Beyond Rankings: Actionable SEO Reports
Your Boss Will Love
by
Brian Harnish
Internet Marketing Specialist
Twitter: @brian...
Why Would You Care About Anything
Other Than Rankings?
• First off, it’s about building trust with our clients and showing...
What Are The Elements of Successful,
Actionable SEO Reports?
• There are many elements that comprise actionable SEO
report...
This Also Includes a Thorough SEO
Audit
• There are many elements that comprise actionable SEO
reports.
• First off, data....
First off...
• Why would you perform an SEO analysis?
– It provides crucial information so you can determine where to go,
...
The SEO Audit
• What should it include?
– Website structure
• Content
– How is content currently written on the website?
–...
The SEO Audit Continued...
• Content
– How is content currently written on the website?
• Is it haphazard, full of grammat...
The SEO Audit Continued...
• Coding
– How the website is coded can be just as important as content.
• Are tables used for ...
The SEO Audit Continued
• The structure of URLs throughout the website
– URL Structure
• Is the current URL structure usin...
The SEO Audit Continued
• Internal Linking
– Link Anchor Text
• How is it currently distributed?
• Is anchor text spammy, ...
The SEO Audit Continued
• External Linking
– Link Building History
• Before going anywhere, it’s a good idea to get the li...
Different Types of Actionable SEO Reports
• The Different Types of Actionable SEO Reports Include:
– Rankings Reports
• Th...
Different Types of Actionable SEO Reports
• Utilizing a Unified Approach
– Rankings Reports, Traffic Reports, Conversions/...
Setting Goals and Gauging Progress
• To gauge progress over time, a rankings report is useful, but
that’s not the only rep...
Setting Goals and Gauging Progress
• In order to improve from where you are now, you have to set
measurable goals and deve...
Putting It All Together
• Once content has been created, you can move on to the next
area of SEO that needs focus. Be it o...
Putting It All Together
• Once you have established a baseline after a few months,
consider raising the bar for the next f...
Putting It All Together
• So what is the final element of these SEO reports, and the one
thing we’re all going after?? Con...
Before Actionable SEO Reports
After Actionable SEO Reports
Content Case Studies
• Using case studies we have been able to get
an idea of what elements of content writing
helps us ge...
Thank You!!
Twitter: @brianharnish
Brian Harnish
Internet Marketing Specialist
Bisnar|Chase Law Firm
Twitter: @brianharnis...
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Beyond Rankings - Actionable SEO Reports Your Boss Will Love

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Discusses how to integrate and translate a variety of SEO success metrics into a presentation for bosses & clients alike.

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  • Thanks for sharing, very helpfull for building a SEO report.

    Alfredo
    www.gowebstudios.com
       Reply 
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Beyond Rankings - Actionable SEO Reports Your Boss Will Love

  1. 1. Beyond Rankings: Actionable SEO Reports Your Boss Will Love by Brian Harnish Internet Marketing Specialist Twitter: @brianharnish Website: http://www.siteobjective.com/
  2. 2. Why Would You Care About Anything Other Than Rankings? • First off, it’s about building trust with our clients and showing them how well we are doing our jobs. The better we can do this, the more our clients trust us, and the more clients we will get in the future. • Rankings only show one side of the story. You can have great rankings and traffic but zero conversions. You can have great rankings, ok traffic, and some conversions. • Building an actionable SEO report involves mining for data and creating change based on what the data says. • Making changes to a website without knowing the data is a lot like going on a trip but having no itinerary. You can poke blindly in the dark, but it’s not likely to work as well or provide nearly as much enjoyment. Twitter: @brianharnish
  3. 3. What Are The Elements of Successful, Actionable SEO Reports? • There are many elements that comprise actionable SEO reports. • First off, data. What are the current website’s metrics? What do we need to do to improve them? • Next, what kinds of data do we need? This involves digging a little deeper, by performing an SEO audit. – For on site items, this can include things like the URL structure, coding, the design colors, internal links, external links, images, site load times, broken URLs. – Externally, this could involve data that includes what has previously been done in terms of linking strategy. Where have you been? Where do you want to go now? Twitter: @brianharnish • How will the data be measured over time? How will you gauge progress?
