Are there good aspects to the inherent volatility of SEO with all of Google’s updates, changing consumer behaviors, and ever-evolving technology?
And how important are Core Web Vitals anyway?
I had a chance to catch up with Lillian Haase, Chief Marketing Officer at Searchmetrics, recently to get her to touch on some important enterprise SEO topics and advice for SEO beginners looking to grow in leadership roles.
If you’re in the market for a job with leading search data, software, and consulting solutions, you’ll want to check out her advice on what Searchmetrics looks for in new hires, too.
1. “Core Web Viability” (CWV) has been a hot topic in the past year.
What do enterprise marketers need to know about CWVs now that the dust has settled?
Lillian Haas: For marketers in any business, focusing on reducing friction for your users when they land on your website is the name of the game — with or without CWVs.
Before the official announcement that CWV’s page speed signals would become ranking factors, fast-loading, easy-to-navigate websites saw better results in search engines. CWV put up made it official.
I will say, too, that the dust has only settled regarding Google’s talk of CWV.
Still, the business for many brands is massive.
Our team finds that many large companies still have major issues with… Website speed and layout changes. Until domains can fix these issues, they will struggle to excel in competitive SERPs.
Getting a decent CWV will be the price of entering the playing field.
If your CWV is significantly worse than your competition, you’ll struggle to rank – but CWV goes beyond SEO. The gains are more tangible when it comes to revenue and conversions.”
[Related:] Analyzing 2 Million URLs: What We Learned About Basic Web Vitality →
2. We’ve seen you write before about volatility as an opportunity in SEO.
Can you share some of the ways you might translate these volatile times into SEO opportunities for enterprises?
Lillian Haas: “At the start of the pandemic, we had major shifts in marketing. This necessitated a pivoting of approaches to adapt to a new, uncertain environment.
When it comes to SEO, we’ve had clients with unprecedented drops and increases in traffic. The world has changed and so has web traffic.
My advice remains the same at that time.
When you experience a sudden drop in traffic, analyzing where the drop occurred is the first step toward recovery—but not the last step.
It is important to understand why this is happening.
Has a change been made to your website?
Google algorithm update?
Losing keyword rankings for a specific page or set of pages – or something else?
Take steps to improve or reverse a previous change, depending on what you find.
The opposite also happens, and you may experience a sudden influx of traffic and better rankings.
While celebration certainly shouldn’t be neglected (after all, teams have been working for years to see traffic spikes, so be sure to enjoy it when it happens!), it’s still important to make sure it’s the right kind of traffic, and that visitors are engaging with content. your web.
Look at ways you can optimize your traffic pages to keep visitors engaged and moving through your website. Take advantage of this extra traffic while improving your conversion rate.
Additionally, update your keyword research on topics that rank well to determine if you’ve missed anything.
There may be something new revealed by the research that you haven’t optimized for.
Cover all your bases and see how much extra traffic you can get on top of those already good results. The good can always get better.”
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3. In your opinion, what is the most underrated tactic or improvement in enterprise SEO today?
Lillian Haas: The basics, like improved headers and user experience, are still the same.
But the bar for great content and high performing sites is much higher.
Your content should be above the rest.
For example, the Google product reviews update affected many affiliate sites.
With these and other Google updates, gone are the days when you could write basic copy about a product and hope to rank.
Now, you make your expertise on the subject very clear by offering a truly informed opinion on product performance.”
[Related:] 3 ways SEO has changed this year and what that means for you with Jordan Koene →
4. What tips or recommendations do you have for junior SEO professionals who may be looking to a leadership role?
My advice is learn to tell the story of the impact of SEO on the business in terms of revenue.
In other words, if you can communicate the value of organic traffic in business terms, you will be heard by other team leaders who don’t understand the ins and outs of SEO.
They look for the value (often, in financial terms) that the channel brings to the company.
One of the hardest things I see that SEO struggles with is that they go into unnecessary detail about search engines.
As SEO, we’re very concerned with the many moving parts of the job, and we’re very passionate about detail.
But if someone doesn’t understand what we’re talking about or thinks it’s boring, the message is lost.
Try focusing on business results in presentations, reports, and meetings with your superiors, instead.
In most organizations, organic search is undervalued when compared to other channels such as paid search.
If you can find a way to elevate the conversation to business metrics and stay out of the technical details, you’re well on your way to future opportunities in SEO leadership.
If you can also continually increase organic traffic, leads, and sales for your organization, then you are also setting yourself up for success.”
[Related:] Increase your SaaS company’s conversions with tailored content →
5. What does it take to be successful in a Searchmetrics role?
Are you currently looking for certain types of talent?
Lillian Haas: We are growing our services teams globally, so thanks for asking this question and giving me an opportunity to share more.
While we have a wide variety of roles open, We are actively recruiting SEO consultants and account managers.
One of the benefits of working for a company of our size is the opportunity to be heard.
We understand that the next great idea can come from anyone at any level.
Successful team members embrace the mindset of builders and innovators and look for opportunities to grow. Then they present those opportunities with a clear focus on the bottom line.
Generally, we are looking for people who are not just looking to ‘do the job’.
Yes, we want people who are skilled in a specific area. However, we want people looking to drive advancement by asking the question, “How can we be better at our job?”
When it comes to culture, we are looking for a Add cultureis not appropriate.
We recognize that having a truly diverse Searchmetrics family includes not only diversity in gender and ethnic background but also experience and intellect.”
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Featured image: Courtesy of Search Metrics