If you have an online business, you probably spend much of your time daydreaming about SEO. You fill your head with questions like, what keywords are going to work best for my business? How can I grow my back-links? And most importantly, how do I get my website to show up on the first page of Google?
In fact, many business owners have this specific type of ranking request: “I want to boost my rankings so that my website appears on the first page of Google.”
There’s nothing wrong with that – and that’s what lots of businesses want! Yet what we voice to all of our clients is that web marketing should be about more than simply trying to hit Google’s first page. Of course, striving to achieve high SERP rankings has always been the focus of online businesses and although it’s a worthwhile objective, it shouldn’t be the only one used to target your audiences.

Photo courtesy of: MoneyBlogNewz

Search Engine Data
Two of the questions that spring to mind when we work with our clients is:

  • What is their target audience? and
  • How do they define this target audience online?

Using search engine data is crucial in determining how your target audience behaves: it’s an insight into what they search for, what they want to accomplish and what they hope to gain from a brand. But most companies – and their associated SEO agency – will simply pull keywords out of this data and use this as a basis to form their SEO strategies. And once the keywords are in place, they tend to forget about the audience.
If you’re a business owner, ask yourself: What else can my search engine data tell me about my market? What secrets does it reveal about my audience and the way they search online?
Is Your Website Enough?
When you started your business, you probably also focused strongly on getting your website optimization right – writing quality content, using powerful keywords, incorporating these into your content and structuring your site in a user-friendly way. Great!
But is this enough?
Your search engine data will tell you how your consumers are behaving when they conduct online searches, but it’s important to also consider whether your website and your SEO strategies are actually meeting their demands. What do your consumers want – and are you fulfilling their needs? Or are your strategies only there to meet the needs of the search engine?
A website with a search engine strategy that cuts out its audience can find itself with high rankings but losing customers or leaving large portions of their potential consumer audiences untapped.
Remember: great websites are optimized well and achieve good rankings, but they also meet their users’ demands in every way imaginable, whether on the site or via another avenue, like social media.
What About Social Media?
Social media has become critical to online businesses, to the point where it now needs to be part of a brand’s overall business and product strategies. But just like your website, if you’re only engaging in social media to boost your rankings, where does that leave your customers?
Instead, you need to consider what value your social media activity brings (or doesn’t bring) to your consumers. Are you giving them what they want and answering their needs? Or are you simply trying to get more keywords out there to push your rankings higher?

Photo courtesy of: Anne Helmond

Social media undoubtedly needs to be linked to a company’s products and services, but it also should be integrated from the start into any (or all) web marketing strategies so that it also fulfills the goals of consumer searches. This will allow you to reach your target audiences much more effectively, appealing precisely to what they want from their searches, rather than only aiming to please the many demands of the Google search engine.
The Summary!
So don’t forget to utilize all the tools available to improve your company and brand visibility. Get yourself out there, and get to know your customers, this is the key to a winning and successful business, and of course it will help your website ranking when it comes to SEO and getting found on Google.
About the Author
This article is written by Virginia Cottrell for her SEO Sydney company.