a person's hands type on a keyboard as a blank search bar appears in the foreground
January 2, 2023 0 Comments

What is SEO?

How Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing Can Help Customers Find You Online

a person's hands type on a keyboard as a blank search bar appears in the foreground

Search engine optimization — or SEO — is the function of search marketing that can make your brand more discoverable online. When used with the paid strategy of search engine marketing (SEM) you can develop a campaign that helps your brand outrank its competition on the search results page.

What is SEO?

SEO is an integral part of any digital marketing campaign. It is the process used to help your company rank at the top of the search engine results page (SERP).

A search for Trust Relations" in the Google search bar shows links to a PR agency website.

Historically, SEO has been used to improve and increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website from search engines, such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Today, however, SEO means much more. A cutting-edge SEO campaign places optimization efforts behind all of your digital content, including social media, with the purpose of elevating your owned assets in the search results. There are many factors that influence how a search engine ranks web pages and social profiles. For your website specifically, there are three key elements to consider: content, keywords and backlinks.


A campaign might include website analysis, keyword research, site and design updates, backlink development, and content seeding. When executed well, an SEO campaign will improve your conversion rates and help you connect with potential customers in a crowded digital landscape.


The Difference Between SEO and SEM

There are two branches of search marketing: Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing. We described SEO above but did not dive into SEM yet. SEM relates to the optimization of paid campaigns that exist on Google search, the Google Search Network and on other platforms where you pay for your ads to be displayed as part of a bidding system. 

SEM is a great way to target a highly specific audience who you know are searching for specific terms. The ability to turn on or off ads also gives you the ability to supercharge your marketing efforts.


Why Do You Need SEO and SEM?

SEM is a great way to target a highly specific audience who you know are searching for specific terms. The ability to turn on or off ads also gives you the ability to supercharge your marketing efforts.

In today’s digital landscape, a website without strong SEO fundamentals is a missed opportunity. Without it, your customers might never find you online. 


Studies have shown that SEO has significant benefits, including giving your business a competitive advantage, increasing the results of your paid marketing strategies and boosting your credibility with potential customers.

Why do you need SEO and SEM services? Search results on the first page of Google receive over 90% of search traffic. In other words, if your website is not on the first page, the chances of people clicking on your link and visiting your site are greatly diminished. That’s why SEO and SEM are so crucial to reaching those potential customers with a solution — before your competitors do.

What Should a Strong SEO or SEM Campaign Include??

A solid SEO or SEM campaign should be customized to your brand, website and business goals. Still, there are several common factors that should be included in most SEO and SEM campaigns. These are:

1. A brand analysis: While not every agency takes this approach right from the start, it’s a critical step in the life of your brand. A thorough analysis helps to solidify your brand identity and how you want to be represented across all digital channels and in the media. (If you want to learn how we do this, specifically, you can read about it on our PR services page.) This step ensures your SEO campaign aligns with your brand messaging strategy, and delivers the results you want to see to power your broader brand goals. 

2. A full website audit: This process evaluates your site’s overall technical performance, user experience (UX), written content, aesthetic design, and accessibility. Your SEO partner should provide customized recommendations to help you improve site performance, which is a critical factor in improving your overall site’s search performance. Google has listed factors in what they call the First Contentful Paint (FCP) and the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), which ranks your site’s technical performance for things such as load speed.

3. SEO analysis and recommendation: After taking an in-depth look at your market, competitors and goals, your SEO partner should conduct a full SEO assessment of your existing site content. This step identifies the on-page factors that need to be addressed and creates an overarching SEO roadmap for your website. This will serve to grow your digital footprint for potential customers and investors. It can then be used as a framework to identify opportunities to improve your site’s placement in search engine results and create targeted recommendations to boost organic referral traffic.

4. Keyword identification, discovery and mapping: Based on your strategic brand messaging framework and roadmap, your SEO expert should then conduct a keyword analysis. At Trust Relations, we do this by applying the findings from your Trust Analysis to identify and recommend a custom list of SEO keywords. Those keywords can be incorporated throughout your company messaging. A full-service SEO team can then handle the process of mapping those keywords to specific pages on your website, which will improve your search performance for those key terms.

5. Technical implementation: Some aspects of SEO are incredibly technical, which is why it is important to work with an experienced digital marketing and SEO partner. A seasoned SEO strategist can manage the implementation process from start to finish, including factors that affect site performance and impact your FCP and LCP. Doing so will reduce the stress for your in-house team of managing technical elements, so that you can focus on building your business.

6. Ongoing reporting and optimization: After the initial SEO groundwork has been completed, it is important to monitor the long-term performance of your website so that you can clearly see what is and is not working and adjust accordingly. Our dedicated team tracks success against organic search metrics including: goal analysis, site penetration and content consumption. We will also conduct recurring competitor analysis, ongoing website monitoring, link building, directory submissions, social bookmarking, content marketing and opportunity sourcing, and provide you with robust reporting that gives you insight beyond what you can achieve yourself. 

How Does SEO Build Trust for Brands?

The success of any SEO campaign relies on authenticity and how your business is perceived by potential customers. Is your website reputable? Does it meet customers’ needs? Is it up-to-date, safe to navigate, and easy to use? Major search engines rank your website based on the quality of the content you produce and how long people engage with it. While there are many factors at play, getting the fundamentals right gives you the base on which to build as you move forward. 

“Trust Relations” is a term coined by President and Founder April White to describe a new approach to strategic communications. We focus on conveying clients’ authentic actions, value and goodwill. This principle guides our approach to all of our search engine optimization projects and search engine marketing campaigns.

Your message should be cohesive, clearly communicated and aligned with your company values. A solid messaging foundation, combined with an effective SEO campaign, can help you improve your brand reputation and rank on the first pages of various search engines. This combined approach is the key to boosting your visibility and credibility with potential prospects.

To elevate your placement on the search results page, you need to earn the trust and confidence of your website visitors. If users trust your content, they will engage with it more and your website performance will improve — and so will your SEO ranking. 

Want to learn how we can design and implement a world-class SEO and SEM campaign for your business? Reach out to us here.


60f1ef7499df657171018a60 TR Social 4 copy

Trust Relations Team