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BrightonSEO 2014 - Localizing SEO Performance

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This is my BrightonSEO 2014 presentation. It covers a unique case study on the local performance of Geico for auto insurance keywords.

This is my BrightonSEO 2014 presentation. It covers a unique case study on the local performance of Geico for auto insurance keywords.


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  • 1. LOCALIZING SEO PERFORMANCE To develop a winning SEO strategy
  • 2. Rob Bucci Founder, CEO
  • 3. @STATrob #BrightonSEO
  • 4. LOCALIZATION & SEO
  • 5. LOCALIZATION, WHAT? The move towards SERPs that are modified by the location where the query is performed. @STATrob
  • 6. WE’RE CURIOUS. How does localization impact searcher behaviour? @STATrob
  • 7. HOW DO PEOPLE MODIFY THEIR SEARCH QUERIES TO FIND LOCAL SERVICES? @STATrob
  • 8. HOW DO PEOPLE SEARCH FOR LOCAL SERVICES THAT AREN’T BRICK-AND-MORTAR? @STATrob
  • 9. HOW DOES SEARCHER BEHAVIOUR CHANGE STATE-TO- STATE? @STATrob
  • 10. ULTIMATELY, THE QUESTION IS: How can localized analysis help us to build better SEO strategies? @STATrob
  • 11. SO, WE DID A CASE STUDY. On one of the largest providers of auto insurance in America. @STATrob
  • 12. REVENUE (2012): $16.74 BILLION
  • 13. INSURANCE IS A BIG BUSINESS. @STATrob
  • 14. VEHICLES INSURED BY GEICO IN THE UNITED STATES. 20 MILLION @STATrob
  • 15. THE DATA SET
  • 16. WE PICKED A BASIC SET OF 33 SHORT-TAIL QUERIES. 33 KEYWORDS @STATrob
  • 17. SEARCH VOLUME > 100 • auto insurance • cheap auto insurance • auto insurance quotes @STATrob
  • 18. WE USED 5 DIFFERENT TYPES OF GEO-MODIFICATION. 5 VARIANTS @STATrob
  • 19. GEO-MODIFICATION? Modifying a query with a place-name. For example [auto insurance] becomes [california auto insurance]. @STATrob
  • 20. UNMODIFIED Example: [auto insurance] @STATrob
  • 21. SUFFIX Example: [auto insurance california] @STATrob
  • 22. PREFIX Example: [california auto insurance] @STATrob
  • 23. FOR SUFFIX Example: [auto insurance for california] @STATrob
  • 24. IN SUFFIX Example: [auto insurance in california] @STATrob
  • 25. 33 KEYWORDS MULTIPLIED BY 5 VARIANTS GAVE US 165 QUERIES TO TRACK. 165 QUERIES @STATrob
  • 26. WE TRACKED EACH SET OF 165 QUERIES WITHIN EACH STATE. Example: [california auto insurance] tracked on a california localized SERP. @STATrob
  • 27. 33 SHORT-TAIL KEYWORDS MULTIPLIED BY 5 VARIANTS ACROSS 51 U.S LOCALES. 8,415 QUERIES @STATrob
  • 28. WE COLLECTED THE FOLLOWING DATA • Geico’s organic ranking • local search volume (localized to the state) • advertiser competition • cost-per-click @STATrob
  • 29. WE CREATED A WEIGHTED RANKING SCORE. Based on organic ranking and search volume. The score indicates the relative value of a ranking. @STATrob
  • 30. RANKING WEIGHTS Rank Weight 1 1.0 2 0.9 3 0.8 4 0.7 5 0.6 … … 10 0.1
  • 31. SIMPLE MULTIPLICATION Ranking weight x search volume = ranking score @STATrob
  • 32. EXAMPLE: RANKING #2 WITH SEARCH VOLUME OF 6,600 Ranking of 2 = weight of 0.9
 0.9 x 6,600 = ranking score of 5,940 @STATrob
  • 33. SO, WHAT DID WE LEARN? @STATrob
  • 34. QUERY STRUCTURE
