Are you an eSeller looking to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy? Be sure to have a clear understanding of your customers, invest wisely in SEO, learn to differentiate, and create – and fulfill – a brand promise.
That’s the advice that Rand Fishkin, SEO expert, co-founder of Moz, and founder of Sparktoro, has for online businesses. Fishkin’s insights about messaging, research, and reputation are among the top SEO best practices for eSellers in 2019.
1. Understand Your Customers — Not Just Once
Fishkin stresses the importance of conducting deep research into who your customers are as you’re building your marketing strategy. You want to know who the right customers are for your products or services — and who are not the right customers. You need to know where they spend their time and what they pay attention to.
The challenge, Fishkin notes, is to do this research more than once. Companies often fall into the trap of only doing initial research on their target customers, but it isn’t a once-and-done project. Your audience, and their needs, will change over time. That’s why it’s important to revisit your customer analysis regularly so you can adjust your marketing and SEO strategies accordingly.
eSellers that do not understand their audiences’ shifting characteristics and needs are likely to waste vast amounts of money on the wrong SEO strategies. If you don’t do customer analysis regularly, your costs of acquiring new customers are higher too, Fishkin says.
2. Know Google’s Strategy
Fishkin points out that Google has changed its search strategy considerably. The search engine giant is now far more interested in keeping visitors on their pages than sending them to your site.
Google will scrape data from your website and what you put into your own business listings and use that information for its benefit, not yours. The Google knowledge panel is a prime example. The panel includes basic business information, but it’s also likely to show ads that can lower your search rankings or show your competitors offerings on the results page.
Drive more sales with the right keywords on each of your product and category pages.
3. Build and Protect Your Online Reputation
Fishkin, whose Whiteboard Friday segments at Moz were incredibly popular, says businesses cannot underestimate the value of video. Along with other content you provide, video can help draw in new customers and retain the ones you have. Video is an ideal way to position your expertise, provide information viewers find valuable, and build credibility and authority.
Knowing who your customers are and what they need again becomes critical as you’re thinking about the content you offer. Fishkin believes optimizing your presence across channels helps boost your reputation. That credibility can lead to better reviews, stars, and recommendations that affect search results.
4. Make a Promise
Fishkin believes in creating and delivering on a brand promise. That promise – what you stand for, what you provide, and why — needs to speak to customers’ emotions and objections. Those customers need to think of that promise when they see your site or read about your business. You need to be consistent in how your business applies, practices, and talks about that promise.
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