Organic Search can be one of the strongest sources of highly relevant website traffic
Today’s internet user generally uses search engines to solve their problems, learn new things and to ‘do’ something.
Google is the worlds most visited website and has over 1 billion people signed up to its email service. Most internet users are expected to utilise Google at least once per day on average.
Ultimately, people trust Google to deliver them the most relevant content based on their search terms, so if they deliver you on page 1, your business and brand will be trusted by the consumer and trust is often the biggest hurdle businesses must overcome before making a sale.
As an example, when someone’s tap has a leak, you can expect searches for ‘how to fix a leaking tap’, ‘recommended plumbers near me’ or ‘plumbing supplies’. Such searches provide businesses opportunities to provide the searcher with the answers they are seeking.
If you win the click, and your content is good with strong user experience (more on that below) then you will capture your prospects attention, establish trust and credibility but crucially you then have the opportunity to move the prospect onto the next stage of their customer journey.
In contrast, whilst using social media, prospects are there to socialise, be entertained, connect and kill time, they are generally making hundreds of micro decisions about what to read and what not, what to engage with and what to scroll past. Social Media advertisers are hoping to pull them out of their ‘social time’ with relevant, targeted content to win the click.
With SEO, your prospects are actively in the market, engaged and waiting for someone to provide the content to solve their problem so generally the traffic you receive from SEO is more relevant and likely to convert.
SEO can target prospects at all stages of the consumer journey
In marketing we talk about the customer journey, and at Lilac James we use the A.I.D.A model to articulate this.
A – Awareness
I – Interest
D – Desire
A – Action
Prospects will generally travel through each stage of the customer journey before making a purchasing decision. This can happen slowly, where prospects need engaging and nurturing over a period, or it can happen very quickly.
Good SEO allows you to target people at every stage of this journey, providing content that precisely addresses their issues.
Keeping with the plumbing example above, if a prospect has a mildly leaking tap, they may wish to fix this themselves and search for ‘how to’ type content with searches such as ‘why is my tap leaking’ or ‘how to fix a dripping tap’. If you provide high quality content to answer these queries you can make prospects AWARE of your business and potentially INTERESTED in your products and services, establishing that all important trust. In future when they need further plumbing assistance, you will have the head start as they’re already aware and trusting of your brand.
Similarly, if their tap has sprung a major leak the prospect may be at the DESIRE and ACTION stage and ready to purchase a plumbing service. Their searches may be ‘emergency plumbing assistance’, ‘how to turn off the water at my house’ or ‘where is my stopcock’.
You can then provide content to answer these queries and intercept the prospect further along the buying cycle.
To achieve good SEO you must have a great user experience
Few people realise that having a great user experience on your website is a key ranking factor.
Think about it from Google’s perspective, all Google wants to do is provide its customer (the searcher) with the most relevant content based on their search query.
If it were to direct a searcher to a website that loads slowly, is full of annoying pop ups and doesn’t flow well then its customer will be dissatisfied with the search result and will bounce.
Google knows how to interpret a positive user experience. Being mobile friendly, having quick upload speeds and highly relevant content are just some of the metrics it is looking for.
Focusing on SEO will force you to consider and improve your user experience, which can only ever be beneficial to your business.
Local SEO Means Increased Engagement, Traffic & Conversions
Today most searches are made on mobile and as such Google has recognised that when it delivers results local to the mobile searcher the relevance of the search results is stronger.
This means that if you’re based more locally to the searcher, Google will give preference to your content.
But you must optimise your content for the local areas where you have business presence. At Lilac James, we do this by ensuring your content communicates to Google not just the search terms and keywords it should be delivered for, but also in which geographical area too.
Because of this preference for localisation, small and medium businesses have a real search advantage over bigger businesses.
SEO helps you win your ZMOT
In traditional marketing the first moment of truth was when your prospect walked up to the shelf, upon which your product was one of many, winning the first moment of truth was your product being selected. It was typically your branding, advertising, packaging, messaging etc… that won the first moment of truth.
The second moment of truth was the customers experience of your product or service; a positive experience gives you the best chance of further sales in future.
Today, in the internet age, there is a further stage to this buying journey. In 2011 Google conducted some significant research and coined the term Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT).
ZMOT refers to the customer behaviour before they even approach the shelf.
The biggest advantage the internet gives the consumer is the ability to conduct research. Googles research concluded that broadly speaking, a consumer needed 7 hours of engagement with your business, via 11 touch points, on 4 different platforms (7-11-4) before they will make a purchase.
This presents both challenge and opportunity for businesses.
In terms of SEO, by optimising your website and content for your target customers key search terms and questions you intercept them at varying stages of the buying journey. Crucially, you draw them to your website where they engage with your content and start building towards 7-11-4.
SEO Is a Relatively Cheap, Long Term Strategy
Yes, SEO has a cost, but in the grand scheme of things it costs very little, particularly given the cumulatively long-term benefits to your businesses marketing strategy.
In traditional marketing businesses would pay many thousands of pounds for adverts in magazines, newspapers and billboards, such adverts only provided short term visibility.
With SEO, well written and well optimised content can sit on your website or in third party locations for years, providing value to your target customer and building trust and confidence in your business.
Recently a prospect got in touch with Lilac James enquiring about our SEO services and we discussed how he found us. He was searching for an SEO agency with experience in his niche, executive chauffeuring. He entered a very specific search term “SEO agency experienced with executive chauffeur businesses”, he then landed on a case study page on the Lilac James website where we had achieved great results for an executive chauffeur client.
He then spent time manoeuvring around our website, reading our about page, services page, further case studies, testimonials etc… before making the decision to contact us.
The article that secured us that lead, was written three years previously and was barely visible on the main website. Frankly, I’d forgotten it was there!
Consistently investing in your SEO will continually build your businesses online visibility, the results of which will cumulatively grow and develop the longer you invest.
You can measure the ROI of SEO and directly measure your digital visibility within the search engines.
Websites like www.ranktracker.com or www.moz.com offer both paid and unpaid software solutions that allow you to track your SEO performance over time.
A recent client is a videography business based in Cambridgeshire, upon starting their SEO project they had 5 page 1 positions in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) for low competition search terms. 4 months later we had achieved them over 20, including key competitive regional search terms and other more niche search terms.
Consumer behaviour in the internet age has changed and today people rely on search to solve their problems, learn new things and to ‘do’ something.
SEO should be a part of most successful businesses marketing strategies as it allows you to build long term visibility, establish trust and confidence, and attract your target customer at all stages of the buying journey.
If you would like to discuss your SEO with Lilac James, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office Mon-Fri 9-5 on 01480 219355.