How to Use SEO and SEM to Boost Customer Experience Outcomes


Customer experience (CX) is what sets you apart from the competition. While SEO plays a pivotal role in making the customer aware of your brand, SEM is crucial to delivering the right kind of message, at the right time to nudge your prospect to make that purchase. Though different strategies, SEO and SEM have to work in tandem for a fruitful customer experience. Here’s how to best tweak your customer experience strategy with SEO and SEM in mind.
 

A happy customer is the ultimate goal of any marketing strategy. SEO and SEM are two sides of the same coin ― both aim at reaching a prospect and making an impact so he becomes a customer. Though strategically different, SEO and SEM specialists have to integrate their efforts to provide a seamless and fruitful CX.

What do you mean by SEO, SEM, and CX?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comprises of techniques that can position a web page on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) organically. SEO doesn’t cost much (apart from investing in good content, technologies, and experts) and is a long-term strategy to gain good positions for web pages in search results.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) on the other hand, is a paid advertising marketing practice where you pay for ads to appear alongside related search results. It is a short-term approach to make your brand visible till your webpage(s) gains higher positions on SERP organically.

Customer Experience (CX) is how a customer feels about or relates to your brand. It encompasses all interactions a customer has with the organization, i.e. interest, awareness, discovery, nurturing, advocacy, and decision-making (to make a purchase). If you can impress or make a customer happy during all your interactions, you will have their loyalty for a long time.

Also Read: 5 Ways to Combine SEO, SEM, and CRO for a Winning E-Commerce Strategy

Why do we need to integrate SEO and SEM to boost CX?

SEO and SEM have different roles, but they need to work in tandem to achieve their common objective – a happy customer. While SEO works at the top of the sales funnel when the customer is in the discovery phase, you will need SEM to move him to the middle or end of the purchase path. SEO gives you visibility; while SEM differentiates you from the competition.

How to use SEO and SEM to boost CX outcomes?

Understand “search intent

A user searches with different intents. He may search for ideas, or inspiration. The intent here is not to purchase; it is to explore. Take, for instance, different search queries. “Where to go for a holiday in December?” is probably to explore various vacation option, while the query: ‘Flight tickets New Jersey to Budapest December’ indicate intent to travel.

So, your SEO strategy should allow you  to create content that answers prospects’ questions, or solves their problems and gains their trust – making you visible, and creating a lasting impression on their minds. You can strategically place internal links on your content pages that enhance their experience and moves them further along the sales funnel at the same time, i.e., “Sell without selling.”
Once your customer is on the purchase path, you have to usher them in by displaying relevant ads (information) that will help them accomplish their goal. Place your ads where your customers are. For instance, showing a Budapest hotel’s ad exactly when the user has searched explicitly for Budapest is going to impress them.

Collaborate

SEO and SEM strategies have to work in sync if you want to create a seamless customer experience. The keywords that are boosting your SEO should be shared with your SEM team and vice versa. Though the strategies are not the same,  sharing data can give you insights into the latest search trends, phrases and long-tail keywords that work the best and how to associate your ads with content. Collaboration makes you better equipped to develop a cohesive marketing strategy that will delight your customer.
SEO and SEM have the same goals: to make your brand visible and to reach out to the customer. Therefore, all facets of your digital marketing, like landing pages, keywords, messages, etc. should be optimized accordingly and intersect to provide a singular customer experience.

Also Read: How PPC Platforms Have Leveled the Marketing Playing Field

Add value

Your search strategy should aim at solving user problems. Understanding customer search patterns helps you understand their needs and develop content that addresses their issues. You can chart out the customer journey and create content for each stage for your SEO and content marketing strategy:

  • Discovery: Find out what the customer is searching for and create content that answers their queries. For e.g., creating how-to videos, blog posts or case studies, etc. 
  • Consideration: Focus on creating content that talks about the features of your product or services, white-papers, customer testimonials, etc. You can advertise about related specific products when a customer is in this stage.
  • Decision: Create FAQ pages, reviews, pricing, and comparisons. For this stage, you can advertise deals and discounts to coax them to the buying decision.
  • Service: Give access to user manuals, guides, support, and feedback pages. You can send updates on what’s new or free trials of your latest service. Once they become your customer, your advertisements should focus on your services, AMCs, related products, etc. that can engage them further.
     

Relevance and Personalization

Your search strategy should also analyze user search patterns, preferences, and demographics to present only relevant search results to them. SEM should take care of only serving up relevant ads. For example, there is no point advertising to a customer about a product they have previously purchased. An advertisement about a pending AMC would offer a more relevant and personalized experience.

Also Read: Striking the Perfect Balance: Combining SEO and CRO to Drive Leads

In Conclusion

Customers are well-informed and do their research before they make a buying decision. They crave experiences that shape their journey seamlessly and makes it more pleasurable. The CX you craft is what sets you apart. To offer great CX, your SEO and SEM should work together. Incorporate trends, understand customer expectations, solve their problems, and lead them to pages where they can help themselves, with minimal human intervention.

That’s how you win the CX game, with SEO and SEM!

What are your thoughts on the interplay between SEO, SEM and CX? Let us know in the comments below.

Also Read: Striking the Perfect Balance: Combining SEO and CRO to Drive Leads

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