  4. 4. This Also Includes a Thorough SEO Audit • There are many elements that comprise actionable SEO reports. • First off, data. What is currently happening on the site? What do we need to do to improve it? • Next, how deep does our SEO Analysis have to go? • Is this a small website, consisting of a few pages? • Or, is it a larger website, with thousands of pages, that needs many many pages to rank? • These questions will determine what data you will need for a successful SEO analysis. Twitter: @brianharnish
  5. 5. First off... • Why would you perform an SEO analysis? – It provides crucial information so you can determine where to go, what to do, and how to do it. – Analytics is an important part of building this analysis. – Without analytics, it’s like aiming in the dark. – If you want to gain actionable direction, then perform a website SEO analysis before you do anything else. – This will serve as your roadmap throughout your SEO campaign, and will provide points to ponder as you move throughout the process. Twitter: @brianharnish
  6. 6. The SEO Audit • What should it include? – Website structure • Content – How is content currently written on the website? – Can it currently be improved? – Is the content frequency too little (1 web page/blog per week vs. 5 web pages + blogs per week)? – Is the current content SEO’ed? • Coding – Is it W3C valid? While W3C valid code doesn’t increase rankings, it does help with cross browser/cross platform compatibility, and better conversions as a result. – Is the website optimized for the fastest load times? If not, this may result in higher bounce rates. – Is the website using the latest versions of XHTML/CSS/HTML 5/CSS 3 for the best possible cross platform compatibility? • Internal links – Is link anchor text distributed appropriately? – Do you have spammy link farms? – Do you have more than 100 links per page? If so, might want to consider trimming down the excess links. – Do you have keyword-spammed anchor text links? If so, you might want to work on improving link anchor text. • External links – External link building history (if possible) – If you’re a new SEO, ask the higher ups where to get this data. – Without past linking information, it’s difficult to decide what linking strategy to use next. Twitter: @brianharnish
  7. 7. The SEO Audit Continued... • Content – How is content currently written on the website? • Is it haphazard, full of grammatical & spelling errors? • If so, this is not good. First and foremost, the content NEEDS to be fixed. • Grammatical & spelling errors on the home page do not lead to a positive impression of the company, which is so important when it comes to conversions. Twitter: @brianharnish – How is layout currently designed? • Is it cluttered, full of different items that are not entirely necessary? • Does the layout have one selling point, rather than many? • Is the layout graphically pleasing and keeping in line with today’s standards? • Be honest. This decision can impact conversions significantly because of the visual nature of people. – How MUCH content is currently being produced? • If you’re only producing a page a week, that might not be enough for your niche. • You need to decide, based on competitive data and other factors, how much content production is going to be competitive with other sites in that niche.
