How SEO Is Redefining Green Marketing: An SEO Guide for Your Sustainable Business
Our planet is reaching a tipping point, and the drumbeat of climate anxiety is growing louder every day. In response to this concern, we consumers are changing our habits in a big way. We’re ditching single-use plastics, opting for sustainable fashion, and are genuinely committed to leaving a minimal carbon footprint. 🌱
In this guide, we’ll leverage SEO power for your conscious business without compromising your values. Discover practical strategies for a strong online presence, from link building to E-E-A-T. Let’s dive in! 🌿
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According to a study by Businesswire, 85% of people indicate that they have shifted their purchase behaviour towards being more sustainable in the past 5 years. Many of us are also leaning towards sustainability due to growing environmental concerns since the onset of the pandemic. This seismic shift in public sentiment has led to skyrocketing online search trends around terms like ‘sustainable fashion’ (up 23%) and ‘sustainable toys’ (up 120%) over the last 5 years, according to Exploding Topics. 🚀
For brands, it’s time to seize the moment and improve their green marketing. Answering the call for sustainable products and green supply chains isn’t just a matter of doing the right thing – it’s also good business. SEO is just one of the tools available to help your sustainable brand. 🤝🌎
Making Sense of the Green Consumer Landscape with SEO
In the past, marketing was about convincing consumers to buy what companies were selling. Now, the paradigm has shifted. Businesses are listening and learning from consumers to develop products that satisfy their demands. And this is where SEO for sustainable brands – especially keyword research – shines.
SEO keyword research helps brands identify changing consumer needs by analyzing search volumes around different topics. A McKinsey survey found that a whopping 60% of respondents consider a brand’s sustainability credentials while shopping. This underlines the need for your brand to be sustainable and deploy SEO strategically to capture these discerning consumers.
Keyword Research: Your Compass in the Sustainability Landscape
Apart from helping you spot emerging trends, keyword research allows you to understand what terms are more likely to strike a chord with different audiences. For instance, the concept of sustainability might mean different things to different age groups or demographics. Tools such as Semrush and Ahrefs can help you find the right keywords for your business. Keywords must be carefully selected to accurately reflect your business and product. For some products there are so many keywords to contend with so it may be difficult to rank for popular ones and there is the risk of greenwashing to consider. Take the keyword “sustainable fashion,” for example, there are almost 5000 related keywords in this search using the Semrush tool:
Image credit: Semrush
Read this blog for more on keyword research tips.
It’s also important to consider the platform on which people conduct their research also varies across age groups. While online search engines are universally used, younger crowds often turn to Instagram and TikTok to validate a brand’s green credentials.
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Deploying SEO for Your Green Brand
All generations are warming up to the idea of ethical consumption. Brands need to respond by authentically promoting their commitment to sustainability and not resorting to greenwashing.
Communicating your sustainability credentials effectively involves a multi-faceted SEO strategy that goes beyond simply ranking for terms like ‘eco-friendly’, ‘sustainable’, and ‘green’. You also need to consider offsite work and technical SEO along with content.
Here are some tips to ensure a comprehensive SEO approach for your sustainable brand:
- Choose the Ideal Green Keyword: Many keywords and phrases are linked to sustainability. It’s important to optimize not just for the keyword with the highest search volume (where major corporations might have an advantage due to a larger number of backlinks), but also the one that aligns best with your offerings. Terms such as ‘eco-friendly’, ‘reusable’, ‘green’, or ‘sustainable’ can be used with key products, pages, and services but should be used carefully as they may lead to greenwashing. Once you have the keywords, optimize your content by incorporating them into your website copy, blog posts, and meta descriptions. Ensure your content is the right length, valuable to your audience, and regularly updated. Structure your copy with subsections, titles, and subtitles strategically to include keywords where applicable. For instance, craft blog posts that offer tips for reducing carbon footprint or share success stories about your positive environmental impact.
- Understand Search Intent: Analyze the type of pages that appear in search results for your chosen keywords. Check if their content aligns with what you’re trying to promote. Google’s Keyword Planner (free) or SEMrush (paid) can help you get started.
