GA4 now has an enhanced measurement option for Form interactions

Google has added an enhanced measurement option for Form interactions. Now you can not only see when a form has been submitted, but you can also see when one has been started by a new user.

Lead gen marketers rejoice!

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Enable enhanced measurement. Enhanced measurement should be enabled automatically if you already have a web data stream created. If not, check your analytics account and turn this on.

Dig deeper. You can read the announcement from Google here.

Why we care. With so many new shopping products being released lately, it’s nice to see one for lead gen. The new enhanced measurement feature will let you see visitors to your website who started filling out forms but did not complete them for some reason. With that information, advertisers can create remarketing campaigns with unique messages to entice visitors to come back and complete the form.

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Nicole Farley is an editor for Search Engine Land covering all things PPC. In addition to being a Marine Corps veteran, she has an extensive background in digital marketing, an MBA and a penchant for true crime, podcasts, travel, and snacks.


5 massive SEO and content shifts you need to master right now

Google’s focus on optimizing for the user never goes away, which is why its continual updates are always targeted at both SEO and content best practices. 

These can range from core algorithmic changes and new features and products. For example, this can include SERP format changes and new ranking signals to avoid low-quality content to understand consumer behavior better. With Google’s focus on user experience, it is no surprise that they have been rolling out updates to improve search and site experiences.

Some of the most recent changes were aimed at improving page speed and Core Web Vitals, as well as product reviews which shows how much importance Google places upon providing quality content. The helpful content update (HCU) focuses on content for human users, rather than just for ranking (over-optimizing) and not really giving people anything useful when looking for information!

Some marketers have struggled to keep up with and adapt to these changes. Meanwhile, other brands are thriving.


Because they have learned to stay ahead of Google’s ever-evolving algorithms by focusing on quality content.

Savvy marketers know that they must have similar goals to Google. That means providing content that resonates, engages and converts – wherever, whenever and however consumers discover it.

It’s essential to not just look at where Google is today but where Google is heading over the next six months, next year and beyond. If you can keep pace with these momentous shifts, you can stay ahead of Google and your competition to dominate online in your industry.

The best way to stay ahead is to focus your efforts on content and optimization for the user, not the algorithm.

It’s time to start thinking forward – and fast! Below are five SEO shifts you need to master as we head into the latter part of this year.

1. From SEO just to rank to ‘SEO for content convergence and performance’

Just as content alone isn’t enough to guarantee SEO success, SEO alone isn’t enough to ensure that people will find and engage with your content. 

As Danny Goodwin highlights in a recent article, content needs to:

  • Be created for a specific audience.
  • Feature expertise.
  • Be trustworthy and credible.
  • Meet the searcher’s want(s) or need(s).

The old days of irrelevant content and over-optimizing just for rank means that good SEO and content marketers have a unique opportunity. Those who use good SEO practices and align better with their content partners and writers stand to win in the long term.

Now, more than ever, data can help marketers understand consumer intent to create quality content that aligns with the customer journey and satisfy the human user.

Here’s how marketers can master this shift.

Ensure your content creation is based on intent-led data

Content marketing without data lacks purpose. Data is becoming a key source of business and content intelligence.

Utilize SEO data to understand user intent, define correct audiences, and provide relevant topics people want to read and engage with.

Track and measure these to gain the insights you need to create meaningful content that people want to consume and improve future content marketing efforts.

Foster search, social and content synergy

In combination, organic search, social and content help brands achieve their goals and objectives. Creating high-quality content with SEO in mind from the beginning boosts search visibility.

That great content can then be further amplified via social media, creating demand you can harvest later via search.

Maximize your search engine results page (SERP) footprint

Create and optimize high-ROI content like articles and videos to help people (by answering important or popular questions or providing practical information) or capitalize on trendy topics.

Then help your brand further stand out in the SERPs by winning real estate with featured snippets, site links, related questions, images, videos and tweets.

2. From mobile-first to ‘the need for mobile speed’

For years, Google told marketers about the coming shift to mobile-first – and it finally arrived. Today, optimizing for mobile search, devices, and usability is no longer optional. It’s mandatory.

This is especially true with Core Web Vitals, where the initial focus was on mobile rather than desktop. 

While many brands have become mobile-ready, many forget that mobile speed matters the most. Google has begun to factor mobile loading times into its ranking algorithm, which means increasing site speed can help your website gain in the SERPs.

Here’s how marketers can master this shift.

Make your mobile SEO fast and furious

In addition to being attractive and easy to navigate, mobile websites must be fast. About 53% of mobile users leave sites that take more than three seconds to load, according to Google research.

Therefore, following technical mobile SEO best practices (e.g., image optimization, redirects, JavaScript, and CSS) is a necessary barrier to entry in today’s digital world.

