Assuming you have a useful product or service, arguably one of the most important aspects of your business is attracting new customers. Most businesses are trying to figure out how to use the web to reach and interact more with their target audience. Search engines are at the top of everyone’s mind since they are the conduit for high quality website traffic and customers.
A lot of customers are still in the dark about what works as far as SEO goes. Admittedly, the pace of change in the SEO business has been staggering, with Google dramatically changing up how they rank websites several times over over the last 12 months.
To make matters worse, most businesses are still stuck in an older Marketing mentality which attempts to hammer home an uninteresting message: “Buy our products or services. Blah, blah, blah, we’re the best, been around 25 years, blah, blah, blah!”.
Today you need more; much more.
In 2014, this is the caveman approach to marketing on the web. Sure, in lead generation, there’s still merit to the “winning with numbers” paradigm but that all changes once the client is on your website and you’re trying to win his heart and mind. Once (s)he’s there, this type of marketing is no longer effective because buyers can find more resources at the click of a back button. Factually, you’re no longer the “only one” or even one of a few choices. You’re now, one of MANY potential choices. This is a game changer and requires an equivalent strategy change.
A New Approach: Educate Them
As a business owner, you have accumulated a lot of practical knowledge within your specific field and you should put that knowledge to use in your Marketing.
By freely sharing your knowledge with a potential customer, you immediately gain credibility and establish your expertise.
Think about it this way – offering prospects an educational opportunity is like a demonstration of what you and your product can do. If they are impressed with your knowledge and what you can offer them for free, they are far more likely to trust you and therefore buy from you.
This kind of marketing makes up a part of an effective SEO strategy because the prospective customer isn’t hit with a sales pitch as soon as they land on your website. When you present them with some new & helpful (and well thought out from an SEO perspective) information that they can benefit from for free, your company website suddenly becomes a more attractive place for them to spend time. After they have learned useful and helpful information, there is a very good chance they will want to learn more about you and what you have to offer.
And if that’s not enough, you will also get another HUGE benefit if you plan this out carefully: the Search Engines will take notice too. Why? Because you’re becoming an authority, you’re helping answer people’s questions and more than anything, search engines want highly relevant and authoritative websites in their index.
How Can This Be an Effective SEO Strategy?
Sometimes customers balk at giving away this kind of information freely. They want potential clients to pay for their expertise and they can’t understand how sharing their knowledge for FREE is really going to help their business. In other words, if you give the information away, why would a customer ever pay for your services?
Frankly, some web site visitors will take your information and act on it and will never call you. You have to realize that there IS a segment of the market who will “do-it-themselves” and this is fine. Many boot-strapping young businesses will need to do this when they are starting out. Chances are, however, these kinds of clients aren’t your target market anyway (at least right now).
So what happens when a more established business is seeking some help and they arrive on your website? They review your website, loaded with great knowledge and insights into their problem. As they read through, they come to realize that this person/company, “knows what they are talking about”. They realize you might be able to help them solve their problem. You are credible, knowledgeable and resourceful.
Guess who’s got a great chance at winning the business? You.
Embrace the Change
The tactics of bombarding your target audience with ad spots, paid advertisements, promos and so on is not as effective as it once was. This older strategy is now crashing into the well-educated consumer and the resulting crash is being heard around the world.
The new game in town is called “EDUCATE ME” and the best way to attract potential buyers is by sharing your knowledge & results with the world.
When thinking about an effective SEO strategy, start with the various ways you can educate your potential customers:
- What items can I explain to them that they can do on their own?
- What standard actions & scheduled tasks should they be doing on an ongoing basis?
- What are the industry standard practices & why are these important?
- What are some tasks or activities that they can “put into practice” immediately without your help?
- What are some difficult customer problems you have solved?
- Anecdotes & interesting stories.
- Newest changes in your industry and how they impact things?
- Typical problems clients face & the remedies.
- Why not define the terminology & concepts around your industry and be known as the person who makes a difficult subject, easy to understand?
If you are willing to put in the hard work (or have others put in the work for you) and give away something of value to your visitors, you will find yourself standing out above the competition when it comes time for that visitor to make a purchase.
A Few Effective SEO Strategy Examples
To further reinforce the importance of education based marketing, here are few quick examples of how you might put it to use:
- A Chiropractor could offer a visitors access to helpful & actionable information which would provide great info on the true causes of back aches, stretches to alleviate back pain & natural remedies & treatments that ease back pain. This is a great strategy for demonstrating expertise and engaging the potential customer.
- A financial manager could assemble a series of free downloadable checklists, planning guides and goal trackers to make planning for retirement easier. Again, this builds authority in the eyes of the potential customers while supplying them with free & useful advice that they can begin to take action on.
- A landscaper could produce some free content on strategies for dealing with weeds, keeping lawns greener, eliminating pests and developing a better lawn than your neighbors! Same as above, this shows expertise, problem solving and builds trust with the consumer.
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