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How To Balance SEO And B2B Marketing Goals

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How To Balance SEO And B2B Marketing Goals

Despite the benefits of aligning strategies, marketing and SEO managers don’t always have the same goals when it comes to promoting content, from what I have observed with clients and partners.

Often, SEO professionals are striving to meet their key performance indicators (KPIs) on time, yet depend on the output of the marketing team for success.

Meanwhile, the marketing department strives to deliver a long-term content strategy guided by the broader goals of the CEO and subsequent priorities of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to advance brand awareness and demand generation strategies, to name but a few.

It is often the macro view of these goals which can lead to SEO not being leveraged to its full potential due to the time taken to yield results or attribute value.

While SEO strategies are often long-term, they are fundamental to maximizing the potential of content marketing and delivering the demand performance to boost exponential growth.

In this article, I present a four-step strategy to align both teams and make sure their goals are met, as well as four best practices to establish harmony between your SEO and marketing efforts.

4-Step Strategy To Balance SEO And B2B Marketing Goals

Avoid ambiguity and establish clear protocols for your creatives to make sure both marketing and SEO goals are met.

1. Create A Brand And Style Guide With SEO In Mind

To ensure SEO and marketing strategies are completely aligned, it is important for brand and style guides to consider SEO.

In other words, rather than SEO being an afterthought, it should be a key component of the marketing process – particularly for content marketing.

Dedicating a chapter to SEO in the brand and content style guides will solidify this relationship and set tasks for SEO pros to advance brand awareness.

This shifts the common “adjust content to rank for SEO” mindset toward the more effective “optimize SEO for marketing” approach, which is especially important for businesses that rely on writers and freelancers to be in charge of their own SEO efforts.

To maintain an amicable tug-of-war between CMO and SEO goals, it is also important for the marketing strategy to allow keywords that rank well but may bend grammatical rules (or not use the C-Suite’s preferred language).

An example is “top of funnel” as an adjective, which ranks better for SEO than the grammatically correct “top-of-funnel.”

Additional tips on what to include in the brand and style guides:

  • Suggested and prohibited SEO keyword lists, so managers, new hires, and freelancers can consult the guides easily to avoid ranking for keywords deemed irrelevant.
  • List of branded terms that can’t be adjusted for SEO, so the CMO and the marketing team don’t see their strategy impacted by keywords and branded terms that have been “tweaked” to rank better for SEO.
  • Key content topics: Define key topics in the guide to advance brand awareness and rank for SEO. Implementing this in the guides (rather than only in a content calendar) makes the content strategy definitive and provides expectations for SEO managers to plan their long-term strategy.

2. Optimize Each Content Asset For SEO And Marketing Goals

Ideally, all content should rank for SEO.

However, the goal of each content piece will likely differ based on the topic covered, its search intent, as well as its role in brand awareness and shaping audience opinion.

Thought leadership, for instance, may present a challenge for implementing SEO, particularly if the author is pitching an innovative, original idea for their audience that has no search intent yet.

In this case, it is better to prioritize “marketing goals” and optimize to boost ranking where possible rather than guide content creation with SEO. This ensures content meets its purpose.

Consider amplifying reach via content syndication and paid media to boost the impact of this content.

On the other hand, content that is highly influenced by search intent, such as FAQs or guides, should focus on SEO first and foremost to inform content creation and rank better for highly-searched queries.

While branding may take a backseat here, it’s important that this content remains aligned.

Thus, to meet both outcomes, planning each piece of content beforehand with a marketing or SEO focus helps to determine KPIs for each asset – as well as guide the production and promotion of content to meet these goals effectively.

However, it is important to strive for harmony between CMO and SEO goals by establishing shared KPIs whenever possible and creating content that advances brand awareness while also ranking for popular queries.

3. Survey Your Audience To Measure The Impact Of SEO On Marketing

Survey your audience to assess if marketing goals are being met with content, as well as the impact of SEO on marketing strategies.

