Search engine optimisation: Embedding search into content & communications strategy
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Search engine optimisation: Embedding search into content & communications strategy

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Presentation by Peter Jordan, Strategic Search manager at Directov from the round table discussion on search

Presentation by Peter Jordan, Strategic Search manager at Directov from the round table discussion on search

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  • Directgov request for an exemption for its paid search campaign was not approved by the Efficiency and Reform Group But paid search was a declining proportion of traffic anyway 2009-10 strategy aligned paid search: Paid search was retired where organic search strong Focused on signposting, emergency events (e.g. Swine Flu), supporting convergence and expanding to wider set of terms Continuous reduction in the average CPC and expanding the number of key terms For now focusing on organic/natural search Paid search may be reactivated and campaigns can apply for exemption
  • Search is the dominant way people find information on the internet (91% of active UK users use search) 1 UK Online Measurement Company March 2010 But to make search work for us, we need to embed thinking about search in: Content strategy Campaigns Communications Convergence
  • Search Analytics are used to understand: What people are looking for on site search, on web search engines that refer visits to Directgov and in the UK web space in general Popular keywords, trending keywords and variations and variations on key words Search intent , we know when selecting results people 1 : Trust relevant brands – so Directgov has an advantage Look for scent of info: Titles and snippets important Are disappointed if the landing page doesn’t meet the promise in the search result Have a search journey: people start simple and refine their searches, based on results or as they expand knowledge of a topic 1 Search intent research: DotGovLabs Mar 10
  • Working with franchises, with: Existing content Converging content Campaigns Topical issues and content gaps Identify keywords and variations Franchise maps these to business priorities and identifies ideal landing pages Look at the full journey - does the landing page ‘answer the question?’ Identify actions for content owners to optimise content and make it more visible
  • PRP visits from external referring search up from 12,248 to 45,649 a week Recent SEO projects delivered c25% increase in referrals from web search EMP visits from external referring search up from 98,843 to 125,556 a week H&C visits from external referring search up from 63,103 to 76,603 a week CJL visits from external referring search up from 6506 to 9581 a week
  • What is the aim of the content? eg To inform about stamp duty? eg To get people to purchase their car tax? When creating or preparing content, focus on: Your goals Your audience What’s in it for users? How does this content meet their needs? What you want users to do? Identify your key content – not necessarily your section home page, but Where important information is Where users can access transactions
  • Video is now a very important content format. Users expect to find it and it helps build Directgov’s visibility as search engines include video in their ‘blended’ results
  • Google's unique insight was to use the volume, relevancy and quality of links to a page in determining the relevancy and authority of content The text tells users and search engines very useful information about the linked to URL Use link text that is: clear easy to read relevant concise what is the destination content about? Avoid using link text like 'more' or 'click here' or using too many keywords.
  • Search engines like topical and fresh information: We know from search analytics that people come to Directgov when there is a big event or government announcement and expect to see up to date information social media around topical issues engages your audience. search engines note the links and increasingly surface ‘user generated content’ in search results.

Search engine optimisation: Embedding search into content & communications strategy Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Search Engine Optimisation: Embedding search into content & communications strategy October 2010 Peter Jordan - Strategic Search Manager
  • 2. Traffic to Directgov – focus on organic search March 2010 45% organic 9% paid June 2010 50% organic 5% paid
  • 3. Embedding search thinking
  • 4. Search analytics and search insight
    • What people are looking for and how they find it
    • Their behaviours and expectations during a search
    What are people’s information needs – expressed through a search? Using search analytics and intent, the search team can understand:
  • 5. Diabetes Diabetes Symptoms Diabetes Management Insulin and Needles Pharmacists In Bristol Time / User Journey Search user journey Broad Search Term Specificity Narrow Informational Compare sources Search type Compare options Transactional
  • 6. Supporting content owners with search
    • Working with franchises
    • Identify keywords and variations
    • Baseline visibility in search engines
    • Look at the full journey
    • Identify actions for content owners
    • Benchmark and try again
  • 7. Improved optimisation process Build up matrix of keywords Franchise identifies landing page per keyword The search team analyse the user journey Baseline the Directgov page in web search engine Does it rank well? Does it rank poorly? Franchise implement SEO advice Baseline Page Again Implement Sponsored Search Content Ranks Well Not an option for now, so need to work harder on SEO
  • 8. Natural search – what’s been achieved
    • From external referring searches:
    • SEO projects delivered c25% increase in referrals from web search ( *visits from web search engines, year-on-year)
      • Pensions and retirement planning up from 12,248 to 45,649 a week
      • Employment up from 98,843 to 125,556 a week
      • Home and community up from 63,103 to 76,603 a week
      • Crime and justice up from 6506 to 9581 a week
  • 9. Hands-on SEO: Tips and Resources
  • 10. Conversion
    • Identify your key content
      • What is your aim?
      • Focus on your goals
      • What’s in it for your audience?
      • How does it meet their needs?
    Tips and Resources
  • 11. Page titles
    • Some poor examples from Directgov
    • Keep safe
    • Help with costs
    • Who decides what
    • Types of equipment
     Keeping safe when abroad  Help with health costs for disabled people  The planning system: who decides what  Types of equipment for independent living
    • Some good examples from Directgov
      • Help with childcare costs – do you qualify
      • Pregnancy and maternity rights in the workplace
      • Employers’ health and safety responsibilities
    Tips and Resources
  • 12. Descriptions
    • A brief summary of what the content is about
    • Don’t just repeat the page title
    • Description should make sense in isolation
    • Don’t just copy the introductory paragraph of the page
    • Description should give a feel of what the user will get once they click on the result
    Tips and Resources
  • 13. Descriptions Tips and Resources
  • 14. Headings and content
    • Content should be structured sensibly
    • Make sure important information or calls to action aren’t hidden in the page
    • Headings should be informative and include important keywords
    • Front loading – put important words first
    • As with keywords, consider synonyms, plural and singular
    • Don’t compromise editorial quality
    Tips and Resources
  • 15. Video
    • Video helps build Directgov’s visibility
    • Consider hosting videos on Directgov, where licences permit
    • You may have existing assets that are useable
    Tips and Resources
  • 16. Inbound and internal Links
    • Search engines pay a lot of attention to links.
    • Encourage partner organisations to link to your content
    • Ask other sites to link to your new URL – don’t just rely on redirects
    • Control the text used in internal and outbound links to other sites.
    • Provide a good 'scent of information'
    • Use social media (Facebook and Twitter etc.) to refer traffic - search engines note these links
    Tips and Resources
  • 17. Topicality and social media
    • Search engines like topical and fresh information:
      • Refresh articles to address new developments or trends
      • Use social media to engage with your audience around topical issues.
    Tips and Resources
  • 18. Resources
    • Search Engine Optimisation, COI Guidance, http://www.coi.gov.uk/guidance.php?page=331
    • Search Toolkit for Online Publishers, iab, http://www.iabuk.net/media/images/IABPublisherSearchToolkit-Final021209_5729.pdf
    • Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/www.google.com/en//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf
    • SEO & SEM basics, Bing, http://www.bing.com/toolbox/posts/archive/2009/12/01/seo-and-sem-basics.aspx
    • Google Trends http://www.google.com/trends
    • Google Insights for Search http://google.com/insights/search/#
    • Google adwords http://adwords.google.com/ (need to create an account)
    Tips and Resources