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Why website health is critical to demand generation success

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Why website health is critical to demand generation success


“What we’ve noticed over the years is that there is a gap in many demand gen machines,” said Shachar Radin Shomrat, CMO of Deepcrawl, in her presentation at The MarTech Conference. “In some, a whole piece is completely missing. In others, it exists, but is underperforming.”

The single most important challenge growth marketers face, according to Shomrat, is allocating resources across the many marketing activities they engage in. Marketers call this the “demand gen problem.”

demand generation problem
Source: Shachar Radin Shomrat

One of the ways marketers address this issue is by employing demand generation machines, which are systems set up to help brands optimize demand processes. And although these tools address demand generation well most of the time, many marketers fail to optimize them effectively.

Shomrat believes one of the main causes of these issues is marketers’ underprioritization of organic channels.

“More often than not, marketers are putting the bulk of their earning energy and spend into paid digital acquisition channels,” she said. “The problem, however, is that those are expensive channels that drive up the cost of customer acquisition and over time will provide diminishing returns.”

demand generation funnel
Source: Shachar Radin Shomrat

“It’s time for marketers to prioritize organic channels,” she added.

Embracing the benefits of an optimized technical structure

When most brands think of organic marketing, they tend only to consider keywords, off-site links, and content elements. Unfortunately, this neglects one of the foundational pieces of website health: the technical structure.

“The technical foundations are critical for the website performance in search,” Shomrat said. “In general, they are typically deprioritized at best or completely overlooked.”

She added, “Today, succeeding in organic search is about a lot more than just keywords and content — it demands technically sound websites.”

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The key to a healthy technical site foundation, according to Shomrat, is efficient resource allocation. Rather than focusing primarily on short-term, costly boosts with paid channels, growth-minded marketers must allot more resources to technical elements that can help grow organic visibility.

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Here are some of the key areas where marketers can allocate resources to improve their sites’ technical soundness and help extend their organic reach.

Architecture

An optimized site architecture lays out pages so search engines and users can easily understand where each piece of content is found. This helps increase engagement.

Availability and crawlability

Your site pages need to be accessible to search engines and users via valid HTTP status codes. This allows for crawling, which is the process in which search engines assess your page content.

Site owners should make sure the pages they want to be included in search engines have a 200 HTTP status code, which signals that the page exists and can be crawled — just so long as it’s not blocked by the site’s robots.txt file.

Indexability

Just because your pages are crawlable doesn’t mean they’re indexable. Marketers need to make sure their pages’ robots tags allow for indexing, and, in turn, ranking in the search results.


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Authoritative, relevant content

“If a page does not appear to be credible or authoritative, then it will [probably] not rank as highly as pages that appear more credible or authoritative in the search engine results,” said Shomrat.

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Marketers can build their site authority by creating relevant content that demonstrates expertise in its subject area.

But, no matter how authoritative a page’s content is, it will ultimately fail to connect with audiences if it’s not relevant to their needs.

“If a page does not contain content elements that clearly address a user or a customer’s needs and pain points, then users will not click on the page,” she said.

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Experience

People are less likely to convert on sites that offer poor experiences, such as slow-loading pages. Google and other search engines encourage site owners to optimize their technical structures to prevent this from happening, allowing their content to shine in the search results.

“If you do not fix your [technical] foundation, your content and keyword investments are not going to get the return that you expect,” Shomrat said.

What happens when optimizing website health isn’t driving ROI?

“While there are some businesses that overlook their website health, there are others for whom it has always been critical, even before the recent digital acceleration and search ranking algorithm changes,” said Shomrat. “Those are the businesses for whom the website is the product. For example, e-commerce brands, online marketplaces, and global brands with hundreds of local sites.”

“The central truth is that even those growth marketers that understand and acknowledge the value of website health often struggle with getting it right,” she added.

