S.E.O and Search Marketing Strategy Guide

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This is our most recent S.E.O and Search Marketing strategy guide complete with news of Google's most recent algorithm updates: Panda 4.0 and "Payday Loans" 2.0. Once again we are following the S.O.S.T.A.C planning system to guide you through from situation analysis to monitoring and data analysis.

Published in: Marketing, Technology, Business

S.E.O and Search Marketing Strategy Guide

  1. 1. S = situation, where you are O = objectives, what you want S = strategy, how you get there T = tactics, tools to help you get there A = actions, details on how to get there C = control, how to measure performance IMAGE: http://www.smartinsights.com/managing-digital-marketing/capability-performance-review/sostac-marketing-plan-infographic/
  2. 2. *S.E.O is the acronym for search engine optimisation SEO is the acronym for search engine optimisation. It is the practice of designing, building and producing content for websites which serves to increase the authority and relevance of that site; with the equal aim of ensuring it also appears more highly ranked on search engine results pages (S.E.R.P’s). The phrase ‘search engine’ largely refers to Google because although there are other search engines, like Bing and Yahoo!, Google still holds the largest share of the search engine market, estimated at somewhere between 65- 70% of the whole (imforza).
  3. 3. *S.E.O is the acronym for search engine optimisation Penguin = Links • Low quality links • Unnatural links • Site wide inbound links • Links from low quality sites • Directory listings • Paid links Panda = Content • Low quality content • Thin content • Poor user experience • High bounce rates • Duplicate content • Keyword stuffing Hummingbird • Natural way to search • Relevancy • Customer optimisation • Usability • Location • Long tail keywords • Conversational search
  4. 4. May 22nd 2013 = Penguin 2.0 June 11th 2013 = “Payday Loan” Update July 18th 2013 = Panda Recovery August 20th 2013 = Hummingbird October 4th 2013 = Penguin 2.1 May 20th 2014 = Panda 4.0 and “Payday Loan” 2.0 ? These are only the major Panda, Penguin, Payday Loan and Hummingbird updates over the last year, for a comprehensive list of all the various Google Algorithm updates we recommend you visit Moz.com.
  5. 5. SITUATION ANALYSIS Before making changes to your existing SEO strategy, it’s always wise to take stock of your current performance in search, to set a baseline against which you can measure the success of the changes you implement. Some of the information you need to provide a comprehensive baseline of your search marketing and SEO performance are: • Link Profile • Number of Indexed Pages • Search Position for Relevant Keywords • Traffic Sources • Website and Content Audit
  6. 6. SITUATION ANALYSIS Your link profile should include (at a minimum): • The total number of backlinks to your site and how many are unique • Where those links go to e.g. to your homepage vs product pages • Link quality • Anchor text used Essentially what you need for a search engine friendly backlink profile is diversity, quality, relevance and organic links! These features are indicated by: • A low ratio of unique linking domains to number of links • A wide spread of pages linked to on your site • High authority scores for the websites linking to yours • Links from relevant industries and domains • Diversity in anchor texts used – not all be branded terms or keywords.
  7. 7. SITUATION ANALYSIS Your keyword list should include: • The keywords you are ranking for • The keywords you expect to rank for • The keywords you would like to rank for By including these lists of keywords you can determine first, that all important baseline for your visibility in search but second, the divergence between your actual performance in search, your expected performance and your ideal performance. This will help inform your new SEO strategy. For each keyword you should certainly record your position on the S.E.R.Ps for Google, but also Bing and Yahoo! for a fuller picture.
  8. 8. SITUATION ANALYSIS Traffic source data can easily be found in Google Analytics, ideally you want to see all the sources sending traffic to your website, then you can identify the channels that are working best for you and those that are not delivering. Typically traffic sources to keep an eye on are: • Organic search • Paid search • Direct traffic • Referral traffic (this can include social) • Email Of course, which of these are most significant for your business will depend on your existing marketing activities. E.g. if you run regular email campaigns then this is an obvious traffic source you need to monitor.
  9. 9. SITUATION ANALYSIS Your website and content audit can often be a more complex baseline to work out. Essentially you need to generate a picture of your on-page SEO and content: To do this you can look at the following features of your website: • H1, H2…etc. heading tags • Title tags • Meta descriptions • URL structures • Rel-canonical • Body content Things to look out for when investigating these features are: occurrences of duplication, frequency and diversity of keywords used (refer to your keyword lists you generated for your keyword research) and length in terms of number of characters.
