Search engines have ingrained themselves in the customer journey. Google processes over 8.5 billion searches every day, and some of those search queries can translate into revenue for your business. While other marketing channels force your message in front of people, search engines tap into permission marketing. Prospects use search engines to actively seek solutions to their problems, making the customer journey feel more natural. The search engine model is fundamentally different from the online advertising model, which forces a message onto the social media feeds of potential customers.
Intersecting your products and services with common search queries from your prospects will help you secure quality leads. Laying a solid foundation can help you get a steady stream of quality leads from search engines. You won’t have to run ads or allocate entire days to sending out cold emails. Here are some insights to keep in mind when crafting your SEO strategy.
Think Like Your Customer
Every successful SEO strategy begins with understanding how prospects become customers. Prospects learn about your product or service, consider their choices, and proceed to make a purchase if they trust your solution. The customer journey gives insight into how prospects think as they come across products and services.
The first stage is awareness, where prospects learn they have a problem and actively seek a solution. A large-scale cyberattack on a major corporation may encourage more business owners to invest in cybersecurity solutions. A consumer may look up computer repair shops after they become aware of a problem on their device. When consumers and business owners face issues like these, they often turn to Google and other search engines for reliable sources.
Search engines don’t provide product recommendations because consumers need them. These platforms display relevant articles based on a user’s search query. These search queries, also known as keywords, give Google insight into what a visitor is thinking in real time. Prospects in the awareness stage often use “how to” keywords and similar search queries. A business owner who is aware of the looming threat of a cyberattack may do a Google search for these phrases:
- Cybersecurity tips
- How to protect yourself from a cyberattack
- How bad can a cyberattack get for my business
These keywords reflect the prospect’s desire to learn. They want to learn how to protect themselves and the risks of having minimal cybersecurity. You can offer educational articles like these that provide core lessons while introducing your products and services. A prospect may not buy from you right away, but if you rank for multiple keywords in your industry and build trust over time, a prospect can become a customer.
Some prospects need less convincing. A business owner may know cybersecurity is essential and needs a quick solution. These serious prospects use similar keywords to find quick answers. Here are some keywords a business owner serious about cybersecurity solutions may use:
- The best cybersecurity tools
- Cybersecurity services for small businesses
- Cybersecurity Software A vs. Cybersecurity Software B
Prospects using these phrases likely have their credit cards in their hands, ready to buy the best software or service that aligns with their needs. The more time you spend on this step, the better. Understanding how your prospects ask Google about offers in your industry will help you create better content that translates into meaningful growth for your company.
Pinpoint the Most Promising Keywords
Knowing what keywords your prospects use to find goods and services in your industry is a great starting point, but SEO has become more competitive over the years. Google launched back in 1998, giving companies over 20 years to optimize their websites and create content that answers prospects’ questions.
Today’s SEO strategists and business owners look for low-hanging fruit in their industries. The best keywords combine high demand with low supply. People search for these keywords each month, but fewer companies have caught onto these keywords. Ranking well for these keywords will generate initial momentum and help you rank for keywords with higher demand and more competition.
SEO tools like WordStream and SEMrush can help you pinpoint the most profitable keywords in your industry. Your prospects actively search for these keywords but have fewer choices. When you discover a promising keyword, write it down so you can refer back to your list. Theming your keywords around each type of awareness and consideration phase will help you segment your audience and provide something for each group of qualified prospects.
Create a Call-to-Action for Each Audience Segment
SEO does not directly increase your revenue. Optimizing your website and content for Google increases your visibility and attracts prospects. Some business owners can turn these prospects into leads and generate more revenue. Search engine optimization creates the possibility, but a call-to-action produces sales.
When you assess the customer journey and create keyword themes, you’ll have more detailed audience segmentation. You will learn how to cater to people who want to learn more before buying your services and how to serve people who want an immediate fix. Customized calls to action let you serve prospects based on their current pace. Potential clients in the educational phase may want a free guidebook or video series to help them learn new concepts. Providing this freebie puts readers into a funnel that can include a product or service in the future.
Prospects ready to buy don’t need to go through a video series or read a guidebook. You can encourage these prospects to schedule a free demo or hop on a call to discuss how your product or service can help them. Segmenting your offers can enhance the user experience by providing a more personalized approach. You can test multiple calls to action and review your analytics to see which email sequences, content topics, and offers have the highest conversion rates. Continuously running tests and refining your offers will strengthen your SEO efforts. SEO gets people to the top of your funnel, and compelling calls to action will take them to the bottom of your funnel, where prospects become customers.
Create the Content
Many businesses rush to create content without much planning. Content builds trust with your audience and can attract new visitors through search engine optimization, social media marketing, and other channels. Planning your SEO strategy before producing new content increases the probability of each blog post reaching new prospects. That’s why SEO specialists ask core questions about the business model and customer avatars before arriving at the right keywords. Keywords guide the content ideas, and calls to action lead prospects to the most relevant way to continue the dialogue.
Once you have done the planning, it boils down to producing as much content as possible and reviewing the analytics to learn new insights. Each article is a 24/7 salesperson for your business. These articles build trust and direct people to your offers even when you are not working. Scaling this to thousands of optimized articles can lead to life-changing visibility and revenue for your company.
Building your company’s internal blog posts will give readers more ways to find your products and services. However, you should also allocate some of your content production for guest posts. These articles appear on other websites and introduce you to a new audience. Guest blog owners let you include a bio and link to your website so readers can learn more about your company.
The link in your bio will direct people to your website, but it also helps with SEO. Each guest post you write adds a backlink to your blog. Backlinks indicate trustworthiness, especially if you get several of them. Google will rank your articles above the competition as you accrue more backlinks from your guest posts. It isn’t easy to manage content creation for your blog and various guest posts. That’s why some business owners work with an agency, but you can also create the content on your own.
Your SEO Strategy and Implementation Determine Your Results
The modern consumer has become savvier. People conduct research on Google to determine if they need help, learn the pros and cons, and compare options. Diving into what your prospects think and coming up with the right keywords puts you in a great position. This process will help you discover content ideas that are more likely to attract prospects. It’s easier to get results from your SEO strategy if you combine the right plan with effective implementation.
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