Holistic SERP Intelligence for Total Search Optimization
Posted on Jul 3 2022 8:30 AM
"You might be thinking the Total Search Optimization process is already orchestrating your paid and organic team, then why would you need Holistic Search Intelligence?"
Search Engines like Google are super dynamic and ultra-competitive. So, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) teams working in silos are very counter-effective and create wasteful marketing activities leaking your search budgets. Businesses need holistic search strategies to ensure that their business is delivering excellent search experiences to their customers.
Typically, both SEO and SEM teams only rely on Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and Google Search Console reports to collaborate and optimize their marketing campaigns. However, they do not have visibility of their competitive landscape, search features fluctuations, and new search formats emerging in their SERP. Often, they are the primary reasons for the sudden drop in visibility, page position, clicks, and conversions. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t provide data and insights into this. Therefore, search marketers themselves plan to generate insights on the factors impacting their performance by utilizing Search Monitoring data and Google data.
Before we move on to understand Holistic Search Insights, let us first understand what exactly is Total Search Optimization.
What is Total Search Optimization?
Total Search Optimization means synergizing your paid and organic search teams to optimize your total search visibility. The concept of Total Search has emerged to remove siloes between SEO and SEM teams and collaborate in their Search Marketing efforts for an optimized search budget. A united search strategy helps Search Teams reduce wasteful marketing activities by aligning their keyword strategies and supporting each other’s ads and campaigns.
Simply put, the organic team can provide keywords that paid ads teams can focus on, where organic content is not getting good rankings. This technique in the long run helps improve your organic ranking, once your paid ads are generating clicks as Google will understand that your brand is solving the user’s queries and this goodwill will help improve your organic rankings too. For paid search teams the organic efforts help mobilize the budget to other important keywords where your search engine visibility is low.
Similarly, the organic team can target visibility on top of the funnel keywords, shopping ads can focus on the bottom of the funnel keywords, and text ads can target mid-funnel keywords.
Why do you need Holistic SERP Intelligence?
You might be thinking the Total Search Optimization process is already orchestrating your paid and organic team, then why would you need Holistic Search Intelligence? This can be explained by the following three broad factors.
Dynamic SERP Landscape:
Let’s take a Car Race example to understand this.
Suppose you compete in a Car Race in a Landscape that keeps changing its entities, twists, and turns. Google is that landscape that consistently makes changes in its search algorithms. In 2020 Google made 4500 changes to its search algorithms and ran more than 600 thousand experiments. Search Marketers will not be aware of these changes as only ultimate google updates are made public.
So, how can Search Marketers get visibility on this? The only answer is to build SERP Intelligence by collecting near real-time SERP data from your targeted Geo-Locations using a Search Monitoring tool. These insights provide a road navigation view for your race in Google Landscape. It helps search marketers track new components in the SERP, position, size changes in current components, and understand above-the-fold and below-the-fold SERP features.
Search Marketers can then plan their ad campaigns and contents to maximize total real estate in the SERP, targeting multiple components in important keywords. The marketers will also have visibility on which SERP components are mostly above-the-fold in any keywords. If Text Ads are above-the-fold, then the SEM team can focus on that and if paid ads are pushed below-the-fold and organic components like People Also Ask are above the fold then the organic team can plan to optimize for such keywords.
Therefore, holistic SERP insights enable strategic planning for Total Search Optimization and enable marketing proactiveness to address the ever-changing SERP landscape.
Let us get back to our Car Race example. Now, you have a navigational view but there are many competitors from different Geo-Locations competing in this ultra-competitive and lucrative race. You are aware of your marketing arsenals, but you do not have insights into the competition. Google does not provide insights like these, so Marketers must utilize granular SERP data for comprehensive competitive intelligence.
The Holistic SERP Intelligence helps you understand your Competitive Landscape. It helps identify and categorize your competition into different segments like Marketplaces, Retailers, Brands, Omni-Channels, Aggregators, and Publishers. You will be able to monitor your top and emerging competition in the market and gain insights into their paid and organic ad contents, landing pages, products, pricing, promotions, shipping, ad extensions, and tactics.
With Holistic Search data monitoring you can track the share of voice across geo-locations, devices, paid and organic SERP features, products, and categories. Insights like this provide comprehensive visibility into competitors’ marketing efforts across their paid and organic teams.
At this point, you understand the landscape and competitors competing with you in the Car Race. Now, you need to understand what you should be doing to win the race. With granular SERP ad content analysis, Marketers can get insights into the top-performing ads in its competitive search landscape.
Analyzing your Vs top-performing ad contents like titles, description, images, pricing, ad extensions, and landing pages used in the SERP auction for any keyword gives you insights into optimization areas to improve organic and paid ad relevancy score or quality score for that keyword. For paid ads, all these granular data help you estimate the required max pay-per-click (PPC) budget considering your current keyword quality score. Competitive SERP analytics gives you insights into organic authority scores like domain rating and page authority to win important SERP space.
Holistic SERP Intelligence gives you comprehensive digital shelf analytics across all Paid and Organic Search Features which is not only crucial for SEO and SEM team activities but also helps orchestrate their collaborated activities for Total Search Optimization to maximize Search Engine Marketing ROI.
The Search Marketing budget is never enough to compete on an ultra-competitive search engine like Google. Your entire Search Team needs to put in a unified effort to win maximum Market share with the search budget you have. Therefore, the Total Search Optimization is an inevitable strategy for any search team but requires powerful and newer insights into Google SERP Dynamics and Landscape to boost total search ROI.
Author: Sagun Shrestha
Bio: Sagun Shrestha has been associated with GrowByData for more than 6 years and works as a Business Analyst and Digital Marketing Manager. He has helped build the firm’s products, such as Product Information Manager, Product Feeds, Data Acquisition Engine, Competitive Price Intelligence, Search and Advertising Intelligence and is currently driving Search and Content Strategy for GrowByData's Product Marketing.
Published work- Off the Rack: Fashion’s Top Retail Brands Respond to COVID-19