by Darren Pace
Bringing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy into the New Year means getting familiar with fresh tactics that engage your audience and turn them from interested consumers, into paying customers. In 2015, SEO is about creating a complete experience that draws attention and makes your business stand out from competitors. Keep your focus on these three key areas to turbo-charge your SEO in the coming year.
Content is (Still) King
It’s a mantra that’s been repeated over and over, and it’s not going away in 2015: content is king. Good content reigns supreme when it comes to SEO, and to create the kind of content that brings in customers, you have to know who those customers are. Do research on your target audience. Ask questions like:
- How old are your prospective customers?
- What is their average income?
- What are their interests?
- What are their wants and needs in relation to the products and services you offer?
Answering these questions gives you the framework for creating content that connects with the people who are most likely to purchase what your business has to offer. It’s not about creating content that you think is interesting, but rather providing blog posts, social media updates and onsite content that caters directly to the persona of your ideal customer.
Knowing where your customers are and what drives them to your website is essential to content delivery. If most of your audience is on Twitter and you’re focusing on Facebook, you’re going to miss out on opportunities. Do research to discover what links and search terms are bringing the highest amounts of traffic to your site and focus your SEO efforts accordingly.
Certain types of content are always popular, and you can use these to get started with your own content creation:
- Addressing trending topics on social media
- Discussing current industry news and trends
- Repurposing old content in new formats
- Year-end compilations or “best of” lists
The overall key to good content is to focus on quality and relevancy over quantity. Giving consumers a few pieces of well-crafted content is always better than cranking out generic updates to fulfill an imagined quota.
It’s All About User Experience
In today’s interactive Internet landscape, your company is more than just a company. It’s a living, breathing entity with its own personality and a total experience to offer customers from the moment they click through to your website to the moment they decide to make a purchase. Consumers expect that the brands they interact with online will provide an atmosphere that’s consistent from one platform to another. That means you have to focus on offering the same experience across the board from website to blog to social media.
The trick to creating a consistently positive customer experience is making your audience feel like you understand them as individuals. Gone are the days when faceless mass mailings brought in business. Today’s marketing landscape demands engagement through content that directly addresses the needs, wants and concerns of consumers. The atmosphere you provide through your website and social media posts should be friendly, fun and interactive with the goal of making the buying process as easy as possible.
Another essential piece of the puzzle is a solid understanding of what content and which advertising methods perform best on different platforms. The post that drove tons of traffic from your blog would be too long for Facebook, and the Twitter update that created so many conversions likely won’t work the same way on Pinterest. Get familiar with the platforms your customers are using and tailor content accordingly to draw the maximum amount of attention.
Of course, none of this matters if you don’t also offer great customer service. You can do everything right with SEO, but without providing the support your customers need, you’re going to lose out.
More Conversions Mean More Business
Conversion rates are closely tied with content creation. As you develop your 2015 SEO strategy, take a good look at your analytics for all content. Note which posts and updates generated the most interest and kept visitors on your site the longest. Also look at the search terms that people used to find those posts. Armed with this information, you’ll know more about what types of content to create going forward
Part of your strategy for generating conversions should focus on optimizing old posts for keywords, cleaning up calls-to-action and adding relevant links to make those posts work for you. After all, if you already have high-performing content, it makes sense to use that to your advantage. By updating this content to include current high-performing keywords, you can draw fresh traffic and increase your base of potential customers.
Remember that modern search behavior is much different from that in the past. Today’s users are on desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones and are using a variety of search terms to find what they want. Specific questions are becoming more common, necessitating a targeted approach if you want to draw relevant traffic that generates conversions.
The content you optimize for conversions should be pertinent to various stages of the buying process. Some will help visitors learn more about your products and services so that they can compare with your competitors and see why your business has the better offering. Other content is useful for spreading brand awareness and connecting with customers through your brand experience. Finally, you should always include content that influences the final purchasing decision with clear information and strong calls-to-action that make customers feel as though your company is the best choice to meet their needs.
With SEO evolving beyond onsite tactics such as putting keywords in title tags and creating a hierarchy of headers, it’s critical that you know where to focus your efforts in the coming year. Knowing and understanding your audience will help you create the experience they’re looking for and show them that your company can meet their needs. Focus on these key areas to improve your online presence and see an increase in return on investment (ROI) throughout 2015.
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