By asking questions about the values your audience associates with your brand as well as the top keywords that come to mind (to evaluate SEO priorities), you can gauge if the overall impression your audience currently forms of your brand is on par with the CMO and marketing team’s goals.

It is important to mention (particularly in this step) that SEO should be seen as a promotion tool for driving brand awareness and long-lasting demand.

Therefore, if the survey results point to values or keywords that are SEO-driven, yet don’t meet marketing expectations, then it is important to adjust the SEO-focused content to deliver the intended brand messaging.

If you wish to test certain assets or topics, then A/B test a “marketing-driven” and “SEO-driven” version to see which engages readers better, as well as survey their brand impressions.

This will provide plenty of intel to guide future content creation for your writers.

4. Create A Content Calendar And Hold Regular Meetings Between Marketing And SEO Managers

After assessing how your audience views your brand, it is time to create a content calendar to address possible unintended brand associations the public has made – all while meeting SEO goals.

Plan your content calendar per quarter, establishing “marketing” and “SEO” goals per topic/asset.

For SEO content, such as pure search intent content, outline the keywords beforehand to avoid unintended off-brand impressions after the content is launched.

As for the marketing content, establish goals for yielding engagement and the purpose of the content (to drive awareness or lead generation, for example), as well as branding goals and promotion methods – since SEO will not be the primary option for driving traffic.

Hold regular meetings between the marketing and SEO managers to discuss the metrics and impressions of the campaign as it is ongoing.

Social listening tools can assess the impact of the content and guide adjustments for writers before the next assets are promoted.

By gauging audience impressions while the campaign is ongoing, it becomes easier to adjust live content on a case-by-case basis, as well as change topics/assets to meet goals in the case of shared KPIs suffering.

4 Best Practices To Maintain Common Ground Between CMO And SEO Needs

Employ these four best practices to maintain harmony between marketing and SEO:

1. Onboard Writers With Marketing And SEO Dos And Don’ts

Onboarding writers, freelance or otherwise, is a crucial task for maintaining brand voice and content goals.

Considering that, it is also important to create an onboarding guide for writers that covers SEO dos and don’ts alongside additional training resources.

Typically, new writers will not be familiar with the minutia of your branding and style guides, so clarifying how to promote brand awareness correctly (such as boilerplate language, product descriptions, recommended adjectives, and allowed/forbidden keywords) will provide guidance for them to meet both marketing and SEO goals.

2. Utilize Social Listening

As mentioned previously, leveraging social listening tools can help to define your audience’s sentiment toward your brand and evaluate the results of your overall messaging.

This, combined with survey feedback, will help you make critical adjustments.

As a result, social listening tools are perhaps the most valuable weapon in your arsenal to balance CMO and SEO needs, so utilize them frequently to collect insights and guide future content creation.

Another approach is to search for your brand name and products on forums and social media channels manually, gaining insights from the way your audience comments on your solutions to evaluate if the discourse is aligned with your intended messaging and current SEO priorities.

3. Develop A Detailed Content Strategy

To meet your overarching content marketing and SEO goals, establish a strategy based on your content calendar to ensure that any content produced has a key role in driving your desired outcomes.

This should include how content pieces interlink and support one another, regardless of whether they are marketing or SEO-driven.

For example, start by defining an innovative thought leadership piece and link this out to supplementary videos, short blog posts, and podcast episodes.

As you analyze the performance of this content piece, you will be able to expand the topic to match the ICP’s buyer journey and search intent.

This could take the shape of a foundational SEO-focused piece for the topic that matches search intent and acts as a hub linking out to all the supplementary content that also ranks for keywords to drive brand traffic.

This strategy, combined with a consistent publishing cadence for your editorial calendar, will ensure that campaigns meet intended marketing and SEO outcomes.

While having content that speaks to marketing and SEO focuses independently, interlinking and guiding content with a long-term strategy is essential.

The best-performing content pieces are those that blend both priorities, establishing harmony between ranking for SEO keywords and leading the way in your industry with innovative thought leadership.

If done successfully, this will build long-term demand generation for your business.

