Search engines are the first place your target consumers will go when they have a need. In a survey, 48% of more than 14,000 online shoppers said they start their purchase journey on search engines.
Search engines help customers find you, but unfortunately, they help them find your competitors too. The one who comes out on top in the search rankings will be the one with the better SEO strategy.
Strong SEO can be your most powerful asset, turning Cork Used Bicycles Shop intrigued prospects into paying customers. The right strategy will be designed while keeping the road the customer takes to push that coveted “buy” button in mind. Your SEO should assist the prospect as they move down the sales funnel, from first discovery to post-purchase.
Imagine you’re a business communication systems provider, and your most popular products are VoIP (voice over internet protocol) and a multi-line phone system for small business. Your target customers are companies with call centres.
You have to strategically devise your keyword strategy and create backlinks to your content. With effective SEO in place, you can also target prospects who are further down the marketing funnel.
With the communication systems provider example, you might create videos or infographics that provide customers with more information about your product and how it will resolve their problems. You need to match SEO keywords with customer intent.
Your SEO-driven landing page should have keywords related to VoIP for call centers.
The content should tell them your business value proposition and how VoIP could be game-changing for them.
Search engines have gotten smarter and want to answer people’s questions with high-quality content. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing and backlink strategies. Search engines are machines to answer questions and they give priority to websites that have relevant results for user queries.
The following points in your customer journey might involve an online search. There could be more, but these are the most common touchpoints:
Let’s discuss in detail how you can incorporate SEO into all four stages of the customer journey:
At the awareness stage, you’re marketing your brand. As part of your SaaS marketing plan (if we stick with the business communication systems provider example above), SEO can have a big impact on prospective customers.
Prospects might have heard of you from a friend or social media. You should also try to appear in the search results when they Google VoIP or multi-line phone systems.
Repurpose your content as per your keyword research so you show up at the top of targeted search results. Get your website optimized for search engines and know what your prospects are searching for through effective keyword (and long-tail keyword) research. Be consistent with your SEO efforts to expand and improve search rankings.
SEO white hat diagram
(Image source: https://pixabay.com/vectors/seo-online-analysis-1327870/)
At this stage, customers are searching for specific ways to fix problems. Here your FAQs page is an important tool. Your content needs to answer questions your customers might have to build trust.
Along with an FAQs page, you can incorporate other persuasive content in the form of blogs and articles showing how your product is better than competitors. All this needs to be part of your wider SEO strategy.
For a prospect that’s further down the funnel and comparing your offerings with those of a competitor, use relevant keywords that objectively explain why you’re better.
It’s wise to take advantage of the SEO on digital platforms like directories or listing sites. If your customers leave reviews on Google My Business and Yelp, these will rank highly in search results and give prospects the social proof they need to trust you.