Can you tell us more about your topic, “Data-Driven Approach to Scale SEO,” and why you chose it?
As someone with an engineering background who transitioned into product roles and eventually became an SEO strategist, I believe in using a data-driven approach to scale SEO. This topic is based on my experience as a Global Head of SEO for Trivago and Omio and then, starting my own brand Botpresso. I chose this topic because working with these brands taught me a lot about the importance of a data-driven approach to SEO. Even if we make mistakes, a data-driven approach helps us understand where we went wrong and take calculated risks to improve. I’m sharing everything important I’ve learned about using data to scale SEO at Brighton.
I can speak the language of developers, product people, marketers, and management. I understand that SEO is not just a marketing channel but rather an area that intersects with product and engineering because we’re building assets to improve user experience and convert traffic into value. Therefore, when working with different teams internally, such as developers, product managers, designers, and others, I can understand their perspectives and find common ground to manage SEO effectively. I can connect the dots and get things done.
What is one piece of advice you would give to beginners or newbies in SEO?
My first and most important advice would be to build something that enhances user experience rather than trying to please search engine bots. When working on anything related to SEO, such as content or internal linking, think about how it is helping your users.
Generating short-term traffic that doesn’t convert won’t benefit your website in the long run, as Google’s goal is to provide the best possible results to users. Therefore, it’s essential to focus on building assets that create a great user experience, as this is something that both users and search engines value. If you can generate traffic for a short term that is not converting, Google will throw you out of the index essentially. So it’s better to focus on building assets that enhance user experience. By doing so, you can provide users with what they need, encouraging them to stay with you for the long term.
Are there any topics or attendees you’re particularly interested in hearing from?
Yes, I visited Brighton thrice as an attendee and spoke virtually last time. I know many speakers who are attending, and they deliver fantastic content. I am well-connected in the SEO community, and am very excited to meet lots of amazing folks there.
Do you see any trends specific to SEO in 2023?
The trend for 2023 is automation and artificial intelligence. Many SEO experts would agree with this, especially with the recent advancements in AI, such as ChatGPT and the announcement of GPT-4 by OpenAI. This year is all about leveraging AI to scale and execute tasks faster.
We have been using AI for the past four to five years, and we have weekly learning sessions within the team to discuss the latest technology and processes. For some clients, we have even produced content where AI contributed up to 80%. The results were fantastic, and we could scale the process at least 5x. While we could rely 100% on machines to produce amazing content, we value user experience and ensure brand guidelines are met.
We conduct the research ourselves, break the topic into smaller chunks, and then rely on machines to produce content for those chunks. A person then reviews the content, fixes any factual errors, and ensures it aligns with brand guidelines. This human input accounts for the remaining 20% of the content, while the machines produce 80%. Optimizing the content production process has already resulted in positive outcomes such as impressions, clicks, and revenue for us, and we can say it is good quality content.
What are the most common mistakes that companies make with their SEO strategy?
Not investing enough time and resources into technical SEO. Many companies focus heavily on content creation, but technical SEO is just as crucial for ensuring that your website is discoverable and easily crawlable by search engines.
Many companies fail to stay up to date with the latest algorithm updates from search engines, which can have a big impact on their rankings. Companies also often neglect to take a holistic approach to SEO, failing to consider the impact other channels, such as social media and paid search, can have on their overall SEO strategy.
Another common mistake is failing to prioritize and align their SEO efforts with their business goals, leading to wasted resources and missed opportunities.
Finally, companies fail to measure and track their SEO performance accurately, making it difficult to assess the effectiveness of their strategy and make data-driven decisions.
For companies with limited resources, adopting a growth mindset involves talking to people, building quick and dirty solutions, and collecting feedback to iterate and improve. I then suggest focusing on growth hacking instead of following a basic SEO checklist.
What are the top five apps or tools you use daily and why?
- Google Search Console (GSC): There is no better tool than the one which gives you access to first-party data. It’s a fantastic tool but very underrated. I’ve been using it for trend analysis, finding top and underperformers, coverage and indexing analysis, and much more.
- OnCrawl: My go-to SEO crawler because of the depth it covers, and it brings crawl results together with log data, GA, and GSC data in one place.
- Semrush: For research and position tracking. I love their Keyword Gap feature, which is mostly my starting point for any competitor research.
- Quickblink: It’s my monitoring tool that helps me avoid SEO horror stories for the brands I’m working with. The world might not know much about it, but they will soon know about it as I’m opening it for open use soon. Quickblink will let you focus on building and will take care of monitoring everything that matters for the business.
- ChatGPT: Latest addition to my toolkit. It’s kind of assistant to me now for writing PRDs, creating python scripts, summarizing my posts into LinkedIn posts, etc.
Nitin Manchanda is the Founder and Chief SEO Consultant at Botpresso. He led SEO for international brands like Trivago and Omio in the past. Currently, he is helping businesses grow organically through his consultancy.
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