What is an SEO Strategy?
SEO, short for Search Engine Optimisation is a big consideration and area to analyse for businesses. Thankfully it follows the principles of any other messaging you utilise across your marketing strategy, when moving potential customers closer to purchase, with some additional technical considerations to ensure your messaging is reaching the people you intend.
SEO considers how people find your website from both a technical perspective, the amount and more importantly quality of the traffic you receive and how it supports the rest of your marketing strategy. Marketing is never about reaching your audience at one point, on one singular channel; it’s about communicating the right messaging, at the right time, on the right channel, to the right people. Customers move across different channels too, so a knowledge of understanding where they are in their decision-making process and on what channel they reside will allow you to communicate effectively.
Why do I need an SEO Strategy?
Fortunately, the above is very achievable with the technology we have at our fingertips. An SEO strategy supported by your website and other marketing channels considers four stages in any potential customers decision-making process. We map out a customers’ journey using the AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) model:
Stage 1: Awareness
During this stage potential customers are unaware of your brand, product or service and are likely seeing if for the first time. Influencing potential customers at this stage to purchase straight away, whilst not impossible, is very challenging. Think about it, when was the last time you purchased an item of significant value straight away?
Stage 2: Interest
If a potential customer has been made aware of your product, your next challenge is to move them through to the Interest stage. Building significant interest in what you’re offering, which may take some persuasion through various marketing channels will move them closer to the desire stage.
Stage 3: Desire
Congratulations, if you’ve moved your customer to this stage they’re highly engaged in what you have to offer and are ready to buy. Whilst heavily interested in your offering, it’s rare that other alternative options (some better, some worse) aren’t still being considered. So how do you push them further towards you, making that purchase?
Stage 4: Action
If you’ve navigated the various stages above successfully, your potential customer will be encouraged to take action and purchase from you.
What benefits will my business see from using an SEO Strategy?
“Up to 90% of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously” according to a Nielsen Report on understanding subconscious drivers. Considering where your customers are in their decision-making process using the AIDA model will allow you to more successfully consider how a customer is feeling at different stages. It’s important to not just consider their rational motivations for purchasing (e.g. I need a new washing machine) but also the emotional states they’re travelling through (e.g. I’m a mum/ dad and get extremely anxious about the amount of washing my kids create) and how you can resolve these. Any business which can resolve these, online, through your website and other tools or offline (which may be more appropriate depending on the market you’re targeting) will communicate with their audience successfully.
How do I create an SEO Strategy?
Having considered both your website audit and SEO audit during the research stage of your marketing campaign, we will use the AIDA model to review the different stages mums and dads may move through when considering purchasing a new washing machine and how an SEO strategy can be created.
Stage 1: Awareness
During the awareness stage we will consider when mums/ dads purchase a new washing machine and how we ensure a brand will have visibility at this point.
A lot of potential customers will purchase a washing machine when their existing one breaks. At this point purchasing a new machine can become a pretty desperate purchase, one that needs to be made quickly. Conveniently a lot of mums/ dads will look on Google Search either through finding their results organically (in the search results below paid ads) or through paid ads (Google Ads).
It is essential at this stage the brand has fully explored what customers are searching for online using Googles Keyword Planner and the website is populated with content around these subjects, ensuring to answer the customer questions and queries more successfully than their competitors. This will allow them to break through the clutter and be in the conversation at the beginning.
Stage 2: Interest
Once a potential customer has found a brands website, how is their interest peaked? At this stage our consumer will be highly anxious due to their immediate predicament and unfamiliar with the existing market (due to machines lasting for a significant period of time and technology continually improving).
Therefore it will make sense to showcase the new features of the machine that will support their daily struggles;
- Load size
- Length of wash
- Washing features
- Drying features
The consumer will most likely be considering different options, visiting various websites, so we’ll need to consider how we reconnect with them to pique their interest and move them further towards the desire stage and our machine.
Facebook/ Google remarketing can support this by showing engaged users (users which have spent a period of time visiting our machine online), different features through adverts to entice them back to our page and keep the machine front of mind.
Stage 3: Desire
If the retailer has successfully communicated the benefits of their washing machine to the mum/ dad, they will have moved them through the interest stage, to the desire stage and close to taking action.
Once the emotional needs of the consumer are satisfied, it is likely some consideration will need to be made around their rational needs. An obvious rational need is price. Despite the ability to target the correct consumer by their disposable income, through interest targeting during the interest stage (above), the consumer will still want to believe they’re getting a competitively priced product – just because they can afford it doesn’t mean they perceive it to be value for money, yet.
It’ll be important to ensure at this stage there is a good awareness of the market value of the product and that the washing machine adheres to this perceived value. To conclude the purchase and move the consumer to take action, remarketing across Google and Facebook can again be utilised to offer a hook to purchase; a discount, extended warranty, something to conclude the deal and beat the competition.
When reconnecting with the consumer, it’s important the product itself is easy to purchase through the brands website or alternatively, if the machine is cheaper through a retailers site, that it’s easy to send the consumers there.
Stage 4: Action
If the brand has successfully created awareness for their washing machine to satisfy a need, communicated with their audience at the interest stage through emotional marketing and met the consumers rational needs as the desire stage, they will have encouraged their consumer to take action and purchase the product.
If you would like us to create the AIDA model for your business, along with producing recommendations to improve your sales and lead generation free of charge, get in touch here.
What else do I need to know?
SEO is a huge subject but one that considers the same emotional and rational messaging as any other marketing channel. This understanding of consumer/ buyer psychology, core marketing principles and the technology that allows you to communicate with your audience are essential to create profitable marketing campaigns.
An SEO Strategy can be part of an online and offline campaign. More traditional marketing literature can still drive people successfully online, where brands can reconnect with their audiences through remarketing tools. It’s important a customers journey is considered across the different marketing channels they spend their time, to create campaigns that touch the right audience members, with the correct messaging, at the right time.
At Need to Know Marketing we love providing information for SME’s so they can grow. We also understand this work can be time consuming and difficult to begin with. To assist you, we provide a free of charge one hour consultation, where we have an open discussion about your business objectives and what you’re looking to achieve.
Following the consultation we will provide you with a marketing strategy, advising how we recommend meeting your business objectives through marketing. If you are interested in knowing the cost of our services, you can use our calculator as a guide.
“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.”