To be honest, you shouldn’t even worry about it. Yes. I just said that. No. I won’t get into trouble (I hope). But before I lose your interest let me explain where I’m coming from.
Working at a small agency with a broad spec of clients who worry about their rankings (with a damn good reason) has taught me a few things. 1.Your website won’t rank overnight. 2. Don’t neglect other aspects of your business by constantly worrying about your rankings and blaming your agency for not making money. 3. If you are not creative about making new clients and keeping your current clients happy, you’re doomed. True story.
So what is this “beyond SEO” thing?
If you’ve done a bit of research on digital marketing you’ve probably read a lot about content marketing, SEO, social media and all that jazz. But frankly it all comes down to sincerity, being present, trustworthy and making a good impression.
Every time you have access to a new potential client or current client, don’t be generic.
Don’t give them what they can find elsewhere. Be genuine with everything you do. If you use social media then be present. Make your clients trust you and every time they interact with you make sure they have a good impression of you.
Now. How can you go beyond SEO?
Carry on reading and don’t miss out on the real life example at the end.
Stop worrying about your rankings
Yes, it is important that people can find you when they are searching for generic terms. And you should most definitely invest in digital marketing.
Make sure your website has highly effective search engine optimisation. Ensuring your website appeals to your customers, can be accessed AND understood by search engines. Use your knowledge to share advice with others through guest blogging (be genuine) and make contacts. If you are selling a product reach out to authorities in your niche and ask them if they’d like to review it.
But don’t worry about your rankings 24/7. It takes time. If you are employing a trusted SEO company, let them do their jobs and you’ll see results. Just not the next day of agreeing to SEO services.
Don’t fall victim of cheap SEO services
There are SO many SEO companies out there that spam businesses non-stop (I work at an SEO company. Please stop offering me dubious SEO services). I have at least one call a week from a client asking me why we charge what we charge when there are companies offering them the “same” services for a third of a price.
Now. I understand where you are coming from. Sorta. But choosing a suspicious SEO company because they are offering “better” deals and promise the same results for less won’t get you anywhere. You might rank well for some time but sooner rather than later they’ll get your website penalised and you don’t want that.
Again, stop worrying about your rankings.
Service and trust is important. VERY important. But if your product or service is not good enough it will be hard to get people to love it. Make sure everything is as good as it can be. No half measures. Mediocrity won’t get you anywhere. Be awesome in everything. No excuses.
Think outside the box
Now this is the part I really wanted to write. How can you build a sustainable business that brings new clients weekly? While you are waiting for your rankings to improve, invest time in creating amazing content and a memorable experience to your clients.
Back to where I started. Be sincere, be present, be trustworthy and make a good impression.
Every time you connect with your clients make sure they are having the best experience they can possibly have; from customer service to the packaging. Why do you think Apple invests so much money and time in their packaging? Opening their products is an experience by itself.
If you are not selling a product it doesn’t matter. Every contact you have with your audience should be a special one. Make them feel something.
You’ve probably heard of brands who have surprised a customer with unexpected gifts. Most of the cases out there are of big companies such as Red Bull sending free products to loyal customers, but you don’t have to have a huge budget to surprise your customers.
Adding a handwritten card when you are sending their purchase goes a long way. Or giving a lolly when you are repairing someone’s air conditioning will make them smile. If you are in an industry where the service is mostly quite plain and unfriendly, do the opposite. Be friendly, polite, and honest, that will surprise your client.
That surprise-factor is what will make them think positively about you next time they need your service/product or when they are recommending it to someone.
Sometimes things go wrong. You made a mistake. Your product didn’t meet the standards it should have and you have unhappy customers. Don’t hide from it. You’ve made them feel happy before. Now be accountable, take ownership, apologise and make it better.
If you behave with the same sincerity and frankness you do when things are going well, they’ll forget you more often than not. It’s like any other relationship; you are willing to forget each other because you know that to err is human.
Real life case
I come from a country where fresh, seasonal fruit and veggies are normal. It’s not even something you think about. You go to any supermarket and you know that 99% of the time you are going to get incredible produce.
After moving to Australia and having weekly rants on how unripe and tasteless the tomatoes are I decided to try every online store in Brisbane until I could find a place that sold fresh seasonal produce.
And then one sunny and very hot day a cardboard box from Daintree Organics arrived. I love cooking and get perhaps a bit too excited when it comes to buying fruit and veggies. I might have done a little celebration dance when I opened the box. But I kid you not, it was a magical moment. I’m sure music even came out of the box.
I immediately took a photo and posted it on their Facebook page. I thanked them and carried on with my dance. They replied soon after, thanking me.
Two weeks later I received my new delivery box and I was equally excited (I long for Tuesdays nowadays as it is delivery day). But when I opened it I noticed something I had not ordered and a handwritten message on my invoice.
The owner had written a Thank You note and sent a bar of my favourite chocolate (unknown to him) and 2 vegan granola bars. It might be pretty obvious from my buying habits that I’m not only vegan but also really passionate about organic, healthy products. Or maybe not. The fact that they didn’t send a normal granola and chocolate bar made the surprise even better.
Needless to say I now rave about them. Their produce was so good the first time, I didn’t need anything else to become an instant loyal customer. That’s all I wanted. And although unnecessary but highly appreciated, they still send me a gift and a thank you note.
That’s exactly what I mean by saying go “beyond SEO”. You might rank on page 1 but if you don’t deliver high quality products/services AND create a positive experience you won’t have a loyal base and they won’t come back to you. Rankings help, but they are not everything.
There are successful businesses out there that are focusing in experience and content to reach out to customers and potential customers. Once you have a happy customer, they will talk about you. Word of mouth is still very powerful. Become part of your community and work with them to grow your business.
It’s time to tear down the business-to-customer paradigm and start working on a human-to-human paradigm. At Media Heroes, we know what it takes to grow your business. Get in touch with our experts today.
photo by pasukaru76