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Wednesday, 08 June 2016 06:37

How to Improve Search Visibility

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Jordan Koene is a SEJ Summit veteran, having spoke at a few of our search marketing conferences last year. This year, we’re happy to have him at SEJ Summit Chicago, speaking on how to improve search visibility.

Jordan’s insights below are always enlightening and cover everything from moving past a plateau to how e-commerce SEO is different from other channels.

Your SEJ Summit presentation is titled Surviving the Search Plateau: 3 Tactics to Bring Your Website’s SEO Visibility to New Heights. How do you determine if you are in an SEO plateau? What signs would you look for?

You’ve plateaued if you reach a period where, despite your efforts, you’ve been unable to affect positive change on your site – usually quarterly for most businesses. It usually presents itself either in slow downs in site traffic or declines in conversion rates. Traffic is the more obvious metric, since most SEO teams are measured by it, but there are times you may see an increase in clicks that don’t reflect in your total conversions. That bears investigating.

One of the examples you give for breaking free from the plateau is by igniting your content. Does that mean blending content marketing into your SEO strategy?

That can be a piece of it, though that can take a lot of time and money. From a search perspective, the low-hanging fruit is to simply refresh the content you already have with new material, or by making minor changes. Like layering a cake, you can build on top of your old content with structured data or info to create something interesting and new. Minor changes can bring big rewards.

I did a little bit of stalking and saw you are interested in wearable technology. What is your favorite wearable piece of tech—either already on the market or coming soon?

Personally, I’m really interested in the Internet of Things – items within the home like Nest or Ring that are beginning to talk to each other and to you. Similar to how 3-4 years ago, when wearables for fitness like Fitbit started to provide us with data around our health and well-being to aid self improvement, we’re now starting to see that same thought process transition into devices for the home, helping make utilitarian improvements to the way we live., These kinds of futuristic gadgets can solve a lot of problems for our world like reducing consumption of fossil fuels and other things that have a direct impact on our environment.

You have a background in e-commerce, having worked for eBay in the past. How does SEO differ for big e-commerce brands versus, say, a service based brand.

E-commerce has this mentality of short-term gains: everything is about making short-term progress in a competitive ecosystem, especially here in the US. For that reason, a good deal of the decision making is relatively short-sighted, and you might not see them invest in long-term plays like you would for a news or media outlet. Service-based companies are more focused on having an online to offline presence since they essentially evolved from the big directory business.

A lot of service companies are moving into a transactional service model to marry in e-commerce behaviors, like Yelp, which now offers a bidding service for consumers looking to nail down a service for a particular price. In that way, they’re becoming more similar as more companies adopt that model.

Bonus Question: What was the last book you read?

I’m currently starting Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. I’ve been interested in selling in an era where e-commerce didn’t exist, and was looking for parallels into how shopping is changing today. People like Phil Knight are pioneers who broke down lots of barriers in the market to rise to success, but it’s interesting to dig into how much of his success was based on societal changes at the time – and how societal changes today might reflect market changes to come. 

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