As the industry prepares for the end of third-party cookies, SEO is becoming an increasingly valuable item in marketer’s toolbox, TheHOTH’s Max Gomez Montejo. This story is part of The Drum’s latest deep dive, the New Data & Privacy Playbook.
There has been a major shift in the marketing landscape toward first-party data strategies, in large part due to the imminent demise of third-party cookies. While the trend towards first-party data has been underway for some time, the news that Google is dropping support for third-party cookies has significantly accelerated this trend. With Chrome accounting for 66% of global web browsing, 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 is worth noting that the timeline for Google’s move away from third-party cookies remains uncertain. While the company originally announced that it would end support for third-party cookies by 2022, it has since pushed back that schedule. This means brands have more time to prepare for the transition, but it also underscores the importance of having a solid first-party data strategy in place.
What does this shift to 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 leverage data specific to your brand and audience. It allows for a more accurate and complete picture of the brand’s customers, their preferences and behavior. With the right tools and technology, marketers can collect data from a variety of sources, including websites, mobile apps, CRM, and other customer touchpoints.
However, collecting data is only the first step. Once this data is in place, brands need to be able to use it effectively in their marketing and advertising efforts. This is where SEO comes into play.
User experience is the new king
Also, by focusing on content optimization and user experience, brands can build trust with their audience and encourage them to be willing to share their data. This is especially important in a world where privacy laws are tightening around the world and consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their data rights. By demonstrating that the brand is committed to providing a positive user experience and protecting user privacy, marketers can encourage their audience to share more information with you.
Aside from driving traffic and building trust, SEO can also provide valuable audience insights. By analyzing keyword data and search trends, it’s possible to better understand what a brand’s audience is searching for and how they behave online. This can support data collection efforts and help develop a more targeted and effective marketing strategy.
Effects on other landscapes
Another important aspect of SEO in first-party data strategies is local search optimization. By optimizing the site for local search, a brand can attract more visitors from their region and gain a better understanding of their local audience. This can be especially useful for brick-and-mortar businesses or businesses that serve a specific geographic area.
It’s also worth noting that while the focus of this article was on B2C companies, the same principles apply to B2B companies as well. In fact, tightened privacy controls since the launch of iOS 14 have presented B2B marketers with new challenges in tracking user behavior and personalizing ads, making reliance on first-party data more important than ever. With the growing importance of first-party data in the digital marketing landscape, B2B companies can no longer afford to ignore SEO’s role 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 allow brands to collect more data and use it effectively in their marketing efforts. As the marketing landscape evolves, we’re likely to place even more emphasis on first-party data and SEO’s role 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 engage users effectively.
In contrast, brands that focus on collecting and leveraging 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 the Chief Marketing Officer at TheHOTH. To learn more about The Drum’s latest deep dive, where we’re demystifying data and privacy for marketers in 2023, visit our dedicated hub.