4. Establish Joint Paid Media And Social Media Strategies And Goals

Bridge the gap between CMO and SEO by building upon both focuses with complimentary paid media and social media goals/strategies.

By viewing both as promotion methods for marketing and SEO goals, it is possible to fine-tune when to utilize paid media and social media to boost a variety of content pieces across a campaign that supports both SEO and marketing initiatives.

The more developed your content strategy and calendar, the better interlinked your content will be, facilitating your ability to craft omnichannel campaigns that deliver on all KPIs.

Conclusion

Meeting the demands of both the CMO and SEO manager requires a mindful approach that balances ranking in search engine results pages with promoting positive brand awareness.

This article presents best practices and a four-step strategy to achieve this balance, however, there are additional elements that you can incorporate into your content calendar to better meet CMO and SEO goals.

Developing a content strategy for the top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) stage, where search intent is less niche, is a good example of how to advance brand awareness while ranking for highly searched keywords.

You can then utilize this foundation to incentivize the lead to go through the buyer’s journey and consume thought-provoking, innovative content optimized with more specific keywords that further your marketing efforts.

By considering content marketing and SEO as two sides of the same coin, you can better align content creation to feed into each other, build an overall positive brand experience for your audience, and therefore leverage the full potential of your marketing efforts to drive demand.

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Attain Superior Growth & ROI With Organic & Paid Tips

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Holistic Search 2.0: Optimizing and Measuring Organic and Paid Performance

Silos don’t cut it anymore. User journeys are too complex for you to view and track channels separately.

To improve your campaign performance, you need a holistic view of your marketing activities and how they intertwine. This is especially true for organic and paid search strategies. 

You need to be front and center with your ideal customers at multiple touchpoints, including active interactions and passive awareness. An ideal marketing strategy has paid and organic campaigns working in tandem, and it’s becoming harder to succeed without doing both.

If you’re looking to drive quality growth in your own campaigns, iQuanti can help.

Join us live on July 24 as we delve into this intricate relationship between organic and paid search channels. You’ll get actionable insights for measuring success to maximize their combined potential.

You’ll gain a comprehensive, data-driven understanding of how to measure, analyze, and optimize holistic search marketing efforts, ensuring sustainable growth and superior ROI for your business.

You’ll walk away with:

  • Integrated Metrics and KPIs: Learn how to define and track key metrics to capture the performance of your organic and paid search campaigns, so you can make informed strategic decisions that work.
  • Attribution Models: You’ll see firsthand how strong attribution models are crucial to understanding your customers’ journeys, allowing you to identify influential touchpoints and allocate budget effectively for maximum ROI.
  • Optimization Strategies: You’ve gathered data from your campaigns…now what? Take the data and leverage it to further optimize your paid and organic search campaigns, increasing conversions along the way.

Shaubhik Ray, Senior Director of Digital Analytics Solutions at iQuanti is an expert at crafting holistic search strategies to reach more of your ideal audiences at relevant stages in their journeys. Now, he’s ready to share his insights with you.

You’ll walk away equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to execute a combined organic and paid strategy that improves the performance of each channel.  You’ll gain data-driven insights on how to align a combined strategy with business goals and lead your organization to success.

Sign up now and prepare to maximize the potential of combining your organic and paid campaigns.

At the end of the presentation, you’ll get a chance to ask Shaubhik your burning questions in our live Q&A, so be sure to attend.

And if you can’t make it that day, register here and we’ll send you a recording following the webinar. 

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Screaming Frog SEO Spider Version 20.0: AI-Powered Features

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What’s New with Screaming Frog SEO Spider 20.0?

For SEO experts, our toolkit is crucial. It’s how we make sure we can quickly and effectively assess how well our websites are performing. Using the best tools can put you way ahead of other SEOs. One example (and one tool I’ve personally been using for years) is Screaming FrogIt’s a powerful, straightforward, and insightful website crawler tool that’s indispensable for finding technical issues on your website.

And the good news is that it keeps getting better. Screaming Frog just released its 20th major version of the software, which includes new features based on feedback from SEO professionals.

