21 May Ofer Eitan Declares: Paving the Path Forward with SEO: Preparing for New Normali…
The demand for SEO is trending to an all-time high, with more than 1.5 million searches in the month of April.
Marketers are searching for the most affordable and cost-effective ways to understand shifts in consumer behavior and demand volatility, while optimizing content for all of their digital channels.
SEO is now mission-critical – it is the front and center of digital marketing strategies spanning paid media, local, mobile, video, email, and across verticals like Amazon and ecommerce.
Companies that can activate their search insights with speed and accuracy are best positioned to recover and make gains, both during and post-COVID-19.
How SEO Paves the Way Forward
Even prior to COVID-19, organizations were struggling to keep pace with rapidly evolving consumer behavior.
Now, digital marketers – even as they adapt to their own work-from-home and isolation strategies – are having to rethink their digital marketing channels and ROI forecasts.
SEO, once considered a simple marketing channel, has grown over the last decade into a rich, abundant source of business and consumer intelligence.
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SEO has become the most accurate representation of “voice of the consumer” inside organizations, offering digital marketers from companies of all sizes the opportunity to enhance visibility and expand their digital footprint while generating that rich, valuable business data the entire organization needs.
Search marketers are in position to really help customers recapture or transform their businesses into a more digital-focused economy, as:
- People always need products and services.
- SEO reaches the consumer when they are in a state of need and regardless of state of mind.
- When there is scarcity, people turn to search.
- SEO is affordable and efficient for ROI.
- Optimized content helps protect, build, and grow brand equity.
- SEO is the voice of the consumer and provides vital insights into consumer behavior and patterns.
- Search helps future-proof the business and provides immediate, midterm, and long-term wins.
With over 53% of website traffic coming from organic search, now is the time for organizations to leverage SEO in a multitude of ways.
Many companies have halted paid search due to Coronavirus-related business interruptions and now need to re-evaluate how paid strategy works in synergy with SEO.
How can organizations drive more traffic to the best content, feeding consumers’ need for media to consume while protecting furthering enhancing online brand equity?
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SEO Now: Utilizing Insights & Taking Action
As the pandemic situation continues, opportunities will arise for brands to win prime search visibility and companies who get the first-mover advantage will be quickest to recover, dominating share of voice in-market.
In fact, the conditions generated by COVID-19 present a great opportunity for proactive marketers willing to double down on SEO as consumers crave interactive, engaging content.
Brands have unlimited potential right now to entertain, assist, educate, and inform.
Search is the pulse of the market and as recent research from BrightEdge (disclosure: my company) has shown, COVID-19 has impacted every industry.
Depending on how the vertical has been affected, strategies will differ.
1. Real-Time Data: Leverage to Understand & React to Trends & Consumer Behavior
With demand so volatile across all industries it is important, where companies can, to utilize real-time research to answer questions and uncover opportunities as they happen.
This helps account for industry-wide trends but also empowers marketers to ask specific questions and discover quantitative, data-driven answers with speed, ease, and accuracy.
Marketers must take action to understand, in real time, how content is performing and ranking across all vertical and global search engines.
As video consumption increases dramatically, it is important to track rankings there, as well.
This can help you unlock which products, categories, and influencers are taking off and use that to further promote those videos and inform future content strategy.
For ecommerce organizations, it is particularly important to protect the brand on Amazon.
Track how and where products rank, and quickly identify whether rogue merchandisers are taking away sales and diminishing your brand equity.
SEO Is Your Best Representation of the Voice of Your Customer
The insights that SEO data gives marketers in terms of understanding intent, behavioral, and buying patterns has never been so important.
At a time when consumers are making both rational and irrational decisions based on emotion and the formation of new habits, it is essential to make sure you have technology and systems in place to identify and action “in the moment.”
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Search data is valuable not just to the SEO team, but for marketing, product, and PR teams who are all looking to understand new types of customer journeys and what drives people on their journey.
2. Benchmarking Competition: Know Your Share of Voice & Work to Capture Market Share
As the shift to digital accelerates, the online landscape becomes increasingly more competitive.
With new content being published every second, organizations must understand who is outranking them for the topics they want to own in dynamic SERPs.
Understanding share of voice helps marketers increase SEO authority by identifying sites that can help the brand reach the target audience with paid ads or other partnership opportunities such as co-authorship or backlinking.
Competition in search results can vary widely by search topic or user device.
This is very important as working from home has consumers using both desktop and mobile devices in different ways than they did as commuters.
Content strategies must be informed by insights on how aggressively competitors are targeting search topics and how their content performs in smartphone, tablet or desktop searches.