Friday, 22 August 2014

Developing an effective SEO strategy

With so many online channels for the modern marketer to manage (websites, blog, social media channels, and so on) it can be difficult to know where to focus efforts in order to create an efficient SEO strategy. Here are 10 tactics that contribute to effective digital growth.

 Organic website traffic


1.  Increase organic traffic. Organic traffic proves that your content is relevant and current to your users’ needs, adding credibility to your website when it come to search engine rankings. To increase organic traffic, write content that is: 

·         easy for search engines to index

·         relevant to search queries of your target audience(s)

·         engaging and original

·         easy to share.

Return visitors

2.   Increased visitor loyalty. In order to realise the lifetime value of customers, you need to facilitate repeat visits to your digital channels. Visitor loyalty will stem from a good initial online experience where: 

·      relevant information is easy to find

·      queries are resolved first time: through FAQs, online support, or via user forums

·      content is personalised to the individual (via links to CRM, cookies, or account preferences)

·      service is above and beyond that expected.

Resolve queries online

3. By resolve queries online you can reduce: 

·     costs to the organisation (cheaper than handling calls via a contact centre)

·     customer frustration (faster than waiting in a telephone queue).

Reinforce your brand off-line

4.   You can reinforce your brand when customers are offline by providing downloadable content. Remember to:  

·     add genuine value – provide free information and special offers

·     provide easy routes back to your online channels (via tagged URLS).

Data capture

5.       Form completion. 

Whether it’s subscribing to a newsletter, providing feedback, or signing up to an online forum – capturing information via form completion can: 

·         inform your CRM strategy

·         help you to segment and target audiences

·         gain valuable customer insight about your services

·         encourage future touch points with your brand.

Be social

6.       Encourage social shares.

Word of mouth is a powerful and trusted channel. People are more likely to interact with a brand that is recommended by a friend or family member.  Make your content easy to share (via Twitter, Facebook, and so on) and comment on. Amplify compliments via your contacts networks. Minimise reputation damage in the same way. 

Offer incentives

7.       Competition time! 

Competitions are a great way to increase BUZZ, raise brand awareness, and engage customers old and new – which all boosts your SEO efforts.  If you are running a competition via Twitter, here are some simple rules to help you.

Online sales

8.     Sell your products and services online. Increasing revenue is the bottom line! Make it easy for your visitors to buy online by: 

·         providing clear calls to action

·         remember personal preferences

·         offering one-click ordering

·         allowing order tracking

·         reassuring that transactions are secure!

Cross-channel promotion

9.       Promote new channels.

Promote channels that your existing customers may not have tried before, to increase the touch points they have with your brand:

·         Follow us, like us, poke us, +1 us, and so on.

·         Encourage sign-up for off-line promotions.

·         Run targeted ad campaigns.

Accessibility is key

10.   Make content accessible. 

You can have the best content, the fanciest CRM system, and the most engaging graphics out there, but if your customers can’t access your channels, they will not serve you well: 

·         Invest in mobile optimisation.

·         Comply with W3C standards for accessibility.

·         Have a business continuity strategy so if one channel fails, others can step in!

About the author
Claire Cresswell-Lane is a UK based, CIM Chartered Marketer specialising in digital marketing strategy and communications. You can contact her via LinkedIn or Twitter.

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