Use a feedback loop for better SEO results

Search engine optimization, commonly known as SEO, is a complicated marketing strategy that escapes even the best entrepreneurs. But it has the potential to create huge sales, if done right. And most of the time, it’s not done correctly.

That’s the take on Eli Schwartz, author of one of the best-selling SEO books, who brings more than a decade of experience with big tech companies.

“Too often SEO efforts start with a single group of keywords, developed by the marketing team or the founders, based on their own knowledge of the product,” says Schwartz, author of the book Against the Tide. Product-driven SEO. “Keyword-based SEO is limited and inadequate, and there is a better way. “

Typically in SEO, keywords become the roots of keyword research. They are entered into a keyword research tool and the associated words are the exit. “The new, longer list becomes the seed of content ideas that will be written and posted on the website. The problem? ”Schwartz asks.“ The keyword list becomes a content checklist and roadmap, which doesn’t change much over time. ”

Regardless of actual performance or real-time metrics, according to Schwartz, content keeps growing using words from the original keyword checklist.

“In this SEO paradigm, there is no room for a user’s feedback loop,” says Schwartz.

He advises that rather than developing a simple dictionary product like any other online translation library that just targets one-to-one word definitions (Google included) and tries to block as many keywords as possible. on the page, there is a better way: build pages that focus on user experience first.

Schwartz has helped clients like Shutterstock, WordPress, Blue Nile, Quora, and Zendesk execute highly successful global SEO strategies. As SurveyMonkey’s SEO team leader, he oversaw the company’s global operations, helped launch the first Asia-Pacific office, and developed the company’s organic search as a key driver of global revenue. .

Schwartz says that within the tech industry, and particularly in Silicon Valley, there is the idea of ​​”product-driven growth.” This means that instead of relentlessly marketing the product, companies are devoting resources and effort to perfecting the product so that it speaks for itself.

“In this model, the satisfied customer becomes your biggest marketer,” he says. “They love the product so much,” they tell others; they leave comments on the website. They become your most important spokesperson.

This model disrupts the whole premise of marketing the product to promote adoption. Instead, the focus is on getting a great product into the hands of users who are enthusiastic enough to then become marketers on behalf of the product.

Unfortunately, most of our modern SEO efforts ignore user feedback.

“Instead of focusing on the quality of the search experience for the user, we often focus on keywords and almost completely ignore user preferences,” says Schwartz.

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