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Smart Advertisers Turn to SEO to Save Campaigns

One channel can help you accelerate growth post COVID, but you have to do it right.

Written by Jamey Bainer
on 06.16.20


SEO has now become the one channel that should be emphasized rather than dialed back as we recover from this pandemic. Here’s why:

It’s Evergreen. What you do today will pay off huge in a few weeks and months down the road, without coming across as insensitive or overly promotional today.

Consumption habits have changed, people are spending more time online. They are searching more online, and shopping more online. They are looking for YOU; why not be there for them?

SEO has changed… for the better. Our typical “SEO campaigns” have involved everything from commercial video shoots, to an exclusive line of soccer jerseys, and a street team almost getting arrested in front of the Apple Store on the day the new iPhone was released! And they all worked!

Below I’ve outlined five approaches you can take right now to focus your resources on this new and more expansive version of SEO strategy.

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1. Marrying SEO and User Experience

Thanks to advances in Google’s machine learning, channels play together in ways they never did before. Implementing tactics that will not only get you to the top of search results, but ensure you’re closing the deal with your website visitors are key. Today, the brands ruling the top of the search results offer the fastest, most mobile-friendly landing pages, easily digestible product details, FAQs, and rich visuals. It’s all about a great user experience.

PACIFIC did it this way
ebookers.com

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To help ebookers.com deliver a more personalized travel experience, the team developed an initiative called Take Over Your Layover: An online tool and rich user experience that empowered travelers to build customized layovers. The campaign successfully increased traffic to eBookers’s website by 198%.

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2. How to let the search result landscape guide your planning

Not all search results look the same. Depending on what keywords your business targets, you may be missing opportunities to optimize for prime real estate such as Answer Boxes, People-Also-Ask widgets, and more. Whether you’re a retailer or a non-profit, paying attention to things like product research widgets, video results, or Featured Answers can help you obtain key positions and rise above the competition.

PACIFIC did it this way
San Diego Blood Bank

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To help San Diego Blood Bank’s reach badly needed younger donors, we created a microsite and supporting creative collateral to answer their questions and support their altruistic desires. As a result, we increased website traffic by 68%, earned media impressions by +536K, and, most importantly, increased donors by 200%.

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3. Voice search is NOT the next big thing; conversational search is

Home assistants and voice-activated search has not yet become a transactional bonanza. A more important focus is conversational search: People don’t just talk into their devices; they type like they talk. Search queries are getting longer, more detailed, and more specific. If you map the patterns within these more detailed conversations, you’ll be able to develop a strategy that delivers a much richer and more persuasive experience for your customers.

PACIFIC did it this way
Hotwire

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To provide a more customized landing page experience for Hotwire, we analyzed “long-tail” searches around key destinations and layered social listening data into our content strategy. These data-driven insights informed our website optimization plan of action, in which we were able to address the needs of our target travelers directly. Clicks increased by an average of +24% along with an increase in click-through rates by +2.32% and impressions by +27.6%.

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4. Diversify what you think of as a search engine

SEO does not simply mean ‘Google’. We’re surrounded by search and discovery engines within the social platforms millions of people use every day. YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are more than just hangouts for social engagement. Even many SEOs spend too much time obsessing over Google as the lone source of digital discovery for your brand. Combine your multi-channel and brand-building expertise and you can transform a digital platform into a search and discovery engine.

PACIFIC did it this way
Flights.com 

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To provide a more customized landing page experience for Hotwire, we analyzed “long-tail” searches around key destinations and layered social listening data into our content strategy. These data-driven insights informed our website optimization plan of action, in which we were able to address the needs of our target travelers directly. Clicks increased by an average of +24% along with an increase in click-through rates by +2.32% and impressions by +27.6%.

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5. You wanted content marketing to die, but now it’s your life-raft

In the days before you had to pause your paid media and performance campaigns in the face of a global crisis, you probably dismissed all things “content marketing” as decoration, rather than essential to profit. That’s not the case, especially in the current situation. Content marketing done well feeds directly into diversifying the discovery opportunities and traffic sources that build your sales funnel. It signals to Google that your site is useful and interesting. It’s also an opportunity to use things like infographics, and entertainment-driven content to drive commerce online.

PACIFIC did it this way
Expedia

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To promote a new partnership between Expedia and UEFA Champions League, PACIFIC developed ‘Travel Like a Champion’, a campaign that translated peoples’ pride in their cities and their sports teams into fuel for travel inspiration. We designed destination-centric jerseys and other paraphernalia which earned us media attention, quality backlinks, a 623% increase in social engagement, and, ultimately, travel bookings.

PACIFIC recently won Seven Gold awards and was crowned Agency of the Year at the prestigious The One Club San Diego Awards for this innovative and effective campaign.

Agency: PACIFIC Digital Group
Client: Expedia Europe
Approval: Camille Georges, Michele Maschio
Creative Director: George Stein
Art Directors: Nico Cortinove, Adriano Valadao
Copy: Matt Potter, Chloe Mulliner
Account: Meghan Barden, Janai Williams
PR and Social Media: Sayori Coronado
SEO: Rodrigo Costa
Photography: John Trice
Videography: Phillip Mansfield
Editor: Nico Cortinove

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