SEO is a powerful channel for the bottom of the funnel and I wanted to give some thoughts and hopefully help you structure your websites message more effectively.
SEO gets quite a bad reputation through suggested searches.
Even Donald Trump gets a better deal...
There are always a lot of stats bandied about as to the direction of your digital marketing. Although useful to consider these, please, look at your brand and products on an individual basis. One of the most important things you can do as a marketer is to assess the landscape in which your product or service resides and how to get it in front of your potential customers (Place).
In the majority of cases organic and Google in particular provide the best engagement. This indicates that Google is still doing its job and interest trends backs this up:
The truth is ‘SEO’ is just as much about marketing, analysis and brand building as it is technical changes and links.
SEO is an opportunity to provide touch points for searchers so you can attract them, but it’s also an opportunity to be clinical.
Intent, Context and Long tail
There is a lot of long tail terms at the bottom of the funnel which we are seeing from PPC data that is fuelled with solid intent. Intent meaning, I’ve done my research, I know what I want, I’m ready to checkout, buy, go to, whatever the desirable action is. Social channels although good for overall marketing purposes do not provide this channel of intent functionality as effectively (yet). Pinterest is an exception here, but there is debate to say whether it is a social platform or a search engine.
I want you to really understand your customers and why they should consider you as an option. Let’s get back to basics with this one using the 4 P’s, value creation and coffee.
Gabby's preferences are:
“Independent coffee places that cultivate a cosy vibe, offer free Wi-Fi and use only local artisanal beans” Go to 1:26 for this https://youtu.be/W7kUMWzkS3o?t=1m26s
Has free Wi-Fi
Local artisanal beans
Should be within reason and there for informational purposes but its more about the experience and aforementioned elements.
How does this apply to SEO?
Gabby’s ‘wants’ could be a real life query: “Independent coffee that’s offers free Wi-Fi and use only local artisanal beans”. A sprinkle of location could be added to this situation. And if, in a review, someone has said it the place has a ‘cosy vibe’, Gabby could be hooked.
So how are you telling search engines about your business? SEO is an excellent way to capitalise on this convenience product via mobile optimisation, local optimisation, meta data and schema mark-up. (Promotion)
Further to this what are search engines telling potential customers about you? Opening times? Reviews? Busy periods?
3. Long tail
Both of the above are telling me not to get long tail confused with people asking random ‘new’ questions. It’s doing what all good marketers have done throughout time. Communicating their product clearly and effectively. Context and intent score goals.
Keep your goals in mind
Many digital marketers are talking funnels, which is great as we’re considering the big picture and want to hit these touch points providing delight at several stages. But…what’s the point creating great content, earning links if your website doesn’t tell search engines what services you offer at the hard end of your business effectively?
I want to compare this to a goal hanger. You might be the best dribbler, tackler etc. But if you can’t finish you’re not efficient and over time you will expend more energy and resources than a clinical finisher. Be a clinical finisher. This means your website is built to convert, gives clear messages to users and search engines alike.
What would happen if a customer gets recommended a different brand by a friend offline and your competitor has a better UX, conversion points and have reputable reviews? A lot of resource could be wasted. We talk about people being ‘search savvy’ but some marketers don’t pay them enough respect. Simply because we have their e-mail, it doesn’t mean that they won’t research and get interrupted by your competitors. I also think customer experience is an ever-growing part of marketing but that’s another blogpost.
Now we’re not saying don’t think about content higher up the funnel at all. But we are saying the biggest focus of your business should be context and intent of your users first and foremost.
Some key things to remember
- Still apply the basic fundamentals of marketing, no matter what ‘experts’ try to sell or tell you is a solution to all of your problems
- Search engines still hold the key to queries loaded with intent
- Social searches still not loaded with intent although the Facebook recommendation feature is a good addition to move towards this
- There are still many touch points in a search journey, particularly with high value products such as cars for example, so it’s still more important than ever to diversify your marketing efforts.