Specialist Spotlight: 5 Minutes with Bridget Hoepner, Incubeta’s SEO Analyst

In our latest Specialist Spotlight piece, we sat down with Bridget Hoepner, our SEO Analyst based out of Cape Town who’s now a (virtual) member in the London office. With over 12 years of experience in the digital marketing industry Bridget spoke to us about the changing landscape of SEO and how it’ll be the hot topic of conversation in the months to come.

 

Matilda Rose Moir

Bridget-Hoepner-SEO-Specialist

1: Tell us about what it’s like to be working for a new team in the Incubeta family?

On a global level, our SEO team has doubled in the last 3 months, which is testament to the quality of our outputs and the prioritisation of SEO as a driver of organic growth. The team expansion offers incredible opportunities for individuals and the SEO offering, as there is space to move into specific markets and specialisms. I can now immerse myself into the UK market and better understand the nuances in both consumer behaviour and business culture, whilst having direct access to specialisms on both sides of the pond, whether that be page experience, ASO, content or UX. Clients benefit from local knowledge, Incubeta’s wealth of global expertise and a specialised SEO offering. 

2: You’ve been with Incubeta for 3 years now, and have been working in digital for over 12 years. How much has changed when it comes to SEO in that time?

Google’s algorithms are far more sophisticated than they were 12 years ago and reward websites that deliver a high quality and relevant experience to users. If we look back on some key algorithm updates, this becomes quite clear. Panda and the Quality Updates that followed were an assault on poor content, the Mobile Update was a response to changing user behaviour, BERT enhanced Google’s understanding of natural language and semantics, EAT introduced a new quality standard for content and expertise, and more recently the Page Experience Update gave site owners the tools to measure and create a fast and seamless experience for users. As a guiding principle, think more about your users, their needs and their challenges. Reduce friction and enable them to achieve their objectives. 

3: We know that with seismic change comes great new opportunities. What are some of the biggest challenges / opportunities you’d expect to see in the SEO space over the coming few months?

Measurement. Technology. Brand. Measuring impact has, and will continue to be a challenge, due to multiple ranking factors, the long term nature of SEO and external factors such as changing SERP layouts/ rich results, which tend to favour paid search and Google’s own assets. Technology is another challenge – there is a move towards headless technology and we don’t see this slowing down. Fortunately, headless is fast and flexible, and can offer SEO benefits with the right expertise. Then we have the Page Experience Update – it’s not only your website that needs to be considered, but also your server environment and third party resources. Finally, businesses that don’t invest in their brand will not achieve sustainable, long term growth. If we think of page experience and quality content, SEO supports the perception of a brand. If we think of authority, a strong brand supports SEO.

4: With SEO being in the forefront of everyone’s mind, somewhat due to Google’s Page Experience Update, what can marketers do to prepare / get ahead / make the most of this opportunity?

The Page Experience Update is no silver bullet and should not be seen as a once-off, checklist item. Rather use it as an opportunity to improve your processes and to integrate SEO with the marketing and development team. SEO is competitive, long term and won’t deliver results unless there is buy-in from the rest of the business, and successful implementation relies on integration with not only marketing (for example content, PR and paid search), but also development and product teams. 

5: A message we are constantly pushing is that SEO shouldn’t be an overlooked part of your core marketing strategy. Why do you think SEO is such an important factor for brands & advertisers?

SEO is important as, similar to UX and CRO, it is a discipline that optimises a site beyond the click and thus drives performance for not only organic search, but all other marketing channels. SEO is on the one hand, a driver of qualified traffic, and on the other hand, works to improve the performance of all inbound channels.

To learn more about SEO, check out our last ‘5 Minutes With’ with Rejoice Ojiaku, Incubeta’s newest SEO Manager; Incubeta Insider: 5 Minutes with Rejoice Ojiaku, Incubeta’s New SEO Manager

 

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