In online ecosystems everything is connected. If we can take advantage of this, we’ll realize that disciplines as different as SEO and customer service can be closely related. What we learn from one can be useful to enhance the other.
Maybe Zappos is going too far, but if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. For a company that sells online shoes, fashion, and accessories, the customer is so important that they make everyone who comes to work for them spend a few weeks in customer service. Everyone. Regardless of the department they were hired for.
They sell it as concern for the customer but in the end, what they get is that all trainees, from marketing to communication, have direct contact with the customer. This provides discussion and favors parallel thinking to arrive at different solutions for real needs (that we know from word of mouth of the interested party).
The first thing I want to tell you is that SEO needs insights and data that give us a hint of where to start. Think about it: when an organic optimization strategy is drawn up from scratch, where do we turn to make a keyword research? Obviously to data and search volumes, but don’t forget that the keywords themselves come from the users.
When you still don’t have data, you look for words that customers from your competition use, you rely on data like predictions from Google Suggest (which, in the end, are based on the most common searches), or what Google AdWords says and its forecasts.
I’m not saying that they’re bad sources, quite the contrary, but if the data we work with are from our own business, we’re in a position to know what makes us better and how our users are searching us.
We just talked about this; we start from market knowledge and third party experience. Many times, a simple meeting with the customer service department and the agents that manage it can open our eyes to how they ask for certain items and the words they use. We’ll be surprised to see that we can be wrong when betting on a term that captures more traffic but converts worse.
The customer service agents know very well what users don’t find on our website. There will be cases where you can’t offer them what they’re looking for due to business or product issues, but what happens with the rest? Many times, it’s sufficient to add a landing page to get a new source of approved traffic.
One of the workhorses of SEO on-page is content creation. All the information that can be provided from the company will help you define yourself better, from the lettering on file cards to your blog posts.
The web is increasingly semantic, meaning that you need to work as hard as possible on the content. You have to treat each landing page, category tab, or post to respond to a search attempt.
Besides the blog, it allows you to open yourself up to alternative traffic sources like tutorials, videos, e-books, courses, etc., which, if well executed can help cross different strategies (they make email marketing grow, they’re good content for social networks, they convert, and they explain the advantages of the product and can even mean an additional source of income.
This point is very interesting because it’s the most synergistic. Having the questions clear that the user asks gives us a shot that benefits both departments (and obviously the company).
We need to get a list of the most common problems and put them on the web; a FAQ, a glossary, or a wiki page with the terms in question.
This double strategy makes the user more self-sufficient when consulting the information, freeing up the customer service department’s resources. At the same time, it lets us generate high-value SEO content that complies with the real customer’s demands and does so in a way that offers answers.
Every time, users do these types of searches more and reduce the keywords less. This happens to a great extent because of a tendency that has been growing at a forced pace: the voice search.
As you can see SEO and customer service can go hand in hand to make a winning team and increase conversion.
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