With an estimated 100 million startups being established each year, the biggest challenge for the new businesses is to achieve online visibility and establish a brand identity that will act to cut through the clutter, engage customers, and drive profitability. Essentially, this means that the SEO efforts have to be really effective in maximizing the visibility of the brand and connecting with the target audience. Some useful tips on leveraging SEO to build a brand in the online space:
Know Your Target Audience Really Well
Most owners of startups and small businesses tend to assume that search engine optimization comprises standard techniques and rules. However, the real fact is that unless the business really knows its customers well, it is unlikely that the investment in SEO will be maximally productive. It is also equally important to learn what your target audience is really looking for and trying to devise solutions that fulfill these needs. At the end of the day, if you can get to know what your customer wants, where he is most likely to be found, and what triggers are most effective in making conversions, it is likely that you will be able to target your messages better and make them more effective.
Optimize Your Business Website for Better Visibility
After having defined your target audience, it is now vital that you are able to determine as accurately as possible what they are actually looking for. In this context, it is important to focus on both what is being searched for and how the search is being conducted.
It is not only necessary to conduct intensive keyword research to make a shortlist of the most important one that you can focus your attention on but also you need to find out what the real intent of the user is behind using each of the keywords. This is necessary because quite often, the customer frames queries quite arbitrarily and keeps on refining his search with every iteration as he narrows down to what he’s is really looking for. By being able to establish the real intent of the user, you can broad base your keywords and structure your content appropriately.
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Getting a user to click on the link to your website on the search results page is only half the battle, as now you have to ensure that the user will actually spend time on your site and end up making a conversion. Seemingly simple, what you really have to do is to ensure a number of outcomes. The website has to load really fast; according to statistics the traffic emanating from mobile devices has already outstripped that from desktops, and this effectively means that unless the site loads in less than three seconds, the user will abandon your site, never to return perhaps. Once the site loads, you will have to thrill the user with a clean and attractive user interface that makes information search intuitive and productive. Impatient as the user is, if the site has poor navigation, he is most likely to dump it.
The key to getting users enhancing their dwell times on your website is to implement a responsive web design that ensures that the site will display well across the entire range of mobile screen sizes. A good way of finding out what sort of a UX will succeed is to research the site layouts of the top websites, both in your industry and outside. A branding firm with SEO expertise can be of immense help in designing an effective UX.
Leverage Social Media
According to brandwatch, there are over 3.4 billion active social media users in a population of 4.2 billion users of the internet. With social media users spending averagely 116 minutes daily on their accounts, it is obvious that the opportunity for business to enhance their brand visibility and drive conversions is huge. Today each of the popular social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, etc. have massive followings that not only interact with brands but also make purchase decisions and recommendation to their friends.
Not strangely, around 81% of all SMEs are present on social media. Make it a point to study the user profiles of the top social media and set up accounts on a selected few to promote your brand. Also, include the sharing buttons on your site so that if a visitor likes something, he can immediately share it on his social media accounts.
Use Blogs to Drive Traffic
Blogging has been around for quite some time and given its benefits, it looks to remain an integral part of the content management strategy for some more time. Blogging has multiple benefits; it helps to attract qualified leads, retains loyal customers, nurtures customer relationships, as well as promote brand effectively. For blogs to be able to achieve their objectives, it is vital that they are useful, relevant to the needs to the target audience, current, and able to add value to the knowledge base of users.
If you are not sure of what the blog posts should be on, you can either focus on industry trends and developments or try to address the most common queries of users on Google. Blog posts do not have to be just miles of text; you can dress them up with infographics, photos, and video content to make them more informative and easier to comprehend. The entire purpose of the blog posts is to share valuable knowledge with users and refer your website as being an authoritative source on the subject.
To make your brand more visible, you will necessarily have to engage in a number of SEO tactics that will rely on how well you are able to conduct keyword research, study the competition, monitor your site’s traffic and conversion trends, as well as evaluate content marketing performance. There are a large number of tools available for each of these activities that you can use to study and refine your SEO strategy for maximum impact on brand visibility and conversions.