Connect with us
Cloak And Track Your Affiliate Links With Our User-Friendly Link Cloaking Tool, Try It Free

SEO

Why Brands Should Prioritize Bottom Of Funnel Keywords In SEO

Published

on

Why Brands Should Prioritize Bottom Of Funnel Keywords In SEO

Celebrate the Holidays with some of SEJ’s best articles of 2023.

Our Festive Flashback series runs from December 21 – January 5, featuring daily reads on significant events, fundamentals, actionable strategies, and thought leader opinions.

2023 has been quite eventful in the SEO industry and our contributors produced some outstanding articles to keep pace and reflect these changes.

Catch up on the best reads of 2023 to give you plenty to reflect on as you move into 2024.


The concept of search intent and the recommendation that marketers pay close attention to it when targeting organic keywords is well established in SEO.

But while a lot of SEO writing has described search intent (for example, these two excellent articles on SEJ on creating content that satisfies search intent and understanding how people search), most stop short of clearly prescribing how brands should prioritize keywords.

Specifically, most discussions of search intent state the fact that search queries range from informational (people looking to learn about a topic), to comparative (people comparing solutions to their problem), to transactional (people looking to buy).

This is often visualized as a marketing funnel.

But regarding recommendations on how to use search intent to your advantage in SEO, the most common advice is to ensure you have a variety of content to “cover” the full spectrum of search intent; have some informational, some mid-funnel, and some transactional content.

We disagree.

Specifically, we’ve found in working with dozens of brands over many years in creating SEO-focused content that the vast majority of companies should not create an even spread of content across the funnel, but rather prioritize bottom of funnel content and slowly work their way up.

Why?

Because SEO resources are finite and bottom of funnel content (e.g., search queries with “transactional” search intent) generates tremendously more return on investment (ROI) on SEO spend than everything else.

In this article, we’ll explain our reasoning and share data supporting this thesis.

SEO Resources Are Finite: You Can’t Target All Keywords Well

The general recommendation that you should “make sure you have content for all stages of the funnel” (aka all search intents) would be fine if companies had infinite SEO resources – meaning unlimited writers to produce content, unlimited SEO strategists to pick keywords and do SERP analysis, and unlimited budget for link building.

But no brand has this.

Even the idea of AI-assisted writing making producing massive amounts of content easier doesn’t negate this fact.

Sure, AI tools can produce thousands of pieces in a fraction of the time it would take a human, but that doesn’t mean they will all rank or be good enough to impress prospective customers and convert.

If a bunch of sites are all producing similar AI-assisted content to target the same keywords, Google will have to differentiate somehow to decide who to rank – and two safe bets in how it will make this decision are content quality and backlinks.

In terms of content quality, it’s quite likely that the best pieces for a given keyword will be the ones with the most originality and specific personal expertise, traits that Google has clearly stated it prefers and which require human input.

And backlinks have been a known ranking factor forever in SEO. In a world where many sites produce similar AI-produced pieces targeting the same keywords, it’s safe to assume it will be just as, if not more, important.

So regardless of how content is produced, SEO resources for everyone are finite. There are a finite number of employee hours, a finite number of writing budgets (regardless of if writers use AI), and a finite link building budget.

That means you have to prioritize the keywords you will target.

And the most logical way to prioritize is to focus SEO efforts on whatever will generate the most ROI (that is, leads and sales attributable to SEO).

In our experience, that is bottom of funnel, transactional, keywords.

Bottom Of Funnel Keywords Convert Significantly More Than Everything Else

To conclude, as we have, that bottom of funnel content converts significantly more than any other type of content, the first step is to actually measure and track conversions from SEO.

This sounds obvious, but the reality is that most SEO and content teams don’t do this; they just assume the more traffic, the better, and their entire strategy is focused on growing traffic.

You can measure conversion from SEO in different ways via different analytics tools, but in general, the process will require the following steps:

  • Define a conversion. This is typically a lead form fill or trial start for SaaS or sales-based businesses, or an actual transaction for ecommerce businesses.
  • Create a goal in your analytics platform to measure this conversion event.
  • Generate reports of which landing pages on your site resulted in how many conversions. This can be done via different attribution models like first or last click, depending on the analytics platform, but any data here is better than no data.

When you do this, you’ll inevitably find what we have found over 5+ years, dozens of brands, and hundreds of SEO pieces.