Here are the main updates:

  1. Custom JavaScript Snippets
  2. Mobile Usability
  3. N-Grams Analysis
  4. Aggregated Anchor Text
  5. Carbon Footprint & Rating

Custom JavaScript Snippets

One of the standout features in this release is the ability to execute custom JavaScript snippets during a crawl. This functionality expands the horizons for data manipulation and API communication, offering unprecedented flexibility.

Use Cases:

  • Data Extraction and Manipulation: Gather specific data points or modify the DOM to suit your needs.
  • API Communication: Integrate with APIs like OpenAI’s ChatGPT from within the SEO Spider.

Setting Up Custom JS Snippets:

  • Navigate to `Config > Custom > Custom JavaScript`.
  • Click ‘Add’ to create a new snippet or ‘Add from Library’ to select from preset snippets.

setting up custom JS snippets screamingfrog 20setting up custom JS snippets screamingfrog 20

  • Ensure JavaScript rendering mode is set via `Config > Spider > Rendering`.

Crawl with ChatGPT:

  • Leverage the `(ChatGPT) Template` snippet, add your OpenAI API key and tailor the prompt to your needs.
  • Follow our tutorial on ‘How To Crawl With ChatGPT’ for more detailed guidance.

Sharing Your Snippets:

  • Export/import snippet libraries as JSON files to share with colleagues.
  • Remember to remove sensitive data such as API keys before sharing.

Introducing Custom JavaScript Snippets to Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 significantly enhances the tool’s flexibility and power. Whether you’re generating dynamic content, interacting with external APIs, or conducting complex page manipulations, these snippets open a world of possibilities. 

Mobile Usability

In today’s mobile-first world, ensuring a seamless mobile user experience is imperative. Version 20.0 introduces extensive mobile usability audits through Lighthouse integration. 

With an ever-increasing number of users accessing websites via mobile devices, ensuring a seamless mobile experience is crucial. Google’s mobile-first indexing highlights the importance of mobile usability, which directly impacts your site’s rankings and user experience.

 Mobile Usability Features:

  • New Mobile Tab: This tab includes filters for regular mobile usability issues such as viewport settings, tap target sizes, content sizing, and more.
  • Granular Issue Details: Detailed data on mobile usability issues can be explored in the ‘Lighthouse Details’ tab.
  • Bulk Export Capability: Export comprehensive mobile usability reports via `Reports > Mobile`.

Setup:

  • Connect to the PSI API through `Config > API Access > PSI` or run Lighthouse locally.

Example Use Cases:

  • Identify pages where content does not fit within the viewport.
  • Flag and correct small tap targets and illegible font sizes.

mobile usability analysis on screamingfrog 20mobile usability analysis on screamingfrog 20

With these new features, Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 streamlines the process of auditing mobile usability, making it more efficient and comprehensive. By integrating with Google Lighthouse, both via the PSI API and local runs, the tool provides extensive insights into the mobile performance of your website. Addressing these issues not only enhances user experience but also improves your site’s SEO performance.

N-grams Analysis

N-grams analysis is a powerful new feature that allows users to analyze phrase frequency across web pages. This can greatly enhance on-page SEO efforts and internal linking strategies.

Setting Up N-grams:

  • Activate HTML storage by enabling ‘Store HTML’ or ‘Store Rendered HTML’ under `Config > Spider > Extraction`.
  • View the N-grams in the lower N-grams tab.

n-grams analysis on screamingfrog 20n-grams analysis on screamingfrog 20

Example Use Cases:

  • Improving Keyword Usage: Adjust content based on the frequency of targeted N-grams.
  • Optimizing Internal Links: Use N-grams to identify unlinked keywords and create new internal links.

Internal Linking Opportunities:

The N-grams feature provides a nuanced method for discovering internal linking opportunities, which can significantly enhance your SEO strategy and site navigation.

The introduction of N-grams analysis in Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20 provides a tool for deep content analysis and optimization. By understanding the frequency and distribution of phrases within your content, you can significantly improve your on-page SEO and internal linking strategies.

