The Best SEO Alternatives for Business Growth

SEO is the best way to drive organic traffic to your ecommerce site. Perhaps it’s our biases talking because we’re widely recognized as the most respected SEO agency in the Philippines. However, we also run other types of digital marketing campaigns for our clients and we can confidently say that search engine optimization delivers much more bang for the buck and better long-term value compared to most of the other digital marketing channels.

Unfortunately, SEO isn’t a good fit for some businesses. For instance, if a small business has products and services that are dependent on highly-contested keywords, a sustained SEO campaign may not be possible. Some websites also use difficult-to-optimize infrastructure, necessitating an expensive and risky migration that the business may not be prepared for.

Thankfully, these businesses are not without options. Below are some great alternatives that a business can use to replace or supplement SEO campaigns. Whether your business needs to increase conversions or generate qualified leads there are a lot of other digital marketing strategies that can help drive its growth.

Best SEO Alternatives for Increasing Conversions

If your main goal is to increase conversions, try these proven SEO alternatives:

1) Google Shopping Ads

In our experience, Google Shopping ads are one of the best bets for businesses looking to replace SEO marketing on a budget. The main benefit of running shopping ads is their high efficiency and value, especially when compared to more popular Google text ads. Unlike Google text ads, misplaced clicks and visits of just a few seconds do not add to the total cost of the advertisement, making them very cost-efficient.

Setting up an effective shopping ad on the platform can be a bit complicated but the results are usually worth it. We’ve gotten returns on ad spend (ROAS) as high as 350% through this channel and even more modest ROAS figures are usually more than enough to make this channel worthwhile.

2) Retargeting

These types of ads are triggered when you look at or buy products on ecommerce sites. You’ll notice that visit ecommerce sites, you’ll often receive an ad related to the product you viewed on some other website — even if you didn’t buy anything.

Because they directly use data related to visitors’ interests, these ads are very targeted and have a very strong psychological effect. This results in them being highly efficient at driving conversions. Another great thing about retargeting is that it works synergistically with other digital marketing channels. If your business is on multiple channels, adding a retargeting component can significantly increase each channel’s conversion efficiency.

3) Facebook Carousel Ads

You’ve probably already seen or clicked on Facebook Carousel ads. The idea of these is similar to classic retargeting but it includes an interactive component that lets you browse different products. There’s some evidence that this interactive element may help drive conversions. Given the low cost of running Facebook Carousel ads, it’s a channel that’s worth exploring at least once.

4) Affiliate Marketing

This old-school strategy can still be effective in the right circumstances. If you’re not familiar with affiliate marketing, it’s a marketing strategy where a business engages with partners (affiliates) who then earn a commission whenever they sell a company’s products. Affiliate marketing can still generate a good ROI because the main business doesn’t pay anything unless a sale is made.

However, there are a few downsides. Businesses cannot directly control what an affiliate does to market their product, which may result in some issues with managing a business’s brand image. It’s also worth remembering that should the business start an SEO campaign later on, it might be competing with its affiliates on search engine results pages on keywords related to its own products.

Best SEO Alternatives for Lead Generation

SEO remains one of the best ways to drive qualified leads to your business. But if you can’t do a sustained SEO campaign just yet, you can go with these excellent alternatives:

1) YouTube Ads

Banner and pop-up ads no longer work because most people are wary of clicking on them. These old-school ads are now mostly ignored, which has led to the popularity of in-video ads as you’d typically see on YouTube.

Unlike banners and pop-ups, in-video ads are very difficult to ignore, making them extremely effective for increasing brand exposure. The audiovisual nature of these ads is effective at eliciting an emotional-sensory response, which helps imprint your brand in people’s memories. Of the places you could run these ads, YouTube is particularly worthwhile because of its wide reach and localization.

You shouldn’t expect too many conversions from these ads because they’re invasive. However, if you’re just interested in making people aware of the business, these ads are an efficient way of reaching large numbers of people, in much the same way that television advertisements used to.

The major downside of these is that good-quality ads tend to require a lot of effort. There are some successful low-budget video ads but, unless they’re really bad, these don’t tend to be as memorable as advertisements with good production values.

2) Traditional Digital PR

Press releases, collaborations with influencers, and other traditional digital PR channels can still work well for increasing new impressions and building authority.

Some digital marketers are wary of these channels because of the challenges in tracking ROI. However, when done well, these channels can expose a business to thousands of new potential leads. Connections with reputable institutions, influencers, or brands can also build trust in a business with these new leads, further reducing the effort needed to convert them later on.

3) Content Marketing

This is the sharing of blog posts, white papers, videos, social media posts, and other forms of online content to promote interest in a brand, product, or service. Contrary to what some people might think, there is no hard selling involved in modern content marketing campaigns. The goal of these campaigns is to build trust and awareness in a way that supports other major business goals.

Content marketing is so effective at creating leads that even major SEO businesses like MOZ rely on it. When done correctly, it can build authority, put your business in front of your audiences’ minds, and create goodwill — all things that can drive long-term growth.

This strategy is used by businesses of all types and sizes. However, it is especially popular for smaller service-oriented businesses as it builds their authority, makes them seem more approachable, and distinguishes them from their competitors.

As effective as it is, the main hurdle of content marketing is that it is a high-effort high-reward type of strategy. If a business can’t consistently maintain its content production or lacks the budget to put out quality content, it may need to consider other more feasible marketing channels for lead generation.

4) Google Text Ads

Google text ads are an easy way to get your business to overtake competitors on Google’s search results. While a lot of businesses and marketers are moving away from these in favor of other channels, they can still be highly effective for products and services that can’t easily be sold on ecommerce sites, including land, insurance, vehicles, and services.

The main drawback of Google text ads is that, unlike Google shopping ads, you have to pay for each click. An improperly managed ad or a poorly-chosen keyword can quickly decimate your budget while giving you poor-quality leads. Fortunately, hiring a qualified PPC manager should help these ads maintain a high ROI. Ad prices also remain reasonably low in the Philippine market, making them worth considering for local campaigns.

Final Thoughts

All businesses should give SEO a chance, given the sheer volume of leads and conversions that start through a quick Google search. But if a business can’t do SEO right away, they can rest assured that they have several options that will give them a fighting chance on Google’s search results pages. What’s more, most of these alternatives can grow businesses and put them in a better position to pursue an SEO campaign later on.

Of course, just because you’re doing an SEO campaign now, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t also try these options. Most businesses can benefit from reasonably diverse marketing channels and adding some of these alternatives may become key in helping your business reach its next level.

Whether you’re looking for an alternative to SEO or need to diversify your marketing mix, we’re ready to help. We can set up a meeting to discuss how these options might work for your business.

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