Using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to Attract New Customers and Improve Branding

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Introduction

A web site is a critical part of your marketing strategy because it can widen your target market to include anyone who has access to a computer and the internet. Almost 90% of all Americans have direct or indirect access to the internet at home, in the office or at school.

The first step in designing your website is to harmonize the online branding of your company's with the offline presence with respect to letterhead, business cards, and other marketing materials. This approach ensures continuity of your marketing message and helps to build what is commonly called brand equity. Brand equity is defined as the price or quality premium that a company realizes from a product with a recognizable name as compared to the competition. Companies can create brand equity for their products by making them memorable and recognizable. However, building brand equity is a long-term process.

Ideally, a website should be easy to find (more about this later) and the user experience should be smooth, responsive and have a logical flow from one section to the next. As a design priority, a webpage should load in 2 seconds or less, so resist the temptation to add an excessive number of high resolution pictures and JavaScript coding, otherwise your customers will become frustrated and leave your site (i,e., contributing to a high bounce rate).


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Content Marketing

Once the design of the website is complete, business owners will want to start thinking about content. Design is very important, but a good looking website does little good without interesting, helpful, or actionable high-quality content.

The home page introduces you and your company—who you are, what you do, and identifies your target market. The "about us" page is used to give more detail about the company and how to contact key people in your organization. Also, do not overlook the adding a sitemap for your website. Sitemaps support indexing your website on search engines help potential customers to find your website using keyword searches. Web sites should be dynamic, not static, therefore adding new content on a routine basis should be a key priority.

Here are three things to think about when creating content for your website:

  1. What is my core audience we are trying to target?
  2. What will we deliver to this audience (information, insights, research, etc.)?
  3. What is the outcome of engaging with your business?

In summary, Content Marketing is less about what is being sold and more about your values and unique perspective about how you approach the market and solve problems. It is helpful to prepare a mission statement to guide your content creation activities.

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Quick Poll

How many new customers does your website generate on a monthly basis?

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Search Engines

Registration with search engines is critical. Search engines index every page on your website and is one of the key methods customers may use to find relevant information on your website using keywords.

So how does the process work? Pretend that you are a customer looking for your product or service, what keywords or phrases would you use to search for your product. It is also important to perform some research to help you identify natural keywords and phrases potential customers my use to search for your products or services.

Once you have several keywords and phrases, use a keyword planning tool to estimate the amount of traffic that might be directed to your website. You can also use this tool to suggest and find similar keywords and phrases that may be more popular. Ideally, you want to find highly relevant, narrowly focused words or phrases that are searched for the most, but reasonably priced that yield the best converting/customer acquisition results.

For example, if a consulting company that specializes in marketing for small business uses “marketing” for a search term it is pointless since there are nearly 2 billion results for that word. But, using a search term of "small business marketing consultant" reduces the results to 53 million. This indicates more work is needed but you can see how keywords and specific phrases can make a big difference.

Questions to Help Get Started

  • Have we performed keyword research?
  • Is my keyword phase relevant and focused?
  • Is our focus on Paid or Organic search?
  • What is my ranking for these keywords or phrases?
  • How much traffic is you website receiving?
  • Is our keyword in our domain name?

Author

If you have experiences, thoughts, or comments about this story? Please tell us! Leave a comment below. This article is for information purposes only. All trademarks, if any, are acknowledged. The content in this article are the copyright of SCH Consulting. © 2013. All rights reserved.

Join the Conversation

If you have experiences, thoughts, or comments about this story? Please tell us! Here are a few questions to start the conversation:

How often do you update your website? Do you use google analytics or some other method to actively manage and plan the content of your website? Is your website effective at converting visitors to customers? How many new customers do you capture from your website on a monthly basis?

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1 comment

John 3 years ago

I represent a new web company at www.funjokesjoy.com and it is a challenge to generate traffic for the website within a month as it usually takes months for search engines to get new websites ranked so that users can get it on their search results. So I have resorted to social media and PR to generate the traffic. It has started to give me some results already.

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