No, SEO is not dead; it’s only changing and doing so very rapidly. During the last few months, Google have been doing some major changes to its algorithm and it is therefore more important than ever to re-evaluate the way we do SEO. Here at Zeal, we believe that the customer experience and brand awareness are the essence of a successful SEO campaign, and here is a brief explanation of what that entails.
Subject Experience Optimization
Instead of defining SEO as ‘marketing’ which is defined as the act of promoting and selling a product, we need to start thinking about how we can deliver the best possible experience for the subject (visitor), and so subject experience optimisation is born. Subject experience optimization includes traditional on-page SEO of optimising your page for search engine crawlers and users, but also the understanding of ‘entity relationship’ in search.
As the organic keyword data will all be ‘(not provided)’ very soon, we as online marketing agencies will have to think of other ways to present results to our clients, but more importantly, how we conduct our SEO strategy. Instead of focusing on keywords, we have to look deeper into the relationships of keywords.
After the Hummingbird update in September, keywords are no longer as important on their own as they are in relation to the other words surrounding it, the geographic location when conducting the search, and previous search enquiries. The algorithm is based on semantic technology focusing on user intent, rather than on search terms. This is where understanding and defining your client’s entities becomes the main priority in subject experience optimisation.
An ‘entity search’ is put simply a more accurate method for ‘bots’ to understand user intent. We need to understand our clients’ entities to be able to optimise their websites to the entity searches. This includes consumer research to get a deeper understanding of user behaviour and patterns, and how it all connects. Only then will we be able to give our client’s customers the best website experience, because when it comes down to it, happy and converting customers is what we want. Also, we won’t have to worry about not being able to see the organic keywords, as the organic traffic will speak for itself.
The other side of SEO is of course off-page SEO, traditionally known as link-building. Although we should not entirely scrap some of the more legitimate types of link-building, such as local and relevant directories, news updates or press releases and guest blogs. Off-page SEO needs to be remade to fit the needs of our clients. The answer? Organic promotion.
What organic promotion can deliver that link-building on its own cannot is a more varied and natural back-link profile, brand awareness and increased social following among other things. Organic promotion is the merging of so called ‘blogger outreach’ and link-building to get the most out of any off-page SEO campaign.
Imagine a guest post placed on a website relevant to the subject of a client’s products with the right type of readership. This post might get a few clicks through and quite a lot of people reading it, but that is where the engagement ends. Even if it was a really interesting piece of content, it might get shared and liked for a few days and then that’s it.
Now, listen to this example: A website with relevant readership and topic hosts a giveaway for two weeks with something of good value that creates interest for the specific target audience. The requirement to enter the giveaway includes different elements to choose from; one of them is following the client on Twitter and Facebook and sharing the giveaway. By sharing and liking as well as following, this will spread the word of the giveaway, which will obviously be named with a title including the name of the client. The engagement rate of this giveaway is much higher than the guest post, and it also lasts longer and got people talking about the brand.
Organic promotion is not all about giving away stuff; it includes all types of creative campaigns, depending on a client’s specific needs. The end result is what you want it to be, depending on your requirements and budget. The most important reason why we think organic promotion is the way to go is for the same reason we believe in subject experience optimisation – it is all about making the subject/visitor engage with your content, products and brand.
Zeal is a full service online marketing agency who delivers bespoke marketing for any size company. If you want to get in touch and find out more about our services, feel free to call the office on 0113 887 3070.