I have learned that many people are intimidated by SEO. They think it involves lots of keyword wizardry or trying to understand and manipulate ever-changing Google algorithms.
To me, it breaks down to something much simpler than that:
Understanding how your customers think so that you can more effectively communicate with them.
Let me give you some examples of what a solid SEO strategy can help you to do:
“Lose the Corporate Speak”
I’ve patented this phrase in my SEO trainings over the years! One of the functions of keyword research is to discover the language that your customers are using when searching for your types of products or services.
When the content you publish reflects similar language that customers use when they search, Google understands that there may be a match here. One mistake that I often see is that companies get too attached to their internal language (i.e., their “Corporate Speak”) and assume that customers think in the same terminology.
It’s often not the case.
A financial services corporation I worked with used the phrase “Global Remittance Processing” internally and all over their website. It’s a fancy term and sounds quite sophisticated, but the data clearly showed that no one was searching for that term.
Instead, potential cutsomers were using the simpler phrase “international wire transfer” when they were searching for this service. A simple tweak in phraseology – and understanding that the average consumer didn’t speak the same internal language as they did – enabled them to substantially increase their traffic and conversions for international wire transfers.
Think About the Problem First
Consider every step of the buyer’s journey in your content marketing and SEO efforts.
Often, in the awareness phase, the buyer is conducting research because he has a problem that he may not necessarily know how to solve yet. At this point, he is taking his problem / symptoms to Google and hoping to find some answers.
What problem is your customer trying to solve?
I’ll share a personal experience here. Years ago, I twisted my ankle. It didn’t heal quite right, and I ended up having a slew of problems. My legs hurt, my hips hurt, and my back really hurt. (The leg bone’s connected to the hip bone…) For years, I queried things like “hip pain,” “back pain,” and “my lower back hurts.”
After four years and many different provider visits, I ended up at a physical therapy practice where they discovered that I had an “unstable pelvis.” (Who knew that was a thing?!)
Once I learned about this condition, I was able to find plenty of information online about pelvic instability. I met other patients who were suffering from the same problem, but not one of us began our searches that way. This example is a combo of “losing the corporate speak” and understanding that you must recognize the problem the buyer has before you can offer the solution.
A good content / SEO strategy here would be to provide content that speaks to the symptoms and pain and then leads to more content regarding the potential solution and your value proposition. Then, always call them to action: Book a consultation at our clinic now!
Suggested reading: Improve Marketing Tactics to Identify Your Ideal Customer
Provide a Good User Experience
The first two examples centered around content, one of the two “halves” of the SEO equation. The other half centers around the technical and architectural components of your website. This is the half that loses people when we start the geek speak about robots.txt and XML sitemaps. (I’ll stop right now!)
The underlying methods to the madness of improving the technical and architectural aspects of your website are simply that they create a better user experience.
This goes back to that main idea of understanding how your customer thinks when she comes online in search of a solution to her problem.
– Does she want to land on a website that has a slow load time or confusing navigation?
– Will she want to have a similar experience whether she pulls your site up on her laptop or mobile device?
– Will she be disappointed if she tries to follow a link and the page has been deleted and is now a complete dead end?
Site audits will reveal these types of issues.
I’ve seen people become frustrated when they look at reports that point out these problems.
They think they must fix them “for Google,” but the reality is that they should fix them for their customers! Google doesn’t want to send people to your site if it’s problematic, but you shouldn’t want to send people there either if the experience will be sub-par.
When you understand the type of experience that your customer wants when visiting your site, you can focus more on the end result (a happy customer who buys things from you!) than getting overwhelmed by all of that technical terminology.
Suggested reading: What is the Digital Landscape Review
Putting it All Together
An effective SEO strategy should be foundational to any digital marketing program. When you combine best practices in content and technical SEO, you end up producing an experience that is both customer-centric and good for your business.
Incorporate regular research and audits into your program to keep up with changing needs (SEO is an ongoing process, not a one-and-done item on the To Do list), and reap the rewards with increased revenues!
She’s a mission-driven sales-and-marketing synergist with a track record of broadening the reach and increasing the revenues of start-up, corporate, global, non-profit, and niche businesses.
Schedule a 30-min call with Lisa and see how she can help your business: