Whilst SEO or Search Engine Optimisation has always meant making your website show up better on Google results, we are finding that we need to do more than just create external content and jazz up websites with keywords, metadata and tags.

Whilst many will argue that SEO is dead, (they are wrong by the way) the fact is we need to broaden our horizons when referring to SEO.

Our SEO packages these days are more in depth and involve a multi-faceted attack on the interwebs. Why? Firstly, because people are not just Googling anymore. Fashion for example is one industry where people are using apps like Pinterest and Instagram to find what they need. To find a restaurant, people are using localised search apps like Yelp. To get some tips on travelling to specific locations, people are looking to sites like TripAdvisor, and the list goes on. So when creating your online presence, ensure you are listed and easily found where your audience will go looking.

You might also like to read: How to Rank your Website in 90 Days

Tracking down your Audience

As you can see, with more apps and sites these days focused on specific industries, your audience could be hiding somewhere else rather than Google search. Social media platform Facebook is used regularly to check up on a brand and to monitor feedback and comments from others. What we call ‘user-generated content’ such as reviews and replies to posts are what people are taking notice of. Two reasons for this. First one is there is a name behind the comment or review. It’s a real person (we hope) unlike what you might find in Google search results. Secondly, user generated content is just that, content created by users of your product or service telling the world what they think. It’s not just you or one of your employees stating how good you are and why everyone should buy from you. Social media content can be digital gold, and with more and more showing up in search results, it is worth paying attention to it.

When looking where to build a presence, think about your typical customer, or your ideal customer. Now imagine a day in their life. What would they get up to…..

{starts dreaming about fashionista Mia}

Mia wakes up nice and early every morning. She can’t be wasting her day. She is straight up and making herself brekky whilst checking her smartphone for the latest social media updates that popped up overnight.

After brekky she responds to the social media world and posts about her plans for the day. She is thinking about buying a new dress for that formal event tomorrow night, so she jumps on to Pinterest to get some ideas and see what the latest fashions are.

Mia needs to go to the post office, so decides she will look for that perfect dress at the same time. She gets to the post office and then wonders where would be best to start. She turns again to her smartphone and asks Google Now to show her dress shops in the local area.

She sees 3 results that are quite close, but two of them have multiple 5 star reviews. She Facebooks both shops to see what they have going on. Yippeee! One of them has a sale on. Mia is glad she checked the Facebook page!

{wakes up}

As you can imagine, the shop that got Mia’s business needed to have a fresh and current Facebook profile, as well as being listed in the appropriate online directories to get found in searches, as well as have good reviews from past customers. But where do you find time to do all of this?!

My advice is to focus on what is important. Be sure to get listed everywhere important. Book a local SEO plan that will list you on all the prominent directories as well as set you up on Apple and Google Maps, and with a Google Local business page. When it comes to Facebook, post at least once a day and keep it semi-personal. Got something interesting in store? Show it off. Celebrating a milestone? Show it off. People love knowing what is going on with your business, especially if it is current news. So keep your Facebook page fresh with new and interesting content.

You Might also like to Read: How to Setup a Facebook Page

If you don’t have time to do more than Facebook, then don’t. Many people will just look on platforms and apps like Pinterest to get ideas, doesn’t mean they won’t resort to Google or Facebook to find the actual shops.

Reviews are the next big thing to focus on. Got lots of happy customers? Ask them to leave you a review on your Facebook page or Google business page. Both are a great way to show others that people love your brand, the product, the service and what makes it special. Many business owners refuse to allow reviews on their Facebook page. This could be because they are getting trolled or the feature is being abused. Where possible, use reviews, even if you get a few negatives. This just shows you are real, the key here is to flood it with positive reviews to outweigh the negative. People all too often are happy to vent and leave a nasty review, so it pays to ask happy customers to go to the effort to leave you a positive review. You will be surprised at how many people are happy to oblige and leave you a review!