  8. 8. The SEO Audit Continued... • Coding – How the website is coded can be just as important as content. • Are tables used for layout? Consider switching to DIVs. Tables should only be used for tabular data according to W3C. • Code to text ratio – is the text on the page way more than the current content? If so, that’s a good thing. If you have code intermingling its way into every other word, that can be a problem. • Use as little code as possible to mark up your pages. A <p> tag to open up/close a paragraph while using an XHTML transitional doctype is appropriate, but using <p align=“center” style=“font-family: arial, verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; color: #000000; border-style: collapse; text-align: left;”> can be problematic when used as the style for every single paragraph. • Using a coding structure that includes all the applicable SEO elements is important: Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, Keywords (KW tag doesn’t matter much anymore), H1s, H2s, image alt text, etc. is best. • Keep your coding simple. It doesn’t need to be completely complex, although some situations (IE6 compatibility anyone?) can result in more complex code. Twitter: @brianharnish
  9. 9. The SEO Audit Continued • The structure of URLs throughout the website – URL Structure • Is the current URL structure using dashes or underscores? • Why does this matter? • Using underscores means that Google will return searches for that exact search phrase (so, for anyone who inputs “This Website Is Awesome”, the html files with this_website_is_awesome.html will be coming up. • This is counterintuitive, and may not bring in all possible searches. • Instead, with dashes, “this-website-is-awesome.html”, people who search for this, website, is, or awesome, this URL has a higher likelihood of coming up in the SERPs. • If your URL structure currently contains underscores rather than hyphens, consider an overhaul of the URL structure for better distribution in the SERPs. • Careful! If you overhaul your URLs, then be SURE to implement 301 redirects in .htaccess on your web server to tell Google the old pages have moved. • Without these redirects, your old pages will show up in Google’s index with 404s, and you could end up with lower conversions as a result. Twitter: @brianharnish
  10. 10. The SEO Audit Continued • Internal Linking – Link Anchor Text • How is it currently distributed? • Is anchor text spammy, with many keywords stuffed into them? • If so, consider removing some of those keyword-heavy anchor text links. It’s only a matter of time before Google discovers them. • Ensure link achor text is natural and provides clear navigational instructions to the user. “Click here” anchor text is a waste of the value of these links. “California Personal Injury Law” or “California Pest Control” are better ways to use anchor text in links. • Do you have more than 100 links per page? Clean this up. Ensure that pages don’t have more than 100 links. Just ensuring 99 may not work. Tailor the quantity of your links to be natural rather than spamming the page with 100 links to other pages of the website. Twitter: @brianharnish
  11. 11. The SEO Audit Continued • External Linking – Link Building History • Before going anywhere, it’s a good idea to get the link building history of the website. • If you don’t have this information, it’s difficult (but not impossible) to find it elsewhere. • http://www.linkdetective.com/ is a free tool that can be used on your own site to get a good idea of its current link profile and link history. • http://www.backlinkwatch.com/ is also a good free tool to gain insight into the existing links and determine your linking strategy based on that. • What about link anchor text? Does it use keywords responsibly? Or is the link anchor text more spammy & does it not provide enough value? • Are there ways you can improve on the prior linking strategy? If so, how? Twitter: @brianharnish
  12. 12. Different Types of Actionable SEO Reports • The Different Types of Actionable SEO Reports Include: – Rankings Reports • These types of reports used to be useful, and they still are. For showing your boss you’re still number 1. • They are still useful for showing progress in the SERPs. • However, they are useless for tracking ROI (return on investment), traffic, conversions, and other essential elements of the big picture of results. Twitter: @brianharnish – Traffic Reports • Better!! But, even traffic reports can be useless in some situations. It is important to look at traffic yes, but traffic can be quality traffic, or junk traffic that doesn’t result in improving the bottom line. – Conversions, Leads, and Social Media • The heart of any SEO campaign is conversions and leads produced. And, getting more granular with the data, can provide how much revenue has been generated as a result of these conversions & leads. Social Media is another important consideration. – The Best Reports Include a Unified Approach • A unified approach including all of the above will provide enough information to move forward on any marketing campaign.
