SEO is vital for any business, but how exactly can businesses use it to drive growth?
Search traffic is historically the best web traffic you can hope for.
Google has been the single most powerful traffic driver for ages, and while its power has been slowly declining of the years, no other traffic channel has come close to organic traffic:
Here’s how SEO can help your business in 2022:
Understand Your Customers Better
One of the immediate benefits of starting an SEO strategy is an ability to better understand (and relate to) people’s journeys around the web.
What is your target audience struggling with? What kind of questions are they asking? What drives their purchasing decisions?
A well-defined keyword research strategy can answer all those questions and enlighten your whole team.
Ahrefs is one of my favorite tools to perform keyword research because it offers so much useful data including, common modifiers, popular questions, SERP features and more:
You can also run your (or your competitor’s) domain through the tool to see your current positions in Google.
This can give you a more holistic understanding of your keyword rankings, and tell you how people are finding your business (or your competitor’s business) across multiple platforms.
Build More Detailed Buyers’ Personas
Customer personas (also referred to as customer avatar) are people you make up to describe your ideal customers.
Personas make digital marketing more streamlines and understandable by making your buyers easier to relate to.
When creating a persona, you assign some human traits and features, like gender, income, occupation, etc.
Personas also help you create a customer-centric business model, the only business model that will make your business successful in 2022 and beyond.
To build a persona, you need some kind of data, and that’s where SEO-driven web analytics somes very much in handy. Google Analytics comes with detailed demographics data that will turn very useful for persona creation:
As a business owner, you are, of course, prioritizing your customers. Thus, their feedback is important for you to improve your product or service. In order to learn from your visitors, install Google Analytics tool that collects feedback so that you can analyze it and listen to your customers in order to make your website better.
No matter how many professionals work on your website, visitors’ feedback is the most qualitative measure of your success. Using conversational forms on your site will help you collect even more data for your SEO campaigns and create more detailed personas.
Take Control of Your Buyers’ Journeys
Buying journeys have become more complicated over the years. Equipped with diverse devices and tools, a consumer may start their journey on one device and continue on a different one.
They are likely to turn to Google multiple times throughout that fragmented journey, and if your business shows up for multiple queries in multiple sections, you are more likely to win that customer:
A well set-up SEO strategy is targeting more than just organic results. It aims at optimizing the whole SERP (search engine result page):
Take a look at all those sections: Most of them provide businesses with additional opportunities to get found and engaged with. For example, ranking in the Google Video Carousel can help you with conversions as videos present products and services in an accessible way. Nowadays, editing videos can be done with an online video editor and a simple keyword research and video page optimization can help you bring it among the top SERPs.
A critical cog in the wheel of customer relationships is how well you integrate the online-offline experience of the customer. Every interaction your customer has with your brand doesn’t result in a sale. Neither does every Google search they do. However, engagement is a virtual cycle — more brand awareness means more branded searches and more branded searches mean better visibility, rankings, and ultimately, clicks.
So the best thing for you to do would be to understand (and match) customers’ “intent” at every interaction. Again, this requires alignment between your marketing, sales and customer service teams. Using the right CRM software, you can consolidate the results of your SEO, email marketing and lead generation campaigns, create your ideal customer profiles and buyer personas, and funnel back the insights into your content creation process to target them at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
Identify Your Promoters
If you are into SEO, you sure know your backlinks. But backlinks are not just about higher rankings. Knowing who links to you helps you build stronger niche relationships!
Ahrefs is a great tool for understanding your website’s structure and its backlink portfolio. Essentially, your website’s backlink portfolio is all the websites that have linked from their site back to yours.
Another great tool is Buzzsumo that allows you to see exactly who is linking to you, and even the author who was found on that page. You can see what content on your website is the most popular, which is especially useful if you incorporate a blog into your website.
You can also set up an alert to receive an email once anyone is linking to your site. This is a great relationship building tactic: Once anyone links to you, reach out to thank, follow and become a friend!
Control Online Context and Sentiment Better
Finally, being there, paying attention to what people see when searching and trying to optimize for that will empower your business with ways to control what people see when searching for your brand or your important queries.
Imagine your current or future customer typing your brand name in Google’s search box. What are they going to see there? How will that impact their buying journey?
Whether you are there or not, your current and potential customers are searching for you and your brand. The difference is, when you are there watching, you can make your business better and make sure you provide the best solutions to their answers.
Of course, SEO offers many more ways to help your business in 2022, including an ability to position your brand as a knowledge hub by driving your content creation decision.
On top of that, SEO allows you to create the most consistent traffic channel out there. Organic traffic is one of the most valuable traffic-driving channels out there thanks to matching intent (users actually search for answers and solutions, so they are more likely to engage with your site if you give them those answers and solutions).
Customers expect brands to run websites where they can read more about a product or a service, get useful tips from your brand, or find FAQ sections to save time. If you’re about to set up your business, think about ‘budget’ ways to launch a user-friendly website as it helps to grow your business.
The best advice is to do some research, find the tools that work best for you, and never underestimate the value SEO offers for the success of your business.
Ann Smarty is the brand NINJA at Internet Marketing Ninjas as well as the founder of numerous startups including MyBlogGuest, MyBlogU, ViralContentBee, TwChat and many more.
Ann Smarty has been an online marketing consultant for 10 years providing high-quality digital marketing consulting through her services and courses (both free and paid).
Ann Smarty’s content marketing ideas have been featured in NYtimes, Mashable, Entrepreneur, Search Engine Land and many more. She is known for her indepth tool reviews, innovative content marketing advice and actionable digital marketing ideas.