2020 was a year of monumental digital change on almost every front.
Politically, sociologically, economically, culturally and technologically, we have seen major changes that are sure to have lasting effects.
As we enter this new year with fear in the face of the ongoing uncertainty of an ongoing global pandemic, business organizations and their leaders look for proven, cost-effective ways to understand these continual changes in consumer behavior and demand.
Last year, SEO demand hit an all-time high.
Consumers were looking for information en masse to meet their information and entertainment needs as the personal workforce did their work remotely.
Grocery shopping, medical appointments, banking, and other routine chores became complicated transactions that required advance planning and often alternative methods of fulfillment.
Consumers had different, more emotional experiences in their search for products, solutions and services. As a result, brands looked for insights into this behavior.
Just as quickly as consumer needs and behaviors evolved, brands had to throw away their old game books and historical data.
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Companies turned to their SEO experts looking for insights to understand their rapidly changing customers.
Development of omnichannel strategies to reach increasingly fragmented and unpredictable market segments.
In 2021, SEO professionals with the ability to collect and interpret search results as business intelligence will be best positioned to run business marketing organizations.
Here are two ways you can take advantage of this trend to get the full value of SEO insights and action in your business.
1. Share the value of business intelligence and search insights across the company
As the digital shift continues to accelerate, companies will seek to seek marketers to use a combination of macro-market perspectives and microgranular insights to understand the terms of consumer behavior.
Many companies are now trying to leverage business intelligence to understand the volatility of macro demand in their markets while leveraging valuable search results found at a granular level.
As an SEO professional, you have a wealth of information and data to further that understanding.
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However, you will have a hard time convincing the C-Level by simply sending up analytical reports or motivating operations or research and development executives to read a monthly report on site behavior.
To maximize the value of business intelligence across the organization, you must have a deep, almost intuitive, understanding of the needs of each department and company leader.
When used correctly, macro insights can provide not only the most complete and accurate view of the customer, but also the environment they are in.
Think of the different types of questions your colleagues across the company want to answer:
- What are the factors influencing the change in buying and discovery patterns in the market?
- Where are the greatest opportunities in the short term?
- How can we adjust our strategies to target new or trending products and categories?
From insights about product inventory and price sensitivity to privacy concerns, health and safety concerns, and the myriad of individual preferences shaped by personal experiences, search results are the closest approximation to the real-time voice of the customer your business can access.
SEO insights can be used to run digital and omnichannel campaigns in any format, but also to help the company develop and transform as market conditions require.
Granular search data reveals a lot about consumers' thoughts, needs, wants, and motivations.
To truly reinforce and demonstrate the value of insights in your organization, you should be prepared to do the heavy lifting for each team and department.
Determine the type, volume, and depth of business intelligence gleaned from the search that will be most useful to each stakeholder.
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- Determine actual and significant changes in preferences compared to anomalies.
- Identify new opportunities that are worth more SEO and content investments.
- Educate sales and product teams about macro trends that may affect them.
- Identify new behaviors for marketing, digital, and product teams.
- Briefly summarize the search results for decision makers so that the potential impact of your results is clear.
2. Add Action to Search Insights
Insights are great, but they add far more value with immediate action.
Putting budget and resources into SEO automation is a tough sale when nobody in the organization understands what it's doing.
Which is the more convincing argument?
"By automating repetitive tasks, we save time and money and can optimize our web content more effectively."
"It helps analyze our huge volume of consumer and market data so that I can provide you with the most relevant, updated, and useful insights and recommendations."
The reasoning for SEO has never been easier than a single phrase of justification. But you get the idea.
It is a mindset change – a retraining of the brain – to see and talk about SEO not as a channel or department, but as the basic source of business intelligence that is central to the success of the business.
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Even when SEO professionals are challenged to think more analytically and technically in order to work with AI-powered tools and get the greatest possible performance, your communication skills and creativity are more important than ever.
Decision makers do not need any further data. All business insights and data in the world are meaningless until activated.
It is imperative that you can communicate this value in a way that is relevant and relevant to decision makers so that your insights can lead to action.
Businesses need agile marketers to interpret their data, see the meaning of the numbers, and make recommendations that can be activated by teams just looking for someone to give them a sense of direction.
In addition, you need to be ready to track and evaluate the actions taken. to evaluate the effectiveness of your recommendations.
If SEO is a one-way channel that conveys insights into the whole business without the context of the results, there is no way you can possibly improve and increase your value.
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Measures will keep your company ahead of the competition when new market opportunities arise. Branding, content, and media teams can act faster and make more informed strategic decisions in each channel.
Business leaders learn to trust search information and take action quickly when its value is demonstrated across the organization.
In 2021 SEO pros should be looking for:
- Keep the lines of communication open and make sure you keep track of how SEO insights are being used across the company so you can more effectively adapt and stand up for them in the future.
- Find ways to communicate the value of machine learning and AI in your SEO processes without overwhelming others with tech-speak.
- Always weigh first-party user data against market data to ensure you understand your company's search landscape as best you can.
Go forward and take action
In 2021, as consumers continue to search for everything from discovering and comparing prices and features to social evidence, information, reviews and even entertainment, these companies will be able to take advantage of the myriad of business intelligence and search results that Generated by all This activity is best positioned for success.
In your strategy for the year ahead, pay special attention to how you use market insights to improve the speed and accuracy of your optimization.
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Use this option to make strategic omnichannel decisions.
By combining business intelligence with search results, you can verify which opportunities are significant enough to warrant an orchestrated omnichannel approach.
Now, start planning how you will take action and use real-time data to capture new market opportunities faster than your competitors.
Organize your branding, messaging and product teams and determine how intelligent automation can be used to respond to macro trends and unique user needs faster, before your competition does.
Screenshot by the author, January 2021