Customers are using search engines to find the answers to their questions. If your help documentation is not in a web-native format, search engines will not be able to crawl your content and display pertinent, quality results to your customers. This is problematic because customers expect quick, easy service and don’t want to exert a lot of energy hunting down information. Businesses realize this and are starting to employ SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactics to drive customers to their knowledge centers and direct them to the information that they need. This optimization not only increases site traffic, but also provides businesses with an opportunity to increase brand awareness, offer quality customer service, and increase sales conversions.
Step Into Your Customers’ Shoes:
If you haven’t already, we urge you to test how poorly optimized your help center is for SEO. It’s a fairly simple exercise, but can have extremely far-reaching implications that can impact your bottom line. To start, you should talk to your support team and make a list of common questions that your customers would usually ask. Then, input different queries through Google, Bing, or Yahoo and see what results pop up. If you are not directed to the correct page, your business may be losing customers.
There’s a new LinkedIn Group – Customer Success Tactics – that’s still in its early stages, but has the potential to deliver a lot of value to businesses. If you want to stay one step ahead of your competitors and get the latest industry tips and tricks, you should join now.
8 SEO Tactics To Drive Customer Success:
MindTouch is a SaaS organization that has a phenomenal track record with helping businesses (including Intuit, Paypal, MakerBot, and Code42) deliver SEO-friendly self-help options. Whether or not you use the MindTouch solution, we are great at SEO and would like to share some our built-in functionalities to help you drive customer success and increase site traffic.
1. Human Readable URLs - Are clean, simple URLs with keywords to increase your search rankings and place more authority on your content. MindTouch is the only vendor that optimizes this way specifically for Help Centers.
- The Good: http://www.mindtouch.com/blog/
- The Ugly: http://www.company12345.com/3d5$#y6h1h%
2. XML SiteMap – Are used to tell search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, that there are pages on your site that they should crawl. By providing these crawlers with more information, such as metadata about specific content, you are helping them learn more about the structure and organization of your site. MindTouch automatically updates the XML site-map dynamically, in real time, as new articles are added. This ensures that search engines will know that something new has been updated and surface the correct results when pinged.
3. No Broken Links – Broken links frustrate customers and hurt your SEO ranking. MindTouch automatically creates and manages all your 401 redirects correctly to prevent any broken links.
4. Correct Use of Meta and Alt Tags for Media – By using Meta and Alt Tags correctly, you improve visibility for your site and content, make it easier for users to discover, and make it easier for web crawlers to find.
5. Content Reuse for Keyword Placement – MindTouch clients can capture and reuse knowledge generated by internal and external experts to deliver consistent, quality information to their customers. This optimizes keyword placement as relevant content is clustered and back-linked.
6. Proper use of nofollow tags – In general, people use nofollow tags for paid links, comments, user-generated content, embeds, and others to prevent Search Engines from crawling links that go to bad, un-related sites.
7. High Quality Social Links with Social Sharing – This makes it easy for interested followers to share content and back-link to your site. With MindTouch you have the option of turning on or off the social sharing buttons, but it is recommended that you leave them on for SEO purposes.
8. Link and Cluster Pages by Topic / Landing Pages – Strategically link pages about “Customer Success” to other pages about “Customer Success”. This strategic clustering of knowledge makes it easy, not just for web crawlers to find information, but for users to search and find the answers to their questions. Related articles are optimized for this and further improved by dynamically adapting to the search and browsing behavior of end users.
If your company is not optimizing your Help Center for SEO, you are losing an opportunity to promote your brand, drive traffic to your site, and increase revenue. Your customers will love you if you make it easy for them to find the information that they need. Whether you’re using MindTouch or not, you should reevaluate your SEO strategy to stop losing customers and stay one step ahead of your competitors.