SEO Isn’t an Exact Science… Here’s What Marketers Can Do About That

Marketers often discuss SEO and content marketing from a single perspective of keyword performance indicators, such as keyword rankings and internal and external links. Too often, they are unable to link these KPIs to their overall goals. Why are keyword rankings important? Has anything improved by receiving extra backlinks?

In fact, they stop asking very important questions.

A real estate client for whom we produce content has endeavored to see the value of our efforts. In response, we try to prove the value by overloading the customer with specific SEO results in terms of increased traffic and keyword ranking. After losing almost a portion of the customer’s revenue, we performed a large-scale analysis with our paid media team and found a 10% reduction in the cost per click of their paid search efforts. Then, the customer experienced an almost immediate increase in cost per click due to their efforts to block organic content.

Of course, measurement is important; but there is no single approach.

“There is no spoon”

One of the biggest mistakes we make is not recognizing these differences and not being flexible enough to adapt to them. Many marketers and their customers expect SEO to be a predictable set of standard steps designed to achieve the same results every time. If their efforts do not go as planned, customers can sometimes feel cheated in their investment or as if they had been sold with a trick; Regardless, marketers struggle to prove their worth.

Navigate to a system that you cannot control

In any marketing campaign, it is essential that you can turn around and adapt to any situation. This kind of flexibility is even more important in the SEO strategy. You or your customer can have an old website and any changes you want to make will have to go through a delayed order chain. This may seem like an obstacle in the process, but you should take the time to get approval to make improvements elsewhere.

Your strategy must be flexible to identify and adjust the data that best suits your goals. As you develop business goals over time, the strategy must also be able to evolve and keep pace.

The following four tips can help you move towards flexibility and increase the value of your SEO strategy.

  1. Set very specific goals

It is not enough to say that you want organic growth – you must determine what it means for you or your customer. Whether you want to improve your current keyword ranking or engage in conversation about a variety of industry-related terms, your strategy should be aligned with that specific goal.

If your goal is to improve your ranking, analyze the successful content that is already good for the intended terms. If you want to have a conversation about topics related to your industry that your site is not currently covering, do a keyword analysis to determine which topics your audience is looking for and which ones you are not currently covering. So, build your strategy around the information.

  1. Listen to your audience

Attracting users to your content, whether organic or through paid promotions, is just the first step. This is the next step to getting them to like your content and make them loyal. It requires the deliberate creation of highly personalized content that is not only engaging but also relevant to your audience.

Use social listening and market data to create the right voice and choose the right media for your content and audience. What topics are you most interested in? What kind of images do they click the most? What challenges do they face and how can you help them overcome them? The answers to these questions guide your strategy and measure the results.

  1. Bring other channels on board

Successful content marketing must be relevant to your audience, but it must also be in line with the principles of your overall marketing strategies. That’s why all of your marketing channels must work together to ensure that your messages remain consistent.

Meet regularly with other teams in your marketing department, such as those working on paid and social research, to see if you can use your information to help them explore topics. On the other hand, your paid teams can help you leverage your content and increase your success by including it in your own ads, paid social posts, and more.

  1. Do not interrupt the measurement

Even with the best of research and collaboration, not all of the content you create will be top-notch or improve your immediate KPIs. But understanding how each piece contributed – or could not – contribute to the overall goals is critical so that you can adjust your future efforts accordingly.

Be critical of your content’s performance to better understand how you’ll adjust the direction you’ll take in the next step. Also, don’t miss your chance to revert to existing content that doesn’t work exactly as you expected. Instead of throwing it all away and starting over, use what you have and make it even better.


SEO will never be an exact science. In many ways, it may seem too chaotic or too complicated to try. However, if you do it strategically, including how you measure it, it can be a big driver of success.

With a strategy that balances all aspects of your marketing efforts, you can better understand and adapt your practices to reach your customers or goals.