The global pandemic has turned the economic landscape upside down, inside out, and shaken it into a state of disorientation. In response to these difficult times, many brands are moving their budgets away from search engine optimization (SEO) solutions and reallocating them to disciplines they believe will garner quicker results such as PPC. Yet, it’s not SEO itself that’s not lucrative, but instead the antiquated SEO siloing method.
Siloing is only a small piece of a much larger SEO puzzle. Organizing the contents of your website by keyword-related themes into an easily navigable structure using both physical and virtual siloing is a great place to start. However, brands that need to climb in search rank quickly to survive will need to focus on a much more holistic SEO solution, and this process begins with understanding the nuances of Google’s ranking system.
Changes to Google Indexing
Back in 2000, Google only updated its index every five to six weeks. This slower speed gave SEO solutions the reputation of being a long game strategy rather than a quick fix.
However, Google now updates its index daily. Thus, changes in your website’s SEO strategy are factored much more quickly. SEO is now liberated from the traditional silo structure and is free to take part in a larger network of marketing activities. Ergo, specifically designated SEO agencies gave way to the SEO sprint. If your company can’t allocate the time and energy it takes to keep up to date with the latest SEO methods, hiring an SEO agency is a great option to move quick and work as agile as SEO now requires.
Introduction to SEO Sprints
The goal of SEO sprints is to be present at the most important touch points in Google to foster closer relationships with your target audience and create different types of customer journeys to fully understand how you’re targeting customers online.
An SEO sprint is comprised of five steps:
SEO agencies and marketing collectives are constantly using and building upon this agile process because we’re able to stay lean and move quickly. You can also think of SEO sprints as a dedicated SEO “campaign.”
The Capital One Platinum Card SEO Sprint Case Study
An unnamed marketing firm unearthed the emotional core of Capital One’s platinum card target audience to give them the fresh insights they needed to attract new customers.
Before the marketing team began providing their professional SEO services, they made sure they fully understood the goals of the marketing campaign and the insights that Capital One had collected about their target audience.
This stage entailed a great deal of communication between each branch of their own marketing team as well as with those of Capital One. After collecting a great well of information, it was much clearer how SEO solutions would best support business goals.
The internet is ripe with data analytics tools. Instead of limiting themselves to just one or two, the firm used as many as they could to gather data on Capital One’s audience. They started with Google’s own tools such as Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and Google Keyword Planner, and then expanded their horizons to different clickstream tools like Moz Keyword Explorer and Adobe Analytics.
This marketing firm unearthed surprising insights through a study which combined deep listening with digital ethnography.
First, they mined cyberspace’s social conversational plane for keywords related to credit. The words and phrases their crawler dredged up for them included “less than,” “left out,” “clueless” and “angry broke.” These words conveyed emotions of anxiety, shame, and desperation surrounding their experience with credit. After gathering these sentiments in the form of keywords, the team conducted various quantitative analyses to discern the frequency of different keywords, where they’re being said, who’s saying them, and the networks of people surrounding these sentiments.
These analyses were followed up with digital ethnography, a trailblazing qualitative research method. The firm asked a couple dozen consumers within the product’s demographic and psychographic cohort to respond to a series of verbal and visual stimulants via their phone or webcam. Through a digital interface they probed participants to answer carefully crafted questions and respond to photographs created with their previous data in mind. Through this study, the firm tapped into the emotional state of Capital One’s target audience. They felt red-lined, stressed out, and nearly hopeless about sorting out their finances.
The marketing team then devised a creative strategy and platform based around the concept, “a new democracy of credit for people like us.” They restructured Capitol One’s marketing campaign, which was primarily focused on direct mail, and moved it further into the digital sphere.
They composed new web pages and edited existing pages on Capitol One’s website to ensure the brand would be present at important Google touch points. Although the marketing team was small, they were able produce quality content which imbued the brand with an empathy for their customers they never had before.
The marketing strategy succeeded in driving an influx of new applications for Capital One’s platinum card. However, since the marketing team used a variety of separate marketing campaigns within their overall strategy with Capital One, they compared these different campaigns using a dashboard and used the results to improve performance.
The Secret to SEO Sprints
Other SEO methods focus on links, content, and page speed, but professional SEO agencies will say that another important factor of SEO is your competition. Thus, the best way for a brand to climb in ranking is to surpass the competition’s listings by focusing your SEO efforts in a different direction than your competitor. In other words, try to rank for keywords that your competitors might be ignoring.
When broad media sites and forums rank first in response to a given keyword, it’s a sign that there isn’t much competition. So, rather than aim your efforts toward the bigger, more popular keywords right away, instead focus on identifying and prioritizing salient, low-competition phrases.
Once your brand has established itself as a result for those keywords, move incrementally to bigger keywords. Build topical authority by taking this backroad approach instead of zipping straight to the top via the main highway, and you’ll be able to improve authority quickly and more organically than if you had allocated your budget toward paid advertising options.
Get a Free Content Analysis Before You Sprint
In today’s volatile economic climate, it can be difficult to meet each part of your marketing strategy’s demands and keep up with the constant changes in search engine dynamics.
At First Page Strategy, we provide professional SEO services so that you can focus on connecting with your audience in meaningful ways and building out your brand’s internal mechanisms, all while staying agile through SEO campaign sprints. We believe that SEO sprints require a deep dive into consumer data before creating a marketing campaign, and this begins with a thorough audit of all your website’s content and search signals. Get a free SEO/content analysis and our audit will tell you what to change and why. With our help, you’ll be able to ensure you’re taking the right steps on your SEO sprint.