August 27, 2013

Gaming the Search Engine Rules: Using Gamification for SEO

Lately, there has been a lot written about gamification and how it can lead to increased levels of engagement, whether it’s through motivating sales team to increase revenue, engaging employees to live healthier lifestyles, or incentivizing customer advocacy.  Looking more closely at the customer advocacy aspect of gamification, you may be fooled into thinking that the main benefit is to stimulate brand loyalty. Although brand loyalty does hold high significance and is vital to any business’ success, there is another important advantage for your organization from using gamification in those regards – SEO. The basic game mechanics used in gamified processes all lend to boosting your search engine optimization and this article will tell you how.

SEO.2Incentivizing Engagement

The driving factor of SEO is website traffic and sharing across multiple platforms. There is only so much one company can do for themselves in order to promote their brand, they ultimately need to rely upon customer advocates to spread the word and eventually, help with their search rankings. The first way to endorse this behavior is to incentivize the advocate process. By awarding points or rewarding prizes to those actively engaging, you will give people a reason to take time out of their busy schedule in order to promote your brand. The higher the incentive, the more people you will entice into becoming an advocate; the more they share, the higher your website ranks in search engines.SEO

Encourage Competitions

If the reward isn’t enough to gather adequate engagement on behalf of your customers, try instilling the spirit of competition through the use of leaderboards. Remember back in grade school during Track & Field day where everybody wanted to bring home the blue ribbon? You can not only reward similar badges to customers for liking or sharing so many of your posts, but also allow them to see who the best of the best is; “the blue ribbon winner” for advocating your brand. When they see that they are only 5 shares away from taking the top spot over John Doe, you bet they will take the extra fifteen minutes out of their day to show John Doe who is boss.  This race between advocates to be number one will encourage more sharing and ultimately, greatly improve your websites reach and ranking.

Conducive Environment for Feedback

By incentivizing engagement and encouraging competition, you are also providing an environment that will stimulate feedback. Feedback can take multiple forms: constructive criticism on your product or services, creating unique content to be shared on your website, participating in forums about relevant issues in your company’s industry, and even registering an account or completing a profile on the website itself. The more involved you make someone with your brand; the better they will be able to convince others of the greatness of your company. As more people jump on your bandwagon, more traffic will be driven to your website and distributed content; making your SEO climb higher.

 

At the end of the day, it is essential to remember that there is only so much a company can do to manipulate their SEO ranking. Search engine spiders are now built to seek out deceptive practices like those used in Black hat SEO, so save yourself the time and trouble by building a legit audience of advocates that will promote your brand. Gamification fosters an atmosphere favorable for customer engagement and brand loyalty; inspiring those who might not otherwise share your content throughout social media and the Internet to promote your company in a fun and exciting method.

Reference:
Baxter, Richard. “15 Ways to Integrate Gamification Features into Your SEO Strategy.” SEOgadget. N.p., 21 Mar. 2012. Web. 26 Aug. 2013. <http://seogadget.com/ways-to-integrate-gamification-into-your-seo-strategy/>.

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