Ernan’s Insights on Marketing Best Practices

Monday, April 4, 2011

5 SEO Voice of Customer-Driven Best Practices

THE PROBLEM: “Our SEO program is not hitting the mark.”
THE SOLUTION: Create an ongoing Voice of Customer feedback data stream and use it to refine and constantly improve your company's SEO programs.

The Relationship Marketing Innovator we will focus on in this blog post is Tiny Prints, a successful online retailer of personalized greeting cards and customized stationery based in Sunnyvale, California. They have won significant market share by identifying—and acting on—Voice of Customer (VOC) information about customer desires and preferences based on careful analysis of data and on-line behavior. We reached out to Anna Fieler, the VP of marketing for Tiny Prints, and asked for her five critical Voice of the Customer SEO takeaways:

"ONE: At Tiny Prints, we make sure we know which specific keywords to optimize for, based on hard research. For instance, in November and December, we know the 'Christmas cards' search volume is much higher than the volume for 'holiday cards.' So we constantly work to optimize our site with new products and content—in a way that helps customers meet their intent when they are on our site."

"TWO: We make sure we have a content-rich site that’s well organized, so users and Google bots alike can find just what they’re looking for."

"THREE: We get the word out about our brand virally by evangelizing our community of passionate customers and bloggers. This is essential, because Google search bots give credit to the number and strength of links to your site."

"FOUR: We encourage our community of passionate influencers, such as bloggers and loyal customers, to endorse our product and write reviews. Tiny Prints hosts reviews on our site where thousands of customers post reviews of our products; we get an average of 4.8-star ratings out of 5. This is all user-generated content that helps SEO immensely."

"FIVE: We build the brand by encouraging customers to become a fan of our Tiny Prints Facebook community and follow the Tiny Prints brand on Twitter. 'Brand-driven' search marketing campaigns—ones that take advantage of a consumer’s willingness to type the words 'Tiny Prints' into a search engine rather than 'birth announcement'—tend to be more profitable than other online campaigns."

arrow Commit to ongoing keyword research.
arrow Make a discipline of asking what your best customers are most likely to search for on-line.
arrow Learn what customers expect to find on your site, and make sure they get it.
arrow Make it easy for people to leave their mark, link to your site, and share on-line reviews about your products and services.
arrow Use social media to build your brand over time.