Specifically, pages on your site that rank for bottom of funnel keywords convert at multiple single digit percent (1% – 5%), whereas pages that rank for top of funnel, informational keywords typically convert at a fraction of a percent (0.01% – 0.5%).

In other words, the difference in conversion rate between bottom and top of funnel keywords is not 10%, 20%, or even 50% – it’s multiple fold.

This is exemplified in this data across 60+ content pieces for a software client of ours, where the content ranking for bottom of funnel queries converted on average at 25X higher than articles that targeted mid to top of funnel queries.

Image created by author, June 2023BOTF vs TOF Total Conversions

Bottom of funnel posts had a 4.78% conversion rate versus 0.19% for top of funnel posts. Based on 60+ posts for a client.

Even after accounting for top of funnel pieces getting more traffic, the raw conversions from just 20 bottom of funnel pieces were 3 times more than those from 40 top of funnel pieces:

BOTF vs. TOF Total ConversionsImage created by author, June 2023BOTF vs. TOF Total Conversions

 

20 bottom of funnel posts generated 1348 conversions while 40 top of funnel posts generated 397 conversions.

To emphasize, the 1350 conversions from BOTF content above are from only 22 pieces, whereas the 400 conversions from TOF are from 42 articles.

In addition, we should mention the articles we labeled as “top of funnel” in this study still had some buying intent. We went after them only after exhausting most bottom of funnel keywords and chose the keywords strategically to ensure they still had some chance of a conversion.

In that respect it’s fair even to call them “mid-funnel.” For many companies, the majority of their content and SEO efforts are directed exclusively at top of funnel keywords that will convert to leads or sales at or below the conversion rates above.

That’s a tragic waste of SEO efforts, in our minds.

Why Are Informational, Top Of Funnel Keywords So Low Converting?

The argument for chasing top of funnel keywords is typically that their search volumes are high.

So, the story goes, you can get your brand in front of a large number of people who, at some point in the future, are likely to need a product or service like yours.

But as the data above shows, and our collective experience confirms, it requires so many steps to get to a conversion from top of funnel traffic that the conversion rates are minuscule.

Specifically, the journey from someone Googling a top of funnel informational query to becoming a customer is:

  • They Google the query.
  • They click into your results.
  • They read the article.
  • Some fraction of these users either return to your site on pure memory or give their email to download a white paper or gated resource.
  • Some fraction of those users open subsequent drip emails.
  • Then at some point, some fraction of those users will need your product or service and reach out.

Each of these steps has a small conversion rate, so in combination, the entire journey has an absolutely minuscule conversion rate.

So much so that, as per the data above, a possibly higher search volume of these top of funnel queries compared to transactional queries does not make up for the tiny conversion rates.

There Are More Bottom Of Funnel Keywords Than You Think

So if you buy into this notion that targeting bottom of the funnel keywords is a better use of finite SEO resources than evenly spreading SEO content across the full spectrum of search intent, the next important question to tackle is: “Which keywords in my space are bottom of the funnel are high converting and how many of them are there?”

We’ve noticed that many SEO pros and marketers have a limited view of which keywords are bottom of funnel – that is, have some level of transaction or buying intent.

In our experience, there are three common buckets of bottom of funnel keywords, only the first of which is commonly considered as bottom of funnel.

1. Category Keywords

If we use a hypothetical business that we’re all familiar with, SEO software, the obvious transactional keywords are things like “SEO software” or “best SEO tools.”

Yes, those are very high-converting bottom of the funnel or transactional keywords that any SEO software brand should absolutely target.

In our framework for BOTF SEO, called Pain Point SEO, we call these “category keywords” since they involve the user literally Googling the name of the product or service category.

Most SEO and marketing teams are aware of these keywords and do target them, usually with the homepage or one or two landing pages.

But what we’ve found is that many teams consider this to be the entirety of bottom of funnel or transactional keywords. They target a few category keywords and spend the rest of their time creating blog content to rank for top of funnel search terms.

But there are actually a lot of other high-converting search terms that we notice most brands don’t think about and ignore in favor of producing content to go after extremely low converting top of funnel keywords.

2. Comparison Keywords

Specifically, another extremely high-converting category of keywords is what we call comparison keywords.

These are keywords that show the searcher is comparing multiple options, such as “salesforce vs pipedrive” or “adidas vs nike womens running shoes.”

Many discussions of search intent categorize this as a mid-funnel query because, they say, the searcher may not be ready to make a transaction but is simply doing product research.

