Is Your SEO Truly Strategic?.

is-your-seo-truly-strategic

For most brands, organic traffic is the largest driver of sessions to their site and so by extension, the greatest source of revenue or conversions.

Yet traditionally, organic search can receive a fraction of the investment, both financial and in resource, compared to other digital channels which may make a louder noise than their contribution warrants – such as paid, display and even offline.

So a more strategic approach to SEO is vital to protect the significant contribution made by organic. To identify if your brand is using SEO strategically, ask yourself the following key questions:

SEO and Multichannel

Where does organic search fit in within an overall multi-channel strategy? For example, is organic being influenced by awareness raising channels like display which raise brand profile and have a knock-on effect on organic brand search?

SEO and User Journey

Where does organic traffic sit within the user journey towards conversion? Is it an acquisition tool to introduce your audience on a first click attribution basis or through organic brand search? Is organic bringing users back to your website and so plays a greater role on a last click attribution basis – or both?

SEO and Brand Strategy

How does your organic search presence reflect your brand strategy? For example are search snippets reflecting key brand messages and are these being updated over time? Is this being achieved whilst still balancing organic search and technical SEO imperatives to target specific keywords? Is organic being strategically integrated with other channels such as social media – for example, if you are developing a brand device of a hashtag is this being surfaced through your organic search results snippets?

SEO and User Intent

Is your keyword research for SEO purposes reflective of wider user intent and targeting different segments from end users but also potential influencers such as blogger and brand advocates in the B2C space or specifiers in the B2B environment?

SEO and Content

Is the right content being surfaced through organic search? For example, are your organic search results gaining traffic and visibility for out of date legacy content, particularly in an e-commerce environment? Or are the latest versions of your product or service being promoted through organic search – if you have an annual update of your brochure or inventory, how is your organic search and SEO strategy accommodating this regular change? If required, how is your SEO strategy achieving a peaceful co-existence between old and new versions of content? These are all strategic content led objectives which could be fulfilled through a strategic approach to SEO.

SEO and User Experience

How is the different intent of users behind different types of search activity being reflected from organic sessions when they then arrive on the site and their differing forms of user experience? Could this experience be personalised based on the source of the user (organic search) and the behaviour of the user on the site, both implicit and explicit, to ultimately increase conversions?

SEO and Competition

Is SEO being used to create competitive advantage or, more importantly, to target your competitors head on? For example, are you monitoring new opportunities emerging, perhaps arising through botched site migrations or SEO foul-ups amongst your competition? SEO doesn’t just mean your SEO – it can also mean paying as much attention to the SEO of your key competitors.

SEO and Business Intelligence

How is data created by the discipline of SEO and findings from key SEO tools feeding into market intelligence or business intelligence for your brand or organisation at a strategic level? Are you sharing and learning from the insights which SEO analysis can generate around user behaviour, competitor activity, search trends or customer intent to then inform, influence and shape strategic decisions around product, distribution or content? For example, increased awareness of search activity around installation or application of your product could highlight the need for improved content such as user guides, or even developing a network of intermediary resellers, referrers or installers?


In summary, SEO as a discipline or service can fulfil so many more roles other than the common scenario of being brought in to fix issues around lost visibility, rankings and traffic when things have gone wrong. And SEO can even contribute more strategically than when used as a progressive and positive SEO programme of ongoing improvement to increase traffic and revenue.


SEO deserves greater investment and in return can play a key role strategically across many areas of your business – especially if you are striving towards a more joined-up approach to multichannel digital marketing. SEO can even support your organisation’s omnichannel journey towards delivering consistent customer experience across every touchpoint.

 


If you’re interested in learning more about how Sagittarius can help your Digital Marketing endeavours including SEO please drop us an email to hello@sagittarius.agency or call us on 01233 467800.

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.

 

Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

 
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Sagittarius
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Sagittarius

08 Dec 2017 - 5 minute read
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