The importance of SEO in the digital marketing world has grown year over year. More consumers today make decisions online and it is key for businesses to have a digital presence. This has only made SEO harder for small businesses. We’ve reached out to the top digital marketing experts to hear their advice for businesses.
Find Your Voice
Brands need a voice they and help developing one describes Mike Koehler of Smirk New Media. “We think that developing a unique and consistent brand voice for your web and social media content is pivotal for a business success online. As a digital marketing agency, developing a brand voice is an important step we take as part of social media and digital content planning.
Our process is akin to creating what we consider an “invisible mascot” for the brands we work with. You have to personify the voice for people to understand how it speaks is distinct from anyone in the business – its not the owner or founders voice, nor is it the voice of the social media manager.
From there, you have to dig into the story of the business – how and why was it created, what are its unique offerings, what is the company culture like and what DOESN’T it do (often the what nots are as defining as the what ares.)
Next, we look at specific vocabulary. The difference in tone from a brand which says “awesome” and one which says “alrighty” is pretty wide and interesting.
Measurement comes both from the ears of the internal teams – does this sound right? – to the engagement on social media content posts. If it sparks authentic interaction with customers, then we consider that a win.”
Living in a digital age it is easy to get access to anything. Businesses rely a lot on online reputation says Sameer Somal of Blue Ocean Global Technology. “Google and other Search Engines have made it easy to search for anything online. The viability of business depends on its online reputation. The emergence of social media allows negative comments to be shared and circulated among large numbers of internet users. Consumer confidence depends on positive press. Businesses must take proactive measures to build a positive brand identity; they must also prevent and address negative or defamatory content.
Online Reputation Management includes everything a business or an entity can do to enhance its image and build a positive brand reputation online. ORM services enhance the entire online presence of the business or entity. Recent data shows that about 80-90% of people check online reviews prior to making a purchase.”
“Because of challenges in finding people to carry out basic customer service functions, companies are turning to new marketing strategies. With the emergence of marketing chatbots, clients communicate in a “live chat” through messaging apps,” explains Sean Patterson of Euro Digital Partners. “Take for example, one of the new social media services Euro Digital Partners offers. We recently worked with a large hotel to develop a “bot” (i.e., robot) that takes a reservation for a hotel room. It is a rudimentary form of artificial intelligence (AI) that will continue to improve. This market size will increase as customers ask more questions, and hotel managers seek to reduce staffing costs.”
Voice technology and AI are going to take over says Timur Absalikov of Lasting Trend Media. “I would have to say that some of the biggest marketing trends of 2019 will be voice technology and AI. Voice is definitely going to be the future of marketing. Voice assistants are becoming more commonplace as the years go by and the technology gets better. It’s a lot more convenient to ask your phone to do something instead of having to drop what you’re doing to type it in. Also, “natural language queries” make up a huge chunk of the queries received by the google assistant and those searches are more likely to be action-based. Next to voice search you have the amazing strides that are taking place in AI. AI is proving to be the way of the future and how the world will run, in a way. AI helps with business automation which is a big thing that is taking place now within our marketing, customer service, customer experience optimization, and overall growth strategies. Through chatbots and the like, businesses are able to quickly handle customer issues smooth and efficiently. They’re able to bring the best personalized experience to their customers and by doing so, they are able to grow at a faster pace than before.”
Maintain a consistent name, address, phone number. Consumers need to create relevant local content says Meghan Trapp of Hurrdat. “Businesses should continue to optimize for local search traffic. In 2019, building citations is table stakes. A local search optimization strategy should include adding relevant hyper-local content to the website and a plan for review and reputation management. This will help both customers and search engines alike anticipate how the business meets the searchers needs and paint a more complete picture of other customers experiences to potential new customers.”
Create Your Own Puzzle
“SEO is like a 3000-thousand piece puzzle with a ton of different colors and shapes. Pieces are tiny but each has its own place,” describes David Lahav of Lahav Media.
“However, there are a few key pieces that once placed correctly make the rest of the work so much easier. In 2019, SEO’s key piece is the user and search intent. Any strategy leaving out the user intent will fall short. For sure, you want your site to be mobile friendly, load fast, back-linked from relevant and quality sources and so on..but that’s just the baseline standard today. User intent – optimizing the content and design to answer the users intent as best as possible should be the key piece of your puzzle if you want to win.”
ROI of SEO
Patience is essential with SEO and you can’t give up to easily. The hard work will eventually pay off and it’s great to witness says Dan Sondhelm of Sondhelm Partners. “I love it when clients start to see the actionable data that their sales team can use. Their eyes open wide when they get real time notifications of activity and see specific people engaging with their content recently and over longer periods. These are warm leads they can call on.”
“To be most effective, you need continuous content marketing that is tailored to honed target markets,” says Maureen Rushalski of Yes You Can Marketing. “Whether its website, social media, video or email, investing time in defining target markets is essential in order to reach your best clients, personalize the experience and hit the nail on the head with communicating to them. Digital marketing, where your target markets are most engaged, provides the living, breathing representation of your local business online.”