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Search Engine Optimization

What is SEO really for? SEO as part of a digital strategy

Your website has at least a couple of different types of content. Depending on how complex your site is and who it serves, you may have quite a few. Pages provide general information about your company, while posts offer informative content like tutorials or insights on relevant industry topics. Product pages, with clear photos and well-written descriptions, are for people ready to make a purchase. Each type of content is created with a different type of user in mind, answering the questions they might have at each stage of the customer journey and considering how they got to your website.

At Parkway, we mix and match digital advertising, social media, email marketing and SEO to connect with potential customers throughout the customer journey. The exact mix depends on a company’s target audience, goals, budget and competition—among other things. Each of these channels is powerful, but no one medium can do it alone, not even the all-powerful SEO.

We find ourselves explaining what SEO is really for more often than channels like paid search advertising or email campaigns. We’re not sure if that’s because SEO is a little bit unknown, thanks to Google’s secrecy around its search algorithms, or because SEO is sometimes sold as a one-size-fits-all solution. We’re here to tell you that, yes, SEO has the potential to make a difference for businesses of all sizes. However, a truly strategic approach to digital marketing is most likely about more than just organic search success!

SEO increases the visibility of your website in search results.

In order for people to click on your website from the search results, your website has to show up in the search results. A strategic approach to SEO identifies what concepts (and related phrases) a business’s target audience uses to search. Then, the business uses its relevant expertise to create content that helps answer those questions.

Helpful content and user-friendly design help Google find and deliver the best answer to searchers’ questions. They can also convince someone who previously knew very little about your brand to consider your offerings the next time they’re looking to make a purchase. Ultimately, SEO builds awareness at the top of the marketing funnel.

Strategic optimization drives high-quality website traffic.

SEO is not just about driving more traffic to a website—it’s also about improving the quality of the visitors that come to your site. You don’t want to create content that has nothing to do with your offerings. Even if it ranks well and increases the number of visitors to your website, those visitors are unlikely to go any deeper into the marketing funnel. A thoughtful SEO strategy focuses on reaching a highly relevant audience and engaging them with a tailored user experience—even if this means sacrificing quantity for quality.

SEO is one part of a holistic digital marketing strategy.

SEO is most powerful when paired with other digital marketing strategies to capture the attention of potential customers at every stage of the marketing funnel. While SEO is often seen as a stand-alone tool for increasing a website’s visibility, it should really be used in conjunction with other digital marketing strategies. The majority of optimization captures the attention of searchers just beginning to shop for your type of product or service. These concepts are generally easier to rank for, especially for smaller or newer businesses without a lot of authority in the space.

But you don’t have to leave it to chance that these website visitors will remember your brand when they’re ready to buy. Strategic digital marketing helps your company to stay top of mind for these potential customers. Parkway loves popups and inline forms that encourage visitors to share their email, often in exchange for a promo code. It’s also possible to remarket to these visitors using platforms like Meta’s Facebook and Instagram as well as Google Ads.

Of course, every business is different and SEO can impact its success differently. For an established brand with an authoritative website, maybe product pages that rank for search terms with commercial intent are not only possible but highly probable. For businesses that need results right now, SEO (which can take a while to have an impact) might not be the first digital tactic we recommend. Building a holistic strategy that works for your company will likely be a process of trial and error. Starting with a realistic idea of what SEO can do for your business will help you get the most out of your website!

Parkway Digital Digital Marketing Manager Taylor Flynn Jones
Taylor Flynn Jones / Digital Marketing Manager
Taylor, Parkway Digital’s digital marketing manager, blends research and analytics experience with strong writing skills to create content for search engines and users alike. She is passionate about optimizing both our work and our processes, which help her as she oversees our content team and digital advertising campaigns.