With the firearms industry coming off of eight record years of growth—traffic on your website may be dropping, sales may be slowing, and panic may be beginning to set in.
You may have clicked on this post because you’re looking to get into digital marketing and you’ve heard SEO may be the place to start.
Whatever best describes you, in this short and abbreviated post, I’ll explain the difference between SEO and firearm content marketing and why you can’t do one without the other.
SEO is a firearms marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. (Source: Moz) By gaining visibility on search engines through organic (non-paid) results, your business can generate traffic, which in turn can equal sales. And with over 81% of all product searches beginning on the web, if you’re not showing up in search, your business may as well not exist.
Organic traffic in the firearms industry has a much higher rate of return because people searching are actively buying. This means their wallets are open and they are looking for a solution to their problem.
There are many factors involved in optimizing your website for search engines. Listed below are top ten must-dos to start.
- Your website must be mobile responsive.
- Keywords that your prospects are searching for should be placed in the title tags of your website.
- Make sure your images are optimized to their lowest file size to decrease page load times and that they are also named using your keywords.
- An informative META description on your web page(s) that also include your keywords.
- Writing content on every page of your website that contains those same keywords at least five times (or 0.8%) within a 700-1000 word text block.
- Having a well-designed page structure and code base where load hogging scripts are compressed and placed beneath the web page’s fold (the visible area of your website when it pulls up).
- A fast server and content delivery network.
- A good user interface that also contains your keywords in the main headings <h1>, <h2>, <h3> etc.
- Keywords in your URLs when possible.
- A good sitemap that can be read by Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others.
And that’s just ten. There are almost 200 other ranking factors that go into a well-optimized website.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. (Source: CMI)
SEO and content marketing is like a double-sided coin. Just like weight loss, you can’t just work out and expect to lose weight, you have to make smart eating decisions too— day after day, week after week, month after month to achieve your goals.
SEO and content marketing are somewhat similar.
You can’t gain and sustain ranked keywords without doing both SEO and content marketing—day after day, week after week, month after month to achieve your goals.
Here’s why. Google who controls over 60% of the entire planet’s traffic indicates you must create fresh and relevant content (Source: Google) for your site to attain and sustain keyword rankings.
Once again, ranked keywords = visibility = traffic = $$$.
When you optimize your website or are building a new one from the ground up—SEO is needed to start the fire where content is the fuel that keeps it going. Depending on how competitive the segment you play in (ARs, Outfitting, Concealed Carry, Optics, Safes, Lasers etc.) you may need more or less content to compete. Online dealers get this. Companies like Optics Planet, Brownells, and Lucky Gunner have large digital footprints and have been building content for years and in the process turned themselves into a brand which Google also seems to favor.
Content marketing also helps to build backlinks, gives empowering information to social media followers and your email marketing subscribers, and attracts Influencers. Backlinks are important because they tell search engines that your site is more popular than your competitors hence, giving you higher rankings.
SEO and content are a double-sided coin. You can’t be successful with one without doing the other. They go together like gunpowder and brass, bows and arrows, turkey hunting and 12 gauges. If you hope to start building your own digital footprint through SEO and content for the future, the time to start is now.