Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your business attract your ideal audience, educate and prime them for purchase, and build brand loyalty.
While it may seem that SEO’s focus is to satisfy search engines – I mean, I get it, it’s right there on the name – the real boss is your customer. SEO experts like me help you boost your income and impact by developing and executing strategies that aim to delight and empower your ideal customer.
As I show you the top ways having an excellent SEO strategy boosts your business, let’s look at a kitchen renovator based in Hamburg as an example. I’ll show you how SEO works for this business specifically to give you a better idea of how to apply it to your business.
What do you do when you have a problem? Whether you’re wondering what to cook for dinner or what to give your brother for his birthday, you probably turn to Google for answers.
Your ideal customer does, too.
Search engines are excellent at giving us solutions when we need them. For your business, search engines are great at bringing you people who need your product.
Why? The main goal of SEO is to solve a specific problem. When you Google “chicken parmigiana recipe”, you don’t need to scroll for 10 minutes and go through pages of unrelated recipes and facts about chicken. Google gives you the best answer in less than a second.
When Google gives you this, what’s your next step? You click on a recipe and cook. Café Delites didn’t even have to run elaborate and expensive marketing campaigns to convince you to make chicken parmesan for dinner, and that’s thanks to SEO.
In the same way, when our kitchen renovator’s ideal customer walks into her kitchen, stubs her toe for the nth time on the badly-planned island, and cringes at the sight of the chipped splashboard, she’s not going to get into her car and drive around the neighborhood looking for a kitchen renovator. She’s not going to call 10 of her friends and ask for recommendations. Instead, she’s going to fire up her laptop and Google “kitchen renovators near me.”
And our kitchen renovator most likely gets her business if they are one of these three companies that Google recommends.
What are your ideal customers searching for in Google? A sound SEO strategy starts by answering that question.
So now our kitchen renovator has eyes on his business, thanks to SEO. But the work of delighting the customer has just begun.
Now he must show his ideal customer that he’s truly the best out there. After all, what’s stopping that person with an outdated kitchen from going back to Google’s search results and choosing from any of the other choices?
Just like we judge a business the moment we step into their store, we also judge a business the moment we land on their website. If you walk into a restaurant and the servers ignore you or hand you a menu that’s 20 pages long and without any organization, chances are you’d walk away and find another more welcoming place.
If your ideal customer lands on your website and has to wait 10 seconds for it to load, click more than five pages to get to your service page, or can’t read it on their mobile phone, they’re just going to leave your page and look for someone else.
Like our ideal customers, search engines favor websites that are delightful to use. Websites that look good on any device, load fast, and are easy to navigate.
When you implement SEO strategies on your website, you give your visitors a great experience as well – and this leads to visitors liking, trusting, and choosing your business over your less-SEO-savvy competitors.
We now have our kitchen renovator’s ideal customer happily scrolling the business website. Because of a good SEO strategy that keeps the user intent and experience top of mind, she sees a business that understands her needs.
The model kitchens are similar to her own desired kitchen and the website copy addresses her problems. She feels seen and understood.
If she wanted to set up an appointment with our contractor, she could do it quickly – the business phone number, location, and other contact details are immediately accessible. If she wanted to know more about the process and expected prices, there’s an FAQ page she could browse. If she wanted inspiration for her kitchen remodeling, there’s a well-organized company blog tackling everything about kitchen life – from choosing colors to recommended appliances and inspiring kitchen plans.
All these content and design strategies implemented and guided by SEO best practices increase your leads and sales. An SEO specialist like me guides you on what your website should have – from blog posts to landing pages – which makes it easier for your user to commit to a sale straight away or engage with your business until they are ready to work with you.
Thanks to having an SEO expert develop a content marketing strategy for our kitchen renovator, his business website has all the information a potential customer might need. There’s an extensive FAQ page, landing pages that describe specific problems and solutions that our kitchen renovator can help with, as well as a blog that tackles the most common kitchen concerns. Because of these, our kitchen renovator doesn’t need to spend hours or hire extra customer service representatives to field and answer inquiries.
SEO helps your ideal customers find what they are looking for on your website. By having a customer-centric content marketing strategy in place, you solve your ideal customers’ problems and streamline your customer service processes.
A good SEO strategy does not just target potential customers already primed for purchase. It also targets people in different stages of the buyer journey. What does this mean?
For our kitchen renovator, his business website serves not just people with an immediate need for a remodel, but also someone who’s just looking to spruce up their kitchen in a low-cost DIY way.
