SEO is now a part of every major corporation and organization across North America, yet the businesses that need it the most are missing out. We look at the market leader in sports apparel and footwear - Nike - to learn what are some key ways they are using SEO to out-compete their marketing competitors. Ready to take the lead in your industry's marketing strategy? Contact us today for a free consultation on how to become the market leader.

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Executive Summary

  • Search Engine Optimization services are required for market leadership because that's where customers are going to engage with brands and find information on their next purchase
  • Without regular monitoring of SEO metrics, a company can miss out on opportunities in emerging consumer trends that could solidify their market leadership
  • Nike demonstrates their market leadership by utilizing an extensive SEO strategy to out-compete other players in their industry
  • Nike is successful because they dedicate full-time resources and teams to SEO and works with a digital SEO Agency
  • SEO is about providing value to prospects and customers alike.  It creates more sustainable value than Paid Advertising in the long run
  • Digital marketing is a necessity as soon as one industry organization employs it.  As a result, very few industries are without SEO influence

 

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Sunset of Retail Stores and why SEO Takes Spotlight

Major retailers are closing over 3,000 stores this year because traditional retail has been replaced by online product research and shopping. These retailers like Sears, JC Penny, and Macy's are forming an extensive line up to exit the traditional brick and mortar scene. Not only are department stores looking to scale back their retail operations, brands like Crocs, Guess, and American Apparel are also on the roster. This is because people are no longer going to malls to check out merchandise and learn more about what businesses are offering. Before a customer walks into a store they already have an idea of what they are looking for and have seen dozens of reviews about the product. The pathways that people traditionally took to form their purchasing decisions have changed and many businesses have caught on to this. Customers are now more than ever utilizing search engines like Google to find out what peoples' dining experiences were like before going to eat out or scouring lengthy reviews to find out if they should pay for the newest personal gadgets. Because of this search engine optimization has been helping companies and not-for-profits connect with audiences in a new and dynamic way.

If we think of malls and their walkways leading to retail stores, the digital realm has created paths in which people are looking to find out about product information and service reviews. These pathways have changed from tiles to keywords, their destinations are pieces of content on the web that can inform, engage, and convince people to purchase or make a decision. In the world of digital marketing, there are two major branches  - Organic and Pay Per Click. If you are wondering if SEO really delivers value to customers but also to your business, look no further.

 

Why SEO services are Needed Monthy and the Key to Serving Customers Better in the Digital Era

If retail stores knew how often and who looked at certain products each day, nobody would argue the value of this information. For most businesses, the most reliable piece of information for customer data is the number of sales made. The customer is telling businesses what products are important to them and which ones they don't prefer. Organizations will then adjust their inventory, product placement, and staffing levels accordingly. What SEO provides is the ability to track which products were viewed by customers, how long they looking at them for, and even their anonymized demographic information. Companies have an unprecedented amount of information and insight into what their customers care about and how they are connecting with their business. As a best practice, companies often employ weekly changes to their SEO to respond to the influx of customers and their engagement with the web pages and blogs provided. SEO helps you harness the information customers are passively sharing with you to better serve them in providing clearer information, better content to guide purchasing decisions, and even simply new channels with which to connect. Being a market leader means finding ways to best serve customers and SEO provides exactly that by understanding what is important and how to improve the overall brand experience. Here is a quick example of how SEO can help your business today:

 

Market Leader NIKE Harnesses SEO to Just Do It

why you need regular monthly seo nike 1

Nike remains the world's most recognized sporting footwear and apparel brand on the market today against competitors like Reebok, Adidas, and Under Armour. Nike is utilizing an extensive SEO strategy to compete with these brands that have the same marketing and technology available to them. Here are the top reasons why Nike is dominating in the SEO game

  1. Nike tailors its SEO work to specific geographies - Nike also employs unique SEO strategies based on countries it is operating in, as the customers in different places have different needs. We found at the time of writing this article that Nike was actively hiring an SEO manager for its European division.
  2. Nike has entire teams working full-time on SEO - sourced from the same job description, Nike clearly sees that regular SEO contribution is important but strategic. It has an entire team of full-time employs dedicated to reaching new prospects online and then turning them into fans and possibly customers.
  3. It offers a tailored experience for multiple devices - the SEO team leverages strategies and data to drive the consumer experience whether they are on laptop, phone, or tablet
  4. They don't go it alone, Nike also works with SEO agency and their teams - Nike not only has an in-house team of SEO managers but also leverages the work of trusted SEO advisors alongside their team of experts.