  • 35. TOTAL SEARCH VOLUME Unmodified Suffix Prefix In Suffix For Suffix 0 75,000 150,000 225,000 300,000 30 8,650 10,730 18,530 251,430
  • 36. UNMODIFIED QUERIES WIN. Most searchers don’t geo-modify queries for local services without a brick-and-mortar location. @STATrob
  • 37. AVERAGE COST-PER-CLICK Unmodified Suffix Prefix In Suffix For Suffix $0.00 $12.50 $25.00 $37.50 $50.00 $0.11 $5.08 $5.46 $7.15 $46.06
  • 38. UNMODIFIED QUERIES ARE EXPENSIVE. The average CPC of a unmodified queries is commensurate with their total search volume @STATrob
  • 39. GEICO’S TOTAL RANKING SCORE Unmodified Suffix Prefix In Suffix For Suffix 0 75,000 150,000 225,000 300,000 30 8,650 10,730 18,530 251,430 18 2,522 4,575 8,889 104,705
  • 40. UNMODIFIED QUERIES DRIVE GEICO’S ORGANIC TRAFFIC. It’s clear that the majority of Geico’s SEO traffic comes from unmodified searches. @STATrob
  • 41. QUERY STRUCTURE MAKES A DIFFERENCE. @STATrob
  • 42. WHAT DOES THIS TEACH US? Based on the previous data, one could use a PPC channel to drive a small wedge into Geico’s business. @STATrob
  • 43. BUT, WE’RE ALL ABOUT SEO. When we break out the data into state-by-state markets, we can spot cracks in their armour. @STATrob
  • 44. MARKETS MATTER
  • 45. BUT NOT ALL MARKETS 0 200 400 600 800 Alaska North Dakota Vermont 201 261 340 630 590 700 Total Search Volume Total Ranking Score
  • 46. FOUR MARKETS MATTER. California, Florida, Texas & Michigan are Geico’s major source of organic traffic for auto insurance terms. @STATrob
  • 47. TOTAL SEARCH VOLUME & RANKING SCORE 0 12,500 25,000 37,500 50,000 California Florida Texas Michigan 9,798 13,62815,138 18,816 16,870 31,04029,070 40,580 Total Search Volume Total Ranking Score
  • 48. TOTAL MARKET COVERAGE 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% California Florida Texas Michigan 58% 44% 52% 46%
  • 49. DON’T TRY TO COMPETE IN THESE MARKETS. Granted, they don’t have anything close to 100% coverage, but why chase them? @STATrob
  • 50. “I SKATE TO WHERE THE PUCK IS GOING TO BE, NOT WHERE IT HAS BEEN.” -Wayne Gretzky @STATrob
  • 51. LOOK TO THE MARKETS THEY’RE MISSING. @STATrob
  • 52. THREE OVERLOOKED MARKETS 0 3,500 7,000 10,500 14,000 New York Illinois Washington 7472,0411,445 6,180 10,720 12,370 Total Search Volume Total Ranking Score
  • 53. TOTAL MARKET COVERAGE 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% New York Illinois Washington 12% 19% 12%
  • 54. THE DEMAND IS THERE, BUT THEY LACK COVERAGE. @STATrob
  • 55. HOW DO WE FORM A STRATEGY AROUND THIS INSIGHT? If we’re going to compete with Geico, we should first challenge them where they’re weak. @STATrob
  • 56. SUMMING IT ALL UP
  • 57. QUERY STRUCTURE MATTERS. Make sure you understand how people are searching for your products/services. @STATrob
  • 58. EVERYTHING IS LOCAL. Even searches that aren’t geo-modified are impacted by localization. @STATrob
  • 59. LOCALIZED ANALYSIS EXPOSES OPPORTUNITIES. By going deeper, you can find areas your competition is missing. @STATrob
  • 60. EVEN THE BIG GUYS HAVE EXPLOITABLE WEAKNESSES. @STATrob
  • 61. YOU CAN DO ALL THIS RESEARCH ON YOUR OWN. You just need partners who can provide the data. @STATrob
  • 62. STAY TUNED FOR MORE! @STATrob
  • 63. rob@getSTAT.com @STATrob