The Search Agency will introduce a performance-driven business model to online marketing this week that company executives call h(SEO). The change supports changing search engine algorithms by Google and Bing, the growing percentage of search taking place in apps and sites, and the integration of social signals and content into search results.
The h(SEO) method takes into consideration multiple platforms, content strategies and goal-based analytics to measure SEO campaigns.
Grant Simmons, director, SEO and social product at The Search Agency, said the model counts demographics and impressions for content on blogs as a measurement to determine success, rather than just the number of people reading it.
The model, which moves toward increasing the value of content, identifies specific value from social prior to the click, compared with the value of consumers post click. It also assesses the value of interactions with content created on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, as well as video on searches. "We look at this as being the new SEO," Simmons said.
Many companies have yet to quantify financial success from social interactions resulting in a search on an engine or app. Searches gain value from attracting interactions from social sites, but consistent metrics remain challenging because "attracting one consumer willing to purchase $1 million in medical supplies is different from someone purchasing a 10 cent lollipop," says Simmons.
The Search Agency follows companies like Omnicom Media Group's Resolution Media, which launched Content Continuum, an interest-driven content marketing business unit, earlier this month to try and wrap business models around clients' needs.
While it may seem a bit esoteric, h(SEO) tries to get marketers to think beyond the link to gain what Google's bots view as "authoritative" content through back-end Web site connections, recommendations and reviews. It optimizes the reach and engagement of brands online by improving brand visibility, user engagement and optimizing conversions toward goals.
The approach addresses relevance defined by user intent, necessitating a better understanding of search behavior to ensure that site structure and content development aligns with user goals and search engine indexing methodologies, creating a better overall user search experience.
"There are a few red herrings because assessing the value of getting someone to a Web site becomes a lot different from assessing the value of someone once they get there," Simmons said.
Simmons points to homebuilder Schumacher Homes, which implemented the h(SEO) approach. Within six months, the company’s site ranked in the top 10 on Google for 80% of their top 50 keywords and drove up organic traffic by 76% compared with the prior year.