The Wild Web: How SEO Can Attract, Engage and Retain Consumers for Brand Building

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In our connected world, almost every organization has an online presence they rely on heavily to support the bottom line. Amid the ongoing crisis, that hasn’t been more true than now. While the web can streamline endpoint processes like sales, it also functions as a critical gateway for customer engagement. That’s why companies need to place increased emphasis on their online presence for brand building – and where SEO tools can make all the difference.

SEO has always been a critical tool for optimizing a company’s brand online in order to drive leads into the sales funnel. However, in light of recent events that have made brands’ online presence the main channel of customer engagement, we need to ensure we are pivoting and shifting strategies to meet consumer needs in this new reality. With a crowded landscape and more content competing for consumer attention than ever, it’s vital that brands leverage SEO technology to ensure they’re maximizing brand awareness online in order to continue generating revenue by converting leads into loyal customers. Here’s how:

Encourage new customer recruitment and acquisition
Building a brand starts with converting audiences from being “new visitors” – checking out a website to learn about the company – to a “brand visitor” – visiting the webpage because of what they know about the company. This means increasing the volume of non-brand-traffic, which can be done by leveraging SEO insights to understand what consumers are searching for and finding the best route to exposure to rank high in their searches. And the more familiar consumers are, the more likely they are to keep coming back – a recent study from Econsultancy found 82% of consumers click on brands they are familiar with first before looking at other options. With exponentially more brand options to turn to than ever, a sense of familiarity and consistency will help you create an engaged and loyal customer base.

Increase customer engagement through enhanced online experiences
A company’s homepage does not necessarily have to be their landing page for all audiences. This is especially true when consumers are searching with a goal in mind, like purchase intention. A brand’s homepage might not have the relevant information or the call to action needed which fulfills their initial intent. SEO can help analyze which pages have the least amount of bounceback – such as, what pages consumers click on that influences them to check out another page and also what might be most relevant to helping consumers achieve their goal. Once companies have this information, they can more accurately direct people to the best entry page for a successful experience. The experience becomes tailored to the consumer, improving conversions per visit, click-through rates, and rankings, which in turn increases conversion.

Ensure companies can mitigate online complexity
At the end of the day, the best way to build a lasting online brand presence is to provide a seamless and consistent virtual experience for your audience. Consistency can be difficult to manage online, where constant upgrades and changes to technology could easily affect the source code for a webpage and in turn, how the audience interacts with that company online. Protecting existing SEO performance is cheaper than replacing it if something goes wrong. As such, SEO technology can provide companies with increased control over their online presence by factoring in search optimization at every stage. This ensures that SEO, and as a result, potential consumers, are never lost in the shuffle due to human error.

When ASOS recently updated its webpage, for example, they didn’t incorporate SEO into the development process and the subsequent customer dissatisfaction cost them 87% of profits. SEO needs to be part of the web development process from the beginning, and new tools can allow SEO teams and developers to test for negative SEO impact before deploying a change to the website. By testing pre-deployment, brands can easily pinpoint issues and fix them before the page goes to production. Brands should also try planning out dynamic content within the website – perhaps tailoring by language or previous engagement with the webpage – but ensure SEO is leveraged throughout the process for a seamless experience for the end user.

Estimates say 93% of all web traffic begins with a search engine. SEO software is one of the main contributors to encouraging new customer acquisition and increasing customer engagement through enhanced online experiences. It’s also a vital tool in ensuring companies can have a dynamic online presence without technical snafus and website complexity hindering audience engagement. And with online channels currently being the main – and for some, only – means of communication between brands and customers, it’s critical that brands get it right.

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