Media & Marketing

Author

Maria Donato

SEO is still a huge question mark for a lot of people and businesses. What is SEO and how it works, what is SEO Marketing?, what is SEO services?, SEO Tutorial and types of SEO. These are only some of Google’s search queries related to this topic.

Even though it is not a new concept, SEO still creates a lot of confusion and businesses are sometimes unaware of the advantages it can bring. Well, let’s end the confusion right now and see exactly what SEO is and how it can help bring success to new market entrants.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing a website in order to increase a brand’s online visibility and performance. An effective SEO strategy will be responsible for creating an efficient website structure, a user-friendly design and an optimized content strategy that will answer the needs of the audience that the brand is aiming to serve.

What does SEO do?

What is the ultimate goal of a brand with regards to its website? It can vary, but more often than not, every brand can agree that the more visibility the website gets, the better. But let’s take a step back here. Where does your brand want to be visible? Which customer segments or market niches does it want to serve? SEO can help determine that.

If you are a new entrant in a market that is already packed with big players, you need to distinguish yourself from competition and, the best way to do that, is to find consumer segments that are not being served or consumer needs that no one seems to be addressing, or at least, addressing correctly.

By analyzing your competitors’ websites, SEO can shine a light on supply and demand. Meaning, what your competitors are offering as a service/product and the services/products that their consumers are actually looking for.

These two don’t always match, either because a brand is not completely aware of the needs of its customers, or because the website is attracting the attention of the wrong customer base, one that is not particularly interested in that brands’ portfolio of offers. Either way, you can uncover interesting opportunities here to provide the right content on your website and attract the customers being neglected by your competitors.

But why is content so important? Can it actually affect your business goals?

In order to answer these questions, it is important to clarify the way in which Search Engines, such as Google, work to rank and display websites to users.

How do Search Engines work?

Google, the most used Search Engine, takes several aspects into consideration. Not to get too technical here, I’ll put aside some aspects for now, such as the title and description of the page, among other features that, although invisible to the user, are extremely important to Google in terms of ranking and indexing. I’ll focus on content and user experience, which Google puts on a pedestal.

Why? Because it’s what the user effectively sees and interacts with when he enters the page. It is what attracts the user to that page and, as such, Google expects the content delivered to meet the expectations of the user.

I’ll give you an example. If a website is ranking for the keyword “cookies”, the user expects to see cookie-related content on that specific page. If this doesn’t happen, and instead the page contains a list of the top 10 spring outfits for 2019, the user will quickly exit the page as it doesn’t answer his/her needs.

Google will determine that this page provides poor user experience and rank it poorly, which means that that page will show up towards the very bottom of the results pages and get little to no visibility.

This is why content is so important. An appropriate and well-optimized content will help bring the pages of the website into the top positions of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for the relevant search queries. Always for the relevant search queries. Otherwise, you risk attracting the wrong customer base.

And how do you determine what the relevant keywords are? Well, SEO of course.

An SEO manager should ask the following questions:

What is your brand offering to customers? What are your customers looking for? What is the language they use when they research for product/services similar to yours?

These will lay down the basis for an in-depth analysis that will help you determine how to communicate with your customers in a way that they will respond positively to. This is called a messaging framework and should be applied to all your communication to customers.

Conclusion

As simple of a process as it may seem, an SEO analysis is a complex process and involves a significant amount of research and data collection. It is not an immediate process so don’t expect immediate results.

It takes a while for Google to crawl and index the pages of a website so you won’t be at the top of the SERPs right away. So, be patient and see your organic traffic rise slowly but steadily, and your brand begin to gain visibility in all the right places and among the right crowd.

Let’s summarize everything and break it down into steps. Here is a rough roadmap for an effective SEO strategy.

1. Analyze competing websites and uncover missed opportunities and potential competitive advantages

2. Narrow down your customer base and focus on consumer segments and market niches whose demand is not met

3. Find out how these customers like to be engaged with and what kind of language they are most likely to respond to.

4. Create a messaging framework that accurately communicates with your customers and optimize your website according to that.

5. Put into place an efficient content strategy that keeps users engaged and provide them with great user experience at all times.

6. Monitor your organic performance and adjust your SEO strategy according to the shifts in consumer trends and updates in Google’s algorithm.

When implemented correctly, SEO can be incredibly helpful, if not a driver of success, for a new brand. But, keep in mind there is no magic stick here. If you are trying to enter a market without a competitive portfolio of offers, no amount of SEO will help. But if your product/service has potential and you just need a little push, make sure you have an effective SEO strategy in place. And, above all, make it an ongoing process to make sure you keep up with consumer trends and shifts in consumers’ needs and preferences.

If you do this you should be able to get your brand out there, despite all the big market players seemingly taking up all the market share.

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