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5 Reasons why an Eco-friendly Business needs a Green SEO Strategy

A look at 5 ways to optimize your content and showcase your commitment to sustainability.

Consumer patterns are becoming increasingly more conscious, thoughtful and deliberate. According to the Global Confidence Survey, 81% of consumers globally feel that companies should be doing more to help preserve the environment - and people are actively doing their research before making purchasing decisions. This means your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy as an eco-friendly business is more important than ever. Customers want to know the entire footprint of the goods or services they are purchasing and they are making a conscious choice to ensure the company they are supporting is aligned with their ethics and values. As Forbes reports: “Trust, sustainability, authenticity and transparency are now the values embedded in the social contract between consumers and retailers. This new ethic requires fundamental changes in how retailers and consumer packaged goods brands build affinity and maintain or gain market share.”. Therefore, as an eco-friendly business, it is important to ensure that you have a robust ‘green’ SEO strategy in place to be recognised for your commitment to sustainability, as well as your great product or service.

SEO for competitive advantage

A good SEO strategy requires you to focus on each part of your content. If your current strategy focuses more on selling your products than reflecting your green ethos, you may be missing out on those actively looking for eco-friendly companies. To compete with the dominant companies in your sector, you should be looking at what is going to get you to the top of the search results – and then green it. This will give you the advantage, making you stand out in a crowded digital marketplace. Including green keywords in your titles, descriptions, headings and content is a good place to start, but don’t forget that using keywords in image names and alt text increases your search ranking as well. In fact, there are over 200 ranking factors used by Google such as site architecture, usability and reliability, as well as regular content updates. It can feel quite overwhelming to think about them all, but focusing on how to highlight your green contribution is an angle your competitors may not yet be thinking about.

SEO for trust and transparency

As greenwashing becomes more widely recognised, trust and transparency are something that customers are actively seeking when considering their purchases. IBM’s recent study showed that customers are willing to pay a premium to companies that provide full transparency and this, in turn, builds trust. So you must make it easy to see how your company is contributing to sustainability, not just through things like blog posts, but also by having your eco-friendly messaging running throughout your website and marketing efforts.

SEO for honesty and loyalty

According to the aforementioned IBM study, one-third of global consumers would abandon even their favorite brand if it doesn’t align with their personal values - and they are willing to change their buying habits for brands that do. This means being authentic and open about what you are doing and not attempting to ‘trick’ customers into doing business with you. Poor practices around keywords, links, spam or low-quality content will undermine your company’s ethos. Making time for regular SEO audits and doing thorough keyword research will help to build a loyal customer base. Ensure that some of the popular search terms, such as ‘eco-friendly’, ‘green’ and ‘green business’ are included next to your products or services. But your content has to accurately reflect what you’re doing. Don’t add keywords just for the sake of it, make sure your use of keywords is honest and relevant.

Local SEO optimisation

Aligning with local needs and resources is a great way to gain attention for your eco-friendly brand. Particularly over the last year, more people are looking to support local businesses so it is important that local people can find you easily. This could be something simple like adding your contact details to include a street address, or updating the homepage and metadata with content that relates to your local area. Creating a ‘Google my Business’ profile and ensuring that your information accurately represents the sustainability focus of your business is also a great way of getting known locally.

Answering customer’s questions

According to Google, people searched ‘how to stop climate change’ more in 2020 than ever before. As people become more aware of the importance of shifting to a more sustainable way of living, they turn to Google for answers. ‘Climate change’ and ‘sustainability’ rank high on the search trends, along with other related terms such as:

  • Global warming

  • Ethics

  • Pollution

  • Waste

  • Biodegradation

  • Energy

If you have great content on your site that gives uncomplicated advice, or if your product helps customers take steps to become more sustainable, you will become a trusted source to whom they will return in the future – and the search engines reward this. 

Repeat visits and the length of time spent on a website all go towards optimizing your ranking so it helps to gain a reputation that sends people directly to you for answers.

Having a strong, green SEO strategy can feel like a daunting task, particularly for small businesses.

But it is worth putting the time and effort into ensuring that your content is optimized to reflect the sustainable nature of your business. 

In a market dominated by big players, you should wear your commitment to sustainability with pride. As people are becoming more conscious of the impact of their consumption, it is important your eco-friendly business comes up in the searches to enable them to make good choices.