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Technology Brand Strategy Data & Privacy

Don’t discount the role of SEO in building out a first-party data strategy

By Max Gomez Montejo | Chief marketing officer

May 15, 2023 | 7 min read

As the industry prepares for the demise of third-party cookies, SEO will become an increasingly valuable element in the marketer‘s toolbox, TheHOTH’s Max Gomez Montejo. This story is part of The Drum‘s latest Deep Dive, The New Data & Privacy Playbook.

Data illustration

/ Adobe Stock

The marketing landscape has seen a major shift towards first-party data strategies, driven in large part by the impending end of third-party cookies. While the move towards first-party data has been ongoing for some time, the news that Google is ending support for third-party cookies has accelerated this trend significantly. With Chrome accounting for 66% of internet browsing worldwide, according to data from web tracker StatCounter, it’s no surprise that brands are looking to diversify their data sources and reduce reliance on third-party data.

However, it’s worth noting that the timeline for Google’s shift away from third-party cookies remains uncertain. While the company initially announced that it would end support for third-party cookies by 2022, it has since pushed back this timeline. This means that brands have more time to prepare for the transition, but it also highlights the importance of having a solid first-party data strategy in place.

So what does this shift towards first-party data mean for marketers, and how does search engine optimization (SEO) fit into the picture?

Benefits of first-party data

One of the key benefits of a first-party data strategy is the ability to collect and use data that is specific to one‘s own brand and audience. It enables a more accurate and complete picture of the brand‘s customers, their preferences and their behavior. With the right tools and technologies in place, marketers can collect data from a variety of sources, including via website, mobile app, CRM and other customer touchpoints.

Collecting data is just the first step, though. Once this data is in hand, brands need to be able to use it effectively to inform their marketing and advertising efforts. This is where SEO comes in.

User experience is the new king

By focusing on content optimization and user experience, brands can also build trust with their audience and encourage them to share their data willingly. This is particularly important in a world in which privacy legislation across the globe is ramping up and where consumers are increasingly aware of their data rights. By demonstrating that the brand is committed to providing a positive user experience and protecting user data, marketers can encourage your audience to share more information with you.

In addition to driving traffic and building trust, SEO can also offer valuable insights into audiences. By analyzing keyword data and search trends, it‘s possible to get a better understanding of what a brand‘s audience is looking for and how they behave online. This can inform data collection efforts and help shape a more targeted and effective marketing strategy.

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Impact on other landscapes

Another important aspect of SEO in first-party data strategies is local search optimization. By optimizing the website for local search, a brand can attract more visitors from its local area and get a better understanding of its local audience. This can be particularly useful for brick-and-mortar businesses or companies that serve a specific geographic area.

It’s also worth noting that while the focus of this article has been on B2C companies, the same principles apply to B2B companies as well. In fact, B2B marketers have faced new challenges in tracking user behavior and personalizing ads due to increased privacy controls since the introduction of iOS 14, which has made relying on first-party data more crucial than ever before. With the growing importance of first-party data in the digital marketing landscape, B2B companies can no longer afford to ignore the role of SEO in driving targeted organic traffic and supporting data collection efforts.

By driving targeted organic traffic to a website, building trust with audiences and providing valuable insights into user behavior, SEO can enable brands to collect more data and use it effectively to inform their marketing efforts. As the marketing landscape continues to evolve, it’s likely that we’ll see even more emphasis on first-party data and the role of SEO in supporting these efforts.

Tools for long-term success

Overall, the shift towards first-party data strategies is a positive development for the industry. Brands that rely on third-party data face an uncertain future and risk losing their ability to target users effectively.

In contrast, brands that focus on collecting and utilizing their own data are well-positioned to adapt to the changing landscape and create more effective and targeted marketing campaigns.

By incorporating SEO into their first-party data strategies, brands can maximize the value of their data and build stronger relationships with their audience, leading to long-term success in the digital age.

Max Gomez Montejo is chief marketing officer at TheHOTH. To read more from The Drum’s latest Deep Dive, where we’ll be demystifying data & privacy for marketers in 2023, head over to our special hub.

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