On this blog, we have written a couple of times about the need to engage with your customers online. Previously we spoke mostly about social engagements through social media networks like Facebook or Twitter. Today we will talk about engagement as an SEO trick that you need to optimize. This is true for brands that are known to a sizeable number of people and even for obscure brands who want to reach that status. Before going deeper into how you can optimize online engagement, take a quick look at how the factor of engagement manifests itself.
Expressions of Engagement
There are a number of ways, in which your brand is party to the process of engagement:
When users check out your brand by keying in products or services that bear your brand name. This is a direct shout-out to your brand value and name.
When users type in exactly your brand’s website in the URL box and visits your website. This happens when users know about your website and is usually comprised of repeat visitors.
Time on Site or the Browse Rate:
These details can be gleaned from Google Analytics. When you find a user has spent considerable time on your website or has browsed through a number of internal web pages, your engagement online is considered a success.
The previous two points are inbound while this one is outbound. Links often take SEO juice out of your traffic to other sources. The higher this number, the greater is your online presence as perceived by Google.
Online press releases and other forms of amplification are usually clear expressions of the factor of engagement.
Surely you have now sit up and taken notice how useful online engagement can be!
Let us now look at the problem that you can face in this process.
Problem of Online Engagement
The most telling problem of online engagement is that SEO professionals cannot quantify it in any manner to a client or brand owner. For example, when link building was looked on as a sign of SEO success, the number of links procured in the process was a good metric. That cannot be the case in online engagement. Number of visitors to the brand’s website is certainly not the only measure of a brand’s popularity. Clients take SEO to be only about search engines and links. They quickly dismiss pitches to pull up online press releases or amplification or even web content because they are supposed to be handled by other departments.
Another major problem here is the lack of proper data and even when there is the required information, it becomes impossible to analyze or utilize it.
Solutions to the Problem
It is time now to browse through possible solutions to the problem of online engagement. A cautionary tip: It is not an easy path!
Selling the idea of online engagement and how it can be done is the foremost solution. Think of those days when you were starting out with social media platforms. Your clients were all about getting more friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. You went through so much to point it out to them that quality people were more important than quantity. You have to do that again here with online engagement.
Get everyone onboard. Holler out to your clients, professional contacts and business associates. Include them in the process of online engagement. By all means, get the satisfied customers on your side. They can be very good brand ambassadors! Make them all a part of the process and believe in the maxim that online, the more the merrier!
Look for data. Search for online tools for data collection. Google Webmaster Tools is not enough and neither is Google Analytics. You will get a wide variety of online tools that will help you glean out an astounding number of data and figures. Collate and analyze them in your online engagement process.
Keep testing for results.
The final solution is to think yourself that online engagement can actually influence SEO. The trick is in the mindset. If you are limited to search engine crawlers and algorithms, you will miss out on this increasingly important aspect of modern SEO.
Do you disagree?
Did I miss out on any other points? You are free to add them here!