“Without a good brand, SEO won’t work!”, Interview with Christian Paavo Spieker, CEO One Advertising and SEO expert.
With Google changing its algorithm up to 600 times a year, startups need to stay ahead of the game with their Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). The only way to keep up is brand building and brand engagement explains One Advertising CEO Christian Paavo Spieker.
Firstly Mr Spieker, tell us what we should understand by SEO these days?
In the past the task was to undertake a series of measures to encourage Google to rank you highly. Of course these measures still exist, such as using the right keywords and ensuring your shop is crawlable. This is SEO standard. But these days branding and brand engagement is an extremely important factor when Google decides how to rank your company in the search. And this is why TV and SEO campaigns can work really well together because TV is an extremely strong branding channel. Without a good brand, SEO won’t work!
Do you have any good examples of successfully integrated TV/SEO campaigns?
A good example is Berlin startup foodspring who make organic protein supplements and snacks. They have recently launched a TV campaign, and not only does Google rank them in first place under brand search but also if you search under “organic protein bars”. This is absolute champion’s league!
Another good example is comparison site check24. Their SEO only achieved success once they became successful on TV. In 2014 they started their TV campaign, and suddenly Google was ranking them highly as a result:
Even huge brands with no direct online sales – Vodafone and Coca Cola for example – know now that they have to accompany their spots with good SEO.
What things should brands look out for when running their TV campaigns to ensure maximum traffic goes to their websites?
When designing a TV campaign of course you have to ask yourself how to position your product and which search terms are most likely to be searched under. I would advise against stuffing a TV spot full of keywords though, it is much more important to identify your USP. The question is exactly how to word that USP. Google’s Keyword Tool shows which phrase has the best relevance in the search engine.
Some companies are tempted to use keywords from Google which no one’s ever heard of because they think this will make them stand out from the competition. This is not a good idea because these terms have less engagement.
What is the best way to integrate Search Engine Advertising (SEA) into a campaign like this?
SEA should always come first in a campaign like this, it is an absolute must. You need to make sure that when your TV ad is on air, your brand appears at the top of the listings. The best strategy is to book 500 or so sensible keywords and use a tool like IntelliAd to manage the bids during the times your TV ads are being shown. Afterwards you should then check to see which ones have been particularly successful and adjust your spend accordingly. The ones that have worked we would use for SEO. If we are getting SEO right then we can reduce spend on paid search.
It is often helpful to think of it as a closed performance loop – first comes SEA to ensure you rank at all with your new brand, then the TV campaign to build your brand, then SEO to help reduce your SEA spend.
There are also some clever tools out there which identify when a competitor spot comes on air and allows you to bid on various keywords to ensure, if certain phrases are searched during the spot or directly after, your brand ranks highly.
How can you measure the impact on your brand / on revenues from your SEO campaign?
Often the first KPI is web traffic and you would hope that revenue would of course come from increased traffic. The truth is, you can only really measure the impact on revenues if there is an online shop. This really is the core specification for what we are talking about. Of course anyone can put up a portal and introduce a marketing campaign involving SEA/SEO and TV ads, but if you have an online shop the correlation between spend and revenue increase is clear and measurable. If not, your investors have to have a strong nerve!
In terms of the success of specific keywords, this is the great advantage of SEA over SEO: in Google Adwords you can see how much revenue has been generated by each keyword.
What are your SEO top tips?
It is absolutely vital that the online shop works perfectly. I would advise startups to invest in top UX. Google can see if your shop has a bad bounce rate, so a good shop will ensure better Google rankings. This should include mobile optimization as well.
It also makes sense to cover all longtail terms such as “brand name + experience”. Why? Once people hear about your brand for the first time, they are looking to the internet for user opinions. Often brands simply don’t have the content on their site and price comparison sites and forums appear at the top of the search. And more often than not they feature someone with a negative experience of your brand. So these contents need to be addressed on your site.
Many thanks Christian Paavo Spieker!