ads, paid campaigns, community building on social media platforms and increasing localization of search results that search engines supply its users, it begs the question: does SEO still work?
These days, paid ads are displayed on top of organic search results and are seen first by those who need a quick fix. This challenges the practice of optimizing a website according to search trends and high-traffic keywords in an effort to be constantly found by those who need it. Many brands also maintain communities on social media and use these platforms to release product and service information while driving user satisfaction. With all these emerging trends, reality is, good SEO alone isn’t all that it takes to get your local business found in a big city like Toronto and match you with potential customers. To make your website rank and get your business found, SEO companies are now challenged to look into balancing efforts for ranking organically with that of paid advertisements and leading the conversation on social media platforms.
Here, we’ll walk through the changes in online marketing and determine how an SEO company’s efforts to get your business found in Toronto can drive your business to the top as it embraces other emerging trends in digital marketing.
Looking for an SEO company that does more to get your business found? Contact 360 Business Local at (416) 619-7935 today!
Changing Search Result Trends
While websites are constantly working on being found, search engines such as Google are striving to streamline search results in an effort to better match users with exactly what they’re looking for. For example, users who are looking for businesses that carry products or offer services they need are now more likely to be matched with a business that’s within a certain radius of their location.
Paid results and advertisements are now also listed on top of organic search results, not just below. This may sway users not searching for anything specific or are in a rush to find a suitable match towards the paid results, as these are seen first.
Organic SEO search results are then shown second to those that pay Google to advertise their sites. To compete, SEO marketers are challenged to optimize websites in order to rank in organic search, ensuring your website still appears on the same page as paid results. Competing with paid search results can be challenging, but digital marketing pros work hard to be constantly updated on changing search engine trends, and will continue to optimize your website according to these trends and stay on top.
The Rise of Social Media
Using search engines isn’t the only way businesses and their target market connect these days. Most businesses now have active social media profiles and engage with their audience directly through posts, tweets, snaps and reviews. Likes, retweets, mentions, replies and views now also count towards measuring the success of a business’ online marketing efforts. Some people might believe that using social media to direct traffic to websites is a more effective method, as social media news feeds tend to have the latest information, but relying solely on social media to get you business isn’t always your best bet.
While regular social media activity can direct traffic to your business and build credibility, the uncontrolled nature of the environment can bring negative feedback to light. Negative comments, whether with merit or are unsubstantiated, can greatly impact your business as soon as these are published; potential customers will have to like what others have already said about your business in order to trust you to provide their needs. This is where the support of SEO marketers comes in handy: we know how to work with both organic searches and new platforms, such as social media, to direct traffic towards your business with the aid of a good reputation. Many SEO companies including 360 Business Local now offer social media management services. This includes regular posting on your behalf to your business’ social media profiles by advertising offers and promoting website content.
SEO companies also incorporate the same keywords that business’ sites rank for into their social media profiles and posts. In turn, this directs search users to businesses’ social media channels, encouraging them to connect and stay updated on latest news and offers. Digital marketers incorporate links to the company’s social media profiles, allowing them to build an online community and use their newfound following outside of their keyword rankings and site visits as another way of measuring the success of their online marketing efforts.
Rankings Still Matter
It’s no secret that SEO companies are increasingly challenged these days to direct traffic to clients’ websites organically despite the popularity of paid search results and social media. To stand out, websites that still rank well for high-traffic keywords must develop quality content that puts them on the same page as the paid search results, encouraging search engine users to scroll down and find in these well-ranking sites for a closer match to their search phrase.
Search engines are gearing towards localizing results to make their users’ search more actionable. For instance, Google’s location services enables it to give its users results that point to local businesses within their reach, driving actual sales and keeping users satisfied with the answers they get. This incentivizes digital marketers to track and push for local keywords on your website. By doing so, businesses grow closer to clients who are most likely looking for services and products they can access from their location, thereby making your marketing efforts effective and converting more leads to sales. To make your business rank in local searches, SEO companies optimize content on your website according to your business’ local reach and send out content that carries location-specific keywords.
SEO companies may also get creative with the services they offer and the efforts they employ. Most companies now manage paid campaigns on top of organic keyword search efforts. This allows businesses to gain the best of both worlds and maximize their rank in search results. Some even offer social media management services, posting content from your website to your business’ social media profiles, responding to customer queries, listening in on trending conversations in your industry to build your brand’s community online.
SEO is no stranger to change. With the evolving dynamics of online marketing and the constant rise of new ways to engage an audience, the field also keeps on adapting creative new ways of doing what it does best: connecting businesses and potential clients who are yet to find each other.