We are going to teach you how to grow your customer base with organic online traffic.

As the cost of acquiring new customers continues to rise, more marketers are looking for creative ways to improve their bottom line. To inject a strategy of organic growth into business brands are rightfully turning to Search Engine Optimisation (S.E.O).

Here’s why:

  • 39% of all global e-commerce traffic comes from search
  • 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine
  • 70% of consumers will go to a store because of the information they find online.
  • 43% of consumers will do online research even while they’re in the store.
  • Search engines drive 93% of all website traffic.
  • The conversion rate for SEO is 14.6%, firmly beating the 1.7% conversion rate for traditional outbound methods.
  • “Growing SEO” has been named by 61% of companies as their biggest priority for 2018.

Find more facts – https://seotribunal.com/blog/stats-to-understand-seo/

Since the advent of the internet, the influence of traditional advertising has continued to wane.

Getting new customers is no longer as easy as outspending competitors on old school marketing campaigns. For example, television Ads no longer offer the same return on investment.

These days companies are competing against new, insatiable, attention-absorbing forms of media. The flood of content from popular social media platforms, video streaming services, and endless forms of entertainment has changed the way businesses engage potential customers.

These days people like to go online to research products. They carefully investigate their pain points. They compare reviews. They rely on more knowledge to make a buying decision – the bulk of the typical customer investigation is done online.

This new landscape has left many baby boomer markers in a tailspin. Great news for SEO’s.

SEO skills are in demand. We are being respected as a critical strategists for any serious marketing campaign. Why? Because we know how people search. Just as importantly, we know how the internet works.

This article will teach you how to develop a professional level S.E.O Customer Acquisition Plan (C.A.P). You’ll understand what it takes to map out a customer journey. You’ll learn how to raise awareness, engage the considerations of users, and eventually convert a buying decision. We’ll teach you how the elite S.E.O marketer designs the user journey for converting users into new customers.

The 7 Objectives of an SEO Customer Acquisition Plan (C.A.P)

  1. To lower the cost of acquiring new customers
  2. To build out the pages of a site that ranks for nice relevant terms
  3. To establish a brand as a trustworthy authority
  4. To guide onsite user behavior
  5. To boost conversions
  6. To improve sales
  7. To re-engage existing customers (make them brand promoters)

The 12 Step S.E.O C.A.P Checklist

  1. Define your user persona
  2. Study your potential marketing funnel
  3. Layout the user journey
  4. Identify search terms for each stage of the user journey
  5. Identify your top performing organic pages
  6. Investigate PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns
  7. Audit your chosen search terms
  8. Map out pages (content) across the four stages of your user journey
  9. Create content
  10. Introduce giveaways & contests where applicable
  11. Track and monitor conversions
  12. Integrate the SEO Customer Acquisition Plan

1. Define your user persona

Define your user persona

There are essentially three objectives of the user persona:

  1. Identify your ideal customer
  2. Identify where your ideal customer hangs out
  3. Identify the challenges faced by your ideal customer

Why bother defining your user persona? To own a customer acquisition strategy.

Don’t create content blindly, hoping users will find your brand.

You ought to plan with a clear vision. Start by understanding the type of user your product/service serves best.

Six elements of a user persona template:

  1. Biography (Summary)
  2. Demographics
    1. Age
    2. Education
    3. Job
    4. Income
    5. Location
    6. Family (eg. Single/1 Child)
  3. Psychographics
    1. Defining characteristics (Eg. Generous, ambitious, self-starter)
    2. Key personality traits (Eg. Analytical vs creative)
    3. Goals & Values (Aspirations and Motivation)
    4. Challenges & pain points
    5. Objections and roles (Potential issues the user may have with the product)
  4. Personal preferences (Hobbies)
  5. Communication style (Preferred tone)
  6. Sources of information

A well-designed user persona will help focus your:

  1. Content Marketing
  2. Paid campaigns
  3. Email Marketing
  4. Media production
  5. Copywriting

Your user persona will help shape the way you communicate with your target audience – in a way that drives action.

