Leading brands have matured beyond the search bar as they seek solutions to optimize their online presence. Today’s leaders are searching for solutions that reach customers and their behaviors using a more holistic approach to search, social and mobile marketing. To successfully position and grow brands online so that the investment of digital assets are reaching the level of awareness and sales necessary to compete in today’s digital era, we need to stop approaching online optimization as separate silos and consider the full life cycle of the customer’s journey.
Today’s silos include three types of optimization experts.
SEO experts dominate the search bar implementing a keen knowledge of algorithyms and generating content, specifically important keywords and links.
Social experts top the social streams on Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms by implementing expertise like Edgerank and more through sharing likes, photos and more.
Mobile experts provide not only mobile sites, but develop apps and other technologies needed for the 1.2 billion mobile users.
As online usage continues to grow, people are using search, social and mobile more now than ever, but online brands won’t benefit from the online optimization techniques from these silos of experts. Successful brands require a holistic approach to optimization.
Solution: Optimization Beyond the Silos
Lee Odden understands today’s evolution towards a global need to optimize. No matter what we do, we all seek to optimize, to make better, perfect and continue to improve. Lee, author of Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing clearly articulates a new approach for modern marketing optimization need as we implement strategies that successfully “connect customers with brands along the full sales cycle of the customer journey.” The ultimate customer journey begins with an awareness and interest and leads to consideration to purchase, then to sales, retention and advocacy.
By now, you have realized that you need to have a web site, a site that can be found online. You also understand how your customers need to have proper capabilities to share and engage with your online brand. And, with mobile commerce expected to reach one in eight U.S. consumers by 2015, the need to be optimized for mobile usage is critical.
Before you run to your nearest Smartphone to ask Siri for help to optimize your online brand holistically, here are three tips on how to take the first steps in changing the out-dated silo approach into true optimization for today’s digital era.
Optimization: Strategy Over Tactics
C-Level executives understand the importance of being found online. With the 12 billion Google searches per month that lead to 89% of purchasers to buy, there is no doubt that the science behind search is a necessary component to B2B and B2C business growth. Understanding the algorithms is critical, but combine the social sharing and mobile interactions that drive online behaviors and move customers to act beyond the clicks, and suddenly there is a concoction of customer touch points that must be considered.
Today’s marketing strategy requires an understanding of the online user behavior and how it relates to the overall customer activity and multiple touch points. Online optimization must begin with the marketers identifying and executing appropriate activities based on a customer lifecycle model that includes the full range of the customer touch points:
Awareness > Knowledge > Consideration > Selection > Satisfaction > Advocacy > Loyalty.
Remember, search optimization doesn’t end on the first page of Google. Considering the strategy over the tactics is the key to ultimate optimization that digital marketers need to be searching for and implementing.
Optimization: Longevity Over Linkbait
Online optimization has evolved from measuring just the click and traffic results. Once the full lifecycle of customer behavior is understood, the value of online engagement is found in the longterm relationship.
While many online experts are using linkbait strategies that salivate for that one click, Lee describes this approach as “a one-night stand” of online optimization. This sort of online jack-in-the-box traffic management does not build trust and conversion that really meets the needs of anyone except the linkbait SEO developer. An accumulative collection of results that impact the end results has more of an impact on the overall success and growth.
Ask yourself, what are the real results our online brand is seeking? Is it in the one-time click, or a long term relationship? Seek and reward the results from your online optimization experts accordingly.
Optimization: Quality Over Quantity
Jason Falls, founder of Social Media Explorer and co-author of No BS Social Media agrees that true online opimization for search, social or mobile technologies cannot be found be creating more content alone, “With eight trillion text messages sent in 2011, your online message must be intentional, it must “wow” the customers you are seeking to reach and keep.”
Although a press announcement published on your website, or placed on a free newswire service may be helpful to boost SEO results, it lacks the social luster as users won’t likely recommend a company’s press release to their friends on Facebook. A press announcement is informational and can help with search, but limits the spreadability factor. To take advantage of the social sharing and mobile viewing that increases exposure, today’s online optimizer must be producing content that is more infotaining in nature and publishing the social sound bytes through a variety of social and mobile technologies.
Publishing infotainment in addition to press announcements is an example of how to mix the search with social and mobile to gain the highest potential of online optimization. This is one example of how online brands can optimize their online optimizing for optimal success.
As brands continue to grow online, today’s leading digital marketers will look beyond the silos of search, social and mobile for solutions that will meet the user’s needs and behaviors of the full sales cycle. The online leaders will be successfully implementing holistic optimization techniques, all others will be left behind. Will you be optimized for this digital era?
Will the real optimizers who have stepped out of the silo, please share one area of optimizing you are implementing for the online brand you represent?
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