Consider contextual mobile content

Focus on creating content that mobile users want and will find valuable. Typically, mobile users are in research mode – searching for information they need or need some inspiration.

Make sure your brand is there and influences that decision when they’re ready to convert, which is more likely to be on a desktop or in-store than on a smartphone.

Design for mobile

CDNs can be a great way to make your media load faster.

One way of doing this is by consulting Google’s latest developer documentation on image optimization and adhering to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Working with front-end developers ensures that lightweight crafted HTML5/CSS will help you stay within industry standards while focusing primarily on “is the user getting what they came for.” Ensure your design works well enough so as not to hinder their experience.

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The hyperlocal opportunity has never been greater for marketers. Hyperlocal targeting lets you reach people based on their location. This is an excellent way for brands to capitalize on “near me” searches and “I-want-to-go” micro-moments and become hyper-relevant and valuable.

It’s worth noting that the COVID-19 pandemic caused many shoppers to choose between online shopping vs. in-store. There’s been a steady increase of people buying from websites on their phones with just one click, according to a Digital Commerce 360 ecommerce study. 

Here’s how marketers can master this shift.

Make sure critical contact information that people search for is prominent or easy to find. This includes name, address, phone, hours and directions.

Hyperlocal optimization = hyper important

Google’s personalized hyperlocal results give more visibility to smaller geographic locations.

Optimize your Google Business Profile, create localized content and landing pages, use local business Schema markup and monitor the performance of your local keyword rankings.

Build on the intersection of local and mobile

People who do local searches on smartphones have higher intent.

Optimizing for local also means optimizing for users who are on the go. These people have different needs and expectations than those doing local searches on other devices.

Understand and adapt

Some people still prefer visiting brick-and-mortar stores when they need something.

However, most consumers now search for products first through Google or other platforms before making purchases at physical locations as well. Monitor how these trends change over time by tracking ranking fluctuations across industries. 

4. From text to voice to ‘multiple search entry points’

To be successful in today’s competitive market, marketers need to build comprehensive strategies that drive interactions at every search entry point. This includes TV sets and smartphones and extends to IoT devices like smart plugs or lightbulbs. 

As marketers collect this data, we become a virtual user group, gathering information and understanding where what and why people search. 

Here’s how marketers can master this shift.

Understand the customer experience

From product development, customer acquisition, and sales through to service, post-sales support, and loyalty, consumers are searching at every stage to find just what they need at any particular moment.

Search is a window into the user experience every step of the way, so utilize it. 

Ensure consumers have an enjoyable experience from start to finish

You must provide them with what they desire: seamless experiences across all channels without any unnecessary hassle or hindrance. 

Get smart about intelligent agents

Many voice searches happen at home, in the car, or on the go, resulting in a more connected world. These intelligent agents use semantics, search history, and user interests and behaviors to provide the best results.

So, make sure content is aligned with the intent and interests of customers at the right moment of the decision journey. Be the best answer.

5. From data to machine learning to ‘intelligent automation’

Google relies on machine learning, in the form of RankBrain, MUM, and its core technologies, to make sense of the massive amounts of data and deliver the best possible search results for users.

We know that the pandemic helped accelerate every organization’s journey to digital transformation. The next step in that process is evolution and who can progress with ease, speed and efficiency. 

As marketers, we, too, must turn to data science and machine learning to understand our audience’s intent, interests, and behavior so we can deliver and personalize the content they want.

Here’s how marketers can master this shift.

View data as a source of truth

Martech stacks are being built around data integrations and performance because we simply have too much data and not enough analysts or hours in the day to make sense of it all.

To capitalize on demand, spot patterns, and stay ahead of the competition, marketers need to go beyond the “what” of data to understand the “when” and “why” of analytics.

Utilize AI and machine learning

Machine learning helps marketers spend less time analyzing data and more time creating content that will engage and influence prospects and customers.

Let AI and machine learning deliver actionable insights about your audience and content performance. Do not let it write content for you

Define metrics and measurement

Data allows marketers to make better and more accurate decisions more quickly. Define the metrics that matter to your brand, and monitor your search and content data.

This will allow you to track your progress, iterate and improve your content production and organic search optimization for greater visibility and a greater share of voice.


SEO and data are essential for a successful integrated digital strategy with tangible ROI.

By understanding the five points above and consistently measuring your results, you will demonstrate that creating compelling, engaging, thoughtful content is the path to revenue and genuinely worth the investment.

SEO plays a vital role in providing insights, optimizing and measuring content – content has become the cornerstone of any good SEO campaign. 