But in our measurements of conversion rates of hundreds of pages ranking for comparison keywords, they often convert just as high as the category keywords discussed above.

As a result, in my view, companies that want to maximize ROI from SEO should aggressively target comparison keywords.

They should identify every comparison keyword stemming from their top competitors that has any semblance of search volume and ensure they have a dedicated page on their site to rank for each.

3. Jobs To Be Done Keywords

The final of our three categories of keywords that we have found can generate conversions from SEO are jobs to be done keywords.

This is the largest of these three categories of high-buying-intent keywords, meaning there are usually a lot more jobs to be done keywords than category or comparison.

This category is often ignored or not prioritized by brands as being conversion-generating, though, because these are queries where the user is not overtly looking for or comparing product options but is indicating that they have a problem that your product happens to solve.

In our SEO software example, this would include queries like “how to do competitor keyword research,” “how to know search volume of keywords,” or “how to track which keywords a site ranks for.”

If you have an SEO software product with features that lets people do those things, then, in our experience, ranking for keywords like these will generate conversions.

Typically the conversion rate of these keywords is slightly lower than category or comparison keywords.

However, they are still much better than top of funnel queries like “SEO strategy,” “best SEO tips,” or even “digital marketing strategies,” which are typical top of funnel keywords companies go after but which have very little buying intent.

More resources:


Featured Image: Vitalii Vodolazskyi/Shutterstock

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

SEO

The 10 Best Website Builders To Consider 2024

Published

on

By

The 10 Best Website Builders To Consider 2024

Choosing the right website builder may depend on your goals. They have a variety of features, and some platforms excel in areas that others don’t.

Not all builders will fit if you need advanced SEO or ecommerce capabilities.

We compared 10 website builders based on price, data limits, core use cases, and whether they provide domains.

The 10 Best Website Builders Compared

Website Builder Starting Price Free Option Premium Content Gates Limits Free Domain Great For Extras We Like
WordPress.com $9/month Yes Yes 1-50 GB Yes (annual plans only) Blogging and text-based sites
  • Easily work between the .com and self-hosted sites.
  • Customizability.
Wix $17/month Yes Yes 2 GB-Unlimited Yes Small businesses & entrepreneurs
  • Educational programs and support.
  • Scheduling.
  • Ad management.
  • Email campaigns.
Duda $25/month 14 days Yes 1-4 sites No Getting started
  • Excellent help and support.
  • Zapier integration.
  • Multiple language sites.
  • Content library and free assets.
HubSpot $15/month Yes Yes Up to 30 pages on the free plan No Scaling
  • Conversational bots.
  • Wide range of free tools for sales, marketing, and services.
  • Extensive site and business owner education.
  • Mobile app.
Squarespace $25/month 14 days Yes Unlimited bandwidth, 30 minutes of video storage Yes (annual plans only) Quick, no-fuss sites
  • Custom product creation without worrying about fulfillment and shipping.
  • Integrated ecommerce on larger plans.
Webflow $18/month Yes Yes Starts with 1 GB bandwidth and 50 CMS items Yes Designers & Agencies
  • Schema markup and structured search support.
  • Pre-built interactions.
IONOS $6/month No No 50-75 GB Yes Small businesses on a budget
  • Affordable.
  • Competitor tracking.
  • Online booking included.
  • Built-in privacy and SSL.
Shopify $5/month 3 days No Unlimited products, bandwidth, and online storage No Ecommerce
  • Wide range of ecommerce features.
  • Large app store for extensions.
Weebly $12/month Yes No Unlimited storage Yes Beginners
  • Ease of use.
  • Built-in SEO tools.
Hostinger $2.99/month No No 25,000 visits,
100 GB SSD storage,
400,000 files
Yes Budget sites
  • Very affordable plans.
  • 24/7 customer support.

10 Best Website Builders For 2024

1. WordPress.com

Screenshot from WordPress.com, June 2024

With 62.7% of the market share held between WordPress.com and .org, WordPress is the largest and most prominent website builder.

Key Features

  • Over 50,000 plugins and 8,000 themes for customization.
  • Ability to transition between hosted and self-hosted options.
  • With paid plans, custom domains, site security, and advanced features are available.

Benefits & SEO Highlights

  • User-friendly interface suitable for beginners.
  • Flexibility to create various types of websites.
  • Built-in SEO tools and options to optimize your site for search engines.

Cost

  • $0-$70/month ($0-$45/month, billed annually), plus custom options.

