Let me ask you this – can your business afford to throw away 30% of all of the traffic arriving at your website?
An analysis of 18,000 e-commerce websites revealed that consumer searches on Google, Bing and other search engines accounted for almost one in three website visitors. These people are specifically looking for the products or services you sell.
Are your potential consumers clicking and inquiring for more information about your products and services, or better yet – are they buying from you?
Let’s dig into some Search Engine Optimization Reality – so that you too can learn your way to master SEO for your business.
Search Engines and SEO
To begin mastering SEO, we first need to know what SEO stands for – Search Engine Optimization.
What exactly is a search engine? It’s a program that searches a database (an internet website index) according to the rules contained within an algorithm. It proceeds by listing the results in order of relevance to the search query.
In other words, these basic SEO best practises, and strategies are aimed at pleasing the governing rules of a computer program so that ultimately the website will achieve a higher ranking. And a higher ranking helps the consumer find your services first.
SEO – Optimizing a Website for People
To truly master SEO, don’t forget why websites exists. Websites are digital marketing platforms created to promote businesses and the products or services that those businesses sell.
SEO is a technical marketing strategy used to optimize a website so it’s more visible to potential customers when they search. The key here, is that you must optimize for both the search engines and the people doing the searching (consumer search habits).
Know Your Customers
It’s impossible to effectively employ any marketing technique, including SEO, if you don’t know your customers. It’s been said countless times, that market research is invaluable.
Take the time to develop a detailed profile for each type of customer who buys your product or service.
- What problem(s) are they trying to resolve?
- Why are they choosing to visit your company?
- Do you know their backgrounds, gender, ages, incomes and other pertinent details?
- When do they do their online researching
Once a detailed understanding of the ideal customer has been achieved, and you’ve determined you’re marketing to the right age demographic, then your web layout and content can be optimized to guide visitors through the conversion process.
What is the User’s Intent?
Understanding consumer search habits and the psychology of search are essential to any successful SEO strategy. Search Engine Optimization has become very sophisticated over the years.
It used to be enough to just choose a few keywords and sprinkle them throughout your website pages. But now – search engines are much better at defining the user’s intent and displaying only relevant websites based on consumer searches.
Keyword stuffing is a thing of the past. You need to be creative, while providing valuable content, or the search engines will not share your content with prospective users.
The growth of spoken search queries has added another layer of complexity to keyword phrases since spoken queries tend to differ from typed queries. Voice search is currently only about 20% of search, but voice share is growing rapidly.
Consumer search queries usually fall into one of four phases, reflected in the search query:
Addressing Consumer Needs
Understanding the customer profile helps to discern their intent. Create valuable content that answers specific consumer needs.
Price may be most important to one customer, while the best quality or next day service may matter most to others – how do address all 3 needs at the same time? Listen to what the people are asking for, and then deliver.
Addressing your consumers’ needs is a key factor in them moving forward and making a purchase with you. Of course you’re not likely able to address the needs of everyone, and that’s okay. You just need to be providing quality service to your ideal customer.
A well planned and executed SEO strategy aimed at addressing specific problems, challenges, or needs for unique individuals will give you a distinct competitive edge. It’s your job to determine who your unique, ideal consumers are.
Include Images and Videos
People love videos, and images to look at. They should become an important component of your SEO strategy whenever it makes sense. The growth of video has been explosive – you’ll want to take the time to learn how to incorporate the power of video in your marketing mix.
- 43% of consumers say that they want to see more video content
- 51.9% of professional marketers report that video content has the best ROI
- Studies have found that information contained in videos is processed 60,000 times faster than plain text
Take the time to make authentic videos and images that your customer will relate to. Use photos and video of your employees and customers instead of shortcutting with generic video or clipart. Be real, be authentic and be consistent.
Google has emphasized over and over the importance of providing a good user experience. SEO is very concerned with site architecture and how it can enhance the user’s experience navigating websites.
A fast loading, well organized website that works perfectly on any device is extremely important.
Sadly, visitors will leave any website within a few seconds that doesn’t appear to satisfy their needs. You don’t want your potential consumer hitting the back button and leaving your site without checking things out. If they do, then they obviously didn’t see what they were expecting too.
Understanding the psychology of search, makes it possible to optimize your website so visitors see what they’re looking for.
The layout should encourage a visitor to interact and proceed to a conversion. Well-optimized landing pages can also be designed for specific customer profiles while providing a great user experience. The overall user experience is key.
Sharing is Crucial
Shared content greatly expands a business’s reach. The sharer has become an ambassador for your brand. What motivates someone to share?
A New York Times survey reported the following:
- 84% of content is shared to support a cause
- 78% of content is shared to connect to friends
- 69% of content is shared to foster an involvement with the world
- 68% of content is shared to support their self-image
- 49% of content is shared to entertain
Customer Growth and Retention
It may take many visits before a prospect converts to a customer. An experienced SEO marketer will take this into consideration and understand what causes conversions. A deep understanding of conversion psychology forms the foundation of a successful SEO campaign.
People tend to base their actions on the behaviour of others, whether online or in person. Users respond to subtle guidance. Gentle nudges to help them decide the next action they should take. The most visible guidance is found in a call to action. Guide the visitor to a conversion with a well-thought-out path.
If you want to master SEO, you must fully appreciate the psychology of search and consumer search habits. A profitable SEO strategy is based on how real people act and think. Know your customers and optimize accordingly.
Do you have the strategy in place to be found on the search engines?
Will your products and services be found when your ideal consumer is searching?
Are you ready to improve your bottom line and master SEO?
Contact GILL Solutions today for a no obligation consultation, to discuss marketing strategies to help you grow your business.