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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Jim Yu is the founder and CEO of BrightEdge, the leading enterprise content performance platform. He combines in-depth expertise in developing and marketing large on-demand software platforms with hands-on experience in advanced search, content and digital marketing practices.


The 2023 Digital Marketing Salary Guide is here


Digital marketing talent—especially those specializing in SEO, content, email marketing, and PPC—remains in top demand.

With 92% of hiring managers reporting difficulties finding skilled talent, it’s never been a better time to be a qualified job seeker.  If you’re looking to advance your career, change jobs, or expand your digital marketing team, Conductor’s 2023 Digital Marketing Salary Guide has you covered.

Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download Conductor’s 2023 Digital Marketing Salary Guide & Hiring Trends Report for access to:

  • Exclusive salary range benchmark data
  • In-depth hiring trend research
  • Additional recruiting trends and retention strategies

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Digital Marketing Depot is a resource center for digital marketing strategies and tactics. We feature hosted white papers and E-Books, original research, and webcasts on digital marketing topics — from advertising to analytics, SEO and PPC campaign management tools to social media management software, e-commerce to e-mail marketing, and much more about internet marketing. Digital Marketing Depot is a division of Third Door Media, publisher of Search Engine Land, MarTech, and producer of the conference series Search Marketing Expo and MarTech. Visit us at http://digitalmarketingdepot.com.


Technical SEO testing: How Googlebot handles iframes

Earlier this year at SMX Advanced, I presented results from our Peak Ace test lab. These tests shed some light on several technical implementation points and how Googlebot would deal with them. 

One of my favorite tests examined Google’s indexing of iFramed URLs and their content. In my SMX Advanced presentation, I touched on various scenarios that may lead Google to index the content inside an iFrame, while “assigning” that content to its parent URL.

iFrame content will be attributed to its parent URL post-render.

The parent URL can, in some instances, rank for content that only exists in the iFramed URL and not in the parent URL.

Post-render, the parent page can now be found for content within the iFrame.

Naturally, this excited people – and all sorts of follow-up questions arose. Here are a few of them with my answers.

In the iFrame test, was the iFramed content coming from the same domain or a different one? 

My example showed two URLs that live on the same domain: domain.com/test.html would iFrame domain.com/tobeframedA.html, so that test.html could rank for content that only exists in tobeframedA.html

The same also works for externaldomain.com/tobeframedB.html – which can still cause test.html to rank for content only present in tobeframedB.html, as well as for iFrames residing on subdomains. We tested every combination we could think of and concluded that it made no difference where the iFrame content was hosted.

If you want to prevent someone from loading (and ranking for) your content in an iFrame, it would be a good idea to look into the X-Frame-Options Header. This indicates whether a browser should be allowed to render a page in an iFrame. 

If we were to use iFrames with a no-indexed content page, would the parent page still rank for the listed content with the intent to improve page speed?

As soon as the iFramed URL contains a meta robots noindex directive, the parent URL won’t be able to rank for the content from the iFramed URL.

iFramed URL containing meta robots noindex directive.

The same is true if you iFrame a URL that would be served with an X-Robots noindex header directive or is actively blocked using robots.txt.

As far as page speed is concerned, iFrames support the loading="lazy" attribute, which would defer offscreen iFrames from being loaded until a user scrolls near them. This is an elegant solution for speeding up loading times for URLs that depend on iFramed content.

Does Google give full value to semi-hidden content (content that typically comes after ‘Read more’)?

There doesn’t seem to be too much love for using “Read more” functionality within the ranks of Google. John Mueller went on record a couple of times here and here, questioning the use of the functionality in its entirety. Mueller added, “I don’t think you’d see a noticeable, direct change in SEO, […]”. 

When we tested it, the purpose of the test was to understand what difference the technical implementation could potentially make – and if, in general, content behind a “Read more” would be indexed (if correctly set up). 

The short answer: whether or not it was visible, the content would be indexed, found and returned.

However, content that was invisible during loading didn’t get highlighted in the snippet. The technical implementation didn’t make a difference (as long as the content was part of the HTML DOM at load), leaving you free to use display:none, opacity:0, visibility:hidden, etc.

That said, in my opinion, it is impossible – due to various factors outside of our control – to create a test setup that (including results) could provide an accurate answer regarding the “full value” part of the question. 

Did you mention that duplication in certain areas of the content can be fixed by CSS implementation since it is not indexed?

I did present some behavior that I find fairly interesting regarding CSS selectors. What technically happens is that selectors such as ::before create a pseudo element that is the first child of the selected element. In practice, this is often used to add cosmetic content to an HTML element. 

This could also be useful from an SEO point of view because Googlebot seems to treat this just as it would treat Chrome on desktop/smartphone. The rendered DOM remains unchanged (which is to be expected since it’s a pseudo class). As a result, content from within said selectors won’t be indexed.

