Brand loyalty, simply put, is a customer’s willingness to continue to patronize a brand instead of turning to its competitors. Paying attention to brand loyalty is important because when it comes to sales and conversions, customers only buy from brands they can trust.
Ever wondered how to keep your customers loyal to your brand? In this article, I will explore practical methods to increase brand loyalty through search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.
1. Increase Brand Awareness
Many mix up brand awareness with brand loyalty. While the two may be very related, they are not the same thing. Brand awareness generally involves the ability to create some kind of ‘awareness’ in your targeted audience, whereas brand loyalty is the ability to make customers loyal to your brand.
To increase brand awareness, you have to be able to elicit some sense of ‘recall’ and ‘recognition’ in your clients. When they see your brand, they sure should be able to recall what your brand is all about while recognizing its credibility.
Here are a couple of ways to increase your brand awareness:
• Backlink Strategy: Backlinks are quite important if you want your brand to be seen more, and they sure can improve your site’s position on the search engine result page. It is estimated that up to 43.7 percent of well-ranked sites use backlinks that take people back to their pages. Backlinks are so important that 46 percent of companies spend up to $10,000 building good backlinks. To increase your brand awareness and, eventually, organic visibility, then it is just best to pay attention to backlinks.
• Pay Attention to Keywords: You just have to optimize keywords to put your brand out there. Organic traffic that comes from search engines can really improve your impressions by making you rank higher on search engines. As you must already know, high-ranking sites get most of the traffic – up to 95 percent of total traffic from search engines goes to sites that appear on the first search engine results page. Make the necessary keyword research your website needs, and put your keywords in places where they ought to be. Check out this article about how to use keywords effectively.
• Local SEO to the Rescue: If you want to be seen and eventually gather just the number of loyal customers you want, you have to pay attention to local SEO. Some report from SEO Roundtable suggests that up to 46 percent of searches have local intent. Pay attention to what people in your locality are searching for and why they are searching for it. This is where observing your competition comes in handy. What are your competitors doing that works so well for them? Perhaps you just might want to try it out, too, and see how it works.
2. Create Credible Content Only
One of the things that will make your site stand out and probably even outmatch its competitors is the credibility of the content you put up there. It is just a fact: better content will yield better traffic and promote brand loyalty.
People only follow and keep up with information that they consider just good enough and true.
Before putting up any content on your web pages, be sure first that what you are saying is true. If it isn’t true, let it be. If you have suspicions about its credibility, then it is probably just best you let it be, also.
Make your writing engaging. Make proper use of storytelling. Search Engine Watch agrees that storytelling can boost conversion rates by up to 30 percent. Head Stream says that when people love a brand’s story, they are 55 percent more likely to patronize that brand. This is why business-to-business (B2B) pays quite attention to storytelling.
Tip: it is advisable to remove all duplicate content from your website. Readers often have problems with reading content containing the same information over and over.
3. Pay More Attention to Your ‘Actual’ Audience
This is why we threw some light on local SEO earlier. The truth is, the only people who will be loyal to you, at least to the degree you want, are your core audience.
If you have not found out what kind of people your core audience is made up of, then it is likely time to take a step back, sit, and observe.
This is where the practice of analytics comes in handy. Need I say that one who must succeed at SEO must be a great observer who patiently and painstakingly observes his site, understanding where most of the traffic comes from and the quality of the traffic that comes.
Where are most of your customers based? On what devices do they log onto your site? How long do they stay? What content do they read more? The list goes on and on.
4. Optimize For Mobile
Optimizing a site for mobile involves tweaking the site to ensure that all users who visit that site has a user-friendly experience. It involves optimizing for speed, graphics, easy readability, etc.
It is important to optimize for mobile because 77 percent of all time spent online comes from mobile.
Even better, Google usually indexes the mobile version of a website first. This is called Mobile First Indexing. If the mobile version of a website is considered not credible, Google ranks that website lower, meaning less traffic.
Users who enjoy their experience on your site are very likely to return and buy from you.
5. Encourage Positive Reviews
New customers may not exactly trust you yet. But the truth is, they may likely trust the report of other users who have purchased your products and still have a good thing to say about your brand.
A survey conducted on U.S. customers showed that 94 percent of people agreed that positive reviews increased the likelihood of them purchasing products.
It is great for brand loyalty if you encourage your customers to drop positive reviews about the products they purchase.
When you practice putting up these reviews where everyone can see them, it will increase brand loyalty. Put reviews up on the landing page of your website.
6. Interact With Customers in Comments and Posts
The fact is, when customers come face to face with a new brand they have not patronized before, more often than not, they are going to ask questions. Rarely does anyone go on to purchase a product without first asking questions.
It is your responsibility to respond professionally yet personally to every comment that comes to your website.
Google agrees that giving responses to User reviews is a great way to improve your local ranking. In addition to that, it is a great way to establish a seller-customer relationship, which is the basis through which brand loyalty is achieved.
Pay attention to user comments. It is advisable for you to respond to all comments on your website, especially ones where the customers are seeking answers to questions about your product. Make apologies where they tender grievances and promise to do better.
7. Take Part in Loyalty Programs
Research shows that a large percentage of consumers remain loyal to a brand that offers them some form of a loyalty program.
These programs could be anything at all. From just making certain services free and allowing free downloads to giving out coupons or discounts. The difference is often remarkable.
As your business continues to grow and you start to make more and more profit, consider putting up incentives to gather your loyal customers.
“Buy this, and get something else in return.” It is a great way to start. It also influences a consumer’s decision to buy again from you.
8. Build Powerful Networks
Another great way to build brand loyalty is to build relationships with other trusted brands and have them put you up on their own website. This is sort of like a backlink strategy.
Write and publish guest posts on bigger blogs and websites, and in these posts, include backlinks to your own website.
Possibly, run ad campaigns on social media – I will talk about this next.
Make your posts shareable. That is, as mentioned earlier, write them in a way that makes people want to share them.
9. Leverage Social Media
First things first, your brand ought to have social media pages. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are all perfect social media channels to host your business profiles. Take advantage of them.
The best way to leverage social media to increase brand loyalty, as per Forbes, includes:
- Responding and rewarding your followers
- Creating and managing a community
- Having a social strategy
- Being unique.