2. Wix

Wix webpageScreenshot from Wix.com, June 2024

Wix controls only 4% of the CMS market, but that small number translates into hundreds of millions of users and makes it one of the most popular website builders.

It offers ease of use and flexibility, making it suitable for creating professional websites with expanded functionality.

Key Features

  • Customizable templates with drag-and-drop editing.
  • Wide range of elements and third-party apps for added functionality.
  • Comprehensive business solutions, including ecommerce and marketing tools.

Benefits & SEO Highlights

  • Suitable for beginners and those needing advanced features.
  • SEO Wiz tool for optimizing your site’s SEO settings.
  • Extensive help, resources, and guides for website creation and promotion.

Cost

  • $0-$159/month, plus custom options.

3. Duda

Duda.coScreenshot from Duda.co, June 2024

Duda is a website builder that balances ease of use with advanced customization options, making it popular among designers and developers.

Key Features

  • Drag-and-drop interface and customizable templates.
  • Widgets and add-ons for expanded functionality, including ecommerce.
  • Mobile editor for creating mobile-friendly versions of your site

Benefits & SEO Highlights

  • Suitable for businesses and individuals seeking a professional website.
  • Built-in SEO optimization features, including meta descriptions and sitemaps.
  • Excellent customer support with live chat, email, and resources.

Cost:

  • $25-$199/month ($19-$149/month, billed annually), plus custom options.

4. HubSpot

HubSpot webpageScreenshot from HubSpot.com, June 2024

HubSpot is an all-in-one marketing, sales, and customer service platform with a powerful website builder.

Key Features

  • Drag-and-drop interface and customizable templates.
  • Pre-built modules for forms, CTAs, and social media integration.
  • Integrated CMS, marketing automation, and sales tools.

Benefits & SEO Highlights

  • Ideal for businesses seeking a comprehensive solution.
  • Built-in SEO tools for keyword research, on-page optimization, and analytics.
  • Scalable platform that grows.

Cost

  • $0-$450/month, plus custom options.

5. Squarespace

SquarespaceScreenshot from Squarespace, June 2024

Squarespace is a website builder that offers beautifully designed templates and powerful ecommerce features.

Key Features

  • Customizable templates that work across devices.
  • Ecommerce tools for inventory management, order tracking, and payment processing.
  • Marketing tools for SEO, video, and audience management

Benefits & SEO Highlights

  • Ideal for businesses focusing on ecommerce and brand promotion.
  • Built-in SEO features and integration with Google Analytics.
  • Mobile app for managing your site on the go.

Cost

  • $25-$72/month ($16-$52/month, billed annually), and enterprise plans.

6. Webflow

Homepage of webflow.comScreenshot from webflow.com, May 2024

Webflow is a website builder offering advanced design and development features suitable for users of all skill levels.

Key Features

  • Free plan for getting started with basic features.
  • Ecommerce plan with advanced tools for selling products and managing orders.
  • Team plan with collaboration features and client billing.

Benefits & SEO Highlights

  • Suitable for individuals and teams looking for advanced customization options.
  • Advanced SEO features, including schema and Open Graph.
  • Unique features like scheduled publishing, logic flows, and animations.

Cost

  • $0-$235/month ($0-$212/month, billed annually), including enterprise plans.

7. IONOS

Homepage of ionos.comScreenshot from: ionos.com, May 2024.

IONOS is an affordable and simple website builder that offers all the essential features for creating a functional and beautiful site.

Key Features

  • Three-step site design process: choosing a design, adding content, and promoting.
  • Search engine-optimized templates built for performance.
  • Presence Suite for managing and promoting your site

Benefits & SEO Highlights

  • Ideal for quick website setups, test projects, and DIYers.
  • Templates are pre-optimized for search engines.
  • Affordable pricing plans with essential features.

Cost

  • $6-$15/month ($4-$8/month billed three years in advance).

8. Shopify

1721393763 166 The 10 Best Website Builders To Consider 2024Screenshot from: Shopify.com, June 2024.

Shopify is a comprehensive ecommerce platform that enables businesses to create online stores and sell products easily.

Key Features

  • Customizable templates and drag-and-drop editing.
  • Powerful ecommerce tools for inventory management, payment processing, and shipping.
  • The app store has thousands of apps to extend functionality.

Benefits & SEO Highlights

  • Ideal for businesses of all sizes looking to create an online store.
  • Built-in SEO features and the ability to edit meta tags, URLs, and site structure.
  • 24/7 customer support and extensive documentation.

