How to Improve Your Customer Service the SEO Friendly Way
No matter what type of industry you’re in, customer service is an essential element of your business. It’s what keeps satisfied customers satisfied and what helps disgruntled customers resolve their issues with your brand. A successful customer service program can significantly increase your customer retention and improve your brand reputation across the board, but there’s more to modern customer service than just hiring a few more smiling faces for your call center.
If you want to make the most of your budget, it’s better to kill two birds with one stone—making changes to your customer service approach that also benefit your domain authority, so you can rise in search ranks over time.
Create an In-Depth FAQ or Tutorial Section
Your first job is to create a sufficiently advanced FAQ or tutorial section for your products and services. For example, if you have a software product you’re trying to market to the masses, it makes sense to have a tutorial demonstrating how to use the system and a troubleshooting guide to help people navigate their problems.
In addition to having very specific information for practically any problem that could come up, your FAQ section should have three features if you want to make the most of it for your SEO campaign:
- Multiple separate pages with sufficient depth. First, try to create as many subpages as possible. More pages means more opportunities to rank. However, don’t be tempted to create pages for the sake of creating pages—all of your new pages should have sufficient depth to warrant a new page.
- An intuitive navigation. All those pages need some underlying structure for search engines (and users) to make sense of it. Separate your FAQ section into a handful of main categories, then separate those categories into several sub-categories, branching further until you reach an individual article level. Include breadcrumbs trails and proper URL formatting to help users and bots understand your system even better.
- A searchable database. Finally, include an onsite search system to help users instinctively find whatever it is they’re looking for. Doing so may not help your SEO ranks directly, but will lead to better user experiences, and therefore lower bounce rates, which can boost your domain authority.
In addition to these three features, consider including a ranking system that allows users to let you know which articles are helpful and which are not. This won’t help your search rankings, but will help you optimize the quality of your work.
Include More Images and Videos
Google loves to see written content, but it also loves to see varying types of content. Visual content is almost always a win, especially if it’s tagged, featured, and described properly on your site.
The perfect place for images is in step-by-step articles, where you can illustrate a certain action or instruction one step at a time with accompanying images. You can also include infographics or handy “all-in-one” guide images that your users can download. If these images can somehow be shared as well, even better.
As for videos, these are best kept to a few minutes in length or shorter. Your goal here is to perform a live demonstration of some instruction or problem. It’s a perfect complement to your written material.
Get Active on Social Media
Another approach you can try is getting more active on social media when it comes to customer service. Oftentimes, customers will look for brands on Facebook or Twitter when they have a problem, as these platforms have become immediate gratification tools. Rather than trying to look up detailed information on a mobile phone, it’s far easier to log into a social media account and see if you can reach the brand directly.
For this, you might consider creating a separate account dedicated to helping your customers. Twitter itself has such an account at Twitter Support. Here, you’ll be able to respond quickly to user requests, provide updates if you have outages or known problems that should be publicized, and syndicate some of the posts you make on your FAQ pages. This increased visibility, attention, traffic, engagement, and social sharing can all have a positive impact on your brand and domain authority, which in turn can benefit your ranks.
Create an Interactive Forum
The last piece of advice I’ll dispense is the trickiest to execute. Creating a dedicated forum for your users introduces several benefits at once: you’ll allow your users to help themselves with practical exchanges of advice and experience, you’ll create more pages automatically (which can then be indexed by Google), and you’ll help your users feel more connected to your brand.
The key to developing a successful forum is community involvement, which takes time to build. At the outset, you’ll have to take charge of creating new posts and responding to customer posts yourself. Eventually, a few experienced users will start responding on their own, and if you nurture the community regularly, you’ll be left with a self-sustaining creation that automatically produces new content and addresses problems for you. All it takes is patience and a good foundation.
Implement these SEO-friendly strategies to maximize your customer service availability while simultaneously boosting your ranks. More visibility means more traffic, and more traffic met with awesome service means more lifetime customers, who in turn can influence even more traffic and revenue. It’s a self-sustaining feedback loop that will only add value to your business.
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