Most businesses will have online as part of their marketing strategy – no business wants to be left behind. But it can seem more complicated than it’s worth.
Is there a way to put together an effective online marketing strategy without getting bogged down in the technicalities like SEO (search engine optimisation), or keywords rankings?
Yes, says Dominique Kotzé, co-founder of Yellow Door Collective, a website design, development, content creation and marketing strategies agency.
While it’s important to implement SEO to ensure your brand stands out from the crowd, the secret, says Kotzé, is to keep your focus on the most important aspect of your business – your customers.
“While it is important to implement the latest SEO techniques, it is more important to provide value to your customers,” she says.
By taking care of your customers needs, she says, you may find that your website will rise up the ranks anyway.
“You will find that once you start to publish meaningful content and grow your network, you’ll gain momentum in the space and become a brand that lives up on the top of page one,” she says.
Here are Kotzé customer-focused SEO techniques that SMEs should implement.
1. Provide quality content
It’s been said over and over again – content is king. It still is. However, the strategy around content has shifted – we used to just need to spew out content as often as possible, now less is more. No matter how much optimisation you do, you will never beat sharing good quality content.
“Create content that can provide value for people who may not need your product or services yet”
The more consistent your messaging across all communications, the better your chances of standing out.
2. Get better at your strengths
With the prolific amount of competition present in every industry, you tend to find a lot of brands who do things well, and one or two that do things excellently. This is because they focus on doing what they do best rather than trying to do everything, and more importantly, they’re not spending time trying to be better at their weaknesses.
It’s more cost effective to hire someone who can do it better than you can, and grow your own strengths to invest in a competitive advantage.
3. Give people a reason to want what you’re selling
Promoting a company or product is difficult; but almost everybody wants to know the story behind the brand. Give people a reason why they should get behind you and support the cause. The more people believe in a brand, the more likely they are to promote it to their peers, and that is gold in the age of social media.
4. Target them before they know they’re your customer
Your brand has a specific target market, but have you ever reached beyond the market to target the people who may be heading your way but haven’t quite stepped into your boundary lines yet? It’s important to stay relevant but also not to narrow your field too much.
Create content that can provide value for people who may not need your product or services yet, but may be swayed by your helpfulness. For example, if your product is an accounting app for small businesses, providing content on how to set up a company in your country is useful information for people who are looking for this information, and may soon become a potential customer pretty soon.
5. Start a conversation, become a thought leader
You want to start conversations that will position your brand as a thought leader on topics that stem from your strengths. It’s not about puffery and trying to sound like you know it all, but rather sharing valuable knowledge that can be discussed and built-upon.
So continue to tick the boxes when it comes to metadata, but make the time to follow this advice too… and watch your search rankings rise without having to know whether it’s currently a Penguin or a Hummingbird running the Google Algorithm. .