SEO for Beauty Brands: Standing Out in a Crowded Market



More and more consumers (including yourself) are going online before making purchasing decisions. In a recent study conducted by DoubleClick Performics and ROI Research, it was found that 61% of comparison shoppers go online to find reviews and recommendations before they make a purchase. This number has been increasing each year since the study was first conducted. This means that over one half of your potential customers are looking for information about products like yours before they decide to buy. Where does this research take place? 41% of these shoppers are visiting brand manufacturer websites, while 32% are visiting retail websites and 20% are visiting search engines. This number is going to continue to increase. And because search is the #3 online buying activity trailing only email and the actual purchase of a product, it can be inferred that a large percentage of these users are looking for information from search engines.

The beauty industry is growing rapidly. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry in many countries and it’s still growing. Each year there are more and more beauty products, services, and brands that are fighting to be noticed in this crowded marketplace.

Importance of SEO for Beauty Brands

In an age where Google is able to provide a list of answers to most consumer questions, standing out requires mastery of SEO for beauty brands. It’s true that a strong social media following on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook help to promote products – a significant amount of buying begins with a simple Google search. Now, when considering the interaction between social media and SEO, it is important to remember that social media channels are also crawlable. This is why an interception based marketing program is so effective with social media. But when considering the necessity of SEO service, over 40% of beauty product consumers begin their buying process with a search engine query. SEO allows for the positioning of the brand information at the exact moment the consumer is seeking it. And in an industry where consumers have a near overabundance of choices, it is important to meet them at the beginning of their buying process and entice them with education on the product in hopes of steering them to a purchase.

Increasing Online Visibility

Increasing the information available on the product and displaying it to the customers It is very common for some beauty products that are not already well-known to the public to be merely ignored despite having a good function and quality. This is because there is not enough information regarding that product, and sometimes people have misconceptions or wrong information about it. SEO can rectify this by creating a new page specifically about the product to be displayed when customers search for it. This is much more effective compared to using any kind of advertisements, as the customer is the one that is seeking information about the product. This method is very cost-effective as well because the page will remain in the search engine results as long as the website still exists, and it will continue to bring potential customers to that product.

In today’s society, where technology has become a basic necessity, nearly all beauty brands have their own web page to showcase their products to consumers globally. Having an attractive website with aesthetically pleasing pictures and incredible animation does not guarantee visitors to the site. A crucial part that contributes to a successful website is gaining plenty of visitors, as it is definitely a main goal for all business websites, including beauty brands. Visitors can be considered as potential customers for the brand, thus it is very important to create a good first impression for these visitors. Unfortunately, for some websites, visitors that stumbled upon the site were not actually looking for the products, which could result in a high bounce rate. Bounce rate refers to the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page). Imagine someone opening a website but closing it in less than 5 seconds – it’s definitely not a good sign. High bounce rate can be caused by grabbing the wrong type of audience for the website. For example, visitors that are looking for car wax rather than hair wax, pop-up ads that are annoying or irrelevant to the main content of the site, and etc. SEO plays an essential role in solving these problems to increase online visibility and target the relevant audience. By increasing online visibility, it can attract more potential customers to the website, improve impressions, and reduce bounce rate. This can be achieved by displaying the website at the top or near the top of search engine result pages (SERP). With an estimate of 75,000 searches being done every second on search engines, it will surely bring enormous potential to organic traffic. Organic traffic refers to the visitors that found the website from a search engine, thus the higher the website ranks at SERP, the higher the chance to receive organic traffic.

Targeting Relevant Keywords

After your initial goal of increasing brand visibility is accomplished, the critical part of your strategy begins. This involves targeting keyword phrases that consumers are using to find your products. The keywords that consumers use when searching for products greatly affect the types of traffic your website receives. If you rank high for terms that are not relevant to your products, you will receive a lot of traffic, but it will be unqualified. High rankings for broad, non-specific terms often bring unqualified traffic. This is the most common mistake made in SEO. While traffic quantity is important, it’s the quality of the traffic that matters. Qualified traffic is what will increase your ROI. This occurs when searchers are using words to specifically describe the products they are looking for. The more specific the search term, the more qualified the traffic that finds your products. This is why it is important to optimize product pages for long-tail search terms. A long-tail keyword is a highly specific search phrase that usually contains 3-5 words. People who search for these terms are more likely to make a purchase. Always remember, if a consumer cannot find your products, they cannot buy them. Taking the time to research and implement the most relevant keywords is a use of your resources that will certainly pay off in this industry.