Cost

  • $19-$399/month ($29-$299/month billed annually).

9. Weebly

1721393763 174 The 10 Best Website Builders To Consider 2024Screenshot from: weebly.com, June 2024.

Weebly is a user-friendly website builder that offers a wide range of features for creating professional websites and online stores.

Key Features

  • Drag-and-drop interface and customizable templates.
  • Ecommerce functionality with inventory management and payment processing.
  • Blogging platform and app center for additional features.

Benefits & SEO Highlights

  • Suitable for beginners and small businesses.
  • Built-in SEO tools, including meta descriptions, alt tags, and sitemaps.
  • Responsive customer support and community forum.

Cost

  • $$0-$29/month ($10-$26/month billed annually).

10. Hostinger

1721393763 885 The 10 Best Website Builders To Consider 2024Screenshot from hostinger.com, June 2024.

Hostinger offers an easy-to-use website-building tool in its web hosting plans, designed to help users get sites up and running fast.

Key Features

  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface.
  • Suitable for beginners and those needing a website up and running quickly.
  • Free domain, website migration, email, and SSL are included in the hosting package.

Benefits & SEO Highlights

  • Optimized for speed using LiteSpeed Web Server technology, advanced cache solutions, and Object Cache for WordPress.
  • Advanced security features, including unlimited SSL certificates, DDoS protection, automatic backups, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.

Cost

  • $2.99-$9.99 for the first month ($7.99-$19.99/month on renewal).

Find The Right Website Builder For Your Needs

When choosing a website builder, consider your needs, budget, and skill level.

  • WordPress.com offers flexibility and customization for bloggers and content-heavy sites.
  • Small businesses and entrepreneurs may prefer all-in-one solutions like Wix or HubSpot for marketing integration.
  • Ecommerce stores should evaluate dedicated platforms like Shopify for robust selling tools.
  • Beginners can start with user-friendly builders like Weebly, while designers and agencies may prefer more advanced options like Webflow.

With the variety of website builders available, there’s a solution for every need.

More resources:


Featured Image: Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

How to Get Search Traffic Without Ranking for Anything

Published

on

How to Get Search Traffic Without Ranking for Anything

Getting to the top of Google can be quite slow. Especially so for small, new websites. And the competition can often be too strong, which makes it quite unlikely for you to outrank your rivals in the first place.

Well… if you can’t win, change the rules.

There’s a very simple trick for getting search traffic for the keywords that you want to rank for—without actually ranking for them.

Enter…

One of the most common pieces of marketing advice is to “go fish where the fish are.” Whatever product or service you want to sell, you have to follow three simple steps:

  1. Figure out who your ideal customers are.
  2. Find the places where those people are hanging out online.
  3. Go to those places and find ways to promote your product.

Quick example: if you want to sell fitness gear, it would be good to figure out how to tap into the r/Fitness community on Reddit, which has over 12M members.

What does it have to do with SEO though?

Well, whatever search traffic you want to drive to your own website… someone is already getting it to theirs, right? And their website is not necessarily your direct competitor.

If you own a bagel joint in Singapore, you definitely want your website to rank in Google for “best bagels in Singapore.” But the pages that actually rank for this keyword are listicles, which give readers a bunch of different suggestions. So your job is to get featured in as many of those top-ranking listicles as possible.

Ranking for a keyword with your own website isn’t the only way to get customers from Google. Getting featured on other pages that rank for this keyword is incredibly effective too.

I call this tactic “second-hand search traffic”.

The underlying idea is not new though.

You might have heard of the concept called “Barnacle SEO,” shared by Rand Fishkin back in 2014. There’s also a concept called “Surround Sound,” coined by Alex Birkett. And another one called “SERP Monopoly strategy” by Nick Eubanks. There’s also a reverse concept, called “Rank & Rent.”

The idea behind all of these tactics is practically the same: if a page gets a lot of relevant search traffic from Google—you have to try and get your business mentioned there.

1721330765 614 How to Get Search Traffic Without Ranking for Anything1721330765 614 How to Get Search Traffic Without Ranking for Anything
Source

But that’s easier said than done, right?

Why would anyone bother to feature your business on their website?

Well, one simple answer is money.

If a website owner can make money from mentioning your business on their page, there’s a good chance they’ll do it. This money could come in the form of an affiliate commission or a flat fee for an annual or permanent placement. Sometimes these things can also happen as part of a broader partnership deal.