- Create a Dedicated Sustainability Page: A landing page focusing on your brand’s commitment to sustainability can help establish trust with your audience and improve your standing with search engines.
- Avoid Greenwashing: Be prepared to back up any claims you make about your environmental sustainability with solid proof. Craft content that highlights your industry expertise and elaborates on what makes your product or brand sustainable. Read this blog to learn more.
- Nurture Engagement, Expertise, Authority, and Trust (E-E-A-T): In sustainability marketing, your brand’s E-E-A-T principles hold great importance as they pave the way for your brand to establish a deeper, more significant bond with your consumers. By displaying Expertise and Authority, your brand solidifies its acumen and command of sustainability. Engagement is fundamental, as it keeps your audience connected, informed, and assured of your dedication to sustainable practices. By upholding Trust and practising Transparency, your brand emerges as a reliable go-to for customers and stakeholders alike, enhancing its trustworthiness and promoting customer fidelity, both of which are invaluable in the current competitive market scenario.
- Engage Your Audience with Relevant Content: Consistently publish and share content about your brand’s sustainability efforts, industry news, and tips. This boosts your SEO and positions your brand as a thought leader in the sustainable industry. Make sure to optimize this content with the right keywords to enhance visibility.
- Leverage Social Media: Use platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote your sustainable practices, share engaging content, and interact with your audience. Also, monitor the discussions around sustainability on these platforms to identify new trends and insights that can inform your SEO strategy.
- Implement SEO Best Practices: SEO isn’t just about keywords and content. Pay attention to the technical aspects of SEO like mobile optimization, website load speed, user-friendly navigation, and meta descriptions. A user-friendly, optimized website improves your search engine rankings and enhances the user experience, building credibility for your sustainable brand. Read this blog for more details on some of the SEO techniques you can use.
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Sailing on the green wave with SEO isn’t just another trend. In a world where sustainability is becoming the norm, your brand must go beyond just ‘being’ green to ‘being seen’ green. Authenticity, smart SEO strategies, and a real commitment to sustainability are the secret sauce for green marketing success. Avoid greenwashing, use the right keywords, create exciting content, and truly live and breathe sustainability.
Actionable Tip 1: Engage in social listening. Identify the channels where your target demographic is most active and monitor the discussions around sustainability. You might discover new keywords or insights that will allow you to craft content that resonates better with your audience, increasing your brand’s credibility in the green space.
Actionable Tip 2: You might find it beneficial to explore “long-tail keywords,” which consist of longer and more specific phrases used by potential customers when they are ready to take action, like making a purchase or enrolling in a course. Although long-tail keywords may generate less search traffic, their higher specificity often leads to a better conversion rate. So, don’t be discouraged by lower traffic numbers; these targeted keywords can yield more valuable results. Review your keywords often as positions change over time.
Contact me today to chat about how I can help you with SEO for your sustainable brand.
- BusinessWire: Recent Study Reveals More Than a Third of Global Consumers Are Willing to Pay More for Sustainability as Demand Grows for Environmentally-Friendly Alternatives. [Online] Available at: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211014005090/en/Recent-Study-Reveals-More-Than-a-Third-of-Global-Consumers-Are-Willing-to-Pay-More-for-Sustainability-as-Demand-Grows-for-Environmentally-Friendly-Alternatives
- Exploding Topics: Sustainable Fashion. [Online] Available at: https://explodingtopics.com/topic/sustainable-fashion
- Exploding Topics: Sustainable Toys. [Online] Available at: https://explodingtopics.com/topic/sustainable-toys
- McKinsey: Consumers Care About Sustainability and Back It Up with Their Wallets. [Online] Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/consumers-care-about-sustainability-and-back-it-up-with-their-wallets
- SEMrush: EAT and YMYL: New Google Search Guidelines & Acronyms of Quality Content. [Online] Available at: https://www.semrush.com/blog/eat-and-ymyl-new-google-search-guidelines-acronyms-of-quality-content/