"It all boils down to, 'What is the person searching for? What is it they actually wanted? And do we have answers for that?'"

Scott Messina, Director of Search and Design Strategy, Samsung

What is the goal of the Samsung Customer Care Department?

The general mission of the Samsung Customer Care Department is to help customers after they purchase a product. Scott Messina, who is the Director of Search and Design Strategy, owns SEO and SEM, as well as content strategy and design. The main goal of the Samsung Customer Care site experience is to ensure customers can easily find answers and information when they have issues with their Samsung products.

How did the team manage SEO prior to partnering with Conductor?

Before partnering with Conductor, the Samsung Customer Care Department had a standard corporate SEO structure. There was a vendor the team consulted sporadically when there were specific questions or tactical needs. When Messina joined the business, his primary goal was to redesign the support website and ensure that the on-site search functionality of the Samsung Customer Care section of the site was stellar for visitors. Over time, his role evolved to oversee the infrastructure, as well as the search results experience and analytics of that experience. There was a clear deficiency in this area and he knew that in order for the Samsung Customer Care team’s core product, the site, to improve, they needed to bring dedicated SEO skills and resources in-house.

How was SEO perceived in the organization prior to partnering with Conductor?

In an organization as large as Samsung, fragmentation is inevitable. Rather than creating pitch decks about the value of SEO, providing best practices and hoping different divisions implement them, Messina wanted to ensure they could effectively convey the impact and value of these best practices. He and the growing SEO team wanted to employ an end-to-end process, driven by hard data.

"My big struggle was, I wanted to make sure that I could have numbers to back up all the things I was advocating people to do,” Messina said. “That if they took me at face value, I could show them that what they were doing mattered and made an impact."

Scott Messina, Director of Search and Design Strategy, Samsung

Why did the Samsung Customer Care Department decide to onboard an enterprise search technology like Conductor?

A big consideration when thinking about partnering with agencies versus managing SEO in-house is the level of subject-matter expertise required to be successful. For Samsung, no agency could ever reach the acumen that a full-time employee brings, according to Messina. A technology solution that could easily be accessed and used by internal team members was ideal to transform SEO from a project to an ongoing program.

What role do content, and specifically SEO, play in the Samsung Customer Care Department today?

SEO has organically grown in the Samsung Customer Care Department and it now has a small, but mighty, in-house team that oversees SEO, SEM and content. And because the SEO team owns the internal search platform, their primary goal is to translate what people search for into actual meaning and intent. They have to connect them to meaningful content, resources and helpful “next steps,” whether that be to submit a service ticket or schedule an appointment with a technician.

What role does Conductor play in helping Samsung connect customers to information and content successfully?

Conductor has helped the Samsung Customer Care Department integrate SEO into its end-to-end content and experience strategy and empowered team members to be more proactive with optimizing performance. The team can:

  • Better understand customer search behaviors and underlying market demand so they can prioritize customer care content topics, and create and promote resources effectively.
  • Zero in on search queries and content consumption on the main site to identify preferred content formats and popular topics, so the team can be more proactive about creating content based on new or upcoming product releases.
  • Track demand signals across external and owned channels, including the Samsung Community, which provides another channel for customer feedback.
  • Proactively identify deficiencies in their SEO strategy, improve site content in real time, and easily track and communicate the impact of these changes.

Due to the success the Samsung Customer Customer Care Department saw, Samsung is expanding its use of Conductor to the ecommerce division, further embedding SEO insights and best practices into the organization.

How does the broader organization now look at SEO?

In the past, SEO was also considered a minimal, if non-existent part of marketing and experience conversations. Today, people throughout the hierarchy of the organization look to Messina and his team to provide insight on SEO performance and best practices. Not only has it become a part of the broader organization’s vernacular, executives are discussing it more frequently, and it is being integrated into strategies and tactical priorities for the broader business.

How does Samsung define SEO success today?

For the benefit of the SEO team and others that interact with them, success is distilled down to a single metric: Google clicks. Although other metrics, including impressions and average rank have a place in measurement strategy, clicks show a tangible impact. That a consumer has decided to interact with the Samsung brand further, which ultimately improves site traffic and engagement.

The SEO team also is leaning heavily into Google Featured Snippets or “Answer Boxes.” Using Conductor, the SEO team can determine the quantity of featured snippets Samsung owns and the percentage of featured snippets they could own. These findings provide the SEO teams with clear opportunity space, or ways they can improve site content so it’s featured in results.

What is influencing Samsung’s SEO strategy moving forward?

SEO is framed largely as a technical exercise, driven by schema structure and metadata that impacts search rankings. While Messina notes that technical elements, such as titles and descriptions, help ensure that pages are ranked well, at a fundamental level, SEO is marketing. That means SEO needs to be integrated earlier into the marketing and content creation process–not an afterthought. SEO practitioners should be thinking about whether titles, descriptions and alt tags are relevant and engaging to the audience, so they are inspired to click through.