When it comes to marketing your equine business, there is so much to consider. SEO, social media, email marketing, PR, print, events - there are so many ways that you can market your business, it can feel overwhelming. Marketing requires an investment of time and money, and getting a good ROI (return on investment - marketing speak for a good bang for your buck) is key.
The truth is that your overall marketing strategy will most likely require several prongs - one form of marketing alone won’t give you the best results. However, SEO is often overlooked by equine businesses due to the techy, complicated (and perhaps boring) impression it gives. This blog article outlines five reasons why equine businesses need to incorporate SEO into their marketing strategies.
What is SEO Marketing?
First thing’s first - what is SEO marketing? It sounds technical - and it can be- but SEO stands for search engine optimisation. Put simply, SEO helps your website get found online in search engines such as Google and Bing.
The aim of doing SEO is to get your website to show up (or “rank”) on the first page of search engine results for relevant keywords. If, for example, you have an e-commerce website selling base layers, you would want your website to rank well for keywords such as “equestrian base layers” or “horse riding base layers”.
Those are the very basics. You can find out more about what SEO is by reading our guide: What is SEO Marketing?
Equine Businesses: 5 Reasons Why You Need SEO
SEO has a number of benefits to equine businesses. However, we have picked out the top five reasons why equine businesses should adopt SEO as part of their marketing strategy:
Reason One: SEO Helps Your Business Get Found Online
In order for a website to generate money for your business, people need to be able to find it. We often hear equine business owners say things like:
“Oh well if you type in [company name] in Google, we do come up”
“Well I just direct people to my website from social media”
Firstly, your website absolutely should come up when people search your company name in Google! If it doesn’t then your website either isn’t live (perhaps your domain has expired) or it hasn’t been indexed by the search engine.
Secondly, your social media is only one marketing stream (unless you use several platforms). It can also be very difficult to cut through the noise on platforms such as Instagram, which have a huge number of users. This makes getting found difficult, especially if you are in direct competition with much larger brands.
Either way, by ignoring SEO, you are missing out on getting discovered by hundreds, if not thousands of people who are actively searching for your product or service, but who do not yet know that your business exists.
Reason Two: SEO Helps Your Website Make Sales and Generate Leads
For most businesses, a website is there to either sell products or services by taking payments, or generate leads via contact forms or free consultation bookings (or both). If your website is sitting in its corner of the internet, abandoned and dormant, then it is unlikely to be doing either of those things.
Carrying out SEO work allows your website to get found by people who are actively searching for a product, service or solution. SEO allows you to target high-intent audiences. These are people who are looking to make a purchase or enquire about something now or in the very near future. For example, someone in need of a new pair of riding boots is likely to search for something like “ladies brown horse riding boots” or “ladies jodhpur boots size 5”. By getting your website to the top of the search results for these high-intent keywords, you are putting your business in prime position to secure that sale.
Reason Three: SEO Helps Emerging and Small Equine Businesses Compete With Major Brands
Some areas of the equestrian sector are incredibly crowded. E-commerce, particularly rider wear, country wear and horse wear is a very competitive marketplace, making it harder to get your business discovered.
However, it is very possible for small and emerging equine businesses to compete with those established brands in search engines. By adopting a well thought out, strategic approach to SEO, your business can rank alongside (and above) your much larger competitors’ websites.
At Purple Horse Marketing, we have experience in doing just this for emerging equestrian e-commerce brands. We are passionate about helping ambitious brands offering quality, high-performance equestrian products compete online. Book a free consultation to learn more about our equestrian SEO services.
Reason Four: SEO Helps Your Equine Business Establish Trust and Authority
SEO is not just about appearing on the first page for high-intent keywords. It is also an effective way to build trust and authority with your audience.
People often search for answers to questions, information around a subject, how-to guides and instructions. Equine businesses can target these mid- and low-intent keywords using blog articles to answer questions and provide information around their subject area. For example, a vet practice could write blog articles on how to prevent laminitis, the symptoms of PPID or how to keep a horse happy whilst it is on box rest.
Informative content does not necessarily sell a product or service straight away. However, it does help to establish a business as a trustworthy source of information. It also helps to build brand recognition as more people discover your brand whilst searching for information online. Then, when it comes to actually buying or enquiring, your business is already on the radar. Your SEO efforts will put you a step ahead of the competition when it comes to winning over that customer.
Reason Five: SEO Can Support Your Wider Marketing Strategy
SEO - like any form of marketing - works best when it is implemented as part of a wider strategy. Considering how your SEO will work in conjunction with your social media, email marketing and PR campaigns can help you to make the most of your marketing. Think about where there are gaps in your current marketing:
Do people need educating on why they need your product or service?
Do you already have a highly engaged social media or email audience that you could tap into?
Could you use SEO to help re-engage past customers?
How can you use SEO to demonstrate how your product or service is better than the competition?
Content can often be repurposed and used across your SEO, social media, email and PR campaigns. Your social media posts can be expanded to create blog articles, whilst your blog articles can be split up or condensed to make engaging social media content. Blog articles written for SEO can also include calls-to-action, which can drive valuable actions such as email sign-ups. Ultimately, putting the effort into creating engaging content for SEO will provide your business with a wealth of content to use across your entire marketing strategy.
We Are Equine Marketing Specialists
SEO can be time-consuming and it can feel complicated to the uninitiated. At Purple Horse Marketing, we specialise in SEO for equestrian businesses. Our equine marketing specialists can transform your website from tired digital shop window to a reliable source of sales and enquiries. We plan your SEO strategy, create and optimise content, carry out technical SEO fixes and provide regular reports and updates, helping your equestrian brand compete online. Book a free equine marketing consultation and discover how we can help your equine business grow online.