GA4, AI, and TikTok: A Month in SEO With Annika

05 June 2023

Posted in: Agency News SEO

What happened in the world of SEO last month? Let’s find out!

May was another busy month for Seeker after BrightonSEO, and although we all work very closely together, it’s great to hear a little more from other departments. 

I caught up with our very own Head of SEO Annika to find out what she worked on throughout May and hear her thoughts on some of the recent SEO trends. We discussed all things GA4, AI, and TikTok search!

Here’s how it went:  

What happened in May?

Last month was go go go! Annika’s been working on new client proposals, various strategies for existing clients, migrations, and even our contract renewals. Phew!

One of the big (and fun!) projects on Annika’s to-do list has been site migration for one of our clients. So what’s that about? I needed a little more info!

What does site migration mean, anyway?

Liv: What does that mean, migration?

Annika: So it can mean quite a few different things. Essentially, it’s anything that would be classified as a big change to the site, and we try to mitigate any risk of it impacting future rankings or traffic. In this particular client’s case, they are moving to a new content delivery platform and because everything’s built slightly differently in the backend, this can impact the front end and technical aspects.

Liv: Can clients do this themselves?

Annika: Technically yes, but we make it as safe as possible for them. Clients often don’t have a lot of resources to do them in-house. The migration itself is kind of like a full-time job in a way!

It’s not recommended either because it’s quite a specialist thing. SEO is often overlooked in this process so we try to educate and help clients (and their stakeholders) understand the risks.

Well that’s that cleared up! Note to self: get the experts in for site migration!

What was your biggest challenge last month?

With the countdown to GA4 looming, getting to grips with the new analytics has been one of the biggest changes in the world of SEO.

Annika’s been learning new metrics, tweaking our client reports and working her magic to keep the transition as smooth as possible without disrupting internal reporting processes. Luckily, Beant, our SEO Specialist who works alongside Annika, got the lowdown at BrightonSEO by taking a GA4 course and sharing her knowledge with the wider team.

“Some things that used to be great in Universal Analytics don’t necessarily exist in GA4 at the moment. The question is: do we wait for Google to give us an update, or do we go with what we’ve got now and change things again in the future? I guess everybody’s in the same boat. It’s not fun to think you’re not good at something or you don’t get it, but it’s an industry-wide change so you kind of feel validated by that.”

Which SEO trends have tickled your fancy?

There’s always something new and exciting happening in SEO. But which trends have got Annika’s cogs turning?

Well, it’s the surge in SEO considering more than just search engines. Today’s SEO is more about working as broader marketers — this was a pretty interesting topic that I picked up on at BrightonSEO too!

Annika: We’re now trying to understand the different channels and how users search on these channels, not just on traditional search engines. People’s focus is now kind of widened around using different media, so it’s not enough to only do the standard optimisation. Instead we should be figuring out what’s the wider marketing strategy and how SEO fits within it. And utilising video is almost like a norm now, which is quite cool. We’re seeing this with our clients as well: a lot of their wider strategy has started focusing more on video production.

Liv: Yeah, I think that’s quite interesting thinking of yourself as a marketer rather than just, for example, an SEO expert or content writer. There’s so much to think about now so I guess we’re all marketers.

Annika: Yeah, exactly! We’re now starting to understand how everything is somehow connected to SEO.

Has AI helped or hindered your work?

AI this, AI that: the likes of ChatGPT have been everywhere, but it’s better to work with it than against it, right? In some ways, Annika has found it pretty useful. When she needs help with simple manual tasks, such as finding Google sheet formulas, AI (despite a few battles along the way) has made this easier. But for actual SEO tasks she’s found it a little hit and miss, as a lot of it comes down to trial and error. Even if someone else has made a prompt work, you still might need to tweak it a bit before it can suit your needs.

Is TikTok taking over search engines?

TikTok isn’t all dances and Gen-Z references. The platform has quickly become a go-to source of news and information for around 40% of young people. So, instead of using traditional discovery engines like Google, younger audiences are now turning to platforms like TikTok for everything from new recipes to local places to visit, and even the latest news stories! For every search-related query, TikTok (probably) has a niche community dedicated to sharing content.

Let’s hear what Annika thinks about all this.

What are your thoughts on TikTok improving search with their new search widget?

Annika: I think it’s very smart, they’re doing the right thing for sure. There are so many people who use TikTok as their main search, so it makes a lot of sense because, you know, it’s way more accessible.

Liv: I use TikTok for pretty much everything now like recipes and garden ideas. I love it!

Annika: Yeah, there’s so much on there and the creators are actually really good at what they do. So having that extra visibility is great. I watch Dragons’ Den and there are quite a few brands that go there and they’re like, “Oh, how did your sales grow by 200%?” and they say “We were on TikTok and we went viral!”

TikTok is transforming itself from a mere social media platform into a sophisticated search engine and marketing powerhouse. When the TikTok algorithm joins forces with top-notch content, it has the potential to launch brands and take existing brands to the next level.

What’s something you’d really like to focus on or learn more about over the next month?

This month, Annika is looking to spruce up the reporting side of things. It can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint or attribute the value of SEO, but with new GA4 analytics and customisations available she’s focusing on finding new ways of improving reports.

AI is going nowhere fast, so over the next month Annika’s also on a hunt for new prompts related to elements of tech SEO (such as internal linking), with the idea of creating a great bank of prompts for the future!

And there we have it! Annika’s May review complete.

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