02/05/2014 – 5:29pm Laura Baker
As competition for brand exposure grows, search engine optimization (SEO) has ceased to be an effective marketing tool on its own. Now, marketers are also employing OAO: online audience optimization.
Some SEO practices aim to get anyone and everyone to visit your Web page. These methods can be frustrating for users, and may not attract the audience you’re looking for.
OAO is a new approach content publishers are using to build a strong Web presence while developing a loyal and targeted audience. When combined with some of SEO’s best practices, as well as social media, content sharing, engagement mechanics, and branding, OAO can help the right audience find and engage with your site, brand, and content.
Here are five keys to an effective OAO strategy:
- Keep SEO best practices, but stop trying to load your pages with keyword-heavy text and instead ensure that headings, captions, and other text convey your editorial mission.
- Call attention to your brand and the offerings that you bring to your target audience. Your goal is to find the people who need the content that your site offers.
- Reach beyond your website borders and employ social media and other outlets to strengthen your brand and engage your audience, both newcomers and loyal customers. Make sure your focus includes Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, and depending on your content, YouTube and Pinterest.
- Embrace mobile optimization to reach readers on any device.
- Encourage interaction through tools like polls, quizzes, comments, or sharing. You can even engage visitors with games or giveaways — whatever you can do to encourage your audience to come to, stay on, and revisit your site.
OAO is a method publishers can use to create relevant, high-quality content and deliver it to the right audience. The idea of simply getting people to your site is outdated — when it comes to visitors, it’s no longer their quantity, but their quality that counts.