Getting listed for free is very, very hard. Especially so if you’re not already a big and respected business that people naturally want to feature on their website.

And yet—it’s not completely impossible to get listed for free.

Case in point, we just published our own “best SEO conferences” post, in order to rank for relevant search queries and promote our upcoming event, Ahrefs Evolve Singapore.

And then we went ahead and reached out to all websites that rank for the “best SEO conferences” keyword and asked them to add Ahrefs Evolve to their listicles. So far 10 out of 17 featured us on their pages, without asking for any payment whatsoever.

1721330766 734 How to Get Search Traffic Without Ranking for Anything1721330766 734 How to Get Search Traffic Without Ranking for Anything

The most straightforward way to execute this strategy is to compile a list of highly relevant keywords (with high business potential scores), pull all the top-ranking pages for each of them into a spreadsheet, and start your outreach.

But there’s one other fruitful source of pages to get second-hand search traffic from. These are pages that are linking to your competitors, while getting a decent amount of search traffic themselves.

Here’s how to find these pages in 3 simple steps:

  1. Put the website of your competitor in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the Backlinks report.
  3. Apply the “Referring page > Traffic” filter.
How to Get Search Traffic Without Ranking for AnythingHow to Get Search Traffic Without Ranking for Anything

Here’s an example of a page I found while trying this out for the ConvertKit website:

1721330766 665 How to Get Search Traffic Without Ranking for Anything1721330766 665 How to Get Search Traffic Without Ranking for Anything

As you can see, this page is not about “email marketing” (the primary topic you’d go for, if you wanted to promote an email marketing tool). And yet, this page is receiving 2.6k visitors per month from Google (as estimated by Ahrefs), and it recommends a bunch of email marketing tools to its readers.

So if you own an email marketing tool—like ConvertKit—you definitely want to get mentioned on that page alongside your competitors.

The moral of this story is that you should look outside of the topics that are immediately relevant to your business. Any page that gets traffic and mentions a competitor of yours should become your target.

And Ahrefs makes it super easy to find such pages.

That’s it.

I hope you found this tactic useful. Don’t sleep on it, because there’s a good chance that your competitors won’t.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

What SEO Should Know About Brand Marketing With Mordy Oberstein

Published

on

By

What SEO Should Know About Brand Marketing With Mordy Oberstein

For the SEO industry, the Google documents leak offered an important view behind the scenes. Although the leak was not a blueprint of how the algorithm worked, there was considerable confirmation that SEO professionals were right about many elements of the algorithm.

From all the analysis and discussion following the leak, the one insight that got my attention was how important the brand is.

Rand Fishkin, who broke the leak, said this:

“Brand matters more than anything else … If there was one universal piece of advice I had for marketers seeking to broadly improve their organic search rankings and traffic, it would be: “Build a notable, popular, well-recognized brand in your space, outside of Google search.”

Mike King echoed this statement with the following observation:

“All these potential demotions can inform a strategy, but it boils down to making stellar content with strong user experience and building a brand, if we’re being honest.”

Mordy Oberstein, who is an advocate for building a brand online, posted on X (Twitter):

“I am SO happy that the SEO conversation has shifted to thinking about “brand.”

It’s not the first time that “brand” has been mentioned in SEO. We began to talk about this around 2012 after the impact of Panda and Penguin when it first became apparent that Google’s aim was to put more emphasis on brand.

Compounding this is the introduction of AI, which has accelerated the importance of taking a more holistic approach to online marketing with less reliance on Google SERPs.

When I spoke to Pedro Dias, he said, “We need to focus more than ever on building our own communities with users aligned to our brands.”

As someone who had 15 years of offline experience in marketing, design, and business before moving into SEO, I have always said that having this wide knowledge allows me to take a holistic view of SEO. So, I welcome the mindset shift towards building a brand online.

As part of his X/Twitter post, Mordy also said:

“I am SO happy that the SEO conversation has shifted to thinking about “brand” (a lot of which is the direct result of @randfish’s & @iPullRank’s great advice following the “Google leaks”).

As someone who has straddled the brand marketing and SEO world for the better part of 10 years – branding is A LOT harder than many SEOs would think and will be a HUGE adjustment for many SEOs.”

Following his X/Twitter post, I reached out to Mordy Oberstein, Head of SEO Brand at Wix, to have a conversation about branding and SEO.