So, ultimately you could use this to prevent certain content from being indexed without keeping it from being displayed on the website. Maybe you have to display certain content that gets classified as “boilerplate” (e.g., shipping info, or legal info) or you want to create a certain content footprint. This opens up a great many possibilities to explore further.

Watch: Technical SEO testing in 2022: Separating fact from fiction

Below is the complete video of my SMX Advanced presentation.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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About The Author

Bastian Grimm is the CEO of Peak Ace and a renowned expert in large-scale, international SEO, managing sites of almost any size and in highly competitive industries. With more than 20 years’ experience in online marketing, technical and global SEO, Bastian was named “Search Personality of the Year” at the 2019 European Search Awards: a welcome acknowledgement of his contributions to a rapidly evolving industry. Bastian’s believes that understanding a target market means not only getting to grips with the language, but also the culture. This has given him a unique perspective on how to reach global audiences. Bastian leads a thriving team of expert native speakers, equipped to serve clients in 25+ languages, and the results speak for themselves. With a technology-driven approach, Peak Ace is a one-stop shop for highly flexible, data-driven solutions for all relevant digital marketing channels. Working closely with world-renowned brands such as Airbnb, TUI, Sage and McKinsey & Company, Peak Ace is also celebrated in the marketing industry. In 2022, Peak Ace was recognised for its exceptional standard as an agency multiple times, named Best Large Integrated Agency by multiple industry awards bodies. Bastian is proud to lead such an innovative, ever-expanding company. His secret? Dynamic, decisive processes, a phenomenal team and always going to bed with “inbox zero”.


Twitter has created 2 new video features

Twitter has just launched two new video products to help users watch and discover new content in the app.

1. Immersive viewing and easy discovery

This new feature expands videos to full screen by simply clicking on the video in the Twitter app. When the video is in full-screen mode, users can scroll up to browse additional video content.

This feature will be available on iOS and Android in select countries in English.

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2. Showing more videos in Explore

A new video carousel makes it easier to find more videos you’re interested in next to Tweets and Trends that might interest you. You can access these videos by opening the Explore tab.

This feature will be available on iOS and Android in select countries in English.

How Twitter uses Signals to show you more content. Twitter announced the usage of Signals to show users more content that’s relevant. Twitter uses Signals and shows you that content based on your past likes, comments, and followers.

Dig deeper. Read the announcement from Twitter here.

Why we care. Twitter is following in Instagram’s footsteps by adopting a TikTok-like aesthetic. Brands who use Twitter should optimize their video content for the new placements and full-screen feature. They should also ensure that their content is relevant, timely, and accurate.

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Nicole Farley is an editor for Search Engine Land covering all things PPC. In addition to being a Marine Corps veteran, she has an extensive background in digital marketing, an MBA and a penchant for true crime, podcasts, travel, and snacks.


Webinar: How to avoid digital pollution and focus on your audience

Has content become a dirty word? Join Ed Breault, CMO of Aprimo, to talk about the ultimate necessity of content operations to deal with digital pollution both at the macro and the micro levels so your organizations can rethink how you plan, create, manage and deliver remarkable customer experiences that scale.

Register today for “Has ‘Content’ Become a Dirty Word?” presented by Aprimo.

Click here to view more Search Engine Land webinars.

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Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for CNBC.com and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.


4 new useful LinkedIn Ads features

LinkedIn has rolled out 4 new features for marketers advertising through the B2B platform. It’s is great to see B2B getting some attention, given that Google’s Search On 22 inundated us with 9 new shopping updates.

Let’s dive in.

1. Offline Conversions

Offline Conversions allow you to connect the conversions you track in other tools directly to LinkedIn. Advertisers will be able to manually upload CSV files to the Campaign Manager. New supported CRM partners include Adverity, Hub Spot, LeadsBridge, LiveRamp, and Make.

Offline data will automatically be incorporated into your aggregate reporting on conversions and will provide a more holistic understanding of your marketing impact on lower-funnel outcomes.

2. Audience insights

Free audience insights are now in Campaign Manager. These can help advertisers pinpoint who their audiences are, what they’re interested in, and how they’re engaging with other content and topics.

Audience insights are available for both Matched and saved audiences. It generates aggregated insights based on topics and content they’ve engaged in, but also job titles, years of experience, seniority, location, company name, industry, and more. Insights can also be used to discover new audiences.

3. Document ads

Document Ads allow you to promote long-format content directly into members’ feeds where they can read and download whitepapers, case studies, and reports without leaving the platform. You can also use a Lead Gen Form to collect leads if you decide to gate your documents.

