SEO Product Management
To say the least, as a product manager who does digital services, you have a big list of things you could/should know about. And SEO product management may not be one of them.
As a result, it’s easy to overlook SEO as something you just have a basic knowledge of but leave it to the marketing staff to handle. However, SEO is much more than the terms your copywriters use or the links your social media manager publishes.
Your website’s SEO is at its core. If your website is the product you’re creating, it should be at the top of your priority list.
Why Should Product Managers Be Concerned With SEO?
Let’s address the main question that might pop into your mind. “Isn’t this the marketing team’s job?” you might wonder. When compared to things like wireframing and customer journey mapping, SEO isn’t exactly a top priority for product managers. While you aren’t necessarily incorrect, SEO is much more than just smart marketing.
There’s a good chance that you won’t need to touch SEO in your current function (after all, no two product management roles are alike). Maybe you’re an AI expert who works in the IoT field. In that instance, you can certainly allocate SEO to your marketing staff because it isn’t something you do daily.
For many though, your website is more than simply a storefront; it’s your entire offering! If the product you’re creating is a website, you must pay close attention to SEO in everything you do.
Your marketing team will do everything possible to drive visitors to your website via content campaigns, lead generation emails, and PPC advertising, and they should strive for a balance of sponsored and organic traffic.
However, if the website you’re creating isn’t SEO-friendly, you’ll be giving them an uphill struggle. Organic traffic is necessary for growth; otherwise, you’ll be paying too much for each new user who comes your way.
You’ll be able to develop the product that Google puts right into their hands by understanding what Google looks for when consumers search for businesses like yours.
It is believed that product managers should play an active part in creating growth loops and being the company’s overall growth drivers. SEO is a critical component of growth, and it may be incorporated into the product you’re developing.
SEO for Product Managers in a Nutshell:
How it Works
While there are a variety of search engines to choose from, SEO specialists tend to focus on Google and its search algorithm. Because Google Search, Google Images, and Google Maps account for 92.96 percent of all web traffic, it’s an ideal target for SEO strategists to hit.
Google sends crawlers to your site regularly, attempting to read it through the eyes of the user. Yes, they’re a machine, so you’ll need to strike a balance between designing a product that appeals to both humans and robots.
Because Google isn’t clear about all of the aspects that can lead to search result success, no one completely knows the rules of SEO. This is to keep the playing field relatively level and to prevent firms from taking advantage of the system.
Google does not crawl your complete website, and it will generally ignore sites that aren’t popular with visitors or haven’t been updated in a long time. So, even if you create massive amounts of new material with SEO in mind, it won’t matter if your homepage isn’t optimized. If you’re late to SEO and are only now putting a strategy in place, start with your most popular pages and make significant modifications.
Main Challenges and Long-Term Investment
The primary problem with SEO is that the rules are confusing and constantly changing. Of course, there are a few basic guidelines to follow.
Technical SEO (which is more the domain of the product manager than the content marketer) is difficult to master and is a never-ending learning process.
SEO is a multi-faceted game that cannot be implemented immediately and will not fix all of your difficulties. It’s a long-term investment that should be incorporated into both your product and marketing initiatives.
As a product manager, you may discover that you need to coordinate your SEO approach with marketing. It’s not like you’ll be working with the engineers on site speed and the marketing team on content creation in separate rooms, and the two will never meet.
A great product manager is accustomed to collaborating closely with all of the teams that come into contact with their job. So simply keep in mind that SEO is something worth discussing with your marketing team.
As a product manager, you’ll probably be most interested in the technical aspects of SEO. Technical SEO guarantees that your website is constructed with search engines in mind, and it is an important aspect of any SEO plan.
Google has stated that Core Web Vitals (CWV) will play a key role in determining SEO by becoming a ranking component in the 2021 release.
Here are the most important factors you should consider:
- Largest contentful paint (LCP) – How long does it take for the page to fully load?
- First input delay (FID) – How long does it take for your page to become completely usable?
- Cumulative layout shift (CLS) – Does the layout change when people interact with the page?
While these have always been crucial to keep in mind to keep your bounce rate low, they are now decisive factors in how high your website ranks in the search results, and they have a significant impact on your organic traffic.
Other web vitals, in addition to the basic three, have an impact on how you rank:
- Mobile responsiveness
- Safe browsing
- No intrusive interstitials
While any skilled front end engineer will be aware of these issues, it’s also crucial for you to be aware of them and keep track of them. So, when the marketing department suggests a new gigantic pop-up, you’ll be able to explain why it’s a bad idea.
The Metrics That Matters Most:
While you may be keeping an eye on your organic vs. paid traffic data, conversion is the most important indicator. People who visit your website must convert to contribute to your bottom line. While an increase in traffic is desirable, it must be accompanied by an increase in conversions for your product to flourish.
You can check how effectively your SEO approach is working for yourself by comparing the increase in traffic to your conversion rate. When it starts to fall, you’ll see that your freshly gained traffic isn’t bringing you any benefits. Traffic is a vanity statistic, but when combined with conversion, it becomes a sanity metric.
The bounce rate is never good, but it’s even worse when you’ve been working hard on your SEO. Google looks at your bounce rate to determine the quality of your site. If your bounce rate is high, have a look at the quality of the sites that are causing it (using the Core Web Vitals), as well as the key sources of traffic to those pages.
Increased bounce rates are caused by two main factors: poor user experience and misleading marketing, thus both must be taken into account.
Time on site:
Google assumes that if a visitor clicks on only one link on your site but stays for a few minutes before departing, the person got what they wanted from it. This might include reading a blog post or quickly double-checking the address of your physical store.