Working as an SEO, it’s crucial that you’re ready to embrace changes in the SEO landscape, keep your finger on the pulse of Google’s updates, integrate and evaluate changes through on-site and off-site testing, build outreach campaigns, and all the other required tasks we love so much.
Implementing all of this successfully, though, is easier said than done. How exactly can you make sure that you’re focusing on quality traffic? And how do you even know that this traffic will help your brand grow? In this blog post, I’m going to show you how to pivot your SEO strategy according to the business’ needs.
1. Align your SEO strategy with the business strategy
SimilarWeb, the company I work for, decided to change their go-to-market strategy. Instead of targeting their current audience, their new vision was to target their enterprise audience.
This meant that, instead of targeting a broad audience, the goal is now a specific audience — complete with higher competition and less volume. In other words, it’s quality vs. quantity.
Thus, because our SEO efforts will now be focused on targeting those enterprise users, I need to adjust our SEO strategy accordingly to achieve the required conversions.
2. Work with the strategy/product marketing manager in your organization
Working closely with the product manager will help you generate a list of action items that need to be evaluated to better understand your organization’s long-term goals. Ideally, you should be concentrating on driving factors such as the vision of your company, the competitive landscape, the targeted audience, etc.
In particular, you should focus your marketing energy on researching and analyzing a few different things:
- Geo – Understand which countries and languages are the most valuable to the product. This can be determined by analyzing the amount of sales, leads, and revenue potential.
- Industries – The second step will be to define which industries you should focus on; it can be any industry, from e-commerce to insurance and beyond.
- Audience/persona – Drill deep down into the marketplace to discover who your target audience is and exactly what it is they’re looking for.
- Come up with a list of keyword groups/themes that you would like to target.
- Update your knowledge of your competitors, and build a new competitive intelligence report that will not only include your main competitors, but also industry content leaders. This will offer new ideas and help you develop new strategies; there’s a great post by Aleyda about competitive analysis workflows that can help you develop your own.
3. Build new keyword research
After you’ve gathered all this information and you’re aligned with the new strategy of the company, it’s time to come up with a new keyword research strategy.
I would recommend starting with your updated list of competitors. Analyze how much traffic they’re getting and which keywords will be relevant in your new strategy.
My favorite tools for this:
Here’s example of what that looks like in SimilarWeb Pro; you can see how much traffic the actual websites are getting per keyword, the ratio between organic and paid, the ranking position, and more:
Once you have the list of keywords your competitors are using, it’s vital that you use another keyword tool to generate additional ideas.
Moz Keyword Explorer is my favorite for this; not only does it unearth new angles for your keyword strategies, but it also helps you group these keywords into relevant groups to enhance their accessibility:
Next, filter all the relevant keywords from the list based on topic, relevancy, and volume.
Segment the keywords based on their probability of getting ranked. In the case of Keyword Explorer, you can do this by analyzing the Opportunity score. Additionally, you can examine the volume of the keywords and see what their current ranking in the SERP is.
Now you have that big, exciting list of keywords organized by groups, volume, and opportunity, it’s time to start keyword mapping to get those keywords into your site pages. Make sure that all your site pages integrate the new keywords into titles, descriptions, H1s, H2s, etc. If you need help with building the keyword/content mapping, you should watch this Whiteboard Friday from Rand.
4. Focus on relevant traffic
In the past, there have been many assumptions made about SEO rankings. The most common assumption: get more traffic to your site and you’ll improve your rankings. However, as I’ll now discuss, good SEO shows us that this is far from the truth.
Improving the quality of your traffic will help improve your rankings
At SimilarWeb, we decided to remove most of the irrelevant traffic to our site (around 40%) from the total SEO traffic.
Here are some reasons that led us to remove low-quality traffic from the index. Irrelevant traffic…
- Provides 0% value to the business in terms of leads/sales
- Has a high bounce rate
- Results in low pageviews per user
- Indicates content that’s not relevant to the business. Google’s purpose is to complete the searcher’s task and provide the best result for their query, so if you have content on your site that’s not performing well in terms of ranking, CTR, bounce rate, time on the page, and so on, you should consider rewriting it or removing it from the index.
You can see our own results here, which clearly show a significant increase in all the engagement stats:
- Bounce rate was reduced by 42%
- Pageviews per session increased by 34%
- Time on site increased by 65%
Changes in a company’s strategy can present a fantastic opportunity for SEO managers to review the current status of their SEO efforts. And, by identifying what is and isn’t working, you’ll arm yourself with the knowledge required to build a new strategy which will attract not just traffic, but relevant users who have a higher probability to convert.