Driving Digital Growth Post-Pandemic

November 10, 2021


Lauren Polinsky, Milestone


Session Recording and Slide Deck


Lauren Polinsky presents Driving Digital Growth Post-Pandemic. She shares how to build trust and capture demand, optimize your site for local searches, and focus on the conversion. 


The Shopping Funnel (2:36)

The old shopping funnel was vertical starting at the top with awareness, consideration, engagement, conversion, and then experience (at the bottom.) This is not the way it is anymore. 

The new shopping journey is messy. The journey is not linear. There are hundreds of touchpoints and each journey is unique. Customers get stuck in the messy middle (exploration and evaluation.) To get people moving out of the messy infinite loop is to trigger them to make a conversion decision. 


Build Trust and Capture Demand (4:25)

Two of your focuses should be to build trust and capture demand by optimizing content.

Content must satisfy Google’s latest algorithm trends. Google used to search for keywords, but now, Google searches for topical content. Google is constantly working to make its algorithm smarter. Consumers consume content in different ways, such as a desktop, mobile device, through voice searches, and chatbots. Use topical keyword concepts so that Google can present your information for you. 

People go to Google to ask questions. Question-answer-oriented content is at 23%, so questions and FAQs are integral to successful content. 


Content Creation Starts With an Understanding of the Audience (6:21) 

Understand what your audience wants and what your business differentiator is. Ask yourself, What are the keywords they are searching for? How do I build content around keywords that make sense? How can I craft content in my voice and while highlighting the information and characteristics Google likes?

Bottom line: People like quick tidbits that help them understand content quickly. 


Topic Research, Selection, and Mapping (7:16)

Keyword research is important. Google search console is a great place to go to see the keywords you rank for. You can also use keywords to see where your competitors are ranking or find opportunities for content yourself. 

Once you compile your keywords, you want to create your keyword universe. What is your content and what’s the different demand you need to build? With your keyword universe, you’ll be able to map out existing pages’ future content and track keywords.

After you compile keywords and create your universe, match content with Schena to give Google the full picture. Make it easier for Google to rank your information. 


Answering Questions Improves Search Visibility (11:09)

People go to the internet to ask questions. There are questions in local listings and search results. Google will present the information in the best way for its consumers. Give Google the information, and let Google run with it. 

Answering questions improves search visibility in multiple ways including improved CTR, better rankings, and improved impressions and clicks. 


Content Ideas (11:40) 

Experiential blogs and landing pages are a great way to present information. You are able to: 

  • Create fresh, regular content with a localized blog strategy 
  • Develop unique content for a variety of audiences 
  • Use itineraries to align leisure travelers with top things to do 
  • Capture emotions with Instagram-worthy photography 


Another idea is fresh content promoting local events. For example, a local bar can align itself with a local concert with an event calendar. You can increase your visibility for terms people use when they are hungry after a concert. This is more impression-based and not meant to convert people, but you can expose your brand when people are looking for other things. 

You can use paid search to saturate SERPs. This can help build a presence in search results quickly. Use ads with content that speaks directly to that audience. 

Social media is a great way to share content. This may be a smaller audience, but it’s a qualified audience that likely knows about the topics you talk about or the business and service you provide. 

Amplify your content with email marketing. You can utilize email marketing for consistent exposure. To capture customers from their Exploration and Evaluation phase: 

  • Lead with the main point about the new experience or package. 
  • Generate excitement by including outlet info and things to do.
  • Incentivize purchases with “power of free” special offers and add-ons.
  • Surface category heuristics so customers can make easy comparisons. 
  • Hotels can promote instant gratification, with concierge info.  
  • Enable guests to decide with safe and clean messaging. 


Optimize for Local Search (15:31)

Reaching local is a way to reach people that are busy with everything else in their lives.

There are two parts to local optimization: the actual listing optimization and landing page optimization. You will want to make sure your data is accurate across all channels and all listings. To scale, it may be helpful to have a third-party solution. Doing it manually is very time-consuming. 

For local listings, optimize your Q&A, Google posts, reviews, and brand messages on Google. 

For the local landing page, you must have relevant website content, a high-performing website, error-free structured data, and a mobile-friendly site. 


Focus on the Conversion (22:59)

Retarget based on website browsing behavior. Create retargeting sub-categories based on website browsing behavior and allocate budgets accordingly to maximize ROAS and achieve the lowest CPAs. 

Optimize the navigation for conversion. Leave no dead ends; have all content direct the visitor down the journey. Have the primary CTA be prominent and conversion-focused. Have the secondary CTA present, if necessary, and engagement-focused. 

Increase conversions by recovering website traffic and using win-backs. For example, send a message to people that have abandoned their cart to finish their purchase. 


Deploy Omnichannel Strategies Based on Your Goals ( 26:48)

From your original content, you can further your circle to local listings, primary social media, secondary amplification channels, community, and link profile management. 


To hear from experts like Lauren on the regular, check out an upcoming Digital Summit event, in-person and virtual events!