Aggregated Anchor Text

Effective anchor text management is essential for internal linking and overall SEO performance. The aggregated anchor text feature in version 20.0 provides clear insights into how anchor texts are used across your site.

Using Aggregated Anchor Text:

  • Navigate to the ‘Inlinks’ or ‘Outlinks’ tab.
  • Utilize the new ‘Anchors’ filters to see aggregated views of anchor text usage.

aggregated anchor text report on screamingfrog 20aggregated anchor text report on screamingfrog 20

Practical Benefits:

  • Anchor Text Diversity: Ensure a natural distribution of anchor texts to avoid over-optimization.
  • Descriptive Linking: Replace generic texts like “click here” with keyword-rich alternatives.

The aggregated anchor text feature provides powerful insights into your internal link structure and optimization opportunities. This feature is essential if you are looking to enhance your site’s internal linking strategy for better keyword relevance, user experience, and search engine performance.

Aligning with digital sustainability trends, Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 includes features to measure and optimize your website’s carbon footprint.

Key Features:

  • Automatic CO2 Calculation: The SEO Spider now calculates carbon emissions for each page using the CO2.js library.
  • Carbon Rating: Each URL receives a rating based on its emissions, derived from the Sustainable Web Design Model.
  • High Carbon Rating Identification: Pages with high emissions are flagged in the ‘Validation’ tab.

Practical Applications:

  • Resource Optimization: Identify and optimize high-emission resources.
  • Sustainable Practices: Implement changes such as compressing images, reducing script sizes, and using green hosting solutions.

The integration of carbon footprint calculations in Screaming Frog SEO Spider signifies a growing recognition of digital sustainability. As more businesses adopt these practices, we can collectively reduce the environmental impact of the web while driving performance and user satisfaction.

Other Updates

In addition to major features, version 20.0 includes numerous smaller updates and bug fixes that enhance functionality and user experience.

Rich Result Validation Enhancements:

  • Split Google Rich Result validation errors from Schema.org.
  • New filters and columns provide detailed insights into rich result triggers and errors.

Enhanced File Types and Filters:

  • Internal and external filters include new file types such as Media, Fonts, and XML.

Website Archiving:

  • A new option to archive entire websites during a crawl is available under `Config > Spider > Rendering > JS`.

Viewport and Screenshot Configuration:

  • Customize viewport and screenshot sizes to fit different audit needs.

API Auto Connect:

  • Automatically connect APIs on start, making the setup process more seamless.

Resource Over 15MB Filter:

  • A new validation filter flags resources over 15MB, which is crucial for performance optimization.

Page Text Export:

  • Export all visible page text through the new `Bulk Export > Web > All Page Text` option.

Lighthouse Details Tab:

  • The ‘PageSpeed Details’ tab has been renamed ‘Lighthouse Details’ to reflect its expanded role.

HTML Content Type Configuration:

  • An ‘Assume Pages are HTML’ option helps accurately classify pages without explicit content types.

Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements:

  • Numerous small updates and fixes enhance stability and reliability. 

Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 is a comprehensive update packed with innovative features and enhancements that cater to the evolving needs of SEO professionals like us. From advanced data extraction capabilities with Custom JavaScript Snippets to environmental sustainability with Carbon Footprint and Rating, this release sets a new benchmark in SEO auditing tools.

Key Takeaway

Add this to your toolbox, or update to version 20 to explore the rich array of new features from Screaming Frog to optimize your website’s SEO, usability, and sustainability. It’s a no-fuss tool with tons of features that will help you stay ahead of your competitors, and ensure your websites perform optimally in terms of user experience and search engine visibility.

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Google Simplifies Adding Shipping & Return Policies For Online Stores

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woman online shopper affixes a barcode sticker to a cardboard box, marking it for return and refund

Google introduces Search Console feature for online stores to easily manage shipping and return policies.

  • Google now allows online stores to manage shipping and return policies via Search Console.
  • This simplifies providing vital information to customers.
  • The feature can potentially boost sales for retailers.

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