Search engine optimization is a great way to help more people discover your brand.
If your site is properly optimized, it will rise to the top of the search results when people go looking for information or products related to your niche. Even if people aren’t clicking through to your site each time or aren’t buying products each time, they are gaining more awareness about your brand.
But discovery is only one goal for SEO. If you never push your SEO program beyond discovery, you won’t get the sales or leads you need to sustain or grow your business. You’ll have a lot of people who know about your business, but not a lot of people who actually shop with your business.
Here’s what you can do with your SEO to make sure you are generating more than brand awareness:
Target Keywords down the Sales Funnel
A lot of marketers focus on top-level keywords for their niche, hoping to capture as much of the audience as possible.
Therefore, if they sell guitars and accessories, they might focus on keywords like “acoustic guitars.”
This strategy is great for discovery as it will pull in everyone from people looking for song chords to those looking to buy a new guitar bag. However, it is not likely to result in a lot of sales or leads.
To move beyond discovery, you need to target keywords that are further down your sales funnel, as well.
For example, you might target keywords like “acoustic guitar reviews” or “best acoustic guitars” to attract those who are in the early buying process. You can move onto “acoustic guitar prices” or “acoustic guitar features” to target those who have learned a little about what they want and are now trying to narrow down their selection.
Make sure to include keywords like “acoustic guitar strap” or even “fixing an acoustic guitar” to target those who may already have a guitar or are searching for related issues.
By targeting these more specific keywords, you will attract more people who are primed to buy, which will help you increase profits and not just awareness.
Customers expect that you are going to talk about how great your products and services are, so your words may not have as much weight. However, if customers and objective third parties are raving about your brand and your products, people are going to pay a bit more attention.
Include links to third-party review sites where customers have shared their thoughts about your brand. Also ask your customers to leave a review if they have not done so already.
Include snippets of those reviews on your site, as well as testimonials that your customers have provided.
When your site gets reviews, it will rank a bit higher in search. If you get reviews on Google, a star rating will also appear under your search result, letting people know at a glance if you are a reputable brand.
Push to get as many reviews as you can to encourage more sales and leads from those who discover you through search. They may come to you because of your keyword strategy, but featuring the right reviews can push them to become paying customers.
Get Third-Party Links
Linking continues to be a great way to boost your SEO strategy.
When you get a link from another site, you have another opportunity to appear in search (in a separate result for that page) and you get exposure with a new audience. If you get the right link with the right content, you can get a lot more exposure.
To turn that exposure into increased links and sales, you need to establish your thought leadership with the linked content. The easiest way to do this is to write an exceptional guest post and get it published on a high-quality site. You’ll show new audiences what to expect from your brand, and they will trust you more if you have written great content with useful information.
If you can get mentions from other sites, that’s even better. You are showing your audience that you are so respected in your niche and that you are such an authority that others cite your expertise.
Just make sure that you keep close tabs on the links you get and the type of anchor text being used for them. If you get too many links with keyword anchor text, you could actually take a hit in your search ranking. Make sure the text is varied and includes both generic and specific terms.
By incorporating a more comprehensive strategy that looks beyond basic brand discovery, you can start getting the sales and leads you need to grow your business. Include these strategies to attract motivated buyers who are ready to become your new loyal customers.