Because of Google’s recent shift to AI, technical SEO has quickly become old news. On-page optimization only leads to a small bump in traffic, making this classic strategy simply outdated. As a result, businesses have had to turn to new methods of building organic traffic, such as focusing on customer intimacy—getting to know your customers.
Google Understands Your Customers
Google’s AI focuses on personalization for the searcher, factoring in things such as their location and the intent behind their search queries. In other words, these days, Google is starting to get to know customers more than marketers are.
But, if you discover your buyers’ intent and learn what their needs and wants are, you can use this knowledge to tailor your offerings and marketing efforts to them better. The more relevant you make your products and services to your customers, the more likely Google will notice and rank you higher for it.
Through this method of “customer intimacy,” brands have grown five to ten times more, finding success in keyword rankings without necessarily relying on technically optimizing their content.
What is Customer Intimacy?
Customer intimacy is a marketing strategy that businesses use to understand and prioritize customer needs. As we mentioned above, Google tends to notice when businesses focus on the customer, so this strategy can also boost your rankings on SERPs.
There are five key components to focus customer intimacy to drive your SEO:
- Do the right research.
- Understand your customers’ buying process.
- Know what information your customers need and look for.
- Identify the questions your customers ask.
- Build your knowledge about your customer base.
Creating a buyer persona is an excellent way to develop your strategies for customer intimacy. A buyer persona is a “fictional” representation of your ideal customer. It gives businesses an idea of their customers’ demographics, attitudes, motivations, goals, observations, questions, selling points, and even search queries.
For example, take this buyer persona: Melanie Martin. Let’s say you are a digital marketing agency, and Melanie is an eCommerce manager for a lifestyle apparel brand for traveling businesswomen. Here are some of the traits you may want to include in her buyer persona:
- Attitudes – “We’ll be able to grow more with the help of an agency that has had success working with clients like us.”
- Goals – “Increase sales and bring in resources that can relieve our team’s current marketing efforts.”
- Observations – “Our competitors have much more sophisticated digital marketing campaigns.”
- Questions – “When will we start seeing results from added marketing efforts?”
- Selling Points – “The agency we work with should have experience working with similar clients and guarantee results.”
- Sample Search Queries – “Facebook ad agency, eCommerce SEO agencies.”
As you can see, all of these traits will be based on your research on your customer base.
Keeping your business’s buyer persona in mind across all aspects of your organization, from marketing to product development, will allow you to connect to real customers who fit this model easily, thus successfully creating and building customer intimacy.
Customer Intimacy and Authority First SEO Go Hand in Hand
Google’s AI looks for a few things to determine your relevance to customers and keyword rankings, all of which are a part of Authority First SEO:
- Website Visitor Engagement
- Positive Reviews (Reputation)
- Customer Relationships (Influence)
A great way businesses can improve customer intimacy is by taking the time to listen to their customers. See what your audience is saying on social media or ask for feedback for your products. What does your customer really need, and how can you provide it?
In other words, for successful customer intimacy, your business should be able to easily find the right customer segments and offer exactly what they need at the right time. The more often you satisfy those customers, the more likely they will become repeat, loyal customers and leave positive reviews, improving your SEO.
How to Integrate Customer Intimacy in Marketing
To successfully create and build customer intimacy, you need to consider what it should look like with your business’s branding, content, and overall marketing strategy.
- Branding: Focus on Strengthening your brand in a way that is unique to you and valuable to the segment you care about.
- Content: Sometimes, your customers may just want information, not a product, so your business should be in a position to offer it in the form of blogs or other content when they need it most.
- Marketing: Create a marketing strategy that targets different parts of your audience based on your research and planned buyer personas.
Case Study: Matching Content to Customer Search Intent
This eCommerce candle store based in Massachusetts specializes in creating handmade natural candles and fair trade gifts. The owners of the online store wanted to grow a larger, organic audience for their products.
First, we researched the search intent behind various keywords and then created pages based on the search intent. For example, if the links we found on the first search result page were blogs, we would make the same type of page for that specific keyword.
We also researched the browsing behavior for the store’s higher traffic pages with user behavior flow analysis; this helped us identify which pages the consumer browsed to get more information before deciding to make a purchase. Based on this data, we recommended adding similar information to the original landing page to support customers’ purchase decisions.
In conclusion, Google cares about your relationship with your customers. Leverage your strong relationships to drive organic traffic and continue building them. To do this, you will need to create a marketing strategy that focuses on customer intimacy. This way, you can focus on your customers’ needs and tailor your offerings and marketing efforts accordingly.
At the end of the day, technical SEO doesn’t matter as much as customer relationships do. Don’t let your current SEO strategy get left behind. Learn more about the new SEO with Fire&Spark.