Improving Website Ranking

While increasing visibility is an important part of overall SEO success, the broad yet particular targeting of relevant keywords could lead to a more straightforward ROI on SEO investments. Returning to the perfume example, ranking for “perfume” would be way more tough than ranking for “perfume for teens” or “fruity fragrance perfume”. Though targeting long tail search terms is more labor-intensive, the ROI is greater because the likelihood of conversion is higher. After successfully targeting keywords, the next step would be to rank for those keywords. With hard work and some luck, it is possible to see the keyword(s) a site is targeting to start ranking and ultimately landing in a position that would bring about a good amount of traffic/revenue. This keyword ranking feedback can be used to change the targeted keywords as necessary to avoid having to compete against similar keywords. SEO allows for promotion 24/7 and can be seen as a sales force with a lasting impact. It’s not unusual to see quick results; however, expecting to see immediate results is unrealistic. A rough time frame to expect results would be: 4-12 weeks for a “stick” Google penalty, 4-6 months for a “new site”, and 6-12 months for medium to high competition keywords.

Strategies for Effective SEO

Optimizing website content Site content goes beyond product pages. Within a highly competitive market, prospects and customers look to brand sites for additional value, whether this comes in the form of online beauty consultations, a forum for community interaction, or providing free beauty information. The SEO reality: search engines view this information as crucial to providing richer search results. This is your ticket to increasing your visibility for terms outside of simple product or brand-related keywords. Take a step back and evaluate the differentiators—what sets your brand apart? What additional resources can you offer to site visitors? The answers to these questions will guide the keywords you choose to target and the type of content you will look to develop. To supplement optimization of static on-page copy, the blog is a surefire way to add relevant content to a site using valuable keywords. When looking at the brands ranking highest and most frequently in the beauty industry, it’s no surprise to see that these are brands with active blogs: Clinique, Lancôme, Olay, and Bare Escentuals, to name a few. A successful blog fosters a community of engaged visitors and loyal customers while also providing the opportunity for text-based backlinks (which are valuable beyond measure) from other sites. The incoming links from the quality offsite sources will lead to a deeper indexation of your site’s pages and posts, leading to increased organic search traffic.

Optimizing Website Content

Keyword research is also critical for optimizing website content. Mapping out keywords based on what you believe your target market is searching for and use those to build a map of what keywords you want to optimize each specific page for. Keep in mind the value of the page when doing this. Don’t try to optimize one page for keywords that are irrelevant to the content. Similarly, don’t try to optimize a page for keywords that are irrelevant to the overall site. A page’s value can often be a subjective thing and will depend on the type of site you are working on. Your goal, however, is to bring the maximum benefit to the visitor and to the site as a whole.

Quality Content is, above all, the most important thing in SEO. If you’re not providing something useful to your visitors, all of the optimization in the world will not help you. This is the reason many SEOs recommend starting a site from the ground up. Trying to add SEO after a site has already been built is much like trying to add an addition to a house after it has already been built. It’s possible, but the addition will go much more smoothly if it’s planned from the outset.

When it comes to optimizing website content for search engines, there is such a thing as going overboard. Using keyword-stuffing tactics and other such blackhat methods will get you penalized by the search engines. Your goal in optimization should be to provide useful content to your visitors as well as making sure it is easily accessible to search engines.

Building Quality Backlinks

For a business-to-business marketing company, a good way of building quality links could be contributing to a prominent industry publication like this post on YouMoz written by Paddy Moogan. For consumer businesses or those in the B2C sector, link building through content marketing is especially important. E-commerce site link building can get pretty exciting as it could offer contests to devise an interesting image and encourage bloggers to post it on their websites and all around the web. A children’s clothing company could offer a parent a new free easy way on how to shop online for kids and ask the blogger interested in the article to place a video link of it to their article, helping the parent. A family-centered blog will be sure to remember a clothing company offers unique ideas on how to dress their children at different ages. With a little creativity, the possibilities are endless.

