Search engine optimization (or SEO) is a valuable asset in loyalty marketing, even if the two seem distant from each other. Why? Because it helps you explore the interests of your customers, your incentives will therefore be even more targeted.
In this article, I’ll show you how to strengthen your relationship with your customers using SEO, and give you specific tips on how your business can start this process right now.
Retailers and Brands Should Start Building a Relationship in Google Search Results
One of the most common misconceptions about customer loyalty is that it starts when people make their first purchase and become customers.
In fact, a lasting relationship should begin with the first interaction with the brand. This will likely happen on a Google search results page.
Research shows that most businesses focus on acquisition or retention – only 40% of businesses and 30% of agencies focus on both. Focusing too much on one or the other can lead to an imbalance in your business:
- If all you care about is acquisition, you will be spending a lot more than you should be on sales, as loyal customers, fans, and advocates are much easier and therefore cheaper to buy from you again. .
- If you focus too much on retention, you won’t be able to grow taller. You can build a loyal community, but it will stagnate, and without organic traffic, you won’t have the budget to maintain it.
A balanced funnel can mean the difference for your business between mere existence and growth.
A certain level of confidence is with each step at an ever increasing level, of course. The best way to start your relationship with your potential customers is to provide them with something useful, to give them knowledge, information or advice. In other words, give them a sense of accomplishment that they’ll associate with your brand.
Build trust by helping customers with useful content
There are certain types of content through which you can build trust and as such loyalty from the first moment. These are pieces of content that help them solve some kind of relevant problem on their own.
1. Gather content ideas from the real customer
With real problems and solutions, your content will not only be useful but also personalized for your target audience. So where to look for ideas?
By using a subscription-based SEO tool, like Ahrefs, is a good start. You can type in the keywords that are relevant to you and see what questions people are asking on Google that contain those keywords.
Answering these questions will result in useful content based on actual research done by your audience, giving them answers that you to know they are looking for.
This involves knowing exactly what keywords you (or more specifically, your audience) are looking for. How do you know what they’re really interested in?
Another standard method is to research specific questions in places where you know your audience is actively communicating.. Forums, customer groups on social sites, and browsing Quora are probably the best for this right now.
You can also search aggregation sites, such as Buzzsumo, where you can find out – on the basis of keywords – what was the most popular content in a given niche. But let me suggest another very simple approach.
Look for keywords in emails customers send you
You probably receive emails from your prospects and customers who contact you through your customer support channels. This inbox will contain most of the messages, questions, inquiries, complaints, and praise that your customers send you.
- Take these messages and export them in .txt format.
- Open a word cloud or word counting app or tool. A very user-friendly solution is Wordclouds, where you can upload files, provide URLs, just type in text, and format the end result in various ways. You also get a word list with a word count. (If you can only get individual .txt files for emails, use another tool like online file merge.)
- Count the words! In reality, this is what it looks like:
Recently, Antavo posted a guide to creating brand loyalty programs on their blog. This is a detailed article reaching almost 2000 words, so it will serve as a good example. Given this example, here are the words that have a density of 0.4% + in the base text:
- 18 loyalty
- 16 boxes
- 14 clients
- 14 program
- 10 purchases
- 10 brands
- 10 Antavo
- Also 10
- 8 loyalty
- 8 members
- 8 mark
Obviously, we can omit words like “may” or “also” and merge “loyalty” with “Loyalty”. In the end, we get a list that looks like this:
- Loyalty program)
Refine the subject
A list like this will tell you the main topic of any post or post. When applied to the list of customer support emails, it provides important information on how to communicate with your customers.
If you enter them as keywords in an SEO tool, like Ahrefs, you can get the most frequently asked questions and topics that are perfectly SEO-friendly for your audience.
A closer look at the list will tell you what style to use – what words and questions your audience uses to describe their issues. This is important because, most likely, they will use these same phrases in their Google questions, and using the same style helps resonate with them.
2. Solving Problems Leads to Loyalty
By following the method described above, you will get a general idea of the interests of your audience. However, never focus solely on the big picture.
If you keep getting the same question through support, write an article that focuses on that question. Even make the question your title to emphasize its importance. Describe the solution to the problem, using the words and phrases you have previously discovered, in a way that is not only easy to interpret but also looks familiar.
In short: optimizing your content, based on the general needs of your audience, can be flattering for your audience. Building it to answer their real questions may even be better.
Understanding this puts you ahead of at least two-thirds of your competition. According to Econsultancy, 59% understand somewhat, while 11% do not understand what content strategy can be used to convince customers to make a purchase.
3. Leverage user-generated content
If we’re talking about content, we can’t leave UGC aside – especially reviews and testimonials.
Asking (and encouraging) your customers to write reviews and post photos using your products actually helps with many of the challenges outlined above:
- By encouraging customers to submit reviews, you’ll have content written in their style, words, and phrases. Antavo’s “Prompted Reviews” feature helps.
- This will give you yet another set of data for additional SEO purposes.
- It will also be much more effective in convincing prospects to buy from you.
- Google tends to favor sites where user-generated content, especially ratings and reviews, appears. (It’s not a rule set in stone, but there is certainly a correlation.)
Spice Up Your Loyalty Marketing With SEO
As you can see, SEO, content, and marketing are all linked to help you reach, engage, and convince customers.
The most effective way to get started may be to try the methods described in this article. It only takes a few minutes and you will immediately see the results. From there, you can progress to more complex optimization solutions.
When it comes to building customer loyalty programs that can use your SEO efforts, check out this guide: