Let’s discover how the SEO team fits and thrives within the Data & Analytics organization with this insightful overview by Michelle Levine!
How the SEO Team Thrives in our DnA Org
The Organic Search team at Vista offers a unique opportunity to be a part of one of the most iconic data and analytics teams. But what do data and analytics have to do with SEO? A lot. DnA is a cross-functional team that includes product owners, analysts, data engineers and more – all focused on providing Vista with information and tools we can use to deliver jaw-dropping customer value.
As someone who comes from a traditional digital marketing background, I was quite surprised to learn that Organic Search at Vista was part of the Data & Analytics team (DnA) rather than part of the Marketing department as in my previous companies. Given that my role focuses specifically on the content and authority building side of SEO, it did have me questioning a bit. But I’ve come to understand why it’s “an organic fit.”
DnA team members are empowered to learn new skills, communicate openly and be active problem-solvers. As part of DnA, Organic Search team members have access to unlimited data to monitor performance, discover new opportunities and prioritize efforts.
Decisions about a website should be based on one thing: data. Our Organic Search team at Vista is focused on letting data drive decisions. We strive to test and learn before executing.
When making recommendations regarding user experience, we advocate for testing different scenarios to see what performs better. In addition to leveraging our own internal data tools and products, we use tools like SearchPilot and Quantum Metric.
A day in the life of an Organic Search specialist
For starters, SEO is the process of increasing the relevancy of a website by improving its content, authority, and code to maximize the visibility of web pages in a search engine’s organic results. In general, the higher a page is ranked on the search results page, the more searchers will see it and more will click on the listing.
Organic Search is a “free” channel, so we are not paying for visibility in the search engine results page. It is a very complex channel as there is a lot to consider when building a strategy that maximizes potential. For example, what questions can we anticipate customers will have about a product? How do users want to consume the answers to these questions (as part of an FAQ, within a product description, or embedded in a video or image)? The Organic Search team strives to understand how users are interacting with the information we present to them on our site.
How we are structured:
Our Organic Search team is uniquely structured to allow team members to focus their efforts in the SEO specialty area(s) they are most passionate about. We are comprised of four core functions: content, compatibility, connections, and analytics. Within each of these functions, our team meets regularly to size tasks by priority and divvy up the work.
Whether it be technical SEO and analytics, or content and authority-building, all team members need data as foundation for their strategies. We are a diverse, experienced team, bringing years of SEO expertise ranging from agency experience to in-house product teams. Our team is spread across three continents globally, now all working remotely, but collaborate effectively as one.
We are part of a larger domain within the DnA org called Omnichannel Marketing & Site Experience, which consists of multiple teams focused on data-driven marketing, site and channel data products, and site and marketing analytics. Collectively, we are a fun, insightful and creative team of problem solvers.
What we do:
Organic Search tasks range from a very wide spectrum of large complex projects such as overseeing a site migrating to a new platform, to smaller initiatives such as optimizing copy on a web page. Although part of a central team, our SEO specialists are embedded into line of business teams to ensure we are maximizing organic search potential. We work hand in hand with experts from various areas of Vista such as Technology, Product, and Marketing, and represent Organic Search in our discussions on how to improve our website ranking.
One thing I really enjoy about our team is the mix of both autonomous and collaborative projects. We’ve got a good balance of tasks that can be worked on independently and as a group. Our team members love bouncing ideas off each other and brainstorming new ways to achieve SEO success.
How data helps Organic Search
Understanding customer needs
Data helps us understand what information small business owners are looking for. What blog articles are resonating the most with existing and potential customers? What type of content (tips, advice, etc.) do small business owners need to elevate their marketing and design and better run their business? We use data to uncover these insights so we can better serve our customers.
We have thousands of pages indexed by Google, driving millions of impressions. But it’s the performance data that helps us prioritize where to focus our keyword research and content optimizations. Pages that are falling short in terms of Organic Search clicks and impressions are viewed as opportunities to improve. We need data to help us make these decisions around what work will have the highest impact.
Testing and learning
Before launching a major change on the website, it is important to test different versions of the page to see which one resonates better with users. Understanding what the consequence of a change will be, before rolling it out, is crucial when developing SEO strategies. Every test contributes to our continuous learning, even when the result is negative.
The best way to validate that the SEO work we do is proving to be effective is with data. Our team strives to use data as much as possible to show the impact of changes we recommend to the Vista site. Stakeholders value the data and insights our team brings to them.
I’m super excited to be a part of the growing DnA org and feel proud that our team has thrived within this group. Hopefully I’ve given you a sneak peek into Vista’s Organic Search team and why we are part of this iconic DnA team. I hope to collaborate with you as a future member of our organization!
Are you thinking of making a career leap into a data-driven organization? Look at career opportunities with Vista DnA.