I’m often asked by people to ‘quickly’ SEO this or that with the intent of increasing visibility for their company on search engines like Google.
It’s nice when they do a little groundwork to understand the various areas in digital marketing, and I can see when they have spent time Googling; they use words like “help me increase my brand-, and non-brand terms.” Of course they are 100% correct when asking for this, but where companies are fairly new and relatively unknown, this is not going to do the trick by itself.
Where people don’t know your brand, how will they know to search for it?
Understanding your target audience.
Before meeting to discuss your requirements with any SEO or general digital marketer, you need to do have a good idea:
- what you’re trying to achieve
- who you are trying to talk to (who is your ideal audience for your product or service)
- what is their general understanding of your product or service
- what is your understanding of your product and service
- how you differ from anyone else in the market
Number 3 & 4 are interesting, and I love asking these questions, as I often find that there are disconnects in the delivery.
Delivering the message.
Generally in any form of digital marketing, we have to do a little investigative research, mostly to understand your industry, product, competition and also how your target market understands your product, service and brand, or how they perceive it. I like to think of myself as an investigative profiler. I really have to dig into both sides to do my job well.
The message can only be received by your audience in a manner that they understand and can relate to. You’ll be surprised how often I hear clients describe their product or service in their own terminology, which the customer does not use at all, but they want to be found for “X”, meanwhile the customer is actually searching for “Y”. It takes some explaining as to the rationale behind these decisions, but once they understand the concept of always choosing the words the customer is using, and see it in action, they get it.
So how do we get our brand name, product/service into the minds of your target audience?
The answer is holistic marketing & choosing the right supporting channels in your general marketing mix. To choose the right supporting channels, it comes back to understanding your audience really well. Who are they and where do they hang out digitally? Then create targeting strategies that speak to them on their level where they spend their time online. Sounds easy right? If it were that easy, you’d probably not be talking to someone like me 😉 I like to look at a wide range of touch-points throughout the consumer’s journey. A conversation that I like to have in person with my clients, and also showcase once I’ve done my investigative profiling.
Digital channels may include: social media marketing, newsletters, paid search, programmatic, native, display, affiliate and of course SEO.
SEO is the ideal channel in the long-run as it is your cheapest form of marketing, but to get there takes time.
Prep for the long haul.
SEO is great and all, but it’s no overnight fix. SEO takes time to do its magic. It can take up to three months to really have an impact. SEO is also not just ‘tinkering with words’, to do it properly there are a myriad of things you can do, and also, as with design, SEO is subjective. There may be foundational methodologies where we all agree, but the nitty-gritty is super subjective. Some may focus on more content, some may focus on the technical and html side, but make no mistake, you need both AND a good eye for UX and customer journeys to really be a success.
So when you’re looking for a SEO to work with, have a conversation with them to really understand their style and what they focus on to ascertain whether it matches your goals and objectives.
These are my favourite conversations to have with clients.
If you’re looking for a holistic digital marketer, or specialist in any of these areas, including my personal favourite, SEO, get in touch. I’d love to see how I could help you achieve a better brand presence and increased sales.