A good example of this is an interview conducted with Kelsey Libert from Fractl who said, “The right strategy can improve your link building and your entire content marketing campaign. That’s because the right pitch can get your brand’s best content in front of the most relevant publishers at the most optimal time. On the other hand, the wrong strategy, pitch, or content can result in total failure.” Quality over quantity is the most effective method of link building, saying it is far more beneficial to gain 10 links from high-quality websites than 100 low-quality links… and far less risky.

Link building is one of the most difficult SEO tactics to get right. High-quality link building can be very time-consuming and requires a good understanding of your target audience, marketing, and online PR. This is where open communication with the client is so important because often times you will have great content and a strong relationship with the industry you are trying to outreach, but other members of your company can negate your link building efforts.

Utilizing Social Media

Leveraging social media content isn’t just necessary for optimizing organic search visibility – it’s becoming more essential in driving organic search traffic back to the site. This content can facilitate SEO in several ways, including link building, improved visibility, and branded search. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ allow for sharing of content such as blog posts, images, product pages, and any other remarkable site page. The viral nature of social media sharing helps facilitate links that, in turn, fuel SEO efforts. Often times, when a piece of content is particularly popular on one of these platforms, there exist opportunities for acquiring links as others blog about it, and various websites republish the content. It’s also no secret that social media can help improve visibility. When executed effectively, social media marketing can greatly increase the likelihood that branded content will show up in search engine result pages. This is especially true for less competitive keywords that may not rank #1. Often times, an article shared on a social network is what it takes to get that content indexed and showing up in the search results for its targeted keyword. An effective social media marketing campaign can help get users to search for the brand and/or specific product and result in an increase in branded search traffic, a known factor in the search engine algorithm.

Enhancing User Experience

In August 2018, Google released a broad core algorithm update, focusing on improving the organization of information with the goal of promoting websites that feature expertise, authority, and trust (E-A-T) in various contexts. While these concepts have always been important in optimizing a website, this update emphasizes their significance in terms of general search engine rankings. This is especially important for beauty brands, as improved E-A-T helps Google better understand your site, leading to an increase in keyword rankings. Let’s break down this algorithm and compare it to a car: Google’s the driver and the website’s SEO is the car that is being driven. The E-A-T essentially means the driver’s trust in the vehicle; if the trust is high, then the driver is more willing to use the vehicle. Now the goal here is to increase the driver’s trust in your vehicle, meaning increasing trust in your website so Google sees a higher value in it compared to other websites, receiving the hypothetical world number 1 ranking. Another major factor in search rankings is the responsiveness of a website. It really is not worth having a beautiful website if it is not user-friendly, and a lot of beauty brands are guilty of this, focusing primarily on the visuals of the site and not the backend. Google measures this through the bounce rate, the amount of time the user spends on the site, and the number of pages viewed. A site with good backend design will have a low bounce rate and high time spent on the site compared to a site that does not. Faced with a choice between two similar web pages, Google will always favor the one that receives higher user interaction, as it likely has better information for the user compared to its rival. This is a common trend with all websites, and beauty brand websites are no exception, so remember: appearances can often be deceiving.

SEO Service Providers for Beauty Brands

A key attribute in seeking a service provider is to give the interested company a feel of trust and knowledge on the company, and an easy way to do this is by analyzing the company’s SEO performance. This can be achieved by researching the company name in search engines and analyzing its SERPS to provide an insight of the provider’s capabilities. It would also be a good idea to consider contacting the company regarding if a consultation can be arranged, in the long-term building a relationship with the service provider is built on trust and communication.

The complexity of SEO means that SEO optimization is an art form in itself, and that many companies choose to seek the expertise of a specialist service provider. There are a wide range of SEO service providers available that welcome companies looking to outsource their SEO requirements. Service providers range from freelance SEO consultants to small SEO firms, to SEO departments within larger digital marketing agencies. It’s important for companies to weigh up their different options before committing to a service provider to ensure they will work with someone who is suited to the needs of the business.