  10. 10. OBJECTIVES Your objectives should define exactly what the sub-title of this slide suggests: “where you want to be” – however, they should also be attainable. Therefore, when outlining your objectives you should refer back to those baselines and performance results generated during your situation analysis. E.g. if you would like to improve your visibility on search engine results pages you will need to rank better for your existing keywords and/or rank for more. Your rankings data will indicate how attainable this objective will be. If all your keywords rank outside the top 10 results then this will be an attainable objective as there is room enough for improvement without needing to improve so much that timescales would make it impossible. Good objectives should be smart: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.
  11. 11. STRATEGY 1. Content 2. HTML 3. Architecture Ensure your content is high quality, uses well researched keywords, is a good length , fresh and regularly updated, engaging and free from too many ads – especially above the fold. Ensure your HTML (on-page SEO) is up to standard with relevant keywords in titles, headers and meta descriptions. Ensure your site is built using an architecture that allows search engines to crawl it well and avoids generating duplicate content. It should load quickly, work well on a mobile devices and have a clear URL structure. These elements of your SEO strategy are in your control & are worth spending time on to get right.
  12. 12. STRATEGY 1. Links 2. Trust 3. Social 4. personal Links to your site should be from trusted domains and have anchor text that is relevant. Avoid spam and paid links at all costs. To build trust you should produce high quality content and media that attracts links and shares. Use rel-author to verify the identity of your content authors and maintain a consistent domain. You should build up a social network for your brand and engage and converse with other respected social media users. Your site should be making the most of local search and displaying your location and contact details. Ideally you want to attract people from your area and country.
  13. 13. STRATEGY http://searche ngineland.com /seotable/
  14. 14. TACTICS When implementing your SEO strategy, a useful tactic is to outline a project timeline. To do this you should organise tasks into long term (ongoing) jobs, mid –term jobs and finally short term jobs. Often with SEO strategies, the majority of work takes place in the first few months, in other words they are front loaded. Planning this way allows you to not only allocate time effectively, but also schedule monthly reporting on your key performance indicators (KPIs) another tactic well worth implementing. Monthly reporting allows you to adjust your strategy as you go, pruning unsuccessful campaigns and strategies from your overall plan before anything irreversible occurs.
  15. 15. ACTIONS The actions of your SEO strategy will be the list of short, mid and long term jobs you have identified you need to do in order to implement your strategy and reach your targets. This is the point at which you go beyond generalisations such as “produce fresh content” to actually outlining what the content is, when it will be scheduled and who will produce it. SEO should not be tackled in isolation from your larger online marketing strategy so when you outline your action points this is a good time to sit down with your team and schedule activity to compliment what is happening on other marketing channels within your business.
  16. 16. ACTIONS A action list might look something like this: ID Item Action Days Month 1 1 Establish a plan for optimising webpages - assign each page a keyword Strategy 1 2 Add site to relevant directories Links 0.5 3 Develop a 3 month content plan for blog Strategy 0.5 4 Write, optimise and add new content to the blog Content 1 6 Review landing pages against traffic Strategy 0.5 9 Add relevant internal links where needed Dev/Links 0.5 10 Add social sharing buttons and set up rel-author Dev/Social 0.5 11 Enable WordPress SEO widget on blog Dev/Social 0.5 13 Add Landing Pages Dev/Content 1 14 Monthly Report Strategy 1
  17. 17. CONTROL Monthly reporting on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Goals and conversions set up in Google Analytics Keywords tracking and position ranking. All data monitoring should be set up at the beginning of your new SEO campaign, this way you can see the data change over time and react according. You can then also compare month on month and eventually year on year growth.
  18. 18. CONTROL Of course it should go without saying that your Google Analytics account should form a major part of your data collection, analysis and reporting. This is a free resource! The platform offers a wide range of data in its own right but you can also connect the analytics platform to many email marketing providers too (e.g. Pure360) and of course Google Adwords, so you can see all your data in one place. However, for deeper level analysis and bespoke reporting you may need a little extra help navigating the platform and we could help you there. For information on our Google Analytics training services please get in touch with Laura today.
  19. 19. CONTROL Other useful tools are: • Google Adwords Keyword Planner • SEO Profiler – particularly their Link Disinfection tool • Moz Analytics • • SEMRush • Screaming Frog (for generating CSVs of internal and external links) • WordPress SEO (for blogs especially)
  20. 20. +CloudspottingCoUk /company/cloudspotting @leedswebagency info@cloudspotting.co.uk +44 (0)113 234 1542

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