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Aleyda Solis on achieving success with SEO reporting: ‘SEO reporting is one of the most overlooked tasks that tends to have a very high impact on SEO process outcome.’

13 June 2022

In the world of SEO, SEO reporting is one of the most overlooked tasks, Aleyda Solis (Orianti) claims. A remarkable fact, since good SEO reporting has a high positive impact on SEO process success. We’re thrilled that Aleyda will be speaking about SEO reporting at Friends of Search in Amsterdam this year. We got the chance to talk with her beforehand.

Aleyda Solis is an SEO consultant and founder of Orainti, speaker and author, who also offers SEO tips in the Crawling Mondays video series, the latest resources in SEO in the #SEOFOMO newsletter, and Free SEO Learning Roadmap in LearningSEO.io. She’s also co-founder of Remoters.net, a remote work hub, featuring a free remote job board, tools, guides, and more to empower remote work. Aleyda will be speaking at the upcoming edition of Friends of Search in Amsterdam (June 14)

During the 2019 edition of Friends of Search you gave a great presentation about optimizing for conversational search. In this presentation, you talked about how to optimize for conversational queries with keyword research, using speakable structured data, the right content elementents and Google Actions and Dialogflow. Voice search has taken off in recent years, and conversational interfaces like Google Assistant are examples of how technology impacts society. Do you think voice search has become as big as was predicted a few years ago? And how should SEO’s prioritize voice search nowadays? 

‘Voice hasn’t taken off for many of the scenarios for which it was initially expected. It was especially expected to be used as input for queries when you’re ‘on the go’ with simple answers as output. This hasn’t been the case though – maybe because we haven’t been so much ‘on the go’ in the last couple of years. In fact, it’s visual search that actually has really taken off, looking at all the Google Lens related features, many of them relevant for product focused commercial queries which we can expect to only gain more weight over time.

However, the foundation for a future of a conversational search experience has continued to be built by Google in the last years with their AI systems like LaMDA and MUM, which I expect will play a much bigger role in the years to come.’

Did you know that the first question above was partly created with GPT-3, based on information on your website, Linkedin and the previous presentations🤖? It wasn’t perfect so I had to do some rewriting. The use of AI and language models such as GPT-3 have had a big impact on SEO (and digital marketing in general). Are there any developments that you are currently working on a lot?

‘We can “leverage” GPT-3 to facilitate our work by providing suggestions, getting the “base” of content at scale to avoid common structural content challenges. Although, if we aim to “differentiate” and establish authority and trust, we should rely on in-depth expertise, creativity, engaging information that delights our users while fulfilling their needs.’

Any other / further thoughts on automation in SEO?

Automation will be as good as the input, so it’s critical to ensure you have a high quality one, with also clear criteria to follow. Supervising always results in being able to identify issues/opportunities with edge cases to take further into consideration.

Split-testing is used by many companies in the SEO process. Do you think this is necessary to prioritize efforts nowadays?

It’s great to see that SEO split / AB tests are becoming more popular, thanks to new tools that facilitate running them! It’s a very useful way to make our efforts more cost effective and to develop buy-in. Validating the impact in specific scenarios to prioritize SEO actions accordingly, as well as to help make a case for bigger SEO efforts with supporting data behind it, makes it easier to answer questions like: “how much we can expect from X”? or “is Y really that important?” Let’s test it!

Okay, one more question that’s automated, and pretty well-phrased by GPT-3 if you ask me: With Google showing more and more SERP features, how do you think we should ‘fight’ for our spots in the SERPs to still get enough visibility and traffic? 

‘By maximizing the visibility of website pages leveraging those search features whenever it’s relevant for your content format/type. Then you can generate more traffic from there too.

We have seen several presentations from you on the SEO process. For example we saw a presentation from you about reporting SEO results to impress. Are there any key takeaways you would like to share about this?

Yes! SEO reporting is one of the most overlooked tasks that tends to have a very high impact on SEO process outcome. It forms the way we communicate what we have achieved, the challenges we face and the next steps to take to make things happen. Way too many SEO’s report by sending their SEO dashboards(!).

There are three main things that can help to make your SEO reports better are:

  1. Using only meaningful KPIs that connect with the goals that the decision makers or stakeholders we’re reporting to actually care about
  2. Ensuring clear KPIs presentation to facilitate progress understanding (it’s not about pretty, but understandable graphs!)
  3. Leveraging storytelling principles to give better explanations and drive action with your SEO reports.

Do you have other advice to steer an SEO process in the right direction and to get things done?

One of the bigger challenges of achieving success in SEO processes is that we focus too much on fixing issues rather than optimizing further or even better: building new stuff! So it’s fundamental to be proactive and establish an SEO Quality Assurance Framework to prevent SEO mistakes in the first place, and if they happen, to catch them fast with a good validation and monitoring system.

What are you going to talk about at Friends of Search or, why should people come to your session or the conference in general?

I’m actually going to speak about SEO reporting and dig deeper with examples and scenarios to provide more insights and resources to help create meaningful SEO reports much more easily! I’m very much looking forward to it 🙂