A Bicycle Accident Introduced Me to SEORappers don’t have health insurance so I went back to my development roots and the first place to hire me was an SEO agency. Fromthere I ended up at the prestigious Razorfish and then Publicis Modem.
This Crazy Lady Introduced Me to Content StrategyAt my second multinational interactive agency I shared an office with this woman. She was the first actual content strategist I everworked with and she had a copy of the first edition of Kristina’s book on her shelf.
Devin Impressed Me with this ConceptOur SEO Content Strategist Devin Asaro (@copydev) impressed me with this concept when he first joined the iAcquire team in JanuaryRead his post: http://iacq.co/17bjt6n@CopyDev
Seriously follow @CopyDevHe only has 29 followers. @CopyDev. Do it!
The Battle Between Creative and StrategyIn full service agencies Strategy doesn’t really get a seat the table and we often spent more time arguing with the Creative team thanactually informing the work to ensure performance.
Me vs. the CopywriterWriting is the job of a copywriter. In my previous job the copywriters didn’t feel that way. They felt as though metadata was somethingusers never see and therefore I should be writing it. (Yes, that’s me laughing at David Ogilvy)Here is some text on a slide.I’m not writingpage titles andmeta descriptions.Nobody seesthose.BLAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Modern Day OgilvyDavid Ogilvy set the precedent with his famous quote about advertising. I feel similarly about content.Here is some text on a slide.If it doesn’t sell,it’s not creative.If it’s notdriven byuserdemand, it’sa waste oftime.
A new way to think about SEO’s role in Content CreationThe Poetry of SEO
Let’s Talk About HaikusThe haiku is perhaps the most limiting form of poetry in that it requires the writer to stay within the constraint of syllable counts of 5, 75 for its three lines. Now let’s examine from translations of Matsuo Basho’s masterpiece about a frog jumping into the water.
How Copywriters Would Translate ThisThis version translated by Curtis Hidden Page is much like how a copywriter would prefer to translate the ideas of the original. Thisimposes an experience on the reader leaving them unchallenged and bored and it doesn’t fit the syllable count specification.
How Copywriters Would Write for SEOThis version translated by Lafcadio Hearn is sterile, boring and completely lacks any creative flare, but it is within the specification andconveys the point. Most people who “write for SEO” think this has done the job.
How it Should be DoneThis version translated by Eli Siegel is both elegant, mysterious and fits the specification. It is a strong piece of art that also fulfills whatis required. The writer has found his voice despite the limitations.
The Constraint is no Excuse for IneleganceCompare these two meta descriptions. Two competing products. Colgate goes an awful job of maintaining the brand voice meanwhileOld Spice team does a great job of incorporating the macho Old Spice guy voice and tone into their SEO and making a great continuedimpression on their customers.Terrible Meta Description with no brand voice.Great Meta Description within spec that carries the brand voice and tone.
SEO is Not a Constraint, it’sa Springboard!SEO is a way to structure contentexactly around what the user wants.Doing so prepares it for Organicperformance. Without SEO yourcontent is at the mercy of Paid Media.
An Example – Our Own WebsiteBefore I got to iAcquire we had a website where no one could tell what we did and didn’t perform well in Organic Search. We’ll talkabout this redesign throughout this deck.
How SEO Makes Content More PowerfulBefore my team redesigned and launched the new iAcquire site we averaged a few hundred impressions in Organic Search with 10-50clickthroughs per day. Post re-launch we get thousands of impressions daily and several hundred clicks.
The Real MetricsMore importantly YoY our Organic Search traffic has gone up 743% and our bounce rate has gone down 40%. We’re also crushing ourlead generation goals and therefore continuing to make strong business cases fro the content we want to create.
SEO has moved far beyond meta tags and links, here’s a peek...What SEO Can Do
Panda Killed The SEO PageEver since Google unleashed the Pandaalgorithm update there is no such thingas writing sections of the site “just forSEO” anymore.
Modern SEO is Much Bigger than Meta TagsModern SEO is at least a research channel to inform content strategy and at most a cross-discipline set of actions to ensure visibility ofcontent in Organic channels. I wrote a post about this: http://iacq.co/19FEBko
Organic Search and SocialMedia as research channelsis a look into collective humanconsciousness.Leverage the Twitter, Google,Facebook crystal ball and you’ll knowthe who, what and why of how tocreate content that people actuallywant.(Users and Search Engines don’t separate the twochannels, only marketers do.)