Nike's competitor Reebok is still working to lead and ramp up its SEO efforts by bringing on SEO specialists, albeit without mention of interaction with other SEO team members or SEO agencies. What every organization and business can learn about Nike and Reebok is that SEO is a tangible strategy to doing business or advocating for causes in the digital space we work, play, and relate in. Having examined Nike's use of SEO we know that: regular time needs to be spent on SEO, including dedicated resources and teams if possible.

 

SEO is Ultimately about Connecting and Providing Value

At its core SEO is about providing engaging content and connecting with stakeholders or customers. This means that it has sustained, longer-lasting value than commercials, radio ads, or digital advertisements. One of the main aspects of SEO is content marketing which focuses on providing meaningful and informative content to your target audience. The tricky part is to determine who your target audience is and how to provide the best comparative content as Google pits content publishers against one another in their search rankings.

In the past, there have been those dubbed "Blackhat" SEO practitioners that attempt to game the system and climb to the top of search rankings without providing value. This is increasingly becoming more and more scarce as Google's Rank Brain continues to refine itself along with Google's army of content examiners. In the long run, helping customers and prospects is always the best way to do business.

 

The Dynamics of Digital Marketing

The reality is that as more business discover that consumers are going online there is increasing competition in digital marketing and SEO. One example we can draw on is the advent of the car and delivery businesses. Before cars, businesses would deliver goods like milk, rice, and even natural resources using a horse drawn cart. The first business that introduced the car to their delivery system reaped immense gains and became a market leader in delivery. Similarly, companies that leverage SEO are in a better market leadership position than competitors. The takeaway for businesses is that every one of them needs a digital marketing specialist or team that focuses on SEO. But since everyone has access to an SEO agency does this make it a mute competitive factor? No! SEO is part art and science and requires tremendous discipline and experience to hone. The focus companies should set their eyes on is how to choose the best specialist which we will examine next. For those who need help looking for a marketing company, here is a good place to start.

 

Best Practices for Choosing the Right SEO Company

Here are some best practices in choosing an effective SEO company based on our experience of having worked on a number of client accounts. Companies should be aware and also actively communicate with their SEO agency to ensure these best practices continue to be adhered to as they can change with time.

  1. Ensure the company is reliable and focuses on service - you can hire a good SEO agency but they can provide poor service. Don't settle for one or the other and aim for both. Do this by finding references for both customers they are working with and ones they've left with. If they aren't able to provide these references then that may be a red flag.
  2. Make sure that they aren't working with other industry players in your location - because SEO strategy is created for a company, industry, and location it is important that the agency focuses on working for you and avoids being in a compromising situation. It is up to the business to determine how close to home is comfortable.
  3. Confirm that they will be available to learn about your business and customers - sometimes companies focus on sales and profitability to the detriment of customer service. This best practice requires that the company be available to educate the SEO specialist and that your service provider is available to learn about the industry and how customers think and behave.
  4. An agency should offer an option to train and enable you for success - some agencies will retain clients indefinitely but good agencies aren't afraid to work themselves out of a job. If it is ultimately better for your business to be coached into learning SEO, they should be comfortable with that.
  5. Insist on having end-to-end traffic-to-sales tracking - some companies will miss out on the fact that this information is available. Knowing about sales leads and closed sales will help you as a business determine the return on investment of SEO. Many of clients can expect a 50%-2000% return. That's not an extra zero, it is real ROI.

 

 

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