Note: Each product/service will typically have a unique ideal customer, and may thus require a new user persona.

Combine your defined user persona with thorough keyword research. New page ideas will flow organically (pun intended).

2. Study your potential marketing funnel

The stages of a marketing funnel will generally apply to any type of business. Your challenge will be to determine the unique user motivation, intention, and behavior along each stage, for your vertical.

marketing funnel

The four stages and objectives of the online marketing funnel:

  1. User awareness stage –  Organically catch the interest of users
  1. User interest stage – For the users who are familiar with your brand, help them find just about anything that is worth knowing about your brand/products/services
  1. User consideration stage – Show qualities that prove your products/services are better than that of competitors
  1. User conversion stage – Convert an online user into a business customer  

3. Layout the user journey

We’ll now translate each stage of the marketing funnel into a guided user journey. Thankfully evolving traditional principles of marketing into digital terms is pretty straightforward.

For each stage of the marketing funnel, we simply have to imagine the search intent of the desired user. We’ll eventually be creating or re-optimizing content to match the search intent of users.

user journey

The four types of user search intent:

  1. Informational search intent

Corresponding stage of the marketing funnel: Awareness

User mindset: Research. User is looking to gain general knowledge to resolve a pain point

Marketing objective: Attract customers. Establish/develop authority and trust

Type of search term: Informational queries

Sample search terms: How to, when to, where to, why you should (solve problem related to product)

Types of pages: Blog posts (eg. guides, tutorials, tips, resources, FAQs)

  1. Navigational search intent

Corresponding stage of the marketing funnel: Interest

User mindset: Exploring a trusted brand

Marketing objective: Demonstrate expertise and understanding of customer needs

Type of search term: Branded queries (Keywords featuring specific brand name)

Sample search terms: (Brand name) directions, (Brand name) (Product name), (Brand name) locations, (Brand name) (Product feature), (Brand name) store hours

Types of pages: Location pages, contact page, product/service pages, insights pages, events pages, webinar pages

  1. Commercial search intent

Corresponding stage of the marketing funnel: Consideration

User mindset: Nearing decision to make a purchase, comparing available services/products amongst brands

Marketing objective: Convince users that your product/service is the right choice

Type of search term: Commercial investigation queries

Sample search terms: Best (product type), Top (product type), (Product name) Review, Compare (product name), Attributes of (Product name)

Types of pages: Blog posts, Testimonial pages, News articles, White papers, Case studies

  1. Transactional search intent

Corresponding stage of the marketing funnel: Conversion

User mindset: Ready to make a purchase

Marketing objective: Make it easy to purchase a product (or convert)

Type of search term: Transactional queries

Sample search terms: Cheap (Product name), Buy (Product name), Order (Product name), Coupon for (Product name), (Service name) pricing, (Product name) price

Types of pages: Product pages, product detail pages

4. Identify search terms for each stage of the user journey

4 user journey

Typically when it comes to selecting search terms, we’ve been guilty of focusing primarily on search volume and keyword difficulty. Nothing wrong with concentrating on terms search topics that will help you reach the most users, the fastest. However, when designing an SEO customer acquisition plan, we ought to be conscious of high level strategy.

The four criteria for selecting SEO CAP terms:

1. Monthly search volume – Creating or repurposing a page requires work. Is there enough of a market need to justify your effort?

2. Keyword difficulty – Are you likely to acquire the number and quality of links needed to help your pages rank?

3. Content difficulty – How likely are you to create content that will end up on google’s first page?

Now that you understand the four criteria of S.E.O C.A.P terms, time to go over ways of coming up with new keyword ideas.

4. Search intent – Do you understand the search intent of the typical users who searches your selected query?

The Four User search intent examples:

With your target user persona in mind, follow the instructions below to help group your search terms. Consider this the analogized version of the formal search intent explanation above.

