The stable approach to SEO
SEO and digital are, and need to be, an intertwined component of every digital strategy. When we talk about SEO in 2016, we discuss every stakeholder within that organisation, the modern SEO approach needs to service Google and the consumer as one entirety.
A recurring theme for many SEO specialists and digital marketers alike is the over reliance of creative to bolster rankings, and in particular the use of ‘content’. The conclusion – technical elements, and quite often the fundamental technical elements are neglected. The diagram below highlights the main factors that we believe are the key influencers for SEO success:
When applying this visual to your digital strategy, it is important to manage the demands for each component and to ensure that there is no imbalance of concentration towards either factor. Our latest whitepaper ‘Redefining SEO’ explores how and why such a diverse collection of elements is vital for providing SEO success and, ROI.
As previously mentioned, these key performance factors are not the job of an SEO specialist, or a marketer for that matter, the skillsets and resources required ideally come from a team of digital experts located within your own business.
‘User experience’ provides a perfect example of how each diverse element of a business structure can, and should influence all levels of this diagram. A positive user experience requires the functional aspects of IT and design, but there is also the necessity for PR, branding and customer service knowledge to be present. This assembly of collective strength will then enhance the digital experience your customers ultimately receive.
Understanding your challenges
A fundamental element to a lucrative digital strategy or any business strategy for that matter is understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your product, service or organisation. Marketers need to be especially aware of this as it is their role to maximise these strengths and lessen the weaknesses. It is therefore crucial to ensure your communication is a true representation of your brand, promoting a consistent tone of voice.
Once you have understood these properties, you’re challenge is then to decipher the most appropriate channels for your audience and conclusions. An example would be the ever growing adoption of social media. Your customers may be happy to interact with your brand through this medium, but do you have a customer service team who are as equally competent with the platform?
Questions with regard to the logistics of the business will also need to be acknowledged, i.e. the IT infrastructure, you will need to that ensure an adequate amount of support is in place to handle your future intentions.
This is just one example of some of the barriers that you may face, but hopefully it highlights how you should approach the entire process. A complete understanding of every department and their role in your digital strategy is a crucial ingredient for success.
How to engage your audience
Digital is evolving and consumers are doing their very upmost to keep up. Their rate of new technology acceptance is phenomenal and at times a little too quick for the majority of enterprise level brands. Subsequently, brand loyalty is not the support factor it once was, consumers are more aware of the market, they are susceptible to reviews, in turn digital has allowed them to become extremely agile shoppers.
Google however have the resource to be quite buoyant when reacting to trends and, at times are the source of change themselves through a SERP or technological update. Google’s most recent algorithm update is a fine representation of this, as shown in the graph below, highlighting the importance of content, user experience and engagement on rankings.
Before you can engage with your audience you must first gather an understanding about them, where they’re active, what they’re looking for, even a certain degree of lifestyle behaviour is useful. We name this collation of data a ‘persona’ and typically they look something like this:
“Male, 25-40, married with no children and a household income between £50-70K. The service we provide is of luxury prestige, often purchased for a celebration or special occasion”.
When viewed from an online perspective you will need to utilise a number of data sources to help build a much more exhaustive description of your audience to include their behaviours and interests. What social networks are they active on? Are they using mobile?
Conquering your difficulties
Digital innovation has and will continue to transform the behaviour of consumers, what is important when it comes to survival is your ability to respond quickly and match the pace of your customer. The difficulty for many large organisations is that their vast structure make this quite a tricky reality especially for organisations with multiple offices across various time zones.
Developing an understanding of you colleagues’ problems and pressures in other departments can help your approach as a digital marketer, you need to be very clear on what it is you want them to do and why you want them to do it. The ideal scenario would be for you to solve their problems alongside your own.