How to Improve Your SEO Campaign With Online Coupons
If you run an eCommerce site, online coupons could be the key on how to improve your SEO campaign, learn how.
Image Source: Coupons.com
We all love a freebie or a discount don’t we?
Well, if you’re in the business of running an e-commerce website then you can tap into this need with coupons and, the benefits this brings may not be just in increased sales and brand awareness but, perhaps less obviously, in your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts too.
The principles of discounting to improve sales
Discount codes are a great tool for any online retailer. They help to attract new customers and encourage them to buy. And they give the customer an instant discount when they make their purchase, which will hopefully keep them coming back again and again.
Many of the most successful online marketing campaigns are those that integrate coupons into their marketing strategy. In fact, many people actively seek the best prices when buying online so if you’re not offering a deal and a competitor is then you’ll probably be losing out.
Shoppers like to feel they are getting value for their money. Discount coupons offer them a way to satisfy their needs. In return, you, as a business owner get rewarded in a number of ways:
- Increased brand awareness
- More visitors to your website
- Increased sales
- Opportunities to upsell
- A way to build a list of prospective customers that you can sell to again and again
Arguably, it’s the last point here that has the most impact. You see, giving the customer something they want (discounts!) actually can have a very positive impact on customer loyalty. And, customer loyalty means they’ll help you spread the word through their own social circles – and you can’t really “buy” that!
This is why some businesses actually create coupon offers that are completely irresistible to most humans, even if it means they make a loss. They recognize the value of onboarding a customer and being able to market to them again and again.
So how does this help my SEO effort?
There’s a reason why Google gives preferential treatment to pages with lots of inbound links. In essence, the more people that are talking about you and linking to your website, the more powerful and authoritative it appears to Google.
Building up an impressive number of inbound links can be taken as an indication of your place of prominence in the market and this is what Google is looking for. That’s how you become one of those businesses that appear on page 1 when someone searches for your services or products.
The bottom line is that if there are more people linking to you, then Google will give you a better rank. And, this is exactly what coupons can contribute to your SEO efforts.
You see, in order to obtain the best search engine rankings, you need traffic that’s organic and that means it’s generated organically. This is where coupons come in.
When you offer a discount voucher, you are essentially encouraging customers to visit your website in order to get a code that gives them the discount. And, this means that traffic is coming organically from people who want to buy a product from you and not because they were prompted by an advertisement.
This is great for B2B SEO as it means that Google sees more visitors to your website originating from organic sources and therefore ranks your site higher. This alone is reason enough to have discount vouchers available on your website.
But, getting the word out and generating some backlinks to your site (and we’ll give some ideas on “how” in just a moment) is just the start of the SEO benefits. Google looks for many signals around your website, not just inbound links so other aspects of organic persuasion can be generated from the initial contact:
- Lower bounce rates: Visitors with a coupon code are more likely to visit multiple pages on your site. Depending on the coupon (see below for coupon types), they may even add more items to their cart.
- Increased sharing: Your site visitors are more likely to promote your business to their friends and social circles. You can encourage them to share on their preferred social media site in return for more discounts or just because they got a great deal from you. This, in turn, will encourage more natural links.
- More returning customers: So maybe you hook them in with a discount coupon but have them sign up for a newsletter to get informed of future offers. You’re not only giving your business a future opportunity, but you’re also creating brand loyalty and building a long-term relationship with your customers. They’ll come back to your website time and time again.
- Creating “Buzz” around your brand: The more people are attracted to your site and its offers, the more they’ll talk about it. It doesn’t matter if they do this talking to their neighbor on the street or mention it to their family WhatsApp group or post it on their Facebook feed – the end result is going to be the growth of your brand and, in turn, more and more traffic to your website from “word of mouth” advertising resulting in exponential growth.
Through traffic increases, better click-through rates, and higher conversions, these side-effects of coupons can have very positive effects on the ranking your website gets in Google.
