You may wonder why I’ve spent so much time writing on search strategy and search engine optimization (SEO) this year. The answer is that critical importance of SEO strategy for brands was vastly accelerated by the pandemic. According to the US Department of Commerce, consumers spent $861.12 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2020, up an incredible 44.0% year over year. That’s the highest annual U.S. e-commerce growth in at least two decades. It’s also nearly triple the 15.1% jump in 2019!
COVID-19 pandemic-related boosts in online shopping resulted in an additional $174.87 billion in e-commerce revenue in 2020. If it weren’t for the bump in online sales from the pandemic, the $861.12 billion in e-commerce sales wouldn’t have been reached until 2022.
“Wherever the fish are, that’s where we go” – Richard Wagner
Search strategy and SEO are the driving forces behind online business success. It’s the marketing strategy and tactics that get your website in front of a large audience, thus increasing brand awareness and customer engagement. Without a good search strategy, it’s almost impossible today to build a strong, recognizable brand story, and without ruthless consistency in executing SEO tactics, no one is every going to see or get a chance to experience your brand story.
Here are five tips that will help you formulate your search and SEO strategy and win customers.
1. Hire SEO Experts
There’s a huge misconception that SEO means adding specific keywords on your website and that search engines will then show your page to people who search for those specific keywords. Although keywords are critical, they’re nowhere near enough for pushing your website higher in the search engine rankings.
You need to create backlinks, add unique written and embedded media content, craft unique titles and descriptions, research keywords with a high search volume, and maximize user engagement. Implementing these SEO techniques takes a lot of work and requires specialized knowledge. Moreover, you can get penalized by search engines if you don’t implement correctly. Considering all this, the need for expert SEO help is obvious. To bring your brand in front of people and turn site visitors into customers, seek professional help from a reputable SEO agency.
2. Collaborate with Influencers and Bloggers
Since backlinks can so powerfully boost credibility, joining up with a collaborator can make them tremendously effective. Seek to collaborate with others, influencers and bloggers, to gain backlinks from pages that are already popular with search engines. Find influencers or bloggers that review products or services in your industry and inquire about a possible collaboration. Some ask for free products in exchange, while others have a set fee. They are usually open to negotiations.
3. Monitor Negative Attention
It’s impossible to control how people react to your brand or how they utilize your brand name. You also cannot foresee what kind of reviews people will give your brand or your products. To build a strong online presence, however, you need to be proactive about protecting your image.
An excellent way to do this is to monitor brand mentions using Google Alerts or other similar tools. These tools will let you know whenever someone mentions your brand or links to one of your online pages. Another key thing to do is to test your backlinks regularly to check if they’re not hurting your reputation. You can also track customer discussions online and provide post-purchase help to customers, an important part of the buyer’s journey that is unfortunately often overlooked.
4. Provide High-Quality Content
Creating a few short articles for your website to draw the attention of search engines will not work well for your brand image. If people reach your page only to find insubstantial content, they will be wary of your brand. Conversely, if they find rich, valuable content that’s easy to follow, they will gain an appreciation for your professionalism.
A good SEO strategy is impossible with user-friendly content that answers specific questions in clear and concise terms. Use long-tail keywords, adopt a conversational tone, and your pages will stand out. Quality content can significantly boost your brand reputation and build trust with your ideal customers so they’ll identify you as a high-authority brand.
5. Be Prepared to Adapt
Search engines often change their algorithms to optimize the user experience and make sure people find exactly what they’re looking for. For your brand, this means that you cannot count on constant traffic to your pages or on your online visibility staying the same over time. Effective SEO techniques that work today might not work as satisfyingly tomorrow. It’s unfortunate, but true. As search engines change, so do the strategies meant to boost traffic and improve rankings. As a result, it’s essential to monitor SEO developments regularly, so you don’t fall behind your competitors. Be ready to re-adapt and improve your SEO strategy whenever the need arises. Maintaining your online visibility is an ongoing process.
SEO is an essential and transformative marketing tactic for building a strong brand in the digital age. Use these tips to boost your brand image with effective SEO practices that will put you ahead of your competitors. In the end, much of it boils down to how well your search strategy is executed. Remember, you only have six seconds to give people a reason to care, listen, engage, buy, and stay. But, if they can’t even find you because you’re buried on a second page of an organic search, you won’t get any time at all. You can learn more about how to harness the power of the six-second story on your website to engage prospects and inspire remarkable customer experiences by following @TopRightPartner on Twitter, connecting with me on LinkedIn, subscribe to the TopRight blog, and buying copies of my latest books, Strategic Analytics and Marketing, Interrupted.