If the DIY guy lands on our kitchen renovator’s website after Googling “how to refresh a kitchen on a budget” and gets a ton of free value, he’d be more likely to check out the company’s other offers. The company can then introduce their more affordable services (perhaps an online consultation with a professional kitchen renovator? Or a custom, done-with-you kitchen remodeling guide?) and guide their customer in finding the best solution for their current situation.
With a smart SEO strategy, you catch your ideal customer the moment they begin thinking about something that your business solves – and by educating and guiding them with your content, you quickly build trust, encourage a sale, and earn loyalty.
You might be thinking: what if I just pay Google and Facebook and run ads that bring qualified leads to my business? No need to pay an SEO expert and a content team that cost more than a couple of ads.
That may be true in the short term. But in the long run, developing and executing an SEO strategy for your business is more affordable than running ads.
Running ads is like renting space – you pay another platform to borrow their audience’s attention. Like rent, ads are cheap monthly, but it’s an ongoing expense and adds up. And just like you have to follow your landlord’s rules, your business has to play by Google and Facebook’s policies, algorithm changes, and price hikes.
SEO strategies, on the other hand, develop your own platform and nurture your own audience. While it takes time to see the results (4 months to a year, depending on your niche), SEO gives you a much bigger return on investment than ads do.
One of SEO’s main pillars is an excellent content strategy. An SEO specialist like me researches your target market, finds out your audience’s most pressing problems, and develops a content marketing strategy that addresses your ideal customers’ pain points and objections.
When you freely give information that empowers your customers to solve what they can on their own, you are seen as a trusted resource. They are then more likely to convert and come to you when they are ready to pay for your offer.
With a comprehensive content strategy, we keep your customers informed, empowered, and delighted with your brand – before, during, and long after the first sale.
Our kitchen renovator’s past customers would undoubtedly want to keep their kitchens maintained and updated. Having guides that solve kitchen problems keeps customers informed, the company relevant, and the website ranking high on search engines.
Your interactions with customers shouldn’t end with a sale – in fact, you should aim to hold on to your customers for a lifetime. You want your customer to keep coming back to your business, buy more of your products, and tell their friends about you.
SEO helps you do this. By creating useful, customer-centric content, your customers keep coming back to you because they see you as a valuable go-to resource. And when you combine SEO with a strong social media presence and an email marketing strategy that speaks directly to your customers’ needs, you keep your customers engaged with your brand.
A good SEO strategy builds trust and credibility with your audience by providing them with as much useful information as possible. I help your business develop a content strategy that educates, empowers, and entertains your ideal customer through thought leadership content and practical guides.
I also do comprehensive research on your ideal audience so I understand what matters to them and what motivates them to engage with your brand. By working together to serve your customers in the most comprehensive way possible, we make your business a valuable resource with a strong audience base that advocates for your brand.
All this helps your company gain your ideal audience’s trust and credibility, and opens your business up to new audiences.
A good SEO strategy plays a long game. By carefully building the foundations of your business’s online marketing strategy, you enjoy qualified leads, streamlined business processes, and brand trust and loyalty. And you continue to enjoy all these long after your SEO expert hands you the strategies, tools, and systems to maintain and improve your rankings, results, and revenue.
Investing in an SEO strategy increases your resistance to global crises. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, businesses that didn’t invest in organic methods regretted it heavily. They lost so much traffic and revenue when they had to turn off ads to keep their businesses afloat. SEO develops your content on an owned channel, which is permanently there. When you don’t invest in ads, you can put that money into an excellent content strategy that gives you returns for years and years.
A good SEO strategy also adapts and keeps up with digital marketing trends. By investing in your platform, you won’t suffer business losses due to the changing social media landscape. And by having a knowledgeable SEO expert guide you, you spot and act on marketing and business opportunities long before your competitors do.
A good SEO strategy brings you people who are excited and delighted to work with you. It nurtures trust and loyalty and makes your business a must to share and recommend to others.
SEO also helps improve your business systems – you spend less time and resources getting new leads, giving excellent customer service, and nurturing after-sales relationships, because your SEO strategy does all these for you.
SEO is strategically customer-centric – the best way to rank on search engines is to have a website and an online presence that your ideal customers love. When you work with an SEO expert who truly understands your business’s and your customers’ needs, then you’ll have a business that grows sustainably and thrives in even the most competitive markets.
Adriana Stein is an Online Marketing Consultant based in Hamburg, Germany. Originally from the US, she is a native English speaker and specializes in helping companies with their SEO & content marketing strategies, along with graphic design, brand copy and website development.