We recently teamed up with our partner, Foresight Digital, to bring MindShift webinar attendees practical insights and advice on how to improve their personalization programs. Data Scientist, Personalization and Content Recommendations expert at Hulu, Afshaan Mazagonwalla, and the Senior Manager of Global SEO at Under Armour, Dana Tan led the conversation and shared their experiences with us. SEO Team Lead at Foresight Digital, Priyanka Gaunder, moderated the discussion.
Our panelists talked through a broad range of topics from advice for marketers beginning their SEO journeys to real-world examples of personalization challenges that they’ve faced in their own careers. Below are five key takeaways we pulled from the discussion.
The SEO and personalization landscape is constantly evolving.
Our speakers explained that SEO has branched out into a multitude of specialties over the years, and continues to do so at an increasing rate. These specialties include on and off-page SEO, technical SEO, content marketing and link building, to name a few. As for the pace at which SEO and personalization are evolving, this is due to the utilization of different technologies such as AI and machine learning. Mazagonwalla says that AI has even enabled her team at Hulu to personalize certain experiences in real-time for their customers.
SEO and personalization initiatives need to work in harmony within an organization to be successful.
If an organization’s SEO initiatives are not in sync with its personalization strategy, they run the risk of creating an unsatisfactory customer experience. For example, landing pages are a great way to personalize an experience, however, if a company’s SEO is directing the wrong type of traffic to that landing page, the content may not be relevant causing users to leave the site.
The more preparation and research a company has prior to executing either its personalization or SEO campaign, the better the outcome.
There are a myriad of different strategies to drive traffic and personalize experiences for online users, however, Tan and Mazagonwalla agree that starting small and conducting rigorous research and data analysis will yield the best results. Activities such as A/B testing or focus groups will help marketers determine the best SEO and personalization tactics for their organization.
There are situations where it’s better not to personalize an experience.
If a marketing team doesn’t have sufficient data to personalize an experience, doing so may not work in their favor. For example, some companies will personalize a digital experience based on the user’s geolocation or IP address, however, if that user is visiting a foreign country then a location-based experience will likely be ineffective. Tan recommends using SEO to drive online traffic through a more generalized customer journey to reduce the risk of alienating any members of your audience and also give you an opportunity to gather valuable user data.
Advocating for SEO and personalization within your organization means articulating the value to decision-makers.
SEO and personalization can be a sizable investment depending on a company’s goals for its website. Marketers need to be prepared to show their leadership teams the data that not only supports the implementation of SEO and personalization but also aligns with the company’s organizational goals. Keep in mind, the decision-makers at your company may not be seasoned marketers, meaning you’ll need to translate that data into metrics they can relate to in order to get your message across.