Technical SEO

From SEO to Inbound Marketing: Fresh Egg Contributes to Econsultancy’s New Edition of the SEO Best Practice Guide

Econsultancy SEO Best Practice Guide front cover

Fresh Egg has worked with Econsultancy to help create its new edition of the SEO Best Practice Guide, with myself and SEO Director Lee Colbran writing the entire Planning and Strategy section. But just how much has the search landscape changed since January 2012?

Search marketing best practice is constantly evolving, with the techniques previously employed to promote sites in organic search increasingly seen as risky or liable to be penalised in the near future. Faked interest relying on irrelevant blog networks or unengaging infographics already draw the eye of Matt Cutts and the Google spam team - ultimately attempts to game the algorithm in unsophisticated ways are destined to be both costly and liable to invite penalty. Fresh Egg brings thought leadership in organic search and an evolution in approach to several sections of the guide. 

From keyword centric to audience centric thinking

The largest shift in SEO is the move from ‘keyword centric’ organic strategies to ‘audience centric’ activities. Fresh Egg has been offering clients a deeper understanding of the organic search behaviour of the customer base for over 18 months through a suite of products focussed on ‘discovery’ and ‘opportunity’. 

The most important change in organic search is an understanding that success is no longer measurable by organic ranking positions alone.  The organic rank of individual terms is often highly variable and a poor indicator of real success in search – indeed device type, context, personalisation and localisation can impact search result positions greatly. The days of the same 10 blue links on a search results page being shown to everyone for a single query are unlikely to return.

What is in the SEO Best Practice Guide?

Best practice recommendations include reducing reliance on Google as the main driver of organic traffic, and to proactively adopt an ‘inbound marketing’ approach to search. Inbound marketing recognises that there are many other organic search sources and starting points to a journey through which an audience can be attracted and engaged – for example Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon, niche forums, or even eBay. 

Analysis of the variety of organic channels used and an understanding of the language used in search are essential to a robust SEO strategy. The updated SEO Best Practice Guide explains how to measure performance in organic search, by looking beyond rank in Google alone, and measuring the site’s ability to meet the needs of the audience arriving through multiple organic channels.

The importance of an integrated approach to measuring the success of an SEO strategy

Marketing managers reviewing SEO strategy must look beyond mono-channel traffic and investigate the outcomes of a visit, considering the interplay between onsite content, paid, social and offline channels. 

Since August 2013, Google Analytics Premium account customers have had access to a new data-driven attribution model. The top permutations of four channels contributing to specified conversions are displayed. Each channel is scored with a value derived from the data to show the importance of the channel based on:

  • Differences in position in the journey
  • Differences in ability to influence the conversion specified

Google's Data Driven Attribution Diagram

Image source: Google Analytics blog

The calculated probabilities for channel importance relate to channel sequence in the journey, whether the visit lead to a sales conversion or not.

The explanation below is taken from the Google Analytics blog:

“The more impact the presence of a certain marketing channel has on the conversion probability, the higher the weight of this channel in the attribution model. The underlying probability model has been shown to predict conversion significantly better than a last-click methodology.”

For any business to perform well across digital marketplaces in the future, it is important to look at patterns of behaviour across multiple channels and the role of organic search in the overall journey. 

From channel-based to audience-based digital campaign teams

This level of insight may require considerable internal team reorganisation from channel-based teams to audience-based, multi-disciplinary digital campaign teams.

This has major implications for current business structures where teams often work in silos, rarely interacting or planning activity together. The shift in emphasis to performance measures based on audience engagement, visitor experience and sales draws teams together, making it essential for an effective digital marketer to take a broader view of search.

Fresh Egg’s contribution to the SEO Best Practice Guide (Section 5: Planning and Strategy) will help businesses understand how to optimise marketing activities to benefit from shifts in organic search. Not only this, but it will also help them protect and grow their revenue into the future without resorting to short term, risky SEO tactics.

Get your copy of the Econsultancy SEO Best Practice guide here.

If you'd like to learn more about how Fresh Egg's digital marketing expertise can help your business succeed online, get in touch with us today.