Emotions are a strong driving force in a customer’s purchase. Often, people buy a product not because they need it, but because they want it. The sense of fulfillment that comes from a purchase is one of the factors that influence customers to make a repeat purchase.
Digital marketers are not blind to these emotions. Many marketers leverage brands by determining the emotion behind a buyer’s behavior. Customers are more likely to buy a product they can relate to their emotional needs, which is why they have their own brand favorites. They are less sensitive to price, but are more proactive in searching for value – and that behavior is what fuel marketers to align their strategies to the emotions of their customers.
Contrary to what people know, there’s an emotional side of SEO. The technical aspects are not the only factors that make a good website rank; how a site connects to the audience is just as important. How do emotions fit in with SEO?
Building the Conversation
Before you develop your SEO strategy, you need to analyze the connection you want to establish with your customers. Start with the value of your product/service, move on to the emotional and physical benefits, and then close it with product attributes. This will make the conversation flow smoothly, and will leave you with more room to establish an emotional connection with customers.
Value: “Why do I need to buy your product/service?”
Emotional Benefits: “How will your product/service make me feel?”
Physical Benefits: “What will I get if I buy from you? How will your product/service help solve my problem?”
Product Attributes: “What are the features of your product or service?”
Humanizing the Conversion Funnel
Emotions play a big part in the conversion funnel. If you know which emotions to elicit from customers, it becomes easier to drive them further down the funnel and complete an action you want them to make.
In SEO, the conversion funnel is shaped by the keywords you use. This is where it gets tricky. Naturally, marketers choose keywords that are relevant to their brand. In doing so, some choose keywords that search engines would easily recognize, but leave out those that fit into the customer journey.
The conversion funnel has four stages – awareness, interest, desire, and action. When you build your keyword list, you need to ensure the search terms you are targeting correspond to the appropriate stage. How do you make sure your conversion funnel and keywords match the emotion you want to draw out from your customers? Simple: humanize the funnel and your keywords.
Conversion Funnel from Awareness, Interest, Desire to Action
Like in traditional keyword research, you need to determine the terms that fall under your niche. This will give you an idea of what keywords your customers are using when talking about a product/service in your industry. Choose the keywords that have high relevance to your brand and build your content around these.
Use the language of your customers. Don’t use loosely connected keywords; choose those that are close to the language you’re customers are using. This makes it easier for customers to understand and make an emotional connection with your keywords.
Focusing on User Intent
We’ve mentioned how the emotion behind a buyer’s behavior is an integral part in marketing strategies. That’s because if you are familiar with the intent behind their action, you can target the right keywords, match those terms with the content, and drive your customers to the appropriate page based on what they’re looking for.
User intent can be:
Navigational – Customers type queries that direct them to a specific brand.
Informational – Customers make queries in search of answers.
Commercial – Customers search for information on products and services with the intent of buying later on.
Transactional – Customers make a query to do a transaction.
When you do SEO, you need to know which of these user intents you are targeting. This coincides with the conversion funnel—customers with transactional user intent are closer to the conversion portion of the funnel.
User intent is also important when optimizing your landing pages. If a customer is looking for a specific product, and you led them to your homepage, there’s a high possibility of losing their interest. You would have lost the connection you’re trying to establish then and there.
Building Brand Authenticity
When a brand connects with a customer, that connection lays the foundation for a long-term relationship. It sparks more than just interest; a strong brand connection leads to loyalty, advocacy, and revenue.
Brand connections have a lot to do with emotions. After all, customers won’t have a reason to connect with a brand if it doesn’t satisfy their physical and emotional needs. But, making that connection is all about being authentic. You’ll have a hard time eliciting a response from customers if you’re just like every other brand out there – you need to stand out.
In SEO, building brand authenticity revolves around three core elements: the right keywords, an impressive landing page, and great content.
The right keywords – Keywords tell the search engines what your website is about. You could go for generic terms, but would people be able to remember your brand? Probably not. Keyword targeting is important for a memorable brand.
An impressive landing page – Your landing page is your doorway to conversion. You only have a few seconds to convince customers and prompt them into conversion before they decide to leave. An impressive landing page has a structure: clear USPs, uncluttered design, and relevant copy.
- Great content – Quality, engaging content is the heart of a successful brand. Your content is not limited to text; videos, images, and other rich media can also build brand authenticity. The most important rule is to create the content your users need. What do they want to know about your brand? What can you offer? The important information should be highlighted in your content.
Finding the Trigger
Most brands lack an emotional link with their customers because of one thing: there’s no trigger for it. People respond automatically based on what they perceive or what they find online. If your content entices people to a state of happiness, they are more likely to click on your link or share your content.
Use Google’s moments to develop that emotional focus and give customers a trigger to relate to your brand. These moments correspond to what drives consumers in taking action when they search online:
- I-want-to-know moments
- I-want-to-go moments
- I-want-to-buy moments
- I-want-do moments
Understanding the intent behind these moments allow you to craft a message focused on the right emotions. This, in turn, induces customers to act on their needs and make a purchase.
Customers with a solid emotional connection bring a higher lifetime value—even more so than satisfied customers. Integrating emotions into your SEO helps you map a strategy that turns casual browsing into actual conversions. This allows you to define a clear customer journey that coincides with your online marketing strategies and drives results for your business.
What are the best practices you’re using to combine emotion targeting and customer intent with your SEO? Share us your thoughts!