What Do SEO Pros Need To Know About ‘Brand’ To Make The Mindset Shift?

I asked Mordy, “In your opinion, what does brand and building a brand mean, and can SEO pros make this mindset shift?”

Mordy responded, “Brand building basically means creating a connection between one entity and another entity, meaning the company and the audience.

It’s two people meeting, and that convergence is the building of a brand. It’s very much a relationship. And I think that’s what makes it hard for SEOs. It’s a different way of thinking; it’s not linear, and there aren’t always metrics that you can measure it by.

I’m not saying you don’t use data, or you don’t have data, but it’s harder to measure to tell a full story.

You’re trying to pick up on latent signals. A lot of the conversation is unconscious.

It’s all about the micro things that compound. So, you have to think about everything you do, every signal, to ensure that it is aligned with the brand.

For example, a website writes about ‘what is a tax return.’ However, if I’m a professional accountant and I see this on your blog, I might think this isn’t relevant to me because you’re sending me a signal that you’re very basic. I don’t need to know what a tax return is; I have a master’s degree in accounting.

The latent signals that you’re sending can be very subtle, but this is where it is a mindset shift for SEO.”

I recalled a recent conversation with Pedro Dias in which he stressed it was important to put your users front and center and create content that is relevant to them. Targeting high-volume keywords is not going to connect with your audience. Instead, think about what is going to engage, interest, and entertain them.

I went on to say that for some time, the discussion online has been about SEO pros shifting away from the keyword-first approach. However, the consequences of moving away from a focus on traffic and clicks will mean we are likely to experience a temporary decline in performance.

How Does An SEO Professional Sell This To Stakeholders – How Do They Measure Success?

I asked Mordy, “How do you justify this approach to stakeholders – how do they measure success?”

Mordy replied, “I think selling SEO will become harder over time. But, if you don’t consider the brand aspect, then you could be missing the point of what is happening. It’s not about accepting lower volumes of traffic; it’s that traffic will be more targeted.

You might see less traffic right now, but the idea is to gain a digital presence and create digital momentum that will result in more qualified traffic in the long term.”

Mordy went on to say, “It’s going to be a habit to break out of, just like when you have to go on a diet for a long-term health gain.

The ecosystem will change, and it will force change to our approach. SEOs may not have paid attention to the Google leak documents, but I think they will pay attention as the entire ecosystem shifts – they won’t have a choice.

I also think C-level will send a message that they don’t care about overall traffic numbers, but do care about whether a user appreciates what they are producing and that the brand is differentiated in some way.”

How Might The Industry Segment And What Will Be The Important Roles?

I interjected to make the point that it does look a lot like SEO is finally making that shift across marketing.

Technical SEO will always be important, and paid/programmatic will remain important because it is directly attributable.

For the rest of SEO, I anticipate it merges across brand, SEO, and content into a hybrid strategy role that will straddle those disciplines.

What we thought of as “traditional SEO” will fall away, and SEO will become absorbed into marketing.

In response, Mordy agreed and thought that SEO traffic is part of a wider scope or part of a wider paradigm, and it will sit under brand and communications.

An SEO pro that functions as part of the wider marketing and thinks about how we are driving revenue, how we are driving growth, what kind of growth we are driving, and using SEO as a vehicle to that.

The final point I raised was about social media and whether that would become a more combined facet of SEO and overall online marketing.

Mordy likened Google to a moth attracted to the biggest digital light.

He said, “Social media is a huge vehicle for building momentum and the required digital presence.

For example, the more active I am on social media, the more organic branded searches I gain through Google Search. I can see the correlation between that.

I don’t think that Google is ignoring branded searches, and it makes a semantic connection.”

SEO Will Shift To Include Brand And Marketing

The conversation I had with Mordy raised an interesting perspective that SEO will have to make significant shifts to a brand and marketing mindset.

The full impact of AI on Google SERPs and how the industry might change is yet to be realized. But, I strongly recommend that anyone in SEO consider how they can start to take a brand-first approach to their strategy and the content they create.

I suggest building and measuring relationships with audiences based on how they connect with your brand and moving away from any strategy based on chasing high-volume keywords.

Think about what the user will do once you get the click – that is where the real value lies.

Get ahead of the changes that are coming.

Thank you to Mordy Oberstein for offering his opinion and being my guest on IMHO.

More resources:


Featured Image: 3rdtimeluckystudio/Shutterstock

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending