Hello and welcome to an Impression video on how SEO can impact wider business goals.
My name is Ben Garry and I’m a content specialist, which means I work in our SEO team with a particular focus on content strategy, writing and optimisation.
What this video covers
In this video, I’ll talk about how SEO can contribute to more than simply better search rankings.
First, I’ll take a closer look at the core goals of most SEO strategies and how they feed into wider business goals. Then I’ll talk about three different ways of thinking about SEO impact.
I’ll talk more about rankings, which are often seen as the primary goal of SEO. I’ll also touch on SEO’s wider benefits to your website, and finish with a look at how SEO can integrate with other channels for maximum effect.
The goals of SEO
Search engine optimisation is fundamentally about improving your site’s visibility in unpaid search results. The default version of the strategy for those of us in the UK and US is to ‘rank higher on Google.’
However, rankings should never be the end goal. The end goal should be whatever that visibility will help your business achieve.
Higher rankings for shop category pages should lead to a greater number of engaged customers, and ultimately higher revenue.
Higher rankings for new blog content might lead to email signups from interested searchers who have discovered your content for the first time.
Any good SEO strategy should have a business impact because the business impact – not the ranking improvement – is its end goal.
SEO strategies function best when the business goal – higher revenue for X product category, more conversions for Y service, etc. – are defined early on so that everything else, including our activity and other performance metrics, are consistent with the larger target.
Nuance in SEO impact
Within this topic there is so much nuance, so I’m going to go a bit deeper by touching on three points.
1. Rankings alone are treacherous
I would never recommend setting ranking improvements as the sole target for an SEO strategy, and I also want to caution against using ranking changes as your main barometer of success.
Individual rankings are, at best, proxies for wider visibility. Millions of searches every day are new or unique, which means that tracking a handful of specific words will never give you the full picture of your site’s visibility.
There are some individual phrases that are popular enough to warrant specific attention, and rank tracking can be a good way to get a sense of your site’s organic performance, but they should always be secondary to a) Real traffic coming to the site, and b) the core business goals of revenue, leads, signups or whatever is going to make the business money.
2. Think bigger in SEO’s benefits
Good SEO work will have a positive impact on aspects of digital performance outside of the search results.
For example, a blogging strategy set by your SEO team could provide content that can bolster your social media presence.
Or our site speed audit could give your developers the insight they need to improve the site’s performance, leading to a better conversion rate.
The nature of SEO is that almost every activity directly impacts the performance or content of a website. Rather than seeing this as something to be wary of, see it as an opportunity to work with marketing experts to make meaningful changes.
SEO can have a great impact on wider business goals when you see its recommendations as an opportunity for meaningful website improvements, rather than an underhand manipulation of a search engine.
3. SEO is most impactful alongside other services
My final point is that SEO is most impactful when seen as part of a larger marketing strategy.
We live in a world where someone might first see a brand in a social ad, then a day later read an article that mentions them, before eventually visiting the site via a branded search and finally converting the following week through a paid ad.
The digital landscape is sprawling and messy. Organic search is a big part of it, but it is only one part.
If you want SEO to have the biggest impact, consider how your team’s keyword data can help your paid search strategy, or how the trends identified by your PRs might help the SEO team craft a topical blogging strategy.
High quality, consistent messaging across channels is key. With this in place, you will make the best impression on your audience however they engage with you. In a world of fleeting attention and merciless competition, being on it across all digital channels is the most sure way of realising your core business goals.
That brings me to the end of this video. If you enjoyed watching, please do keep an eye out for more videos on Impression’s website and social feeds. Bye for now.