SEO Part 3: Human vs. Machine: How people REALLY interact with the search engines

(In part 2 of our series we discussed the importance of link structure. Today we seek the help of humans.)

It can be easy to forget that, at the end of the day, all SEO efforts are not just about the latest algorithms, counts per click, and bounce rates, but are really about getting the human at the other end of the machine to pay attention to your message.

Machines can get in the way of views.

While much time, effort, and energy is spent on man beating the latest machine innovations (in terms of search engines, that is), there are some simple things to remember about how people REALLY interact with the search engines. Here are a few tips:

Readable Copy – Make sure that ad titles and descriptions are targeted for each group at each point of the buying cycle. Effective copy takes into consideration competitor messaging and audience composition.

Keywords – In order to have effective copy, your site’s keywords need to be targeted and well researched. Many industries have a template list of keywords, so be sure that your long and short-tail keywords follow current best practice.

24/7 Management – Monitoring sites for performance daily is the best way to find what triggers any day to day changes. Match types, geo-targeting, accelerated delivery, and day parting need constant evaluation and monitoring. Any positive keywords or negative keywords need to be added or stopped based on performance.

Budgeting and Bidding – Make sure budgets are flexible enough to move across search engines/content networks/campaigns as needed. All strategies need to be well articulated and flexible. In addition, the bid strategy for each campaign needs to be clear – maximum clicks; most conversions, highest click-through rate, best ROI, and the highest cost per conversion are several important considerations.

Content Channels – What are the specific content network channels? Who makes the creative decisions? Copy in all content ads should be different. That way, it better grabs the attention of someone reading an article.

Lead Generation – If a company is using a lead generation site, what are the metrics for success? Also, in addition to online lead forms being filled out, phone calls should be tracked, recorded, and properly evaluated for internal training purposes. Be sure that any PPC data is synched with CRM data in order to calculate a true ROI.

Synergized SEO – Are all SEO efforts synchronized and synergized? Keywords need to be strategically targeted between organic and paid so that a site will command search engine results. Web analytics data from organic searches needs constant review in order to find the most effective keywords to add to any PPC campaign.

A picture of a human.

While there is still the attitude of “human versus machine,” when you are familiar with and use these techniques, it will not be such a lengthy battle. After all, a human touch is most certainly required for managing PPC properly and maximizing SEO results.


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