The Role of SEO in Digital Transformation.
Tuesday, August 16, 2022
What is digital marketing transformation? Digital transformation is a buzzword we constantly hear and see being thrown around, but what does it truly mean for your business and us as marketers?
In a nutshell, digital transformation is the implementation of digital technologies that alter your business processes and culture to deliver a better customer experience in a crowded market.
To achieve digital transformation, you must adapt disruptive change to meet the ever-changing needs of the business and market as a whole.
Why is it important to create a digital-first, customer centric culture?
Digital transformation can not be a success without applying both a digital-first approach and customer-centric culture. So what do these two terms mean? To be a digital-first brand, you must embrace new technology throughout your company and be willing to change existing ways of working to maximise efficiencies. In previous years, being digital-first meant standing out, but now it’s essential to remain competitive in your industry. Whereas developing a customer-centric culture is putting the customer first in everything you do, and not relying on a product-focused or sales-driven culture, brands that adopt this approach tend to achieve greater brand loyalty.
The role of SEO in digital transformation.
Not only does search engine optimisation (SEO) play a pivotal role in all digital marketing strategies by increasing the reach and visibility of your brand and driving more traffic to your website. It also holds significant value in digital transformation. If your current SEO strategy uses old tactics, you could be causing more harm than good for your brand. Conventional old SEO tactics like keyword stuffing, producing irrelevant, untrustworthy content, buying links and so forth are all tactics that contradict the rules of digital transformation.
Traditional SEO was all about taking shortcuts to increase your visibility by achieving the best rankings to ensure your brand was being found and seen online. Yes this is still an ongoing goal for marketers today, yet we need to be aware of the customer needs and expectations, along with the evolution of SEO.
Modern SEO practices, which we’ll later discuss in this article, focus on how brands can interact with their target audience on a personal level. A strong SEO strategy goes beyond targeting specific keywords. Brands that go the extra mile to provide value to their customers, speak to their needs, address their pain points and deliver services and products they seek whilst providing an exceptional user experience will be rewarded.
Revolutionise your SEO strategy for success.
Revolutionise your SEO strategy to achieve digital transformation with these top considerations.
Relevance over rankings.
There is a clear relationship between relevance and rankings, but for a successful SEO strategy, brands should prioritise relevance. Google’s primary goal is to match the user queries as close as possible by providing the most relevant answer. Yes, all brands want to rank in the top positions for targeted terms, but we need to go beyond providing content for search engines and think of the searcher.
It is vital to understand user intent by knowing what the user is searching for and understanding ‘why’ they are searching. Knowing this will elevate your content marketing strategy and allow you to connect with your users. Next, you need to understand the type of content your users want. Are they:
Asking a question and looking for a quick answer?
Searching for a particular product or service?
Do they know what they want to purchase and are seeking reviews and recommendations?
All of the above will require you to think about content format: you could produce product listings, a video, an infographic, how-to guides, a blog and rank for a featured snippet. Always research the nature of the SERP to understand what content is ranking rather than just focussing on where.
Finally, Google gives credit to those brands that focus on links from relevant, authoritative sources and provide content that goes beyond including keywords.
Content is not enough, focus on interlinking & backlinking.
As mentioned above, link building is a ranking factor and can increase your chances of earning high rankings in search results. Links help to show your topical relevance. Sites with large backlink profiles don’t perform the best, as backlinks need to provide value. To build relevant links, you can: Create high quality content that is link worthy
Build relationships with authoritative websites
Acquire links from relevant pages
Use descriptive, targeted anchor text
Meet your users at every stage of the customer journey.
We all know that customers don’t search for a product or service and commit to you as a brand immediately, consumers follow an intricate customer journey process, where they will interact with you at multiple touchpoints.
There are 4 key customer journey phases you need to consider:
Awareness: This is where the consumers are searching for solutions.
Consideration: This is where consumers research specific brands and products and compare competitors against one another.
Conversion: This is where the consumer decides and takes action, for example, purchasing a product, enquiring about a service or subscribing to a newsletter.
Retention: This is where as a brand, you have new customers, but the goal here is to increase brand loyalty and encourage consumers to make repeated purchases.
This approach has made previous SEO keyword strategies more complex. As a brand, you need to target specific keywords, solve customer problems, understand customer goals and needs at every stage and tailor your content to this.
Using Avinash Kaushik See Think Do Care digital marketing framework, you’ll be able to understand the modern-day consumer and know how to reach them at every moment with targeted, personalised content creation.
See (Awareness phase): The goal of SEO in the ‘See’ phase is to make your consumers aware of your brand by focussing on query-based keywords and providing solutions to your customers. In this phase, you should concentrate on top-of-the-funnel content.
Think (Consideration phase): The goal of SEO in the ‘Think’ phase is to persuade consumers that you offer a better product or service than your competitors and move them along the customer journey. Content should drive interest in your brand and educate, inform and inspire consumers with content by targeting relevant long-tail keywords.
Do (Conversion phase): The goal of SEO in the ‘do’ phase is to answer any decision-making questions consumers have whilst showcasing positive reviews, testimonials, case studies and incentives to build trust and an exceptional user experience.
Care (Retention phase:) The goal of SEO in the ‘Care’ phase is to remain consistent in messaging and deliver a good product or service, you also want to create a personalised experience to develop a strong sense of belonging.
Achieve great user experience.
Finally, as we know, for digital transformation to be successful, customer experience has to be at the centre. SEO can play a role in delivering a great user experience. In most cases, the customer journey starts with a search. So as a brand, we need to be well equipped to be at the right place at the right time, to leave a lasting first impression, whilst also making sure our website performs well from a user, technical and speed point of view. Some practices to consider:
Ensure your site loads quickly. A user won’t stay around if your site takes too long to load.
Deliver a mobile-optimised website. Not all users search on desktop devices, therefore, you need to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, also a prominent ranking factor for SEO.
Provide a seamless experience between channels. Another way to successfully achieve digital transformation is to avoid teams working in a silo and develop a collaborative culture amongst different departments. SEO and Paid Search teams can work together to achieve a combined search strategy that delivers better keyword targeting and use of intent, as well as better landing pages.
To conclude, SEO and digital transformation provide long-term benefits to your business, enabling you to achieve brand awareness and growth. Be a disruptor in your market today!