The Importance of Treating SEO as a Product
Organic traffic and revenue are the key benefits of considering SEO as a product.
By doing so, the business:
- Acknowledges that the digital world is its primary arena of operation.
- Ensures that its online assets (website, app, etc.) are optimized for search engines.
This means that when potential customers search online using devices, apps, or voice search, they are more likely to discover the business’s digital properties.
In essence, product management is a problem-solving approach centered on customer needs. Meanwhile, SEO is a continually evolving concept that focuses on making a business discoverable to customers seeking information, products, or services through connected devices.
Today, there are numerous alternative search avenues beyond the traditional engines like Google, DuckDuckGo, Baidu, and Microsoft Bing. Customers may start their product search on Amazon, or use YouTube for visual searches, all depending on their intent.
It is important to note that this article is not about optimizing individual product pages for SEO purposes. Instead, it looks at the bigger picture of dedicating product resources to boost organic traffic and revenue, highlighting why SEO should be considered a product by businesses.
SEO as a Product: Understanding its Significance
SEO as a product is a concept that is gaining attention in recent times. A look at Google Trends shows that interest in “product management” has risen steadily since December 2022.
Despite being around for over a decade, the idea of SEO as a product is relatively new compared to the long history of search engine optimization. It will take time for the role of an SEO product manager to become more widely accepted.
However, it’s crucial for organizations to understand the significance of treating SEO as a product. When approached in this manner, SEO becomes a revenue-driving aspect of the business, with the focus on customer acquisition and organic traffic growth.
Product-Oriented SEO: A Revolution in Search Engine Optimization
Gone are the days when SEO was just about keywords and their density on your web pages. With Google’s algorithms advancing to tackle malicious practices, it’s time to embrace a new approach – Product-Led SEO.
Author Eli Schwartz in his book “Product-Led SEO” proposes the integration of product management principles to optimize websites for search engines.
He emphasizes that the product-led approach should be applied to every website working on SEO and not just limited to specific companies. A product-led SEO strategy should have a product plan, roadmap, project management, collaboration, and user feedback just like any other product. Unlike the traditional keyword-driven SEO, product-led SEO requires a strong product-market fit.
The goal of SEO is to provide value to customers who drive revenue and customer acquisition. In the case of SEO, these customers are web crawlers and humans. As an SEO product manager, one has to cater to the needs of both search engines and people.
Contrary to popular belief, search engines like Google are also customers who consume the products and features built for the web. Thus, SEO product managers need to consider them as a target market segment in addition to end-users.
Why SEO as a Product is Essential
There are numerous reasons why treating SEO as a product is crucial for businesses.
- Viewing SEO as a product acknowledges it as a vital acquisition channel that can bring in organic traffic and revenue. Effective SEO practices are incorporated into the company’s online strategy to ensure both search engines and internet users can find and interact with your website or social media pages.
- Product managers who specialize in SEO understand the outside forces affecting search engines, and the website elements that need to be optimized for better search engine results.
- The constantly evolving landscape of search calls for an SEO roadmap that proactively addresses advancements, identifies growth opportunities, and maintains progress.
- Investing in paid search can be expensive, and businesses often have limited resources. Organic traffic serves as a sustainable source of revenue that can grow with time. Therefore, it’s critical to protect and enhance this valuable source of new visitors to your site.
In the business world, there’s a designated product manager for almost everything that matters. So why not for search?
While some companies do have product managers for on-site searches, the role of an SEO Product Manager is different. They concentrate on two crucial external customers – search engines and website visitors who find your site through search engine results.
As a product manager, it’s crucial to create a top-notch e-commerce or app experience that represents the brand and boosts sales and customer retention. This role demands a combination of analytical and creative skills, as well as a sharp understanding of consumer behavior.
SEO is a dynamic field as it’s tied to earning organic traffic from Google searches and their evolving understanding of user intent and queries. This means ranking compositions can change over time.
It’s essential for businesses to stay up-to-date with the evolving nature of organic search to drive revenue and attract new customers. Rather than focusing solely on the latest algorithm update or current keyword rankings, companies should prioritize determining what their customers want and ensuring Google recognizes their offerings.
When SEO is approached as a product, the product framework allows for identifying and implementing essential work on the site, followed by continuous measurement, learning, and improvement.
The Importance of SEO Product Management in Organizations
In a company, SEO can be managed by a team of experts including technical SEOs, content SEOs, and analysts within the marketing department. However, it is not limited to a specific department and can fall under the domain of multiple teams.
Regardless of where SEO resides, the challenge remains the same – how to tackle complexity and ambiguity with a systematic approach and deliver effective results. One major obstacle for SEO is the limited availability of resources, especially in engineering, which can delay the implementation of improvements.
At Dreams Animation we have created a plan specifically for you, where we take care of these updating tasks on a monthly basis without you having to pay a salary of what the American market demands today for an expert in these matters. For just $299/month, we can do maintenance, design, and multiple actions to keep you relevant.
A crucial aspect of SEO product management is understanding the project timeline. Major technology companies like Apple, IBM, and Microsoft utilize agile methodologies to deliver work. This approach is becoming increasingly popular, allowing companies to work and iterate on their initiatives.
The use of agile methodology limits the number of sprints each year, meaning that SEO product managers must prioritize their roadmap accordingly. The limited number of sprints also implies that new projects must replace existing initiatives. The SEO product manager is responsible for making these trade-offs and communicating them to leadership.
In 2022, I spoke at an industry conference about the importance of SEO product management in the agile process. An SEO product manager plays a crucial role in supporting cross-functional teams in delivering SEO work together. It requires a “before, during, and after” strategy to ensure seamless integration.
Empowering SEO through Resource Allocation
To make a real impact, SEO must have the necessary resources at its disposal.
Product management is often the gatekeeper to these resources, and they play a crucial role in organizing and allocating them.
In many organizations, engineering resources are divided among product managers, depending on the vertical or area of focus.
But imagine if SEO was treated as its own product – this would bring about:
- A designated product owner for SEO.
- A well-defined SEO roadmap.
- A dedicated pool of resources for SEO initiatives.
This way, any tradeoffs made would be based on the SEO roadmap, rather than having to compete for resources with other product teams.
By having control over its own resources, SEO can better execute its strategy and drive organic traffic and revenue for the business.
SEO as a Catalyst for Growth
When SEO is positioned as a product in its own right, teams are empowered to make decisions that drive customer acquisition and revenue.
This results in a constant stream of technical enhancements and a comprehensive approach to content creation, catering to all stages of the customer journey – from research to purchase.