Late last year I touched on 3 ways SEO can work with social media initiatives. This time, I wanted to build on the concept of SEO working in conjunction with broader marketer efforts. In this post, I will cover how you can improve upon your SEO skills by asking certain questions to other members of your company.
Before I get started, take a look at the slide below from Rand Fishkin, which sums up a handful of the factors that can influence SEO today:
As SEO has evolved from keywords, links, and rankings to the many factors outlined, a fundamental shift in behavior has occurred as well. If you focus solely on keywords in today’s SEO ecosystem, you might miss the chance to use your organizations’ other initiatives to capitalize on opportunities.
Below, I’ve outlined questions to ask colleagues throughout the organization. Depending on how your company is structured, these could be questions for brand, email, product, customer service, or executive teams:
Have we completed market research at any point over the last year?
Online marketers are talking a lot about buyer personas and attributing each piece of content to a respective persona (HubSpot walks you through how to do that here). If your organization has completed marketing research, this can cut down the time it may take to put together accurate buyer personas. In my experience, a market research firm’s consumer segmentation is exactly what can be used for buyer personas.
What email marketing campaigns have we launched in the last three months? What worked well? What did not work as well and why?
Leveraging a successful email campaign can serve as a proof of concept when applying it to a content, social, or link building initiatives. For example, if your company’s monthly email newsletter outperformed other months, you could schedule the topic into editorially content planning.
Do we have any new product launch briefs we can review and what are the most important product initiatives taking place right now?
This is one of my favorites. A previous client in the enterprise software space launched new product lines and features throughout the year. As part of the internal process, product and brand employees would come together to complete a Product Brief. I read these to better understand how the Sales team would sell the new product to prospects, common questions the prospect might ask on a call, and many other important details of information that helped inform our SEO strategy. For example, reviewing Product Briefs became a useful part of our keyword research process.
What type of technical questions are customers asking?
At KoMarketing, we recently kicked off a new SEO program and the point of contact said one of the company’s core competencies is its ability to answer the technical questions. Even though the program has just kicked off, I will be working with the client to create a list of these technical questions he brought up to in turn help drive SEO ideas for the program.
Do we record phone calls made to the call center?
A former colleague (Chad Gingrich) and I retrieved call center phone recordings from a previous client. We split them up and listened to get a sense of what people were asking customer service reps. We turned around and used the insights generated to build content and link building assets.
What outside initiatives is our CEO or CMO involved with?
The rise of LinkedIn publishing is proof of concept that people want to read content published by individuals. When those individuals are sharing nuggets of information a little outside of the topic there business is in directly, that can be even better. As a result, staying attune into what the executive team is interested in could open up a door for a potential LinkedIn publishing campaign.
The questions and thoughts above are not meant to be executed in the exact same way or manner to which they are laid out. In other words, it is up to you to get creative with the information you find and think of how they can apply to today’s dynamic SEO landscape. Remember, SEO is more effective when done in conjunction with other marketing efforts.