Should your SEO be primary or secondary? (HINT: Both)

I’m working with one of our creative/techie teams to imagine a new brand for a software client. This is from-the-ground-up work that keeps our creative minds happy – branding, identity and digital marketing with a big splash of SEO.

We recently started to develop the company’s website – the future beating heart of its digital identity. A website is not a “build it and they will come” project. Our early discussions focused on how we’ll attract website visitors.

When we performed our first round of primary keyword research, the list centered on the company’s software solution. Our client then provided additional topics to address through keyword research. This client request became an opportunity for us to educate our client (and you!) about primary and secondary search engine optimization (SEO).

Let’s break the SEO down …

SEO – optimizing any web page to appear high in search results – starts with someone using search engines (user intent). Keywords are the words and phrases the searcher enters into search engines. The search results are the best indications we have of intent. In other words, did the person look for a product/service or an answer to a question?

When we consider the main element of our client’s brand is a software solution, we can assume that searchers’ intent likely falls into one of these two categories:

  1. Primary, seeking a product/software solution, or
  2. Secondary, seeking an answer to a question.

In this case, the primary intent is straightforward. The searcher knows that a solution already exists and is easy to address through the client’s brand/website. The searcher is looking for a software solution that will make life easy. The searcher already knows products solve problems, and is conducting research to evaluate solutions before making a purchase decision. We would optimize the website for queries related to the searcher’s intent around the software.

A content marketing strategy addresses the secondary market of searchers. That involves creating valuable content that answers searchers’ questions via blog posts, white papers or case studies that are optimized for relevant secondary keyword searches. Content marketing exposes searchers to products and solutions they might not have known about otherwise.

The topics our client shared fell into this secondary category. First, we’ll optimize the website content for the primary product (software). Second, we’ll develop a strategy for answering relevant questions related to problem-solving (content marketing).

To get noticed in today’s digital world, companies must make it easy for people to find them online.

Incorporating primary and secondary SEO into marketing and lead generation initiatives is a great way to showcase products and services that solve problems.

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