As mentioned earlier, sometimes, a coupon promotion isn’t even about creating more conversions. An offer of a discount will assist in attracting searchers, then you can optimize your landing page to encourage them to browse your site and discover your other products, signing up to your marketing list, reducing your bounce rates, and many other things that may create long-term value to your business.
In the end, offering a coupon promotion on your site may just bring you valuable SEO credit that is super-hard to get by any other method plus, give you the opportunity to upsell and create a much higher lifetime value from your customer.
Organic optimization for coupons
You’ll remember we talked about the types of people that actively search for product discounts when buying online. Well, this gives you a good opportunity to target these kinds of searchers in search engines.
And it’s relatively easy.
Make a page on your website that targets the search terms they are looking for:
- [product/brand] Coupon
- [product/brand] Discount
- [product/brand] Promo code
These types of pages are more likely to be ranked higher than a common product page, they’ll also get a better click-through rate and lower bounce rates as people find their way around your site.
If you do this right and promote these page(s) on your social media channels, your blog, and wherever you can generate some additional backlinks; it won’t be too long before you see the page rising in rank for your keywords in the search results.
Extending the value of visitors for SEO – make them work for their coupon!
This is slightly controversial, but it depends on if you’re the only one offering a coupon for your product(s) but it’s quite feasible to have the visitor earn their coupon by doing something simple. For example:
- Sign up for our mailing list and we’ll email you your coupon
- Share our page on your social media channel (generating natural links)
- Following a sale, offer your customer a coupon for posting a product review on your website. If your tags are correctly set up, you’ll see star ratings starting to appear on your organic (and paid) listings in the search engines.
- Refer to friend links – give your customers a coupon for them and for their friends. Why not even encourage them to publish it on their own blogs and social media channels!
Types of coupons you could offer:
- Free delivery of one item during the month of [Any Month]
- A % off – so let’s say you’re selling a $100 product, offer a coupon for $10 off their next purchase.
- Free shipping on all orders during the month of [Any Month] – this way you can give them something to help warm up to the idea behind promoting your business. You can always find ways to avoid going over your margins as well.
- Free gifts with purchase – especially good if you’re running a special promotion
- A flat percentage off that stacks with all other existing coupons and discounts, encouraging them to purchase everything they want now before it’s too late. Be sure to set the cap on the maximum discount available however so that you don’t have people ordering $1000+ in products just to get 90% off when free shipping is available.
- A promotion that uses the opportunity to set yourself apart from all the competitors.
- Use the online orders to capture data about what works and what doesn’t. If your promotion is targeting a specific type of consumer or market, see which emails work best and how many people are actually opening them in order to improve your overall return on investment for future email campaigns.
- Use free shipping codes and promotions as an opportunity to drive business through social media when the promotional period is over.
- Offering up to 30% off one item in your store during the month of [Any Month]
- Offer a free gift for every 10 items purchased after the first one – this could be anything from a T-shirt to a discount code for another product purchase. This will encourage customers to purchase other products and offer much greater value as it will also add momentum to future sales lead-ups
- A promotion that has a predetermined end date and a special offer for people who purchase before the deadline.
- Offer an amazing free gift with a purchase of $100 or more – you can use this to encourage purchases and build momentum for future sales. You can also use it to block out your competitors as no one else will be able to offer this deal at the same price point.
If you’re not the only vendor offering a discount and you can’t beat the discounted value then think outside of the box! Add value, make it seem like your customer is getting the best deal, reward loyalty, promise future discounts, create urgency in the offer, perhaps… even treat the campaign as a paid marketing campaign and make a slight loss on the sale of one product in order to encourage new customers to join you.
Strategically using coupons in your online marketing campaigns is a powerful tool with many benefits to you and your customer. Not just that, it’s also a really great way to show Google that you are confident in your product and what it’s worth, thus giving you a boost in the search engine rankings.
SEO opportunities are not just the obvious strategies, could coupons be a game-changer for your business? There’s only one way to find out!