Why your current SEO approach isn’t enough

Reporting live from Connect, our two-day search event in Miami, here’s the first in a series of posts summarising a few of our sessions, covering either organic engagement or paid search innovation.

This morning, we heard from Collin Colburn from Forrester, who outlined a few tips for your current organic SEO strategy.

Collin-Colburn

Customers are more empowered than ever before.

Technology and connectivity have completely changed our lives, especially in terms of how and where we spend our money.

This has also led to a power-shift, where people have almost total control of what they see and experience online. This is in turn “causing havoc” for businesses and forcing them to evolve quickly.

It also doesn’t help that the online experience is full of noise; many sites are just a wall of ads, messages and assorted brand clutter. Users now have multimedia and multi-device habits and therefore have multiple means of escape.

All of this has led to search evolving into ‘discovery marketing’. In fact marketers are now shifting money away from paid search into content marketing and other means of being discovered organically.

Challenges

There are major challenges to organic search.

25% of US online adults find new websites and info through Facebook now.

Google is taking over its own SERPs with how it indexes and presents other website’s information through its knowledge graph and answer boxes.

Mobile search is a huge challenge, especially how it’s helped turned search ‘local’. More than 50% of searches are done on mobile and you’re more likely to be served results based on well-optimised local businesses.

Finally, marketers lack the data to understand the impact of SEO, now that Google has blocked keyword data. We don’t know how organic search is driving leads and conversion. This means we need to evolve…

How do you evolve to become a discovery marketer?

Forrester uses a WHO framework, which basically asks three questions of your online business…

What do target users see? You need to understand the subject and context of the search query.

How do customers find you? You need to plot the different sources that drive users to your site using behavioural data and analytics.

What should you offer users? You need to identify an optimal offer based on user intent and behaviour.

What SEO tactics should you employ right now?

Design for mobile users, of course. Use the mobile friendly testing tool that Google provides.

Keep location data accurate. You need to provide name, address and phone numberr first and foremost. Bear in mind that it can take 15 hours to optimise one landing page.

Increase content assets, especially ones your competing with your rivals for. Think of those juicy answer boxes you could commander away from them.

Maintain a strong foundation is core for SEO – site navigation, structured data markup, link-building.

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