4. Media Library

The new LinkedIn Media Library allows you to create ads more easily by storing all of your images and videos in one central location. Advertisers can now create up to five ads at once by selecting the video or image from the media library, each then becoming its own ad. This feature seems to make ad creation easier, faster, and collaborative.

Dig deeper. You can read the announcement from LinkedIn here.

Why we care. With the holidays coming up, B2B gets forgotten as it seems all we’ve been hearing about lately is platforms launching new shopping features and updates. These new features, though nothing groundbreaking, could be worth testing out if you’re currently or considering advertising on LinkedIn

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Nicole Farley is an editor for Search Engine Land covering all things PPC. In addition to being a Marine Corps veteran, she has an extensive background in digital marketing, an MBA and a penchant for true crime, podcasts, travel, and snacks.


30+ brands suspend their Twitter marketing campaigns after finding their ads next to child-pornography accounts

Some popular brands have paused their Twitter marketing campaigns after discovering that their ads had appeared alongside child pornography accounts.

Affected brands. There were reportedly more than 30 brands that appeared on the profile pages of Twitter accounts peddling links to the exploitative material. Among those brands are a children’s hospital and PBS Kids. Other verified brands include:

  • Dyson
  • Mazda
  • Forbes
  • Walt Disney
  • NBC Universal
  • Coca-Cola
  • Cole Haan

What happened. Twitter hasn’t given any answers as to what may have happened to cause the issue. But a Reuters review found that some tweets include keywords related to “rape” and “teens,” which appeared alongside promoted tweets from corporate advertisers. In one example, a promoted tweet for shoe and accessories brand Cole Haan appeared next to a tweet in which a user said they were “trading teen/child” content.

In another example, a user tweeted searching for content of “Yung girls ONLY, NO Boys,” which was immediately followed by a promoted tweet for Texas-based Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital. 

How brands are reacting. “We’re horrified. Either Twitter is going to fix this, or we’ll fix it by any means we can, which includes not buying Twitter ads.” David Maddocks, brand president at Cole Haan, told Reuters.

“Twitter needs to fix this problem ASAP, and until they do, we are going to cease any further paid activity on Twitter,” said a spokesperson for Forbes.

“There is no place for this type of content online,” a spokesperson for carmaker Mazda USA said in a statement to Reuters, adding that in response, the company is now prohibiting its ads from appearing on Twitter profile pages.

A Disney spokesperson called the content “reprehensible” and said they are “doubling-down on our efforts to ensure that the digital platforms on which we advertise, and the media buyers we use, strengthen their efforts to prevent such errors from recurring.”

Twitter’s response. In a statement, Twitter spokesperson Celeste Carswell said the company “has zero tolerance for child sexual exploitation” and is investing more resources dedicated to child safety, including hiring for new positions to write policy and implement solutions. She added that the matter is being investigated.

An ongoing issue. A cybersecurity group called Ghost Data identified more than 500 accounts that have openly shared or requested child sexual abuse material over a 20-day period. Twitter failed to remove 70% of them. After Reuters shared a sample of explicit accounts with Twitter. Twitter then removed 300 additional accounts but left more than 100 active.

Twitter’s transparency reports on its website show it suspended more than 1 million accounts last year for child sexual exploitation.

What Twitter is, and isn’t doing. A team of Twitter employees concluded in a report last year saying that the company needed more time to identify and remove child exploitation material at scale. The report noted that the company had a backlog of cases to review for possible reporting to law enforcement.

Traffickers often use code words such as “cp” for child pornography and are “intentionally as vague as possible,” to avoid detection. The more that Twitter cracks down on certain keywords, the more that users are nudged to use obfuscated text, which “tend to be harder for Twitter to automate against,” the report said.

Ghost Data said that such tricks would complicate efforts to hunt down the materials, but noted that his small team of five researchers and no access to Twitter’s internal resources was able to find hundreds of accounts within 20 days.

Not just a Twitter problem. The problem isn’t isolated to just Twitter. Child safety advocates say predators are using Facebook and Instagram to groom victims and exchange explicit images. Predators instruct victims to reach out to them on Telegram and Discord to complete payment and receive materials. The files are then usually stored on cloud services like Dropbox.

Why we care. Child pornography and explicit accounts on social media are everyone’s problem. Since offenders are continually trying to deceive the algorithms using code words or slang, we can never be 100% sure that our ads aren’t appearing where they shouldn’t be. If you’re advertising on Twitter, be sure to review your placements as thoroughly as possible.

But Twitter’s response seems to be lacking. If a watchdog group like Ghost Data can find these accounts without accessing Twitter’s internal data, then it seems pretty reasonable to assume that a child can, as well. Why isn’t Twitter removing all of these accounts? What additional data are they looking for to justify a suspension?

