According to a report by Realix and reported by Marketing Profs, more than half of B2B marketers surveyed rated SEO as a leading way to reach marketing goals. Company websites remain the top digital channel for B2B marketers, with 81% rating their sites as effective in helping accomplish key marketing goals.
Since search is such an effective and important channel for marketers, then marketers are going to want to make sure they’re paying attention to it correctly. If used correctly, search will help marketers meet goals and amp up their content.
Is the data incorporated throughout the organization?
When search data is collected, shared, and interpreted it can be used to inform strategy and improve practices throughout the organization – from email, to social, to advertising. Brands that have integrated a long-term search initiative are already seeing the benefits of this approach.
Marketers, I know you’re tired of the latest rant, “Break down barriers, eliminate silos,” but the truth is sharing data is the best way to improve marketing. If your search results are still carefully guarded by your SEO department, you’re missing out on some valuable information that can put you ahead of the competition. And conversely, the data you’re collecting from content, email, advertising, and social media is information your SEO department can use to improve organic search results.
“If you understand search data, you can find the keywords and topics your audience is already looking for. Using the same language as your audience does in their own searches in your marketing efforts will mean higher conversions on all fronts,” advises Erin Robbins O’Brien, COO, GinzaMetrics.
Some in the executive suite view organic search as a free channel. While brands don’t have to shell out cash to appear on search engines, smart companies are investing in marketing intelligence technology to make sure content is optimized and reaching audiences. Driving irrelevant traffic is more destructive than driving no traffic these days, so making sure your content marketing efforts are targeted is key.
“SEO is a guidepost for all other marketing strategies,” according to Ray Grieselhuber, Founder & CEO.
Get the feedback loop going
The marketing automation space has become crowded with tools that promise to handle every step of the content marketing process. Beware of using tools that produce completely automated, non-human, generic content. Robotic content will get you dinged by search engines and by your audience. No one wants to read some keyword stuffed, automated copy meant to reach everyone and no one. Tell your story your way – create content that is both helpful and informative. Search happens naturally and good content will get you found by your target audience (that’s why it’s called organic).
The key to success in the search environment is to maintain good SEO practices and make sure your content pages are easy to find and easy to consume.
Marketing is becoming more technical with reliance on data to be strategic. The task becomes more difficult in organizations where SEO is seen as a technical function and separate from marketing and marketing is seen as the content creation department without access to the data that informs a strategic approach.
“Use search as a basis for all marketing strategy,” advises Erin, “No other channel lets you build a predictive traffic model around how many visits you can expect to get. If you perform well on search, it will naturally drive traffic for other channels.”
Are search insights driving better decisions?
Using search data, content marketers have access to critical information about content topics. With the right data, your marketing department can create original and thoughtful content based on the keywords and topics that your audience is already searching for. Use data to discover what they’re already finding when they’re searching for specific information and create better content around those topics.
From a competitive perspective, find out what content your competitors are being found for and map out your content knowing who is already in the space, who is looking for you, and what problems your audiences are trying to solve. Then, position yourself to solve that problem more elegantly and eloquently than anyone else in the space.
Search insights have the power to predict your findability and your competitor’s for specific keywords, phrases, and content. See how much traffic you’re going to get if you perform well. At the granular level, discover what keywords and audiences to focus on. Use this rich data set to determine your competitor strategy.
- How will you position yourself against your competitors?
- What is truly unique about your solution?
- What help can you provide, that your competitors can’t?
These are all questions you can start to ask, and answer, once you have the data to understand the competitive space and your place in it.
Collect once, use over and over again
Beyond just likes and retweets, search data can help you understand which social channels are driving traffic to your site and what messages and topics on those channels are grabbing the attention of your target audience. You’ll also want to know where your competitors are gaining ground and which social media channels are the most successful for them.
In some organizations, many different departments are looking for the same data and may be using different tools to get that data. Creating a workflow within your organization with a systemized way to share data will help you to inform decisions for search, social, email, and all other marketing functions.
If, for instance, your audiences are visiting a specific landing page on your site, you may want to repurpose the content of the page as a blog post, slide share, or ebook. On the other hand, if you have a blog post that is doing exceptionally well, consider creating a landing page which draws your audience in to how your product solves that particular problem.
If search is an effective marketing tool, make sure you’re using it effectively
- Share data between departments
- Use keyword and topic data to inform future content creation
- Update your website based on popular content
- Discover your competitors and what’s working for them
If you want to know more about how marketing intelligence can help you improve your search results, click here and we’ll schedule a demo of the GinzaMetrics platform.