How to build a long-term research-first marketing strategy

How to build a long-term research-first marketing strategy

“Nearly three and a half billion searches are made on Google every day,” Craig Dunham, CEO of SEO platform Enterprise Deepcrawl, said at the recent MarTech conference. “According to research from Moz, 84% of people use Google at least three times a day, and about half of all product searches begin with Google. The way consumers interact with brands is changing, and they are doing so rapidly.”

He added: “Consumers start their journey with the tool that many of us use hundreds of times a day. So, the link to revenue becomes clear – it starts with research.”

Source: Craig Dunham and Scott Brinker

The concept of digital transformation has been around for years, but it has taken on an entirely new form in the wake of recent societal shifts. New technologies and the 2020 pandemic have brought “a greater focus on the need to drive optimal digital experiences for our customers,” Dunham said.

A brand’s website is often the first and most lasting impression customers have about your organization. Here are some of the strategic actions marketers recommend taking to ensure that their online properties are optimized for the age of first search.

“The website is a shared responsibility and requires appropriate strategic leadership,” Dunham said. “The first step is to take some time and educate yourself, your leadership, your board, and your organization so that they broadly promote organic KPIs as company-wide goals.”

“There is great data on the impact of SEO efficiency as a low-cost acquisition channel,” he added.

Source: Craig Dunham

Aside from sharing communications from Google about the importance of search from a business perspective, marketers can look for case studies from reputable organizations to encourage search prioritization. This can help top companies start seeing organic traffic as a key business metric.

“I was in a meeting recently and I had a digital leader tell me you know website performance shouldn’t be a metric for SEO — it should be a metric for business,” he said.

Create a cross-functional search task force

“So much of the data and insights generated by CEOs and their tools are rarely used to their full potential,” Dunham said. “This is partly because SEO is not considered a business priority. As a result, it has been isolated – pulling teams from across the organization breaks those silos.”

The more team members involved in searches, the more they see their impact. People from each department will have more opportunities to contribute to increasing online visibility using their unique skills.

“We know that companies that are able to implement enterprise-wide search systems and practices — connecting a range of perspectives and the research activities that occur — will be the ones that will have a competitive advantage,” Dunham said.

SEO Test Automation Application

More and more brands are turning to automation tools to simplify tasks. According to Dunham, these solutions can be used in research-related activities as well.

“Automation can be very well deployed in web development processes,” Dunham said. Until recently, this technology did not exist.

Brands now have access to a variety of automation tools to simplify SEO related tasks. The key is to choose solutions that align with your organization’s goals and give you complete control over their deployment: “There are additional risk mechanisms that can be put in place to ensure that bad code is not released that leads to significant traffic losses and, ultimately, lowers revenue across important web pages,”

If brands can improve their internal processes, teams, and tools related to organic search, they will increase their chances of achieving long-term success in the digital search-first landscape.

SEO Platforms: 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 aim of increasing the traffic that websites receive from search engines.

What do the tools do? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) platforms help marketers extract more insights from their work. It offers capabilities like rank checking, advanced keyword research, competitive intelligence, and backlink analysis. Furthermore, enterprise-wide platforms take these functionality to new heights with comprehensive auditing and page performance analysis, making it easier to find key areas that need improvement.

Why do we care. Search engine optimization (SEO) has been one of the main foundations of digital marketing for years. Research drives nearly 50% of website traffic on average, according to a study of similar data from Growth Badger. And while marketers have developed strategies to keep up with this, the increasing sophistication of search engine optimization has made this an even more complex marketing discipline that companies cannot afford to ignore.

Read next: What do SEO platforms do and how do they help marketers find them in search engines?

About the author

Cory Patterson is an editor at MarTech and Search Engine Land. With a background in SEO, content marketing, and journalism, it covers Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and PPC to help marketers improve their campaigns.

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