SmartEtailing Blog

Engage with customers for SEO

By Jack Wynes

You want potential customers to see your business in Google search results. That's why you use search engine optimization (SEO) to achieve more success.

While SEO makes your business easier to find online - on its own SEO can only get you so far. That's where your other marketing tools come in. 

With an active marketing strategy you can attract more qualified shoppers to your website and create a virtuous cycle of engagement that further increases your search results over time.

Using digital marketing tools, and even offline marketing like group rides and event sponsorship, will help build your business’ reputation and support better results. These all have an indirect impact on your SEO by engaging your customers. 

The more points of engagement you can have with your customers online and offline means more people that know about and regularly think about your business. This means more customers frequently searching for your shop and spending time on your website. Google will recognize you as a good local source for cycling products and services.

Here are three digital marketing tactics you can use to increase your engagement to improve your SEO.

Google My Business

Google My Business is an exceptionally easy-to-use tool that provides need-to-know information about your business directly in search results. 

First, it's important to know that having and updating a Google My Business profile does not directly impact the algorithms that decide how to display your website in search results. 

It does however help your customers. And, if it helps your customers, it helps your search results.

When someone searches your business name, Google My Business shows your business information in a big side panel in Google Search results. It also shows in Google Map results when someone searches for a bike shop nearby.

For the latter, you’ll see a list of nearby bike shops. If your listing is sparse and a competitor has more info, a customer may feel more confident clicking on your competitor's result. 

Install the Google My Business app on your phone and periodically make sure your profile is complete and accurate. Respond to your reviews - positive and negative. Post photos of your business and some goings-on around the shop. Make a post about some new product you recently got in or your weekly group ride.

If you aren’t going to do any other marketing of your business through social media, paid ads, or email newsletters - the very minimum you can do is engage with Google My Business once a week. A vast majority of visitors to your website and your physical shop have likely seen some part of your Google My Business listing.

Digital advertising

Organic website traffic is ideal for your business because you have a low customer acquisition cost. But for certain products and services you want to ensure that you are showing up in your market area. Paid advertising with Google is the ideal tool, and has an indirect secondary benefit for your organic performance over time.

Google has a number of ad types - but the two primary options directly related to search are Search Ads and Shopping Ads. 

Search Ad results closely mimic the look of organic results. They are highly effective for promoting your business, services, and broad product categories. Shopping Ads are the small product tiles that commonly display at the top of search results for specific items.

Both ad types can deliver an immediate sales benefit for your business.

Another ad type to consider over time is Display Ads, which are graphic style ads shown to your target audience within your market area as they browse online. These are great for brand awareness and the web visits they generate over time support your SEO goals. The same can be said for YouTube Ads.

None of this advertising will have a direct impact on SEO. Google does not favor advertisers in organic listings. It is the long term effect of increased traffic and engagement that produces results. Google Ads can be complex, and despite Google’s best attempts to make it simpler, it is difficult to effectively use for most small business owners. We recommend you have a professional, such as SmartEtailing, manage your ads so your advertising dollars are used effectively.

Email marketing

Lastly, the best traffic you can direct to your website is from existing customers. This is a highly engaged audience that is likely to spend more time shopping on your website.

This engagement sends signals to Google that your website delivers value to visitors. Google is in the business of serving valuable results for searches.

Email marketing is one of the easiest ways to market your business. There are several affordable and easy to use tools. Planning, building, and sending emails isn’t very complex.

We recommend that you send two emails a month to your customers. What should you talk about? 

The way we think about it is to consider - if a customer walked into your store and asked you “what’s new, what’s going on, what should I look at?” - what would you say?

You don’t need to make your emails fancy, just make them simple and informative - with links back to your website where customers can learn more about topics they are interested in.

Keep your marketing simple. Let us help if you want to add layers of complexity or improve the quality of your implementation. We are always here to help with strategic and tactical support to help your business succeed.

Topics: Websites Client Updates Marketing SEO