Keyword-Level DemographicsPlacing your site on Facebook’s Open Graph you can get any data that user allows you to have. Marry that data with search referrersand you have demographic and psychographic data on the keyword level. That is intent + audience. http://iacq.co/11EED4u
Personas and Keyword OwnershipLeveraging the keyword data in context of the social media data allows you to measure against the personas visiting your site anddetermine who your capturing and how to target moving forward.Curious George Film Purist Tech Geek• 18-32• Male• Loves indie rock• Wishes he had a beard• 18-32• Male• Loves all music• Wishes he could moveout his mom’s basement• 22-40• Male• Loves film soundtracks• Wishes he could live inthe movie Avatar• 22-40• Male• Loves Techno• Wishes you would stopinvading his onlineprivacy• 5000 Searches Monthly• Conversion Rate 5%• 600 Searches Monthly• Conversion Rate 2%• 1000 Searches Monthly• Conversion Rate 0.5%• 100 Searches Monthly• Conversion Rate 0.2%Gamer
Persona Interests as Defined by FacebookDoing research in the Facebook Ad Creator yields quantifiable criteria to match against the site visitor and granularly identify them as aspecific audience segment. These are attributes which align with the personas from the previous slide.3D TVAudience: 27,4440Suggested Likes and InterestsReflects the interest of Curious George3D TVAudience: 30,400Suggested Likes and InterestsReflects the interest of Gamer#HDMIAudience: 1,600,000#Video on demandAudience: 4,400,000#LCD televisionAudience: 179,000#Set-top boxAudience: 327,000#TiVoAudience: 242,000#Satellite televisionAudience: 1,200,000#Digital televisionAudience: 2,900,000#Analog televisionAudience: 296,000#Pay-per-viewAudience: 540,000#Depth perceptionAudience: 120,000#HDMIAudience: 1,600,000#Video on demandAudience: 4,400,000#Television setAudience: 890,000#Satellite televisionAudience: 1,200,000#Digital televisionAudience: 2,900,000#IPTVAudience: 268,000#Analog televisionAudience: 296,000#Pay-per-viewAudience: 540,000#Depth perceptionAudience: 120,000#Large-screen television technologyAudience: 36,000#StereoscopyAudience: 362,000#35 mm filmAudience: 296,000#Digital 3DAudience: 89,000#Polarized 3D systemAudience: 2,000#Stereo displayAudience: 29,000#Active shutter 3D systemAudience: 8,000#Disney Digital 3-DAudience: 10,000#Dolby 3DAudience: 36,000#VistaVisionAudience: less than 1000#AutostereoscopyAudience: 24,0003D TVAudience: 130,980Suggested Likes and InterestsReflects the interest of Film Purist#Random-access memoryAudience: 8,000,000#Computer monitorAudience: 1,700,000#OLEDAudience: 442,000#EthernetAudience: 219,000#Electronic paperAudience: 147,000#Stereo displayAudience: 29,000#IPS panelAudience: 24,000#Active matrixAudience: 4,000#Seven-segment displayAudience: 1,000#AutostereoscopyAudience: 24,0003D TVAudience: 35,240Suggested Likes and InterestsReflects the interest of Tech Geek
Dynamic Targeting Based on PersonaSince you have the data about the user in real-time you can make the experience dynamic based on who they are what they want. Youcan also cookie this user and use this data cross-channel.(Dramatization)What Normal Users See What Curious George SeesCurious George• 18-32• Male• Loves indie rock• Wishes he had a beard
Subsequent Conversion PredictionAfter collecting conversion information for a long period of time it is easy to predict what a given audience segment will do next andtherefore know where and how to intelligently target that user.We develop personasbased on social dataUsers come fromsearch, we collectdataCurious Georgebuys a pair ofsneakersWe aggressively targetin other channels forthe next buyCurious Georgecomes back andbuys a windbreakerCurious George
What Position Converts Best?User need states can change in the same Search Engine Results Page depending on how well they’ve been educated as they traversethose results. You can account for this by tracking your rankings in analytics.