For this scenario, let’s imagine a law firm, intends on obtaining new clients through organic search. Here’s how they’d approach the selection for key terms for their desired user journey.

A. For informational search intent

informational search intent

Let’s pretend our law firm specializes in property disputes law. Our firm ought to start thinking about the various pain points that drive potential customers to search for information online. An example can be, “How do I resolve a boundary dispute with my neighbor?” Or, “Can I sue my neighbor for encroaching on my property?”

The aim of this stage of the user journey is to meet intentions triggered by life events.

B. For navigational search intent

navigational search intent

At this stage, the law firm has established trust with the user. Perhaps the user has read enough blog posts, FAQ’s or case studies to determine that the law firm is competent. The firm ought to start considering queries that a skeptical or uninformed user might want to know before engaging in a business transaction. These concerns may be as simple as “how do I get in touch with a lawyer at Company-Name firm?”

The aim of this stage of the user journey is to educate users on solutions and benefits that make it easy to do business with you.

C. For commercial search intent

commercial search intent

The aim of this stage of the user journey is to show why users ought to trust you over competitors. Remove any doubt that your business is the brand of choice.

D. For transactional search intent

transactional search intent

The user is ready to take action. They’ve decided to hire a law firm to resolve a problem. Clear all obstacles to conversion.

The aim of this stage of the user journey is to make it easy for users to buy.

Five key sources of strategic search terms

1. Brainstorm terms

2. Collate and organize Google Search Console terms

a. Identify the most relevant pages that correspond your selected terms

b. Be on the lookout for related terms which do not have a designated page on your site

c. Search console is also a great place to identify the branded terms your users search for

3. Perform a thorough competitor analysis

a. Perform a content gap against relevant competitors

b. Identify the top pages of competitors

4. Identify paid search terms

a. Sort by conversions

b. Sort by Cost Per Click (Achieve a few quick wins by improving your quality score, reducing the cost per click)

5. Market research terms  – Check out google keyword planner terms

5. Identify your top performing organic pages

5 performing organic pages
  1. Decide which pages can be repurposed to enhance the user journey
  2. Decide which pages to remove (or de-index) to optimise crawl

6. Investigate PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns

6 ppc campaigns
  1. Identify target landing pages
  2. Sort by conversions – Identify the terms that convert the best

7. Audit your chosen search terms

7 audit search terms
  1. Keep an eye out for SERP features you can rank for
  2. Prioritise terms/pages that will deliver the most impact

8. Map out pages (content) across the four stages of your user journey

8 map out pages
  1. Determine how many pages are needed for your user journey
  2. Be aware, the content for each stage of your user l will depend on your business vertical.

9. Create content

9 create content
  1. Be better. Be different
  2. Introduce media to optimize on-page engagement on key pages
  3. Outline a brief for each page

Be sure to consider the following:

  • Search intent
  • Title
  • Headers (H1, H2, H3)
  • Key points
  • Formatting considerations
  • Create for your audience
  • Call to action
  • Internal link diversity – Links to other pages along user journey
  • Meta descriptions

10. Introduce giveaways & contests where applicable

10 giveaways and contests

You’ll find that web users respond to free stuff. No surprise right? In whatever line of business you find yourself, there’s always something of value you can giveaway to entice the patronage of new or existing customers.

11. Track and monitor conversions

11 monitor perfromance

Aside from relying on Google analytics and Search console for monitoring performance and on-site user behavior, we’d recommend using Google Tag Manager to set and track conversion goals.

12. Integrate the SEO Customer Acquisition Plan

12 integrate seo

Get with the times, SEO isn’t simply a marketing activity you undertake to keep up with the Joneses. It’s not the current in vogue trend that is soon to vanish. It is the reason eCommerce empires like Amazon and eBay continue to thrive.

Plan for SEO, synch it with the other marketing initiatives you design for your brand.