So once you have the big listings and networks covered, be sure to search the internet for industry related sites and apps. Think about where your ideal customer would look online. Look for your style of product. What results come up? Are there sites where you can get your business listed? Many industry directories are free to get listed in, some even allow you to add photos and videos. The more you can get out there the better.

Return Clients are your Gold

Treasure your customers, especially the happily satisfied ones. Not only can they leave you a review, they can bring you back more business. Happy customers talk, and the best advertising is word of mouth. A referral to a friend about your product or service will mean more to the person they tell than any of your advertising could.

To take advantage of this potential gold mine, keep your customers happy. Loyalty programs and cards, mailing lists and special offers are a great way to keep your brand in their mind. This is also an important time to ensure your business has a point of difference. Sure, you and the shop across the road might both sell gumboots, but you sell the half sizes and rare designer collections. Make this stand out. That way when someone thinks about gumboots, they think of you. Put it in your slogan, maybe something like ‘the perfect fit and look for any rainy day’ or something that mentions your point of difference.

Mailing lists can work really well for some brands. The secret here is don’t oversell. The advantages of inbound marketing such as mailing lists and post-sale emails is that the customer will come to you when they are ready. All you need to provide in that email is why you are the best in your industry, examples of happy clients, and special offers. That way when they need gumboots, who are they going to go to first?

Coupons and after-sale offers work well too. Don’t put too long an expiry date on them, otherwise people will forget about them. You want them kept on the fridge or in their inboxes to be scheduled in to their next trip to the shops.

Keywords are Changing

Just when people are starting to understand what a keyword is and how to research the best ones to use, they are starting to change and adapt to our current trends.

We have always encouraged our clients to utilise long tail keywords. These are almost phrases rather than single or double words, and are closer to a lot of the specific search terms entered into Google search.

With longtail keywords, it can be easier to focus on a niche and dominate it for specific search terms.

Now that we are seeing more mobile users searching on the internet, and newer phones making more use of voice search, we have to understand that this will change the search terms. With voice searches, terms are closer to natural speech than typed. For example, when searching for a local pizza shop in Maitland, you might have typed “pizza shop maitland” into Google. Now on your smartphone, what are you searching? It is more likely closer to an actual question like “show me the closest pizza shop”. Using your phones location sensor, your phone will now show you answers to match your search term that also closely match your current location.

Leave yourself open to variations in searches. Different people will search for different terms. Use tools like Google’s keyword planner tool to find common searches and build on them. If you are trying to find a local audience, it is good practice to include your location in keywords. Instead of just pizza shop, you’d use maitland pizza shop. Go one better and use words that people might search, like “best pizza shop in maitland” or “the best pepperoni pizza in maitland and rutherford”. There are lots of variations. Use a combination of the best keywords for your industry combined with go words like ‘best’ as well as your location or service area.

In Summary

It pays to research your audience. A lot!

Look at your past sales. Sometimes your ideal customer is not the person you had in mind. See who is buying your product. It can help to add surveys or questions to your sales process. Perhaps get a postcode from every customer, or ask where they found out about your store.

Try to isolate online websites, apps and networks where your customer is most likely to look for your brand. Sometimes an older clientele might trust Facebook alone, whilst a younger audience might like what they find on Instagram. Then again, it could be the exact opposite too.

Don’t try to be everywhere, just be everywhere that is important, and that means, where your customers are. Whilst it is still important to be all over Google search results, it also pays to be across popular apps and sites.

When it comes to searching keyword terms, think about how you would look for your product. What would you type in or voice search?

Hopefully this helps you get across search presence and the benefit of looking outside the square. We provide a flexible and tailored approach to SEO for our clients, offering a solution that suits their audience rather than just a generic link building package. If you would like to find out more about SEO for your business, ask for a free audit of your brand and web presence and get a tailored marketing strategy that you can even put in place yourself.

RELEVANT QUOTE: Authoritative Content is King. 

 

Hope this helps. Dave out.


 

Our SEO checklist for your website

Pin It on Pinterest