On Sunday 21st September, I’ll be leading a seminar on the importance of blogging at The Flooring Show – the UK’s national conference for the flooring industry.
According to AMA Research, the UK floorcoverings market is worth over £1.7bn. Flooring is big business, but the competition is strong. With numerous companies all competing for the same customers across a similar product range, brand differentiation is essential for companies to stand out above the rest.
As a majority of customers now prefer to undertake initial research online, it is important for retailers to have a good online presence. This is true across all retail industries; but for those where the product category range is fairly limited, it is particularly important to have a robust search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy.
As 75% of users never scroll past the first page of Google, how do you ensure your company appears on the front page.
(1) Use long tail keywords
In the flooring industry, for example, customers may simply go online to search for “carpets” or “laminate flooring” – with thousands of search results being returned. While smaller companies may never compete with the big brands on the main search terms like these, there may be opportunities to get onto the first page of Google with long tail keywords instead, for example: “deep pile cream carpets” or “dark mahogany style laminate flooring” – and local search terms such as “carpets leeds” or “laminate flooring birmingham”. You should build a keyword list for your website and try to include a range of different search terms that are relevant to the content on your site. This will help Google rank your site accurately and help new customers to find you.
(2) Set up a blog
I always say it (but it’s true) – blogging should be at the heart of your digital marketing strategy. Blogs serve numerous purposes, including:
- driving traffic to your website
- ensuring your website is regularly updated with good quality fresh content (which search engines love)
- providing a bucketload of regular new content for your social media sites
- building product awareness and brand engagement among your customers
- offering your website visitors sticky content that they can share with friends
- and giving you a chance to show your personality and unique selling points in a crowded marketplace
It is especially important to differentiate yourself from the competition in an industry like flooring, where the product ranges can be very similar. Blogs help you to show personality and to give an idea of the kind of service that customers can expect from you. Guest blogs from happy customers, suppliers or fitters can really showcase the added value that you offer. New customers want to be reassured that the tradespeople coming into their home will be respectful, courteous and polite. If your range is cutting edge or top end, blogs can be used to explain why your products are better than others and why they demand a higher price tag.
(3) Link building
Search engines like to see good quality links between your website and other highly regarded industry sites. Be generous in your content and add hyperlinks in your blogs to other useful content online. Links to your partner websites will also help, and will be appreciated by your partners. Guest blogs on other relevant websites are another way of creating new connections and sharing your knowledge.
A word of caution: Google doesn’t like businesses trying to artificially rank highly by using underhand SEO tactics. Overuse of any of the tactics I’ve described here (or, for example, paying for links) is frowned upon and may get you a Google penalty, where your site will disappear completely from search results. Here is how to avoid this happening.
If you’d like to discover more tips and techniques for improving the visibility of your website online, then come along to my free talk at The Flooring Show in Harrogate this Sunday. Booking details are below.
The Flooring Show 2014
The Flooring Show takes place from Sunday 21st to Tuesday 23rd September 2014 at Harrogate International Centre on Kings Road in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
This annual event brings together the whole of the UK flooring industry across three days of talks, seminars, exhibitions and networking. Flooring industry professionals come along to take advantage of profit opportunities through at-show deals, to see all the latest flooring innovations and trends, to gather industry knowledge through the show features and to enjoy the many networking opportunities.
My talk, Blogging for retailers: the real value, takes place on Sunday 21st September at 2pm.
I will focus on the importance of blogging, how it is core to any good digital strategy, and how it links in with an organisation’s wider PR and communications strategy. I will also touch upon some of the main social media platforms that are useful for engaging with consumers, including Facebook and Twitter. Including tips and tricks that are easy to implement.
You will get practical tips on how to:
- Improve your Google rankings
- Use Facebook to win new business
- Build relationships through Twitter
- Get the most out of a blog
This post was tagged search negine optimisation, seo, Social Media, social media speaker.
This post is in the categories Content & Copywriting, eCommerce & Retail, Events, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).