Like a game of Whac-A-Mole, for every account that is removed, several more pop up, and suspended users will likely go on to create new accounts, masking their IP addresses. So is this an automation issue? Is there a problem with getting local law enforcement agencies to react? Twitter spokesperson Carswell said that the information in recent reports “… is not an accurate reflection of where we are today.” This is likely an accurate statement as the issue seems to have gotten worse.

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Nicole Farley is an editor for Search Engine Land covering all things PPC. In addition to being a Marine Corps veteran, she has an extensive background in digital marketing, an MBA and a penchant for true crime, podcasts, travel, and snacks.


Why Esports organizations are losing business due to lack of SEO

SEO is a standard within a number of marketing strategies through a myriad of industries, but has someone found themselves outside of the gaming and esports industries? There is a non-factor within new marketing verticals such as influencer marketing despite its immense potential to impact.

During the latest edition of the Gamactica Podcast, I got a chance to talk about the lack of SEO, or Esports SEO, that exists within the industry with Michael Ashford, CEO of The Game Awards.

In this article, I share some highlights and key insights that are affecting the fate of many Esports organizations.

What Esports can learn from sports and other industries

“I guess where Esports has been very pioneering there are also a lot of things that it can learn from other industries in the same vein,” he said.

“The big controversial one is the sports and Esports gear compared a lot. I’m a big fan of it because sports do very well with media rights and distribution deals. They do very well with sponsorships, two things that are absolutely pivotal and critical to the future of Esports. Those two things go hand-in-hand, they ensure everyone continues to be stable and everyone wins off the back of them. Esports as a term has really only been popular for 10 years. Before that you would just be OpTic gaming, people would just type in “optic” and their website would come up, their socials were there, everything was great and now there are probably 10,000 companies that all call themselves Esports something or another, and it’s a very different problem.

Doesn’t matter to OpTic, because OpTic is still a leading name and people still search for OpTic on Google. OpTic still comes up but it does matter to new businesses coming in.

“There are three waves to Esports”

You have wave one which is all the teams, the TOs, and the publishing companies.

Wave two is supporting services, people like ourselves, agencies, creative agencies, sales, and talent specialists.

Wave three is all the supplementary services under that, and that’s where that trickle-down comes down with publishers at the top and everyone in these waves underneath waiting to get paid. That is where wave three is so pivotal and why you hear stories of these companies trying to get in now that are very challenged because they’re not using proven techniques that work outside of the market to get into the market. They are trying to conform to the market that already exists, and you can’t take on an Esports Awards because we own that domain, we own that optimization, and we have seven years of history working with Google, YouTube, Amazon, we have even worked with Lexus. All these brands have given us that domain authority that is very hard to purchase now.” said, Michael Ashford, CEO of The Game Awards.

The advantage of domain authority in Esports

Ashford goes on to discuss the competitive advantage the domain authority provides them, especially as the Esports landscape continues to evolve and grow.

“So, if you were going to take us on as a competitor, you probably don’t want to go against that unless you’ve got a big, realistic search engine budget to go against us. That’s where marketing gives you that advantage, when you do marketing you put yourself in the eye of the consumer, you look at their journey, you understand their peeves, and you gain a finer understanding of what they’re doing.”

Ashford talked about the difficulties that face new entities, such as Esports teams face as they are entering a fiercely competitive space.

“If you’re a team that just got into this and you’re saying ‘I really want a big sponsorship to land on my doorstep’ like you have to be in their consideration and that’s what it comes down to. If I’m buying for one of the biggest companies in the world and I have a budget and I type in “Esports teams” or “successful Esports teams” or “biggest Esports teams” on Google, if you’re not on that list you’re already outliers from the consideration perspective because all of those other brands have long term domain authority” he said.

“The OpTics, The FaZe, the DSMs have done it for years and they’ll be the first stable thing that people see.”

Despite the proven data, SEO remains on the peripherals of the gaming, Esports, and content creation industries.

While platforms such as Twitch struggle to effectively scale the monetization of creators and their platforms, SEO continues to be an absolute need, a critical of conversation which eludes these spaces.

The Game Awards will be taking place on December 11th-13th in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will air on platforms such as Twitch and Twitter.

Anthony DiMoro is CEO of Gamactica. He can be found on Twitter @AnthonyDiMoro.

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Enterprise ecommerce SEO: Why good technology can’t fix a bad process

Several SEO myths and misconceptions are killing enterprise ecommerce and enterprise retail businesses. This article will explore some of them to show how enterprise SEO is unique, and not quite the same as traditional search engine optimization.

