You don’t try the depth of the river with both feet. I like to think the same about performance marketing.
Mez Homayunfard is the Co-Founder and Head of Sales & Partnerships at Online Marketing Gurus, a global performance marketing agency specializing in SEO, AdWords, and social media advertising. Homayunfard has also helped OMG win awards such as BRW Fast Starters, Deloitte Fast 50, and Deloitte Fast 500. He also co-authored the book, “Evidence, Not Opinion: The Winner’s Guide to Digital Marketing.”
In this episode of Velocitize Talks, Homayunfard shares how brands can use search engine optimization and organic search marketing to achieve real results.
Search Organically (1:13)
Organic search marketing is the combination between technical SEO, authority and PR building for websites.
Organic search marketing remains the dominant source of trackable web traffic and is also the largest channel of revenue results. Search plays a major role in attracting customers at the top of the funnel during their initial discovery process. Websites that build up their domain rating with good technical SEO and website reviews benefit from higher organic search rankings.
Homayunfard combines SEO, authority and PR data points to create an evidence-driven framework to optimize organic search. This optimization results in websites ranking higher in search results. According to WebFX, organic SEO is an ongoing process that must be continually optimized to help you achieve visibility. If not, then a competitor will overtake your search ranking.
SEO Rankings (1:53)
It’s important not only to rank on the first page but to rank within those top two to three spots.
SEO is one of the most instrumental tools in a marketer’s toolbox. Ranking on a search engine’s first page is a must. There is a misconception, however, about being on that first page. “As of 2020 the top spot within organic, including the featured snippets, only gets anywhere between 23 and 30 percent of clicks,” says Homayunfard. “If you look at positions nine or ten, we’re talking about a two to three percent click-through rate, almost a tenth of the traffic.”
According to OMG, a brand needs to identify the best keywords to focus on that bring real value to your business. There are research tools out there that help with that including Google Keyword Planner, KWFinder, Ahref’s Keywords Explorer, and SEMrush. Creating buyer personas as well as testing out and refining keywords are all ways to hone your SEO strategy to rank in the top few spots in search engines.
SEO: The Long Game (3:26)
Where I find a lot of small businesses go wrong is they’ve heard in the past SEO is the best; it generates the most traffic. While it still occupies the largest share of voice out of all search clicks, it is a long-term process.
“SEO is a long game, but also the most profitable,” according to Online Marketing Gurus. There must be a strategy in place that is researched and validated before initiating an SEO project. Homayunfard recommends starting with paid search and testing out what keywords resonate with their target market. That way, a brand’s website and its usability align with their target market and paid search tests.
“You can get very, very good data from your page search campaigns and use that to scale your SEO,” says Homayunfard. “This is where I find a lot of small businesses go wrong.” The process can sometimes take upwards of 6 to 12 months before a company will begin to see high ROI results. Brands can use SEO ROI calculators to see how their campaign is performing.
The C-Suite Shuffle (7:47)
So much of what we’re doing now is becoming about data, even big data. I’m looking at very large data sets for patterns and predictive data around where the algorithm will head and what types of tactics will work the best when you’re using them on scale.
The roles of the C-suite change with the demands of the marketplace. One such role, Chief Digital Officer, is relatively new and less defined; it can be used as a catch all for the person who oversees the digital strategies of a company. The CDO can be a senior professional whose responsibilities intersect strategy, marketing, technology and innovation.
Homayunfard sees the role of Chief Marketing Officer as requiring varying skill sets that will only become more technically complex. This will mean the CMO looks more like a CDO or a Chief Information Officer, since the role will require a depth of digital experience with software engineering or developer experience.
PwC offers an indication of the CDO’s potential range of roles and responsibilities: the progressive thinker, the creative disrupter, the customer advocate, the innovative technologist, and the universalist. “The demands of digitization will ultimately force companies to transform virtually every aspect of their business” and require a C-suite leader to drive that change.
Try, Try Again (9:04)
If it can fail, it will fail.
“I’ve made a lot of mistakes but you only learn once you actually apply the knowledge that you have,” says Homayunfard. The best innovations come from when people have been propelled forward to create something different or new due to a failure of some sort. There are those who find themselves in “analysis paralysis,” constantly applying consequential thinking to avoid taking risks due to fear of failure.
“Find the success in the failure… A well-used failure may have even more value than a success,” according to 6seconds. Homayunfard explains how his team uses failure to keep going.
“You go, out you test,” he says. “You might get seven out of 10 tests that don’t work, or seven out of ten values, but three of them work… you keep scaling and you keep going.” Risk taking, resilience, optimism and determination are all parts of using failure to innovate.