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Is SEO Really Marketing?

When you think of traditional marketing methods, the likes of printed advertisements, cold-calling and promotional materials come to mind. Yet with the rise of the Internet as a key component for many businesses big or small, online marketing has moved to the forefront when it comes to strategic advertising for companies. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one such aspect many utilize for their online marketing campaigns.

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SEO is used to get a website positioned as high as possible in search results from the likes of Google and Bing (as the name suggests!). The optimization process includes many different variables — some of which are constantly evolving in the ever-changing world of the Internet. It can all get very confusing for the uninitiated, but SEO is an important feature for any website to truly succeed.

But, is it really marketing?

The answer in the most simplest of terms is, ‘yes’. Nevertheless, you have to factor in that SEO is a very unorthodox method of marketing. It isn’t in your face promoting a business in an obvious manner like an advert or someone phoning you to sell what they have to offer. SEO takes a back seat and, assuming it has been efficiently put into practice, will remain hidden from the view of any user. In essence, it is an indirect marketing process that is aimed at search engines, but results in getting users to your website.

Why SEO is needed

When it comes to an online marketing operation, SEO is one of the first things you need in your arsenal. You may have read some doom-mongers stating that SEO is dead, but that couldn’t be further from the truth — especially with the rise of mobile phones as an alternative Internet browsing choice.

There are many underlying reasons to use SEO, but it simply boils down to the fact that it supplies your business with much needed visibility. On such a competitive platform like the Internet, where countless rivals are vying to be top of the search engine tree, being able to be seen by your target market can prove to be a struggle. And if you are not doing SEO, then you are going to be left behind by your competitors.

Going back to a previous point in which some have speculated about the demise of SEO, their reasoning behind this include the fact that some tried-and-tested methods have begun to display less than favorable results. Yet this is not down to SEO faltering as a whole; it is more to do with the reality that search engines are an ever-evolving beast, and different algorithms and procedures are used to measure a websites ranking. The focus nowadays is on content (like it should be), rather than previous schemes that manipulated the system (those naughty people!).

So overall, SEO is indeed a form of marketing — just not in the traditional sense. And if you are looking to promote your website and the content it provides, then it is certainly one of the necessary assets to include for a successful marketing strategy.

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