How to create an integrated search strategy
Search marketing specialists, regardless of their focus, often share the same end objective for their strategies: generating quality traffic to drive conversions.
In reality however, they don’t always align their work to achieve the same goals. How can search experts truly find common ground, influence each other, and plan a successful future-proof strategy together?
Let’s delve into how to create an integrated search strategy to reach the full potential of your online presence.
SEO and SEA go hand in hand. Their collaboration can assure constant and strategic visibility of your platform in search engines – especially when one of the disciplines is lacking, still in progress, or wrestling with strong competition.
Here are some of the most important activities to create a seamless collaboration.
Exchange channel insights
Build a workflow that helps both parties exchange channel insights:
- Regularly scheduled calls to inform each other about ongoing activities
- A shared dashboard that analyzes data together in one place
- Access to tools and insights for both parties
- Exchange keyword research to optimize strategies
Optimize your landing pages
Google Ads uses landing page experience to measure how well-connected your page is to your ad. The page experience you offer affects your Ad Rank and, therefore, your CPC and impression position. Your ads may show less often if you direct your users to disjointed, poorly designed, or slow landing pages. You can improve pages with a low landing page experience by optimizing the following SEO metrics:
- Page speed
- Easy navigation, such as breadcrumbs, internal links, etc.
- Increasing credibility: quality content
- Clear UX, strategic Call To Actions, and goals
While SEO and SEA are distinct methods, you can work in synergy to optimize resources for SEA by leveraging the benefits of organic search.
For example, improving organic visibility for relevant keywords will bring a consistent flow of free, high-quality traffic and reduce your reliance on paid advertising through SEA. Besides, a comprehensive and consistent online presence for organic and paid search results reinforces your brand’s credibility and presence in users’ eyes. This can lead to increased click-through rates and conversions in both channels. Finally (although it is not a one-size-fits-all approach), bidding less on branded keywords when your website ranks well organically can be a viable strategy in certain situations.
How SEO and UX/CRO can support each other
User experience and conversion rate optimization both help users get things done on-page as smoothly as possible with minimum effort. Optimized organic search attracts more users, while UX/CRO ensures they convert. When these two disciplines work together, websites are more likely to rank higher in search results and, more importantly, deliver a satisfying and engaging experience to visitors.
Build a smooth navigation and information architecture
UX designers organize content in a way that makes it easy for users to find what they need. From a UX perspective, the structure should be intuitive, user-friendly, and easy to navigate.
SEO experts look at navigation and information architecture primarily through the lens of search engine crawlers and indexing. Therefore, they need a clear hierarchy of pages and logical URL structures that make important content accessible within a few clicks from the homepage.
So ideally, your UX and SEO teams work together to create an information architecture that balances ease of use with search relevance. A well-organized structure can reduce bounce rates and improve user satisfaction, which are important factors that search engines consider in ranking algorithms.
UX designers should incorporate accessibility principles into the design and layout of your site, such as using proper HTML markup, providing alternative text for images, and designing for keyboard navigation. SEO experts can assist by ensuring that accessibility features do not hinder search engine crawlers and that the website aligns with best practices recognized by search engines.
The aim for both teams is to meet the standards of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which are recognized globally and serve as a benchmark for web accessibility.
Improve your page speed performance
Page speed optimization is a crucial factor that impacts both UX and SEO. From a UX perspective, we expect websites to load quickly and seamlessly since slow-loading pages can frustrate visitors, leading to higher bounce rates and lower engagement.
From an SEO standpoint, page speed is a ranking factor. Thus, better ranking brings more organic traffic, visibility, and conversions for the business. Regular collaboration between UX and SEO teams is essential for ongoing improvements. It is important to analyze user feedback, performance, and user behavior data to make informed decisions.
Incorporating social into an SEO strategy
We already know that social media is a great tool for building brand awareness, content distribution, and engaging with your audience. However, most social media platforms are essentially search engines, which not enough organizations are considering yet. More and more users are utilizing the endless information on social channels to find their new favorite restaurant, shop online, or consume news without traditional search engines.
Collaboration between SEO and social media can greatly benefit a business’s digital marketing strategy. It can maximize the impact of respective strategies, boost online visibility, and drive more organic traffic to the website. Here’s how.
Content calendar alignment
Aligning social media and SEO content calendars ensures that the teams are coordinated. They can plan campaigns and content releases that complement each other, creating a consistent brand message throughout the web, seasonality, and trends.
Monitor trends for your editorial plan
Both teams can collaborate on monitoring industry trends and customer sentiment. SEO can use insights from industry trends on social media to conduct keyword research and build or expand the Editorial Plan accordingly. Both teams can also analyze customer comments, reviews, and feedback on social media platforms. This information can provide valuable insights into customer preferences, pain points, and expectations to make data-driven decisions.
Social media platforms are excellent places to share and promote content. SEO can identify high-quality, link-worthy content that has the potential to attract backlinks, whereas social media can promote these. Although links incoming from social media platforms do not directly bring the authority and value we usually search for in backlinks sourced from websites, they definitely help in the realm of visibility and brand awareness that can add to trust and user loyalty.
Social media platforms are slowly but surely being perceived as search engines by users. Major social channels now integrate elements from traditional SEO practices to match user queries. This allows optimizing captions, YouTube titles, alt texts, and video keywords. Incorporating these SEO elements can enhance the visibility of your social media content.
Why you should create an integrated search strategy
Search engines change rapidly, so your way of working must change accordingly. An integrated strategy considers all aspects of your inbound traffic and online presence and can cushion market fluctuations and major changes in engine algorithms over time.
We create integrated search strategies that stand the test of time and deliver results.