SEO for eco-friendly brands is crucial because if you run a business that strives to truly solve an environmental issue, whether that be a product or service, the world needs you, now more than ever.

Rising global temperatures, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, glacial retreats, an increase in extreme weather events and declining Arctic sea ice are just some of the most serious threats to our planet. Shockingly, most of the warming has occurred in the past forty years, with the seven most recent years being the warmest. In fact, 2016 and 2020 are tied for the warmest year on record.

Ethical expenditure in the UK year by year over the past two decades reveals that back in 1999 the total size of the market was just £11.2bn. Today, on a conservative basis, the figure is £41.1bn.  In fact, 60% of internet users say they’ll pay more for products that are eco-friendly

It’s clear that people want to buy from ethical-based companies rather than those that are planet-polluting.  But in the world of greenwashing with the ever-increasing number of companies wanting to jump on the “green bandwagon” a company needs more than a “feel good” slogan and a mission statement to convince an ever-growing market of eco-consumers that there’s substance behind the words.  That’s where an SEO strategy for an eco-friendly business comes in.

If no one has heard of you they can’t buy from you.

As a value-based brand with environmental protection at the heart of your business ethos, you’re painfully aware of the environmental degradation and secretly you’d like to change the world – at least the corner of the world you live in. You are a game-changer and you thumb your nose at the status quo.  You deserve that top spot on Google.

But you can’t save the planet if the world has never heard of your business.  And if no one has heard of you they can’t buy from you which is why a solid SEO strategy for eco-friendly businesses is crucial.

You work hard on your business but are you getting enough traffic to your website and making those all-important conversions?  Are you rocking it out on page one of Google, catching the eyes of Earth-conscious customers across the U.K.?  Or, is your website lurking way down on page two and into the dark depths beyond, invisible to everyone but your relatives?  If it’s the latter, it’s time to turn that around.

Let’s take a look at 5 reasons SEO for eco-friendly brands is crucial.

1. Your competitors are already doing SEO

Day after day, your planet-polluting and eco-friendly competitors in your niche are claiming the top spot on Google.

What gives?

You see, they are already implementing SEO.

Your competitors know that to climb to the top of Google, they must have a well thought out SEO strategy in place. They also know that SEO goes far beyond keywords, links and simply installing an SEO plugin. SEO means optimising every square inch of your web presence, knowing your audience, what they’re looking for and how your product or service solves a problem.  That means they’ve taken the time to:

  • Regularly update their website with fresh, relevant and unique content
  • Add an encrypted website connection (HTTPS)
  • Prioritise user experience (UX)
  • Optimise for faster loading speeds
  • Create and update a Google Business Profile (GBP) – formerly Google My Business
  • Satisfy as many of Google’s over 200 ranking factors that may get them to the top of Google.

Phew. Sounds like a huge undertaking? It might be if you’re already stretched thin with day-to-day work.

But you can’t afford to not do SEO.  Not doing so means your website slithers down the ranking while your competitors keep climbing.

2.  SEO builds trust, transparency and credibility

Brand trust is crucial to your bottom line. According to the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report, trust is now the make or break difference for brands.  Only 20% of consumers trust brand sustainability claims.

The bottom line? It’s not enough to simply say that you have an eco-friendly business.  Any business can say that they are. Put actions behind your words.  Show, don’t tell. Where better to show what you are doing than on your website?

A website that’s optimised for search means that it satisfies a person’s search query and Google deems it good enough to display on page one.  If your audience has a question, they want it answered and they want it answered well.  This is a great opportunity to create informative, relevant content that speaks to your audience.  As you share your content, you’ll attract prospective customers whose interests align with yours. By sharing your knowledge, insights and expertise, you position yourself as credible and trustworthy right out of the gate.

3. Honest SEO tactics drive loyalty

When you take the time to optimise your web presence for SEO, you’ll help establish your company as reliable and honest.   If your website ranks well, Google and your visitors have decided you deserve to be there because your content is being consumed and people are staying on your site

Don’t resort to underhanded black hat SEO tactics that will tank your credibility and kill your hard-earned reputation. Stay away from keyword stuffing, paid links, blog comment spam and cloaking which is an SEO technique in which the content presented to the search engine spider is different from that presented to the user’s browser.

Black hat SEO approaches such as these might get you a short-term boost in visibility, but it won’t take long for your so-called shortcut to undermine the critical mission of your organisation – to get in front of your target audience.

Build organic traffic the honest way, through thorough keyword research, good quality content, testing and tracking and old fashioned hard work.   People can spot keyword stuffing (i.e. mentioning a keyword many times in a way that sounds very unnatural to the reader) and poor content a mile off and your competitors are spending the time to create great content so, sooner or later these poor SEO tactics will catch up with you.

4. Local SEO increases traffic and conversions

Want to share your Earth-positive product with the world? First, you’ll need to convince your local market to give it a try. This is where local SEO comes in.

Local SEO directs your digital presence in a way that attracts potential customers in a specific geographical region.  Local search tactics focus on a certain town, city or region. This includes tweaking your website and content creation strategy to be as relevant as possible to a local searcher.  If, for example, you serve several distinct areas, creating a separate landing page for each of those areas, with area-specific content is one local SEO strategy. Optimising your Google Business Profile and submitting your site to local directories, are all great local SEO signals.

I know what you’re thinking. This sounds great but who has the time? Your planet-polluting and eco-friendly competitors that consistently receive more foot and web traffic than you, that’s who.

#5. Your target audience has questions

While consumers want to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, most of them are far from experts on the subject.  So, where does anyone go when they have a question about anything?

Google, of course.

The search engine giant is no stranger to eco-centric search queries.  “Recycled backpacks for kids”, “upcycled products for your home”, “benefits of domestic solar panels”, “how to compost at home” and “zero waste backpacks for kids” are just some of the innumerable sustainability-focused long tail keywords people are searching for.

Related: 14 common SEO myths that will hurt your SEO strategy

Thorough keyword research into what your target audience is typing into Google is a task you don’t want to overlook.  Once you have a good solid list, start answering those search queries with a video, an infographic or a blog.

When you deliver great answers your visitors will realise that they can trust the information you are giving them.  They’ll be more inclined to search for your brand by name the next time they have a question. That’s the kind of immediate response that leads to long-term loyalty, not a frustrated click-away.

And finally…

You’ve poured your heart and soul into your organisation. You’ve worked the long hours, fine-tuned your offering. You want to make sure those efforts pay off in the way you deserve.

SEO for an eco-friendly brand is crucial because it can help you cut through the clutter, establish authority and earn your way to the first page. The more great quality content you create, along with an improved web design and functionality, enhanced security features, and other optimisations, the easier your answers will be to find.

Pursuing SEO for an eco-friendly brand isn’t just smart. It can make all the difference as to whether your ethically-driven business gains ground or stays stagnant.

All great movements begin with a single step, so let’s take this next one together.