Researching and Comparing Service Providers

Having decided to pursue an SEO strategy, the next step for a beauty brand is to consider hiring an expert service provider. When considering these services, brands must weigh the cost of consulting services or full-scale SEO campaigns against the potential increased revenue. Consulting services are likely more affordable and can be a way to acquire specific knowledge in the area, learn about the best practices and technologies, and even get an assessment of what the full-scale services would entail at a later time. The primary goal of any SEO campaign is to increase a brand’s visibility in the search engines and to do so with the ultimate goal of increasing traffic to the site; in the case of an online beauty brand, better SEO means more eyes on the site and ultimately more revenue. When the cost of SEO is significant, a brand must consider the potential ROI and projected increased revenue. Step number one for any brand is to do comprehensive research on service providers. What are the names of some top companies and who are the experts in the field? What are the price ranges for various services? What specifically do these services entail and what results can be expected? High cost does not always guarantee quality or results so price is a significant factor. One must examine various service packages and decide whether a full-scale campaign or a more specific service would be more appropriate. By obtaining information on the experiences of other companies, an informed decision can be made and a brand can even seek out recommendations from others in similar fields. Many companies offer free consultations and it is even possible to gain a free site assessment in order to determine what a particular service can offer.

Evaluating Service Packages

Be very wary of any sort of pay-for-performance schemes, link exchanges, or rented links. These are outdated forms of search engine marketing that can be detrimental to your site. Often times, these proposals are tactics that are an attempt to make easy money off of a client with little effort. Make certain the company is not putting your site at risk for any form of search engine penalty. Step back and consider the opportunity cost of the proposed service. High return on low-cost services are often too good to be true. The higher the risk of money loss on a potential penalty or outright failure of the service, the less value there is in the service. Although it’s hard to think in terms of opportunity cost, evaluating the perceived value and overall time investment in a strategy is important in gauging the worth of a service.

The best time to evaluate an internet marketing company’s service package is during the recruiting process. Most companies will provide you with a proposal along with a suggested strategy for your site. It’s important to take into consideration the depth of your current situation and goals when comparing these packages. You will want to compare the proposal offered to the cost of the service. Look for clear and concise deliverables in the proposal. If the company is confident in their abilities, they will have no problem putting together a realistic package with a defined scope of work. Let your prospective providers make the first move. Ask them to review your site and provide a proposal. The one-size-fits-all form of package pricing often suggests that the provider is using a cookie-cutter approach. Not only does this rarely work, but it can actually hinder the success and visibility of your site.

Monitoring and Analyzing SEO Performance

For any service provider, reporting on progress and return on investment (ROI) are essential. Reports should be clear and to the point. The kind of report a service provider offers can provide a great deal of insight into the quality of services being delivered. Both automatic reports and live-access platforms can be effective, as long as they are transparent and offer information that is useful to the client. Offering access to analytics is an added bonus, as it provides an opportunity for the client to gain a better understanding of SEO’s impact. Automatic reports are easy to provide using online software. Often, the value of these reports is quite low due to the lack of context or specific details that are relevant to a client’s business. Live-access platforms can be created using software such as Tableau and Dradis. These platforms can offer a high level of transparency and organization, commonly consolidating data from other reports or information from sources outside of SEO. Access to analytics is helpful to the client as it provides a detailed understanding of how site traffic has been influenced by SEO. This is because the client can, by comparing organic traffic and conversions to past data, identify the specific contributions of SEO to site growth. The best-case scenario for a client is often a combination of manual reports and analysis of data. This is because it will provide context and explanation to the data that has been observed, helping the client to better understand the processes that have influenced the results. Automatic reports and analytics access can be cheap for a service provider to offer, although the time and effort taken in doing so would not warrant the value of the cheaper packages. The creation of manual reports can take time; however, they offer the opportunity to add a great deal of value to a client, making it easier to explain both successes and failures at a great level of detail.

Share this

Recent articles