SEO Is All About Building Relationships with Your Customers

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SEO continues to change as search engines keep changing.  But why do search engines change? Because they want to provide better results to the people using their search engine.  

How does Google know what their users want?  Simply because they have been establishing a relationship with their users allowing them to better understand and adapt to their behavior.

And that’s what you need to be doing too.

 Google focuses on personalized search experiences that are catered specifically towards each specific user’s interests and behaviours, not just the keywords they type in. If users trust a particular search engine, they will keep coming back to it for other search queries. The search engine most used and trusted ends up being the winner and right now that is Google.

This is immensely important and businesses need to grasp this concept.

SEO is not just about rankings or traffic; SEO is about helping to create relationships between the website and the user. There needs to be a strong relationship for SEO success!

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Relationships are integral to search marketing

Google wants to understand their users and provide them with the best online experience.  Relationships are considered so important in SEO that Google rewards websites that offer better relational qualities.

For example, did the page the user landed on meet their search query and expectation?  Was the information easy to find?  Was the site easy to navigate? Did it provide a smooth user experience? Did the landing page distract or help?

Website development and conversion optimization are integral parts of SEO for two important reasons:

  • Page experience, (website speed, usability, etc.) is now an official ranking  signal
  • Conversions  are the most important metric to evaluate the effectiveness of an SEO strategy. They signal the  quality of traffic, how relevant the keywords are and if your page  satisfies search intent.

That’s why Google provides website owners with tools to promptly catch and fix any usability mistakes:

Relationship criteria for developing better SEO

Like any human relationship there needs to be trust, honesty and clear communication. Your best friend knows you, understands you and tries to keep finding out more about you.  As a result you are more close, open and willing to grow your friendship. 

Websites need to become more like humans, more like a friend, to satisfy these relational needs of the user.

Develop Trust

Is the information you provide trust worthy, accurate and timely? Do you have credibility to back up your information, such as citations, endorsement and references? 

People need to know that what they are reading is not just simply someone’s personal opinion but rather accurate information.  A simple way to see if people trust your website is to monitor if they share the content with their online networks.  People usually share what they agree with or have strong feelings to.

It is also a good idea to use heatmaps to understand how much of your content people tend to scroll through and where they navigate from their entry page:

Trust is also part of Google’s algorithm, although we don’t exactly know how exactly it is integrated into it. We do know that Google’s quality raters are tasked to evaluate whether a page they found when searching is trustworthy.

Be honest and transparent

Are users scared you are stealing theirinformation? Do they trust the information on your site? 

Honesty and trust go hand-in-hand. Users respect and trust websites that are clear about their intention. Don’t try to sell products on a site when your site is communicating that it is a forum.

Make honesty and transparency the foundation of your marketing strategy. This includes creating a detailed About page, a helpful Contact us page, a clear privacy policy, etc. You also need to make it clear that you are using browser cookies for marketing purposes with help of third-party tools like Google Analytics.

Create clear communication channels

Your website needs to speak clearly to the user, and help them  understand exactly what products and services you offer.  

The user should never be confused about where to click or why they have been redirected to a certain page.  

The communication needs to be seamless and clear to avoid any ambiguity. It is also a good idea to provide several contact options, including email, phone and social media channels.

Listen to your customers’ feedback

Your customers’ and site users’feedback is priceless because it allows you to promptly fix any errors andprovide a better experience. Social media listening is one solid way to understand what your customers are struggling with. 

Make sure to monitor your brand mentions across Twitter and Instagram, and promptly reply to private messages on your official Facebook page. This will also help you evaluate the overall sentiment of those mentions. Awario is a helpful tool allowing you to set up asocial media listening campaign:

Additionally, you may want to set up various surveying options. 

  • Ask your customers for feedback after a purchase or  cancellation. 
  • Set up  easy surveys across the site.
  • Ask for  feedback when sending newsletters to your current customers

SEO and relationships are inseparable

Optimizing your site is important so that the user can find what they are looking for and to ensure that what they are looking for makes sense and is clearly communicated. 

Of course, you want your site to be found, but you want people to keep coming back to your site because they trustthe information.  

This is not rocket science but it doesrequire businesses to really listen to their customer and target audience.

Take an honest look at your website,has it been optimized for search engines or for the user, your targetaudience? 

What are you doing to build a strongerrelationship with your online audience? Make sure you know answers to thesequestions when investing in your SEO strategy.

 

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