When I started out in digital marketing, I sprinkled metadata and keywords into content like pout. I’m not proud of this because it not only dates me, but it also goes terribly against best practices as we see them today. If you ever read something like “vacation in california lovers and those who love vacation in california? For the best vacation in californialook no further than these vacation in california”, I send my deepest apologies.
Fast forward 20 years, now I’m happy to say organic. SEO Best Practices have dramatically improved, both for the vendor and the end user. As we move into 2023, it is more important than ever to remember that the search does not take place in a silo. It must be a well thought out and integrated strategy that encompasses the entire customer experience.
Not sure how to integrate SEO? We have six key ways to spread search integration across your organization when it comes to working with search engine optimization teams, agencies, or professionals.
Search meets research, people and audience journey
Search traffic provides a treasure trove of qualitative and quantitative information about the needs of your audience, vernacular, attitudesand more.
- Are people talking about your travel product by saying “vacation” or “trip”?
- Do high school students looking for information about their college of choice search for “ASU”, “Arizona State”, or “Arizona State University”?
- When searching for enterprise software, do your customers say “platform”, “tool” or “technology”?
Using search data helps you discern what will resonate best with your audience. Combine this with surveys, stakeholder interviews, and digital data, and you have a strong (and measurable) foundation for your personas and audience journeys.
When search teams share high-level keyword information across the organization, it can help support everything from media relations to product development to recruiting and more.
Integrate SEO and UX
According to “SEO for everyone” authors Rebekah Baggs and Chris Corak, seek and user experience teams should not be kept in separate tasks (or quite often within separate silos). These professionals or teams often have some of the same goals in mind: to make sure the site is easy to find, navigate, use, and enjoy. Although, they can approach the process of reaching the final goal differently.
Don’t let the idea of the perfect single keyword create tunnel vision—you want to see a bigger, more nuanced picture. An improved user experience means people stay on the page longer, engage more with your site, don’t click the back button, revisit your site, and share your content—all SEO benefits. The better the overall site experience (think UX, load times, mobile browsing, etc.), the more likely you are to make it to the coveted top ten in SERPs.
– Baggs and Corak
Search and… the off-site experience?
During my SEO days in the Britney and Justin era, I didn’t anticipate that I would be planning SEO before the site experience even began.
Today Google wants you to stay at Google.
It is now critical for search marketers to consider how their content is presented, consumed, and shared even before the user lands on their site. Examples of this include maps, movie listings, local listings, and product descriptions.
Since the best search results provide answers through the SERP itself, search marketers and content creators need to ramp up content, images, and calls-to-action even before a user lands on their site.
Search and Social
One of my favorite combinations over the years has been search and social media. It’s interesting to discover how search keywords and activity on your site overlap with social engagement conversions and customer support. This is not revealed through a nice Venn diagram. Usually this looks like a psychologist’s smudge experiment with various overlays of strange and unpredictable shapes.
As the great resignation continues and teams have more and more to do (with fewer resources, patience, and stamina), one way to offset that workload is to figure out ways to collaborate, draw on each other’s expertise, and do more together. , out of the SEO Silos. The top social sites for search engine optimization (and content distribution, amplification, and atomization too!) include LinkedIn, Pinterest, Medium, Twitter, and Meta (the artist formerly known as Facebook).
Pull out the quote: According to Pinterest, 444 million people around the world visit Pinterest every month for inspiration. Last year, 88% of Pinterest users bought a product as a result of their New Year’s Resolutions.
SEO, Meet Creative and Content
Content marketers and writers need to make sure the content isn’t just an “me, me, me” or “product product product” copy.
What questions does your audience need to answer? In what cadence? Where? Why? How (video vs text vs app for example)? I can promise with 99% accuracy that it is not, “Why are these SaaS tool features so delicious?”
Creativity is also critical. According to Google’s John Mueller:
Sometimes those little differences play a role in how people perceive your website. If, for example, you have something that deals with a financial topic and people come up to you and say, “well, your information is fine, but it’s presented in a way that seems very amateurish,” then that might reflect how you are. your website. perceived. And, in the long run, it might reflect something that’s also visible in search.
Poor design can lead to high bounce rates and low time on site, negatively impacting ratings. Search marketers working on their 2023 goal or to-do list might consider adding “meet the creative team” (over coffee or cocktails works!)
For a goldmine of additional insights from Google’s John Mueller, bookmark this: 57 SEO Insights
SEO and video
With YouTube continuing to dominate as the top search engine, optimizing videos for SEO should also be on your radar. Videos should reflect your search keywords, be carefully optimized, and reflect the sophistication of your brand, both from a creative and UX perspective.
Keep your eyes on:
- Channel trailer, video highlights and channel sections
- Channel name, description and site links
- Profile image, banner image, and video watermark
- SRT files, tags and hashtags
- Titles and headers for thumbnails
Now is the time to integrate SEO
To help you phase your efforts, start by learning what terms and topics your audience is searching for, create content that focuses on those phrases and topics, and use research to understand the highest levels of interest. Focus your content initiatives on those first.
Plus, tools like TubeBuddy, Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, and YouTube Search Predictions will help you learn what’s working and what’s not as you integrate SEO.