Going Beyond Rank: Not Your Father’s SEO

14 May 2014 | written by Samantha Karren for the online marketing, SEO section(s)

Going Beyond Rank for SEO

It’s time to update your traditional SEO tactics! Up until now, most businesses have focused on rank as the primary way for customers to find them. However, keyword ranking alone is not enough to sustain a marketing campaign.

Is Rank Dead?

Well, many factors affect a site’s rank and overall online impact. More companies out there are realizing the importance of this change.

The Internet marketing strategies at OrangeSoda are moving further away from short-term results and toward long-term customer relationships. Your site will ultimately draw more leads, more engagement, more quality traffic, and more conversions with these three factors:

  • Findability
  • Viability
  • Credibility

At OrangeSoda, we’ve discovered ways that target these three characteristics. The following ways can improve your online performance.

Findable

http://www.slideshare.net/RRaeves/findability-going-beyond-seo-presentation

Starting with findability, being findable involves so much more than a top ranking spot for a single keyword. Typing a key search term into a search engine is just one way that a customer will find your business. We all know that people are searching the Internet in different ways, largely because they are using a variety of devices to search. Potential customers and partners need to be able to see and find your business on any device. They will find your business using different methods:

  • Longtail keywords
  • Social media sites
  • Online directories and maps
  • Links from trusted sources
  • Banner ads

For example, a user who searches on a mobile device is likely to be searching for a local business’s location. Once they find the business address, hours, and map, they will typically use the mobile device to navigate directly to your physical location. If your site does not have a mobile-friendly design, then you will miss out on a great deal of online traffic as well as foot traffic to your front door. The key to being findable is to optimize your website for the places where consumers are searching.

The second key to being findable is to provide the right type of content that users are looking for, whether they are looking for a local business they can visit that same day, useful information, or a particular service that you offer. Content is what creates awareness, value, and quality traffic.

Not only do you have to be findable, but you also have to be viable and credible.

Viable

http://www.dailyrindblog.com/online-in-venue-to-the-bank/

Viability bridges the gap between being findable and credible. I think of viability as the quality of a company (or a company’s website) that drives more engagement and leads. This includes having an accessible presence everywhere, but it has very little to do with rank. Viability impacts both your online and offline business by engaging customers through the web. So, to be viable, you have to consider what factors will engage a customer and create a lead:

  • Optimized and responsive site
  • Mobile presence
  • Relevant content with clear calls to action
  • Social interaction with clicks, links, likes, shares, etc.
  • Consistency of message
  • Great content and exposure on other sites

If you use traditional marketing strategies like direct mail, radio, television, and email campaigns, then your Internet marketing campaign will augment those efforts. For example, direct mail and television exposure will lead a consumer to research your company online, and your online marketing needs to have the above viability factors in place in order to engage and convince the customer to take action.

The more places the customer sees your business with the same relevant and consistent message throughout, the more viable the customer perceives your business to be.

Credible

http://searchengineland.com/2013-study-79-of-consumers-trust-online-reviews-as-much-as-personal-recommendations-164565
Finally, credibility is the capstone leading to long-term success. It does not only support a one-time customer interaction, but it also encourages repeat customer business and trust between your brand and your customers. Consumers evaluate your trustworthiness based on third-party endorsements and a wide range of supporting factors:
• Reviews and recommendations on third-party sites
• Quality content associated with your business wherever it is established
• Social media content, promotions, links, shares, and retweets
• Your business certifications and associations
• Links that are clean and relevant, not manufactured
• Reputation management and monitoring
We can measure credibility in some of the same ways we measure viability; that is, with user engagement on the site, leads, and conversions. The irony is that your credibility can actually increase your rank, but not the other way around. It takes time to build credibility, and you should be constantly managing your online reputation with a variety of tools.
Our goal at OrangeSoda is not just to help businesses get found by holding a high-ranking position. We are going beyond ranking to ensure that businesses are viable and credible and to encourage higher-quality traffic, engagement, and trust from consumers.

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