For a long time now, marketing pundits have advocated business owners, online marketers to follow a “defined-pattern” of sales funnel for attracting online customers. Digital marketers have been achieving appreciable results with this “defined-pattern” which suggests targeted marketing using user browsing data.
A popular model of the sales funnel starts with:
- The user browsing for products/services with a vague notion.
Digital Marketers are encouraged to deliver relevant content via email marketing, paid advertisements, etc. to lure in such users.
- The user then moves on to an active interest phase, during which they purposefully pursue an ideal purchase.
Marketers again find themselves a chance to target users’ browsing history and push them to the checkout page.
- Once the purchase is made, the customer enters a new loyalty phase.
Marketers offer personalised discounts on the next purchase, offer mail subscription for future events, or likewise – and, hopefully, the cycle repeats.
However, the on-going trend in today’s privacy-conscious world may be a cause of worry. It may even warrant a change in the way businesses market themselves online.
One may argue on the sample size of the above survey, but with active concerns on online data privacy in most western societies, including the US and EU, marketers now need a smarter approach to balance data-driven marketing and user privacy.
More importantly, businesses need to be positioned, or say, marketed online in a way that they do not seemingly appear to evade one’s privacy (like showing up blogs/paid ads matching their browsing history seconds after an online search). Yet, businesses must always be visible to the user search online.
And, how is that possible?
Clearly, not using the online user browsing data would be foolish. In fact, we never argued for it in the first place. Without adequate user analytics, any business may hardly generate any quality leads online.
The best way to position your brand for the desired visibility online would be:
“Mission statement + Data-driven insights = Brand position”
Say, for example,
“We sell designer watches online” + data from Google AdWords Keyword Planner, or statistics on engagement with your social media profiles, indicate especially high search traffic for Swizz designer watches = “We sell watches from Swizz designers online”.
You can make a list of everything you wish you could know to help you decide how to position your brand (say, demographic data of your traffic, or public opinion on social media towards product X, etc.)
With proper brand positioning, you’ll be able to:
- Convey the brand’s main ideas and values that consumers share.
- Establish strong contact and trust with your target audience.
- Create the right connections and triggers so that your potential customers can remember your offer at the right time for them.
- Make your offer stand out among similar ones.
“Simply put, a brand with a clear positioning becomes more visible in the market. Customers are more likely to understand it, remember it, and purchase from it on any occasion.”
Local & Regional Brands
A regional or local brand is one that reflects the culture of a particular geographic area. The same is often reflected throughout their brand’s visual design (logo, colors, etc) and offerings (menu, product lines, product names, etc).
Regional, or local brands are majorly differentiated on the amount of economic capital, and exposure they attract. But thanks to the growth of online searches, it has provided a level playing field for businesses to position themselves online.
It is estimated that four out of five consumers use online search to find local information. And if any business isn’t optimized for it, it could be missing out on 80% of potential customers!
Decoding Local SEO and Leveraging it for Branding & Lead Generation
Typically, a local SEO strategy should include:
- A mobile-friendly and attractive website design.
- Fast website load speed.
- On-page SEO targeting localized keywords. (as seen in the above screenshot)
- Citation building in local and niche-related directories.
- Optimizing your Google My Business profile to gain traffic from local and map searches.
- Link building with high-authority websites in your niche and the local area.
“What’s more important is to stay focused on what your local market wants and what they are searching for in search engines.”
We have already discussed local SEO in detail and how it could impact your business in our previous posts. Here are quick links to it:
- Local SEO Services Checklist
- Generating Online Traffic To Local Store
- Google Possum Update : Has It Affected Your Local SEO?
Local SEO Integration with Social Media
The Deloitte Consumer Review presented an interesting user behavior which suggested,
“Many consumers prefer to turn to independent sources to access information rather than go directly to businesses.”
These independent sources include family and friends, customer reviews, and independent product or service experts. And one place to find them all together is Social Media.
It makes absolute sense for local brands to have a strong social media presence for absolutely low investment. Other than hiring a social media manager, local brands can themselves run their social media profiles with the following strategy:
- Google algorithm chooses businesses based on relevance, distance, and prominence. Therefore, the first task is to make sure your business name, address, and phone numbers (NAP) are updated and consistent in all web pages and listings.
- Google has clarified that it doesn’t consider social media interactions (e.g. likes, shares, comments) in ranking web pages, but these can increase a business’s prominence, which is a local ranking factor.
- Customer feedback and reviews impact local ranking. Google prioritizes businesses with a high number of reviews and high ratings. Encourage your customers to rate your products and services.
- The keywords in your customer reviews can also help with your local SEO.
Here is an additional read on how social media can improve your SEO results.
Local SEO for eCommerce Sites
Regional brands with their solid presence in physical stores can dominate the online market with eCommerce websites. Local SEO can give eCommerce websites a big boost to attract local site traffic and thereby better lead generation.
A typical strategy would involve:
- On-Page elements like URL structure, product description, Image metadata, etc. optimized for localised keywords
- Claim Google My Business Listing to attract local foot traffic
- Appearing on Google’s local pack
Here is a detailed guide on SEO for eCommerce.
SEO Maintenance for Online Branding & Reputation
“SEO is all about improving user experience — that’s why Google cares about a site’s speed, web design, high-quality content marketing, mobile-friendliness, and so on.”
And so, building SEO strategies to increase brand positioning and lead generation cannot happen overnight. It takes a lot of concerted effort and one has to keep at it consistently for a sustained period of time.
“Most fail to realize that SEO is the word of mouth of the Internet era…”
It doesn’t matter what niche you are operating in, local SEO can and will help your business grow when done right. Why? Because more and more people are using their mobile devices to search for businesses like yours on a local level.
No doubt, this makes “local search” an integral part of your business’s online marketing strategy.
Here is an interesting read from Moz.com on Reputation Management SEO and tactics for doing it effectively.
Top Branding Resources
Looking for the Right Digital Partner?
Modern brands want themselves to be seen as more customer-centric. Local SEO gives them a clear headway to target their customers online without “supposedly” invading the user’s online privacy.
If you are looking to position your brand online and attract leads from a specific geographic location, we can help you with it. At ColorWhistle, we work in a highly-skilled environment to constantly be in-tune with Google’s latest algorithm updates and marketing criteria.
We are also aware that online positioning boils down to the content on your website and throughout your marketing campaigns. Therefore, we invest a lot of our efforts in creating relevant, trustworthy, and informative content to put you in the desired SERPs.
Book your free consultation or call us at +91 (422) 420-2825 to discuss your prospectus. Also, don’t forget to share your thoughts below on how you would like your brand to be positioned online.