E-A-T, SEO Forecasting, and SEO Strategy with Miracle Inameti-Archibong

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SEO. CRO. UX. Web analytics.

The Erudite Agency in the UK does it all, and today’s guest, Miracle Inameti-Archibong, is their Head of SEO. They helped deliver 2,437% ROI through technical SEO for one company. Drove mobile revenue up 47% at another.

That means she comes chock full of insights on all of these subjects. She and Garrett dove right in today, offering dozens of don’t-miss gems, especially if you want to create similar results for your clients.

The highlights:

  • [1:34] E-A-T audits.
  • [3:41] Building an E-A-T strategy.
  • [5:06] Building a keyword taxonomy.
  • [7:48] Forecasting.
  • [12:20] Accounting for outliers in 2021.
  • [13:55] Implementing data.
  • [15:50] Looking ahead to 2021.
  • [19:37] Getting clients to implement suggestions.
  • [22:41] Miracle’s causes.

The insights:

Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness Audits

E-A-T audits are one of the services Erudite offers to customers. When Miracle is doing hers, she encourages her clients to take a holistic view.

“You can’t just change your title tags, off you go, and your SEO is fixed. With the E-A-T audits what we’re trying to do is look at how the brand is perceived, what they’re doing offline. All of those things, inevitably, have an impact on SEO.”

She says they’ve paid close attention to Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines.

“That sort of gives you an overview of Google’s intent for what content should be, what signals you should be sending.

What we’re doing is checking that everything you see on the site has been written by someone who is an authority. You have authority, as well, to say those things.

Your website has some form of credibility and the offline signal, which a lot of companies forget, is pointing to, and validating, what your site is saying.”

Building an E-A-T Strategy

Many clients want to go after popular keywords when that may be the wrong way to approach an E-A-T-based strategy. 

“I say, start with what you’re trying to tell your customers.”

Miracle explains:

“What is your USP? What makes you unique? Start your keyword research from there. Start building on all those things before we start branching out on what you need to target or what’s the keyword with the largest search for you. That’s the quickest way to build authority.

Amplify what you’re doing and what your product is about.”

She recommends paying close attention to what customers actually ask you. Look for opportunities to educate customers on how to use a product better or solve problems with the product. 

“If you start from there, you can’t go wrong in terms of building relevance. That’s what you’re selling, that’s what you’re pushing out.

Start from there, and you’re naturally going to be an authority on the topic because that’s what you’re doing.”

Building a Keyword Taxonomy

According to Miracle, business questions form the foundation for any healthy keyword taxonomy. 

“I have clients for whom branding is so important to them that they fail to see how the outside world perceives them.”

Some of these try to sell products in a way that has nothing to do with how people actually search.

“We don’t just say keyword research. We call it user behavior analysis. We say: we want to find how your users perceive your product, how they are searching, how they’re interacting.

We sit down and ask them: What’s your use case, how are you special, what do you think people are trying to do? And then we search.”

Sometimes Miracle has to tell her clients they don’t have the marketing budget to brand themselves the way they want to.

“You have to go with what users are already looking for. It’s always trying to match those perceptions with reality and then measure that.”

Forecasting For SEO and the Challenges of 2020

Miracle notes that the Erudite agency always uses forecasting to propose certain strategies.
“I know everyone in SEO hates to invoke that, but in order to show ROI, you need to quantify what you’re going to do at the start. That’s the way we operate.”
They begin with what they call a “Do Nothing” forecast. 
“So if you do nothing, you’ve been growing at 5% year after year. You will still grow. But if you take on our services and we’re able to implement ten of our recommendations then we expect to see 10% growth.”
These conversations help to drive the strategy.
“Once you can prove to stakeholders that SEO is going to contribute a certain percentage of revenue to the overall goal of the company then it gets interesting.”
Less effective?
“Oh, if you fix this thing your website will be crawlable by Google, and you’ll have 10 more people visiting your site! It becomes something to do, but it’s not as much as a driver as when there’s a revenue tag beside it.”
Of course, sometimes certain situations throw that data. You know. Like. 2020. What then?
“I think it was quite tricky. But the good thing is if you’ve built a relationship with your clients, they know. You’ve been communicating. You know what’s happened.”
Sometimes forecasts have to be adjusted.
“I had to do a very tricky forecast where the client had spiked. We were doing the forecast for contract renewal going into 2021. It was an anomaly.”
Miracle had to explain she couldn’t promise 2020 levels of growth again. Instead?
“We had to try to smooth out the data using 2019 and 2018 to form a baseline. If you overpromise and underdeliver that relationship is ruined.”

Accounting for Outliers in 2021

Garrett asked if Miracle expected 2021 to be an outlier as well.

“We don’t know how long lockdown is going to last. We’re seeing vaccines. We have 3 now in the UK. I’m not sure how many are out and how many people are actively taking it but I don’t see any of this changing before the summer.”

She notes it takes 21 days to form new learned behaviors.

“There’s so much learned behavior where: I was never willing to try this, but now I’ve tried it and found out I might as well stay comfortable in my home and do it. I have become used to that.

I don’t expect once everyone has the vaccine for things to reverse and go back to business as usual. We won’t know the outcome of everything till 2022. I expect it to be erratic.”

One thing that Miracle stresses is that it’s important for clients to implement suggestions in a timely fashion. The more they wait, the more useless the old data and forecasts become, especially now.

“It never happens anyway. Yet we understand that marketing teams need to give [forecasts] to a CFO that needs to sign a budget. The way CFOs plan, they know, we understand this will bring that cash flow.”

Getting Clients to Implement Suggestions

Whether they do it quickly or not, sooner or later it’s important to motivate clients to implement those suggestions. Here’s how Miracle does it.

“We start with quick wins. Quick wins are always a good thing to start with. If you do 1-2-3 and done and they have an impact then the client will be happy and they’ll push for more things. That’s where we always start.”

They also create a priority list.

“We do effort vs. impact.”

They then monitor everything once it’s been implemented so they can track the changes. They also shout out to those who help make things happen.

“Thanks to the developer…and we try to quantify it in revenue gains.

Now you’ve updated the site maps, the right pages have been indexed, and now we see the professional pages are up we’ve made XYZ amount, and even though there’s a small window, if it’s been done for like a week, if you multiply that over the average of the value in a year, it will be 30,000 pounds more in revenue, that really makes an impact.”

Miracle does not suggest reporting that as 200 pounds (or dollars) per week, as that’s not quite as exciting to the client!

“The developer can go and be like, I helped the SEO team make 30,000 pounds more. That sort of drives the relationship.”

In short, SEO isn’t always about tech.

“It’s about those soft skills, building that relationship, massaging egos, that kind of stuff, helping everyone to see the impact.”

What’s your right now cause?

“I’ve been in SEO for such a long time. I didn’t find my voice until recently because someone just believed in me, pushed me forward and held my hand. You can do it, Miracle! I just found myself doing it. It’s so important to help other people and so important for us to have spaces like that are safe so that people feel free to ask for help.”

That’s why Miracle gives her shout out to the Women in Tech SEO forum and the Sisters in SEO Facebook Group.

Connect with Miracle Inameti-Archibong

Get more from Miracle by following her. 

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Garrett Sussman

Garrett Sussman

Garrett is the head of content at Traject , a suite of digital marketing tools, and host of the Agency Ahead podcast. When he's not crafting content, he's scouting the perfect ice coffee, devouring the newest graphic novels, and concocting a new recipe in the kitchen.

seo forecasting miracle inameti archibong

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