Beyond appearing on the first page of a search query, SEO goals can be unclear. Our understanding of how searches are conducted is constantly improving, just as the algorithms are constantly changing. But for all its difficulties, SEO continues to be an absolutely vital and ever-growing part of marketer’s repertoire.
Recently, a Proxima study revealed that many marketers may actually be sinking their budgets into SEO strategy black holes, rather than SEO returns. Within the study, Proxima cited a number of various elements that were negatively impacting SEO, including generational gaps within marketing teams and unintentional spend on artificial or fraudulent users (54 percent of all online ads were never seen by a human). The world of SEO seems to be full of more obstacles than most marketers realize, as they pour their resources into these roadblocks.
One recurring theme in Proxima’s study is a disconnect between marketers and their audiences. While basically any SEO tool will give you numerous metrics about how many people are discovering your brand through search, it can be more difficult to analyze your results in the context of your target audience, like you can with platforms such as Facebook, which offers detailed demographic statistics. Likewise, accurately determining whether a user is authentic and interested in your product can present difficulty for SEO strategy in a digital environment increasingly saturated with fake users and accounts.
So what is an SEO marketer to do?
One of the most effective ways to weed out fraudulent accounts while also honing in on your audience is to construct a retargeting engine to coincide with your SEO efforts. While driving impressions and clicks is essential, retargeting pulls users a bit further into your digital funnel in a manner that both gathers data and encourages response: This data can help inform your initial SEO targeting, while response will often confound most bots and fake accounts. In this way, the conversion rate of your retargeting becomes as important—if not more important—than your click-through rate for determining the efficacy of your SEO.
While there is much work you can do with your own SEO engine to better hone in on your audience, understanding the habits and approach of your competition can be a very powerful way to shore up weaknesses in your strategy and retarget your efforts. While there are some popular and free tools online from Moz and Alexa, doing a specific keyword analysis of your competition’s website can give far more actionable insight. Getting to know your competition is also one of the best ways to give context to the results you see in your SEO analytics: Are 100,000 or 1,000,000 impressions more usual for a brand like yours? If you’re interested in more specific insight, SEO Book’s free tools are an excellent place to start.
SEO strategy, while perhaps less flashy than other digital marketing, is just as fast moving and vital as any other digital marketing effort. Getting specific with your data and tweaking can not only get you the most out of your search budget but also help your brand rise above the rest.
If you’re looking for even more resources to supercharge your search visibility, Skyword’s free content amplification content will get you started on a track to search engine success.