Search Experience Optimization: The New SEO

In advertising, branding, seo, strategy by Josh Whitaker

What is the key to SEO success?

What is the key to SEO success?  For years the answer has been a mix of speculation and a complicated list of hundreds of ranking factors making SEO difficult for most people to wrap their heads around. However, recently, search engines have made big strides to understand the intent behind the user when searching online. Because of this shift, the continued evolution of the answer to the age old question “how do I get my site to rank?” is simple. Make your brand easy for users to use and find online, and you’ll be successful with The New SEO: Search Experience Optimization.  

So what does that mean? It means you should focus on reaching searchers where and when they want to find you, to provide a good search experience.  Forbes recently put together a great list of items to achieve great Search Experience Optimization. And, not to be outdone by Forbes, we thought we’d put together a list of our own.

Have a Brand Strategy

Wait, what? I thought we were talking about SEO? Don’t worry, we are. But, you can’t have a great brand experience online if you don’t structure your brand properly. That’s what a Brand Strategy does for you. Need to get started? We like Marketing MO’s online planning templates. Or, if you’re ready for the big leagues, we can help you put one together as well.

Define your Customer Segments

You know why your brand is great and why people should buy, now you just need to identify who is buying when, where, and how. The Why of your brand and the Who of your customers will drive your marketing strategy.

Create a Digital Marketing Strategy

Your brand’s digital marketing strategy defines how and where you will tell your brand story to your customer segments utilizing the right online tactics. This is where the Search Experience Optimization comes into play. By defining who your customers are, how they are connecting with brands, and why they should connect with your brand, you can easily put together an online presence that connects your brand with users. This includes:

  • Your Website: Does it answer consumer questions?  Is it easy to use?  Does it load quickly?  Do you do what you say once someone connects with you through your site?

  • Social Media Assets: Do they match your branding? Do they validate the brand? Do they help answer questions?   

  • Online Messaging: Are you telling a consistent story to everyone, everywhere online? Does it match your brand? Does it help consumers answer a question?

  • Marketing: Does it reach the right consumers with the right messaging? Does it answer their questions?  

This is the new SEO. An all-encompassing measurement of how your brand connects with consumers will define the findability and success of your brand online.