Shomrat says businesses that struggle to maintain technical soundness despite prioritizing website health often face budgetary and resource issues. To address these hold-ups, she recommends marketers work with other operations teams, using their expertise to help improve technical processes.

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“The research has clearly shown that website health and organic search suffer from operational challenges,” she said. “To solve them, a cross-functional approach is needed.”

search ops intersection with marketing ops
Source: Shachar Radin Shomrat

Adopting a cross-functional strategy that spans departments can help eliminate data and operation siloes that contribute to poor website health. Shomrat recommends marketers work to bring these ops teams together to more effectively maintain their site’s structural integrity for the long term.

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“Expanding your operational view by thinking of marketing ops as digital ops will help break down those silos and create new, more seamless pathways to [improve] your website health efforts,” she said.

SEO platforms: A snapshot

What is SEO? Search engine optimization encompasses a wide range of marketing activities, including content marketing, user experience strategy, technical analysis, and more, all with the goal of increasing the traffic websites receive from search engines.

What do the tools do? SEO platforms help marketers draw more insights from their work. They offer capabilities such as rank-checking, advanced keyword research, competitive intelligence, and backlink analysis. What’s more, enterprise-level platforms take these functions to new heights with extensive auditing and analysis of page performance, making it easier to find key areas needing improvement.

Why we care. SEO has remained one of the key foundations of digital marketing for years. Search drives roughly 50% of website traffic on average, according to a study on SimilarWeb data by Growth Badger. And while marketers have developed strategies to keep up, SEO’s growing complexity has made this a more complicated marketing discipline that companies cannot afford to ignore.

Read next: What do SEO platforms do and how do they help marketers get found on search engines?


About The Author

Corey Patterson is an Editor for MarTech and Search Engine Land. With a background in SEO, content marketing, and journalism, he covers SEO and PPC to help marketers improve their campaigns.

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Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update

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Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update

Old Navy will update its yearly Fourth of July promotions by saluting the metaverse with an NFT drop, going live June 29.

In honor of the year they were founded, the retailer will release 1,994 common NFTs, each selling for $0.94. The NFTs will feature the iconic Magic the Dog and t include a promo code for customers to claim an Old Navy t-shirt at Old Navy locations or online.

“This launch is Old Navy’s first activation in web3 or with NFTs,” an Old Navy spokesperson told MarTech. “As a brand rooted in democratization and inclusivity, it was essential that we provide access and education for all with the launch of our first NFT collection. We want all our customers, whether they have experience with web3, to be able to learn and participate in this activation.”

Accessible and user-friendly. Any customer can participate by visiting a page off of Old Navy’s home site, where they’ll find step-by-step instructions.

There will also be an auction for a unique one-of-one NFT. All proceeds for the NFT and shirt sales go to Old Navy’s longtime charitable partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Additionally, 10% of NFT resales on the secondary market will also go to Boys & Girls Clubs.

Support. This activation is supported by Sweet, who’s played a major role in campaigns for other early NFT adopters like Burger King.

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The Old Navy NFTs will be minted on the Tezos blockchain, known for its low carbon footprint.

“This is Old Navy’s first time playing in the web3 space, and we are using the launch of our first NFT collection to test and learn,” said Old Navy’s spokesperson. “We’re excited to enable our customers with a new way to engage with our iconic brand and hero offerings and look forward to exploring additional consumer activations in web3 in the future.”

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Read next: 4 key strategies for NFT brand launches

Why we care. Macy’s also announced an NFT promotion timed to their fireworks show. This one will award one of 10,000 NFTs to those who join their Discord server.

Old Navy, in contrast, is keeping customers closer to their owned channels, and not funneling customers to Discord. Old Navy consumers who don’t have an NFT wallet can sign up through Sweet to purchase and bid on NFTs.

While Macy’s has done previous web3 promotions, this is Old Navy’s first. They’ve aligned a charity partner, brand tradition and concern for the environment with a solid first crack at crypto.


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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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