Every business has a certain set of demographics they wish to attract. This could be age, income, marital status, or any number of factors that would make a product interesting for consumers. In a world of virtual storefronts it can be difficult to attract the right customers without using an Internet marketing strategy called SEO, or search engine optimization. A company’s online reputation management directly affects its bottom line. SEO essentially creates a face for the company and lends credence to its status as a reputable party.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization is an online marketing tactic that primarily involves including keyword-rich content on a website. The content – articles, blog posts, recipes, etc. – must contain search phrases the targeted consumer would use during an online search for the particular product or service. It must be useful information that will attract the shopper’s attention and written with a professional tone. SEO marketing is a long-term commitment and not an overnight guarantee of customers.
How SEO Attracts Customers
All content posted on the Internet is indexed by the major search engines – Google, Bing, etc. Optimized content incorporates useful information and strong keywords that make it attractive enough from a technical standpoint to hold a primary position in the SERPs. These Search Engine Results Pages ranks are extremely important to the company’s online reputation management process. The higher up on the results, the more attention the company will receive. Results achieved by using proper SEO methods give the company a positive online reputation.
Search engine optimization attracts customers by making sure they can find the information they want. Ideally, a well-written SEO piece will be displayed in the top two or three search results. It will have an interesting call out that will encourage the searcher to click on the link and take them directly to the material they are looking for, without making them dig any further.
Benefits of Posting SEO Content
In addition to increasing sales, SEO allows the company releasing the content to essentially become an authority on a specific topic. Where online reputation management is concerned, being seen as an expert in a certain field is paramount to success. This could be a local niche, such as a gardening or dining blog or something on a much wider scale, as would be the case for a company that relies on Internet sales to survive. A prime example of a highly-optimized site that is deemed the premier source of information in the medical field is webmd.com. A quick search of nearly any human medical condition will position Web MD in the top 2 to 3 results.
Since search engine optimization relies on keywords, the search algorithms are programmed to distinguish legitimate information from spam. Therefore, content that is poorly written, plagiarized, or over-posted will eventually find itself buried further and further down page rankings. In order for a business to sustain a positive online reputation management program, they must understand the balance between just enough and overkill. Poorly implemented SEO will do more to drive customers away instead of jumpstart a successful marketing campaign.
In short, search engine content makes the company look good and helps to ensure its longevity, but it must be approached with professionalism and patience. After all, it is far better to enjoy steady growth than rapid decline.
Blake Jonathan Boldt is a content strategist for Reputation Advocate. He provides writing, editing, social media and content strategy services for both domestic and international clients. His articles have been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers and digital media outlets.