September 19

The Weekly Briefing: Why the Keyword Planner’s Restrictions Won’t Completely Ruin You

SEM Specialist Ben Wachholz updated us on the Keyword Planner “Bug”…
If you’re an avid Google Keyword Planner-er, you probably encountered this unhappy image at least once in the past week:


Strangely enough, the best case scenario for this message would have been a temporary glitch in Keyword Land. Unfortunately, digital marketers were not so lucky. As it turns out, this “glitch” is a bona fide change that is likely to alter keyword planning forever. According to Google, “advertisers with lower monthly spends may see a limited data view in the Keyword Planner. For example, you may see values such as 0, 1-100, 100-1K, 1K-10K…in the average monthly searches column.” The full details of this restriction have not been released, but the change is already forcing SEMs to get creative with keyword research methodology. Ironically (?), this new methodology fits perfectly in the 2016 digital marketing predictions…
SEO Copywriter Bailey Murphy delivered an evaluation whether our 2016 digital marketing predictions have come true…
Oh, the beauty of 20/20 hindsight. After looking back at some early, expected changes to digital marketing in 2016, it would seem that we are right on track to fulfill the prophecy. While it hasn’t been a year of revolutions, the changes we have seen have revolved around one major question: are you creating an experience that’s worthwhile for the users? Last year, we dealt with the biggies: mobilegeddon, the retroactive birth of Alphabet, and the understated reveal of RankBrain. Customer reviews are starting to make an impact in SERPs, and buyer personas have become an important resource in advertising and remarketing efforts. All signs point to an increasingly personalized search experience, and you can count on that continuing into 2017 and beyond.
Senior Content Strategist Angela Sanders shared some insight on “the human side of SEO”…
Search Engine Land columnist Ryan Shelley recently presented a compelling definition of search engine optimization, saying that,

SEO, at its core, is about creating connections. Connections are what fuel growth. Businesses invest in SEO for the opportunity to create a connection with their target audience – without these connections, there can be no traffic, leads, brand exposure or sales.

No, it’s not your standard definition, but what this definition does address is the personal aspect of a historically data-centric foundation of SEO. While keyword research and careful analysis are important for digital marketing strategies, it’s the buyer persona that often goes ignored. As Shelley points out, “your product isn’t for everyone, but it is for someone.”

In order to focus your efforts and speak to that special someone, you need to define who that person/audience is. When developing your personas for SEO purposes, there are three areas to focus on:

  • Demographics – how they describe themselves, location, age, industry, job level
  • Social Dynamics – who do they interact with, what are some influential brands, what groups are they a part of, what do they do for fun
  • Empathy Mapping – what do they see, say, do, feel, hear, think

We know that Google favors websites that deliver relevant, helpful content, so it only makes sense to take the time to develop content that addresses the needs of your audience and not just the needs of bots. When developing your SEO strategy, go back to basics and remember who – not what – is searching for the solution you offer. Get ready to bring the “person” back to “personalization.”