Thoughts on the latest organic and paid search innovations for marketing managers to review and act

Success in SEO has always gone to those businesses and their agencies who have the best data-driven processes and people to give attention to the detail needed to compete.

Search engines, and especially recently Google, have gradually improved their insight data sources and tools to help businesses identify new opportunities and fix problems.

Review how your business can improve your data visualization and alerts to identify search threats/problems/opportunities by harnessing data APIs (Application Programme Interface).

Smaller businesses can work with insight sources like Google’s Keyword Planner, Campaign Planner, Analytics and Search Console (GSC) to help identify improvements. These services have improved and I hope to see larger data volumes and longer time intervals than the current 90 days in GSC.

Although some have proclaimed (and Google has advised) that keyword analysis is futile, given Google’s advances in personalization and semantic analysis, SEO still demands you know which keywords you are targeting…

KEY STRATEGY RECOMMENDATION #1

CREATE AN INSIGHT-DRIVEN SYSTEM TO ALERT YOU FOR SEO PROBLEMS AND OPPORTUNITIES.

Use a keyword ‘gap analysis’ to define opportunity.

You can make the case and review the opportunity to attract more visits by reviewing a defined set of keywords and qualifiers against actual visits to a site.

Ask your team, consultant or agency for their approach to gap analysis or use spread- sheet-based tools like the Smart Insights Gap Analysis to explore your opportunities Gap between page content and user queries is a common problem at site-wide level.

KEY STRATEGY RECOMMENDATION #1

ENSURE CONTENT OPTIMIZATION HAPPENS AS PART OF A PLANNED PROGRAM.

Treat your content assets as a portfolio as shown below. Work to improve problematic content and update and surface performing content more prominently in the customer journey. This article3 gives an example of how HubSpot has used ‘Historical optimization’ to more than double the number of monthly leads generated by the old posts they have optimized, they also increased monthly organic search views of old posts, optimized by an average of 106%.

As part of your SEO and AdWords programmes, I recommend prioritising improvements by thinking of your content as a portfolio of pages of different types, which contribute different amounts of value to the business based on their popularity and conversion rates. Content optimization is about making your content work better for you, by reviewing content effectiveness using the type of analysis below and then making improvements for SEO and conversion purposes.

An improvement we have seen in rolling out in 2017 are data visualisation tools such as Google’s Data Studio1, Microsoft’s Power BI and Tableau. These tools enable superior, more professional reports that show the channel and goals deltas (e.g. month-on-month, year-on-year changes) needed to manage performance much more clearly than was practical in Google Analytics.

Another benefit of these tools is that you can use different API data sources to pull in and combine different data. I’ve been suing Data Studio for some of my monthly and weekly trading reports alongside. However, for more detailed analysis, I offer Google Sheets reports at a URL level which access the Google Analytics APIs.

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