At first glance, SEO and print marketing may appear to be two separate entities.
But they can and do intersect. Using them together can help you craft a unique nurturing experience for your leads. It can amplify your marketing. And it has never been easier to implement an elegant strategy thanks to advancements in tech.
The connection between SEO and print marketing may seem esoteric. The goal of SEO is to rank for targeted keywords, preferably in the first position of search results. The purpose of print marketing is to build awareness for your business and products, inform your leads, and with any luck, convert them into customers.
When you consider how content marketing works, it’s not hard to see how the two worlds connect. SEO is built on quality content as much as it is on website hierarchy structure, mobile friendliness, and load times. Relevant content is what drives visitors to visit a particular page.
Your print material is also a form of content, though it may be brief by comparison. It may only contain a few lines of sales copy and a call-to-action. But if you make a convincing enough case, your leads will be compelled to visit your website to find out more.
So, here are several ways in which SEO and print marketing work together.
SEO and Print: You Can Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Website
Ranking factors are somewhat elusive and are ever changing. Search engines keep updating their algorithms to weed out fake, low quality, or irrelevant results.
But the following elements are still considered important:
- Social shares. This may be a minor factor but still appears to make a difference.
- Bounce rate. Generally, the higher the bounce rate, the less relevant Google will consider the result. This isn’t true in every circumstance because the purpose of a given web page might be to direct the user to another resource, but in general, a 60% or lower bounce rate is preferred.
- Dwell time. How much time a visitor spends on a particular web page. The higher, the better.
- Traffic. It’s not about traffic quantity as much as it is about traffic quality, but steady traffic to a web page could be a signal that shows search engines it’s trustworthy and relevant to the end user.
- Mobile friendliness and load times. If the web page you’re directing traffic to is mobile friendly, Google may prioritize it over other results that aren’t.
When you think about the fact that you can send users to your website using print material, it starts to become clear how SEO and print could potentially intersect.
You could have a brochure highlighting each of your products and have a web address users can go to for each. You could have business cards directing users to a particular page of your website. In the case of direct mail, you could send users to a personalized URL or PURL, which allows you to direct your audience to an individualized landing page. You could also print up QR code cards to bring to a busy trade show, hand them out to interested parties who don’t necessarily have time to watch a demonstration and again send them to a relevant page on your website (i.e., a piece of content that answers their questions).
By sending targeted traffic to your website, you can potentially boost your search engine ranking. “Targeted” is the keyword here. Sending irrelevant traffic to your site will do nothing to reduce bounce rate or increase dwell time.
You Can Attract More Leads for Your Product or Service Offerings
Lead generation is a top priority for most businesses. Though it’s less expensive to serve existing customers than to attract a fresh batch, this assumes you have enough of a customer base in the first place. You should indeed be marketing to existing customers, but you do need to keep generating new leads if you’re looking to grow your business.
Both SEO and print can generate results separately. An optimized web page with a sign-up form can help you capture more leads. A direct mail piece asking recipients to sign up for email communication can also work. You can virtually automate both processes. But when you bring the two together, you’ll have a fantastic strategy on your hands.
One tactic you can use is to drive traffic to a landing page where users can sign up to receive more information by mail. Your print collateral could answer any questions they may have. You could then ask them to send in an order form by mail, or go to a page on your website to complete the purchase. This method allows you to collect more information up front than just an email address, and can also help you weed out more disinterested or lukewarm leads.
While digital content may be sufficient to bring a prospect to purchase, when you offer something they can hold in their hands, they may feel more inclined to reciprocate by making a purchase.
You Can Create a Unique & Compelling Lead Nurturing Experience
Who says you can only send your leads emails, digital content, and PDF documents while they’re in the nurturing process? Your exact funnel will vary depending on the size and complexity of the sale, but in most cases, people signing up for your newsletter isn’t ready to buy and will require more information to make a purchase decision.
You can utilize multiple touch points to reach your leads. Unfortunately, emails aren’t always opened and may not reach the prospect’s inbox. But you can increase your chances of connecting with your leads if you also send them print material. A multi-pronged approach can help you stay top-of-mind with them, or re-engage them as the case might be.
SEO can also factor into your plans when your prospects are conducting research and looking for alternatives to your product or service. Comparison shopping is standard. If you rank first in Google for the solution they’re seeking, they’ll have more assurance that you’re the right choice. At the very least, it can build more trust as they may begin to see you as an authority in your industry. If you rank for related queries, all the better.
You Can Build Your Brand Awareness & Authority
At first glance, building awareness for your brand might seem inconsequential and ultimately not worth the investment.
But the reality is that you want your leads recognizing your brand name and associating your particular area of expertise with the name. Let’s say your business is called Emai.ly, and you specialize in email marketing. As your leads begin to associate your brand name with your service offering, they’ll start searching for you in search engines. Your search results will be clicked on, and Google will begin to see your website as being more relevant for the search terms users are using to find it.
Again, how you combine SEO and print to achieve this end is a matter of creativity and imagination. Your first touch point could be a piece of print marketing that informs your prospect about your offering. You could follow it up with another piece with a call-to-action that directs prospects to learn more about your product on your website. Because you’re sending high-quality, targeted traffic, the rank of that page should increase over time.
You Can Leverage Your Reviews
Getting online reviews has become a higher priority for businesses, especially those primarily serving a local market. This includes entities like Yelp, Yahoo Local, Angie’s List, Foursquare, and others. Getting more reviews can boost your SEO. Getting positive reviews can bolster your overall reputation (so, don’t send your target audience to a litany of negative reviews).
There are many ways to leverage your reviews. One way is just to mention them in your print collateral so that your prospects will conduct their search and find out what people have had to say about you. Whatever you can do to get people searching for you will ultimately lead to better rankings in search (also see the previous section on brand awareness and authority). You could also try a curiosity approach to send people to your website (i.e. “see what Dave had to say about our gold package by going to this web address”).
Reviews are powerful persuasion tools when used well. Leverage them when and where appropriate.
Get creative. You can use business cards, flyers, brochures, and virtually any of your print materials to boost your SEO. You can drive traffic to your website first, and then follow up with print collateral on the backend. There is plenty of room for innovation if you’re willing to think outside the box. You can delight your prospects in the process.
By utilizing both SEO and print, you can build more authority for your brand, and get people to make an association between your business name and service offering. This, in turn, can increase your ranking in Google.
Are you using SEO and print marketing together? What has been your approach? What have the results been?
Let us know in the comments below.