To be effective, enterprise ecommerce SEO should be strategy-oriented. And yet, that’s rare to find. Why? 

What follows are business-critical problems and lost opportunities I’ve come across while consulting on SEO strategy with some of the biggest brands and corporations in the world.

  • We’ll begin by looking at the current scenario, with its vast array of ineffective practices.
  • Then we’ll define the biggest problems in enterprise ecommerce SEO today. 
  • Finally, we’ll discuss diverse challenges, and ways to overcome them to thrive in a difficult, hyper-competitive business climate.

Enterprise ecommerce SEO: Let’s face facts

Reality is often harsh and sobering. Yet facing up to facts is essential to fix problems and boost SEO effectiveness.

The litany of woes is long – and painful.

  • Business owners and shareholders alike suffer low financial gains, thanks to poor business performance, low productivity and frustrated economic growth.
  • Corporate governance, risk management and controlling bodies (like boards and leadership) are unaware of problems until too late. Or else, they hesitate to intervene promptly to address problems. 
  • Without risk monitoring processes or reports on external opportunities, they resort to benchmarking and reviews of past growth and financial efficiency.
  • Goals, objectives and projects are often misaligned. Cross-functional teams are dysfunctional. They leave money on the table, and market share remains untapped.
  • Without oversight and control over business-critical categories, as well as inefficient integration with business strategy, individuals and teams fall short of targets.
  • Often even outside specialists called in to help fix the problem are thwarted. Their critical analysis is questioned, and they are labeled “difficult to work with.” No wonder the best, most brilliant minds quit – and companies lose valuable people.

But these are not the biggest hurdles. Those lie elsewhere – in strategy and process problems.

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Chaotic SEO strategy

SEO strategy for enterprise ecommerce is essentially a “business strategy.”

Enterprise SEO is not about Google. It doesn’t operate in a silo. And it’s not obsessed with tasks and deliverables. 

On the contrary, a good SEO strategy for ecommerce companies and omnichannel retailers focuses on:

  • Business goals and requirements.
  • Optimizing processes and workflows.
  • Ways to get desired outcomes.
  • Achieving a positive impact on KPIs.

Poor process and workflow

Enterprise processes are often in pretty bad shape.

Nobody quite expects the business strategy to work. Each department falls short in revenue generation and productivity. Sales and marketing plans are poorly implemented.

A Google-oriented SEO strategy misses business goals and financial KPIs while overlooking lucrative opportunities to dominate the ecosystem.

Whenever processes and workflows support analysis and decision-making, an SEO strategist can identify ways to rake in millions in added revenue. But due to bad processes, these opportunities largely go unseen. 

All the while, management behaves like a bus driver in an old American action comedy who speeds crazily along the highway, confidently announcing: “Trust, me! I know what I’m doing.”

Sadly, this is not a movie. The threat is real. 

Addressing these problems should be a top priority for business leaders. Brushing things under the carpet with a cosmetic re-design or technology makeover only worsens economic damage.

Enterprise ecommerce SEO: The challenges are real

Next, let’s look at the key challenges unique to enterprise organizations – and see how intelligent SEO can help with them.

Lack of quality data is deadly

To put it bluntly, at many ecommerce enterprises, data often cannot be trusted at all! Using weak data to determine future plans and strategies is doomed to fail. 

The train has derailed… even before it leaves the station! 

Whenever SEO consultants propose changes based on only limited data, their suggestions are viewed as an added “cost” – rather than as glorious opportunities to expand the business.

Today’s business strategy requires access to granular data that can be mined extensively. 

Smart data analysis is rare

Superficial keyword research limited to collecting high search-volume phrases, thanks to a limited, non-flexible budget is a recipe for disaster.

A deep analysis of search data that’s broken down by ecommerce category and sub-category can uncover hidden opportunities and untapped assets.

The future belongs to a company armed with:

The data can intelligently guide content producers to include critical and unique information for each product category and sub-category.

Yet time and resource constraints mean that only a few enterprises get it right. Opportunities and strategic intelligence often go unseen. What you don’t measure, you cannot manage.

Missing data is a vexing problem

Whenever data is incomplete, you can get only an inaccurate picture of reality. 

Either the data isn’t rich in detail, or it:

  • Lacks breadth to cover enough of the customer journey. 
  • Hasn’t been broken down into a granular category or local-level.
  • Wasn’t adjusted and rinsed to provide a reliable and trusted picture.
  • Isn’t tailored for unique internal targeting, by buyer intent or geographic location.
  • Hasn’t been benchmarked against potential markets and qualified customers.

All these problems make data less trustworthy. You cannot use bad data to make good decisions.

Growth stalls and slows down, both in the short and long term. This leads to economic damage to the enterprise, along with its external owners and shareholders.

