The link between SEO and on-line conversations
Paradox between consumers’ search behaviour and SEO strategies
Everybody knows that consumers gather a lot of information before trying a new product. Their search usually begins with Google. The way a brand is perceived therefore depends heavily on what a consumer finds on that first Google page. Companies try to obtain the highest possible scores for their own content via smart SEO strategies. Usually the goal is to get the focus on the company website or a relevant mini-site. Nevertheless, a consumer is looking for objective rather than commercial information. What is said by someone else about your company is more reliable than what you say yourself.
Looking for convertible conversations
It would be good to take greater account of consumers’ conversations in the SEO strategy. First of all, they represent a more reliable source of information for a consumer. And secondly they determine the real positioning of your brand. Thirdly, they are more numerous than the messages that brands can disseminate into the world themselves. In other words: an SEO strategy is highly dependent on your conversation strategy. The main question is: ‘what information would you like people to find?’ Evidently the information must be in line with your organisation’s values, but you should also be sure that it can have a strongly converting effect. We know for hotels that the scores on ‘trip advisor’ are important for convincing customers. Do you know what information has that same effect for your company? The answers to these questions determine what should be the basis for your SEO strategy.
4 tips to apply starting today
1. Stimulate consumers to share their experiences.
A simple method is to send an e-mail to a customer shortly after his purchase. In the mail you will provide a link to a site where they can share their opinion. If you are a hotel, you ask the customers to immediately add their evaluation to trip advisor rather than to place it on some secret, untraceable location.
2. Communicate your own #tag wherever you can.
An example: the Belgian national broadcasting company regularly communicates the ‘hash tag’ of a programme when it’s being announced. Recently the programme Basta scored really well that way. Furthermore, the story of the Mobistar employee very quickly travelled from Flanders to the Netherlands via the digital highway. #Basta was the leitmotiv in all that communication.
3. Combine internal and external conversations.
In my previous article (https://www.frankwatching.com/archive/2011/02/05/heb-jij-een-conversatiewaardig-bedrijf/) I already wrote about the combinations of internal and external conversations. The content of both streams is very complementary. Having a proper blog, for example, could help for you to be found more quickly during Google searches.
4. Be smart when choosing your words.
Google helps us to get an overview of the most searched words. Such overviews help to adapt your own vocabulary to the search words used by the consumer. If you use the same terminology in on-line conversations, the chance ofbeing found quickly increases.
Should you have any other ideas about combining conversations and SEO, feel free to share them with me!