Have you considered implementing an SEO strategy for your brand? Having some understanding of how it works or a bad experience, have you questioned whether it’s worth the investment? Experienced or not, I’m here to help some of you understand how SEO works in relation to lifestyle, fitness, beauty and fashion brands. SEO is not optimal for all businesses, but can certainly can assist most. The big question is whether the ROI will be worth the risk.

SEO Overview

Search engine optimization is the process of driving organic traffic to websites by ranking those websites for search queries. It is a popular marketing strategy due to the widespread use of search engines as a means of seeking products and services. Having high rankings for keywords (if you don’t know what that means, I will explain later) generates “traffic” – users visiting your website. It is important to understand that Traffic does not always lead to immediate sales – not to say that it can’t. If you’re in the business fitness, beauty, fashion or lifestyle, how and in what ways can SEO work for your brand?

SEO for Beauty Businesses

How will SEO work for your brand? Like literally – what will it do?

In any SEO campaign, there are two kinds of keyword strings that you can target in – long-tail and short-tail. An example of a short-tail keyword keyword in beauty is “liquid foundation.” It is short-tail because it’s one term by itself. A user with a broad sense of what they’re looking for may type this query into a search engine. A longtail keyword would be something like “What’s the best way to apply liquid foundation?” A long-tail keyword typically contains more phrases and is more specific.

While short-tail keywords might appear to be more sales-centric and long-tail keywords less-so, that doesn’t mean that one or the other will drive more sales. The “liquid foundation” search is broad, so the user may be comparing brands and they may not necessarily choose yours. The longtail searcher, (“what’s the best way to apply liquid foundation?”), in this case, isn’t shopping at all – but they’ve come across your website and at least seen some of your branding and possibly your products. Something on your website might appeal to them and they may choose to bookmark your site, follow you on social media, or subscribe to your newsletter.

Longtail keywords that contain product names like “nars liquid foundation” would be most likely to drive an immediate sale because the query shows the user knows exactly what they want. But because it’s a branded keyword, SEO is not entirely necessarily since the user already knows of your brand. The only case where branded keywords would be advantageous is if you’re competing with other websites that sell the same brand.

As a result of ranking for various short-tail and long-tail keywords, a user’s continued exposure to your site through search can lead to word of mouth referral to your brand website as an excellent source of beauty insights. It can also lead to the user following you on social media, which creates an opportunity for ongoing brand awareness and may eventually lead to a sale. They might also sign up for your newsletter and be receiving special offers from you on a continued basis, which may convert into sales as well.

SEO for Fitness Businesses

You never know for sure what you may end up ranking for when employing an SEO strategy for your brand. A recent client of mine, a local fitness gym, wanted to rank for bottom of the funnel keywords, like “local fitness gym” and “workout class West Hollywood.” While they ended up ranking for those and other similar keywords, they also landed on the first page for “stairmaster,” “stairmaster workout,” and “booty workout.” How can ranking for “stairmaster” or “booty workout” help them get new memberships in the door?

“Stairmaster,” “stairmaster workout, and “booty workout” drive a lot of traffic! In this case, that meant two things:

  1. More traffic leads to higher rankings for other keywords. So all other keywords we targeted on the site will begin to increase in rank.
  2. Because this is a local business and we placed them on local listings like Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp – those profiles will begin to associate with those listings when people search for those keywords

If I’m in the area and I’m considering buying a Stairmaster, Google will also show me “Bunda: Home of the Better Butt” as a suggested business. Being that I’m a person who’s a fan of the Stairmaster, I might consider trying a workout class that uses the Stairmaster throughout the class. And google will make sure to show beneath that listing that their website contains that keyword. 

SEO for Fashion and Lifestyle Brands

In a similar way to fitness and beauty, fashion and lifestyle brands can also benefit from top-of-the-funnel keywords just as much as they can bottom. Any blog with content that provides value can be converted into a sales funnel. The Zoe Report is a great example of a successful fashion editorial. At the level they’re at, I’m sure they generate a fair share of revenue through sponsored posts and product reviews. But they also have links to two product lines on their site – Rachel Zoe ready-to-wear and “Box of Style,” which is a box shipped seasonally that contains a variety of fashion products tailored to each season. While it might seem arbitrary to have potential customers reading about “This Falls new Cutout Trend,” it’s really just a means to an end when sales funnels are properly executed.

What’s the Takeaway?

SEO is not a clear cut a+b= c strategy. It’s really more of a web, combining many different angles into one clearly defined goal. In order for conversions to be successful, a brand should take advantage of all available marketing channels – branded site design, e-mail marketing, social media, blogging, and offsite SEO to name a few. There must be creative calls-to-action within the site in order to drive sales. That way, when traffic does arrive, there is a variety of value that a potential customer can provide. Utility value includes them sharing your site with others (referrals) , following on social media, and subscribing to your newsletter. Monetary value is an immediate sale.