Leaders are constantly battling business problems that have varying degree of impact on their bottom line. But problems involving a company’s sales and marketing is always a top priority for any business leader.
This is because the issues have a direct impact on the company’s survivability and/or longevity. It talks about the customers and their buying behaviors.
Is the company attracting and servicing an increasing pool of customers? Are the customers purchasing, repurchasing, or returning the products?
In this article, I talk about how a company’s digital assets impact the continuous acquisition of new customers and the retention and re-engagement of existing customers.
Particularly, this article talks about how Data, Content and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be used together as a digital marketing tool in solving these critical issues.
Data and Analytics
Data is a crucial resource in understanding customer experiences and pain points. If you run an ecommerce or lead generation website, you can use tools such as Google Analytics to measure how engaged your customers are on the website and how many of them end up actually paying for a purchase.
Although Google Analytics can quantify customer actions by measuring bounce rate, dwelling time on page, pages per session or even scroll depth, these data points are not enough to fully paint the picture of what the customers need and what motivates their loyalty to a brand.
You need non-numerical data that measure your customers’ insights and suggestions. This is done by administering an Instant Customer Feedback (ICF) during their moments of truth with your business.
Moments of truth refer to any interactions of customers from your brand such as inquiring about your services, buying your product for the first time and making a repeat purchase.
Enabling an Instant Customer Feedback form will earn you more customer information that can be use to better understand customer motivations or issues.
Most importantly, it answers the “WHY” behind Google Analytics quantitative results. Let us take for example a Google Analytics report that shows a significantly low repeat visits and repeat purchase from existing users.
To understand the behavior that drives this poor interaction from existing customers, ICF data may reveal actual reasons on why these metrics are failing the acquisition and retention metrics.
In the ICF data, you may find actual customer insights such as lack of product understanding resulting in high churn rate, or perceived inferiority of product benefits vis-a-vis products offered by direct competitors, unattractive pricing, or bad user experience on the website.
With data collected and analysed from Google Analytics and Instant Customer Feedback (ICF), the next action you can take is to use those insights as a key part of your content strategy.
Personalize your content based on your customers’ journey and respond to the key pain points at the same time. An ideal strategy is to develop articles based on top-of-the-funnel, middle-of-the-funnel and bottom-of-the-funnel stages.
A top-of-the-funnel content can help validate customers’ pain points or trigger the need of your products or services offered. While the middle-of-the-funnel content should explain why your products and services specifically solve their pain points. Normally this includes use cases or testimonies from your existing customers.
Finally, bottom-of-the-funnel content should inspire the customer enough to make the decision to purchase or renew on your services. The content should be aligned with a specific product including offers like promotions and discounts.
Use your internal data from Google Analytics and ICF as your baseline idea then use tools such as Questiondb.io, Answerthepublic.com or the Google search feature People Also Ask (PAA) to expand your content research.
The goal is to improve the relevance of your content and turn it into a tool that helps salespeople during their moments of truth with your customers. Develop a top-of-the-funnel content that spreads awareness about a specific problem and how your business can solve it.
A content that pre-sells in the middle-of-the-funnel and a buyer-centric content that nurtures and makes the customer ready to purchase in the bottom-of-the-funnel .
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Integrate SEO in your content development by understanding what relevant keywords are used in search engines. Writing with the right intent enables you maximum visibility in search engines and increases the number of website organic new and repeat visitors.
Additionally, SEO shows you how to organize and format your content to provide the best user experience for your customers and to get your web pages easily crawled and indexed by Google.
For crawling and indexing point of view follow the checklist below before publishing your content. SEO and Content strategy.
- Keyword application on Urls, Meta Titles, Meta Description, Image Alt Tags and in H1, H2, H3s
- URL structuring
- Measuring the right balance of keyword Proximity, keyword Density and keyword Prominence
- Including your content on XML sitemaps
- Make sure that pages are indexed through robots.txt
- Internal linking between related pages
- Avoid directing customers to 404 pages or broken links
- Avoiding generating duplicate content
- Acceptable load speed and responsiveness to any devices
- HTTPs encryption to provide safe and secure environment to your customers
From customers point of view, follow the checklist below to provide exceptional user experience.
- Make sure content is relevant
- Don’t keyword spam for the sake of search ranking
- Use other content format variations such as infographics, videos or interactive tools
- Breakdown heavy contents to smaller paragraphs or bullet points
- Include eye rest such as breaks or images
- Make sure that web pages are responsive to any device types
- Regularly run A/B testing to improve bounce rates, time on page, scroll depth and conversions
With SEO in place you can ensure that there is enough quality organic traffic to your contents and can help you save cost from using paid media outlets.
Relationship between SEO, Data and Content Marketing
In summary, you can use this sequence when performing and solving your acquisition and retention business problems.
- Start with your internal data and perform analysis to generate strategies
- Use your content to personalize solutions to your customers’ needs
- Finally, use SEO to save marketing cost while achieving maximum visibility to acquire new customers and re-engage existing customers back to your business