  13. 13. Different Types of Actionable SEO Reports • Utilizing a Unified Approach – Rankings Reports, Traffic Reports, Conversions/Leads • These types of reports build on data from rankings, traffic, conversions, leads, and analytics. • Using elements from these different areas will help you decide where to go next in your SEO strategy. • Traffic Reports can typically show bounce rate, visits, unique page views, how many total visitors, and how many people visit the site on a daily basis. • Use traffic reports over time to gauge how different efforts produce different results. You can show how many pages of content you added in a given month, and show the rankings increases based on that. You can use how many links you have built in a given month, and show another column detailing traffic increases. • Using conversion reports, you can add a column saying how many phone calls were made, how many forms were filled out, how many sign ups for your service, or how many different products were ordered in a given month. Using a call tracking service on different websites can make life easier, since using different numbers for calls can make it easier to see which calls came from which website. • Using the unified approach can show you where weaknesses lie, and can provide information to make decisions on whether to increase content production or decrease it and whether to increase link building production or decrease it. Twitter: @brianharnish
  14. 14. Setting Goals and Gauging Progress • To gauge progress over time, a rankings report is useful, but that’s not the only report you will need. • Depending on your industry, and whether or not calls are a metric of calculating conversions, you may want to consider an column that shows how many calls were completed through the website. • If your business closes deals over the phone from the website, it’s a good idea to use an 800 number service like www.kall-8.com. Creating different 800 numbers for different websites will enable you to track who made calls from what site. • This is a good way of mining data over time to show, from month to month, how ROI has improved as a result of certain SEO efforts. Twitter: @brianharnish
  15. 15. Setting Goals and Gauging Progress • In order to improve from where you are now, you have to set measurable goals and develop a method of gauging progress. • Progress will not come quickly. • Even though our bosses like the sound of “getting #1 rankings in 24 hours” it’s just not possible without significant manipulation going on. • To gain qualified traffic and leads that convert, you should be developing a high quality website geared towards an outstanding user experience. • If you want to include 10 pages of content a month, create a content schedule for say 2 or 3 pages of content per week for a specific topic that your site covers. • If your site covers 10 topics, each with 20 pages worth on that topic, you might want to consider covering 10 pages a week. • If your website is large enough, 30-40 pages will probably be better. Twitter: @brianharnish
  16. 16. Putting It All Together • Once content has been created, you can move on to the next area of SEO that needs focus. Be it on site optimization, adding calls to action, link building, etc. • Consider adding a column to your report that shows how many pages of content was created & posted to the website in a month. • Only by itemized tracking will it be possible to show how your results will improve over time, whether or not you need to adjust your content production numbers, and whether or not you need to do something else entirely. • Consider adding a column to the report that shows how many actual conversions took place – not just into calls or form submissions, but actual people who bought or signed up for your product/service. This is how you will get to the bottom of true ROI. Twitter: @brianharnish
  17. 17. Putting It All Together • Once you have established a baseline after a few months, consider raising the bar for the next few months. So, say 15 people bought your service or signed up for a service through the website. Consider going after 20 people the next month. • The beauty of actionable SEO reports is that using a unified data approach you get the full picture, instead of a snapshot of a single area. • Rankings can be misleading. If you have rankings but don’t have traffic, then you can’t get conversions, and your SEO efforts are worthless. Rankings are fine for amateurs, but if you want to be a true SEO professional, turning rankings into real conversions from traffic from the search engines is key. • Focusing on rankings, traffic, conversions AND ROI gives the true picture of the success of any SEO campaign. Twitter: @brianharnish
  18. 18. Putting It All Together • So what is the final element of these SEO reports, and the one thing we’re all going after?? Conversions! Increased use of the product/service being marketed, increased sales, and ultimately better brand recognition as a result. • Without sales, a business can’t function. Without money coming in, a business is dead in the water. Focusing on the end result means that you must have your SEO reports created with all the elements – not just one or two. Twitter: @brianharnish
  19. 19. Before Actionable SEO Reports
  20. 20. After Actionable SEO Reports
  21. 21. Content Case Studies • Using case studies we have been able to get an idea of what elements of content writing helps us get better results: – Content is on average 500 words per web page – 250 words per blog post – Write content naturally (don’t keyword stuff) – Vary your anchor text – Include keyword focused anchor text links – Check Google’s guidelines as you are adding content to your website. Twitter: @brianharnish
  22. 22. Thank You!! Twitter: @brianharnish Brian Harnish Internet Marketing Specialist Bisnar|Chase Law Firm Twitter: @brianharnish Website: http://www.bestattorney.com/

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