Advanced SEO Strategies -- Brand Advertisers

How do we help clients understand who their competition is and why they don’t rank? The overall theme is how do you work with clients that do not understand that Search is unfair and believe that they should rank for a keyword. The example we used was talking about how a client needs to understand that in the offline world you may be considered an expert for a specific phrase, but in Google’s eyes you are not. Because of this you need to play the Google game of building a site that will make you an expert in their eyes.

That begins with looking at your competition both in search and offline. Many times these are not the same and you should evaluate them to determine why those sites are outranking you and then fix your sites deficiencies around that. Brand advertisers are seeing their rankings being taken by small unknown companies that are just good at optimizing. Brands should use this as an opportunity to get buy in for tactics like content and link development.

Education is needed for clients to better understand why a site ranks better and why search is unfair.

Managing Ego Words We talked about how you have clients who look at certain words purely from an ego standpoint and not as much on the ROI side. The approach that we think would work best would be one where you start with the looking at your data to see how much sense it makes to tackle those words. You may spend a lot of time gaining a high ranking for a word that has no conversion around it.

Since there are brand attributions to some of these ego terms, we want to make sure we look at both, but do not sacrifice one for the other. One should start with going after revenue driving terms and then use that as a way to then tackle the ego words. When you lead with revenue, it makes missing out on a ego word easier to explain.

We also discussed trying to get clients to understand that they need to not pay attention to if there competition ranks, but rather to look at the volume of searches to determine importance. A few people expressed that a client stopped optimizing or buying certain words simply because their competition was not buying it. This is troublesome, b/c you are ultimately missing out on consumer searches. The approach should be to discuss with clients that you want to meet the demand of the 2 million searches for a particular keyword and pay no attention to if your competition is there.

Getting More Content This seemed to be the key for people to rank, but also presented the biggest challenge to make happen. Most agreed that the challenge lies in client resources and approval processes that would ultimately kill this tactic.

Many of us discussed looking at content gaps and trying to take the work of developing it off of the clients hands and handling it for them.

It is challenging for clients to understand this because we have a very “now” mentality. We don’t want to wait for content development, then legal review, then spiders, etc.

How are clients leveraging universal and social The biggest challenge is that people still can’t measure the ROI on social and therefore it is challenging to have clients buy off on it.

Social has good uses for Reputation Management as well as a way to increase the amount of listings you have on a page.

We need to continue to push clients to work on a metric and try some of these new tactics

How has the downturn in the economy effect budgets There was more concern that as dollars are given more to Search that there is a chance that we will see it have a bad effect later. The example that was given was that people would pour more money into search without realizing that taking money away from other tactics that actually help search.

You still need to use a media mix b/c TV, display, etc. all play a part on search success.

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