And that isn’t all. 

There are also three other major problems that plague ecommerce enterprise SEO:

  • People.
  • Processes.
  • Workflows.

People, teams and collaboration

Cross-functional teams only rarely align in their goals, objectives and projects. 

The problem begins with bad data and poor decisions based upon it. The lack of analysis affects implementation. In turn, this impairs business goals and financial KPIs.

But when information is locked away inside silos: 

  • Work has to be duplicated, losing productivity.
  • Co-operative teamwork suffers.
  • Roles and responsibilities are unclear.
  • People start doing whatever they feel like.
  • Focus shifts to deliverables, instead of business objectives.
  • Priorities aren’t set correctly.
  • Emphasis is upon technology and platforms, rather than business KPIs.

To change this, you should improve business processes. But sadly, there are often problems there, too.

Business and sales process

Business processes are often based on technology, systems, features and IT… instead of business requirements.  

To do this effectively, you will need:

  • Better data quality.
  • Complete and comprehensive datasets.
  • Broad and deep data for all categories.
  • Internal contributions across departments.
  • Teams and specialists working together.
  • Effective leadership to guide it all.

You would readily uncover gaps that can be fixed quickly if your enterprise SEO strategy ensures that all necessary data is:

  • In place.
  • Tracked all the way through the buyer’s journey.
  • Constantly benchmarked against your full potential.

Enterprise SEO is not centered on Google, but on business performance and economic results. 

If you only track search volumes and rankings but ignore how it translates into sales and profits, you cannot quantify the cost of making any changes. But armed with the right data, you can build a strong business case for a higher budget to make profitable tweaks.

When presented with such information, a board or leadership that doesn’t act on it would be liable for dereliction of duty. Leaders who fail to exercise their judgment, discretion, knowledge and expertise to leverage data will risk damage to their reputation. And maybe even incur penalties and punishments for behaving irresponsibly.

Sub-optimal workflows

When guided by incomplete data or inaccurate datasets, an SEO strategy will not be maximally productive. So the organization will underperform on its financial KPIs.

  • Collaboration among teams is weak.
  • Processes are not properly aligned.
  • Goals get disconnected from overall business priorities.
  • Lack of measurement leads to missed chances.
  • Boards overlook opportunities (or fail to intervene promptly). 
  • Leaders don’t spot specific needs they must fill.
  • Role-based specialists struggle to deliver value.

Enterprise ecommerce SEO: Solutions, tips and strategies

Now that we’ve discussed the flaws and problems with enterprise SEO, we’ll address potential solutions.

Let me begin by stating an overriding principle. Many companies try to solve poor business processes with technology, digital transformation, or re-platforming. I can’t say this clear and loud enough: 

You can’t solve a bad process with technology!

When business leadership is weak, or when sales plummet because marketing is out of sync with customers and markets, a technology overhaul alone won’t fix the problem.

Companies that hire SEO agencies and consultants to carry out SEO-oriented tasks no longer enjoy the results they had back in 2005. That version of Google no longer exists!

Enterprise SEO and traditional SEO services may be similar, but they are not identical. If you measure them by the same yardstick, without a focus on business strategy, process and workflows, then the impact might appear small.

This post is already rather long. So let’s briefly highlight solutions and opportunities to get a good head start with enterprise ecommerce SEO.  

In a future article, we’ll dive deep into specific elements and discuss case studies of client companies that engineered remarkable transformations after simple tweaks to a broken process.

Action steps for ecommerce SEO

  • Enable people with a process, workflows and technology that allows for workflow optimization… and avoids reinventing the wheel.
  • As a company owner and investor, you should understand the business-critical importance of enterprise ecommerce SEO and embrace all necessary changes that lead to improvement.
  • As process-oriented SEO consultants, marketers, sales, and ecommerce professionals, we play a key role in the adoption of a process that delivers top-priority business goals.
  • Shiny object syndrome is real. And it is bad for business. Cover the basics first. Business-critical KPIs demand our attention. Beware of the “tools mindset.”
  • Re-platforming, site-redesign and digital transformation processes may aim to transform the business. But they will not be successful unless the fundamentals are firmly in place.

And always keep this in mind:

Technology and digital transformation alone cannot fix the root cause of the problem: a bad process.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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About The Author

Trond Lyngbø is the founder of Search Planet and a senior SEO Consultant. He has over 20 years of experience in SEO, e-commerce, content strategy and digital analysis. His clients include multinational Fortune 500 corporations and major Norwegian companies. Trond has helped grow businesses through more effective search marketing and SEO strategies. He is most passionate about working with e-commerce companies and web shops to develop and expand their omni-channel marketing initiatives.