Dynamic Messaging by Search PositionYou can dynamically change your messaging based on that to influence conversions. Post with Code: http://iacq.co/15MYtD2Position #1 messagingThe Time Constraint The Challenge Normal MessagingPosition #2 messaging Historically converting positionSPECIALDEAL FORTHE NEXT 30SECONDSLOWER PRICETHAN [NEXTCOMPETITORINTHE SERP]
Content Planning Becomes MultiDimensionalModern SEO when done with a bent toward market intelligence is more about content planning based on intent vs. audience vs. theirneed states than it just about inserting keywords. SEO at Content Strategy are joined at the hip.Consideration VersionLoyalty VersionAwareness Version
The Marketing Power of Modern SEOThe team at Duetsch LA used Organic Search to prove to HTC that people wanted HTC phones in colors aside from black, white and gray
Action Items!Here are the things you should actually DO.
ListeningUnderstanding the peoplebehind the search
Understand the Person behind the Search with PersonasAt iAcquire we are incredibly intent on understanding the user behind the search. We leverage market research data in context withsocial PPC inventories to build out our personas at scale.
Experian Simmons MosaicExperian Simmons has a free interactive guide with a lot of their data in it here: http://bit.ly/Qeh0uw
Nielsen PRIZMNielsen’s MyBestSegments has a free demo with PRIZM data http://bit.ly/Qeh0uw
Connect Personas to their KeywordsAt iAcquire we are incredibly intent on understanding the user behind the search so after we’ve done our persona research we performkeyword research and run surveys on SurveyMonkey Audience targeting that specific demographic to get an understanding of their needstates. The output of that is the keyword portfolio.
UberSuggestIdentify long tail search queries with Uber Suggest. http://www.ubersuggest.org Protip: Use wildcards(*) for searches.
Google Adwords Keyword ToolAn oldie and still goodie: https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool
BottleNoseReal-time keyword research based on Twitter http://bottlenose.com/
TopsySocial Listening with Topsy: http://www.topsy.com
SocialMentionSocial Listening with Social Mention: http://www.socialmention.com
FollowerWonkUse FollowerWonk to quickly get a sense of ideas that the audience is interested in. Don’t have enough followers? Look at competitors:http://www.followerwonk.com
PlanningContent Strategy is a key partof modern SEO
Content Strategy & SEO Orbit the Same ThingI would go as far as to say that Content Strategy and SEO are intertwined or at least they are to related disciplines in orbit around theuser. To build content that people are searching for ideas should be informed by Search.
The deliverable that glues content to SEO strategyThe SEO Copy Brief
Content Creators Don’t Care About ResearchIf you just hand off all this research to a content creator, they aren’t going to read it. Your content strategists and creators need to beimmersed in the conversation to truly understand the users they are creating content for.
Participate in the ConversationAt iAcquire we don’t just “research” and hand off a report across teams. Our team immerses themselves in the online conversation insome cases even contributing to it in order to understand the user and speak their language. This also allows you to vet the popularity oan idea.
QuoraQuora is great for asking questions and participate in online conversations to understand what topics are popular with specificdemographics. http://www.quora.com
Discussion SearchFind the right keyword-relevant conversations quickly to understand the vocabulary of the user and how they communicate to drive thecontent strategy.
ProjectingKnowing whether your content isworth doing
Projecting Content ValueUsing Search Volume as a proxy to prove demand allows you to make a strong business case for your content efforts. Develop acollection of keywords for each piece of content in the strategy and then use the following equations…
Share Of Voice CalculationCalculate Share of Voice using keyword volume. If the keyword has a SoV of over 100% that just means they are getting a higher CTRthan the industry standard.
The Consumer Decision JourneyBe mindful of where your content fits in the consumer decision journey. Some content types make more sense at different phases and alshould be judged accordingly when preparing KPIs.
MetadataThe art of making a great firstimpression
I Wrote a Post About ThisI wrote a comprehensive post about the 18 meta tags you should be preparing for in all content http://iacq.co/17O7iND MetaData isn’about ranking, it’s about making the right first impression on your user.
Standard MetadataIf you don’t prepare proper metadata within the proper specification you’re missing the opportunities to convert searchers into users.Page TitleStill should bekeyword-relevantand up to 70characters.MetaDescriptionShould still beup to 155characters,keyword-relevant andinclude a callto action.
Rel-authorHaving a picture in the SERPs often will draw the user to click your result even if it’s not in the first position, but more importantly…
Eric Schmidt SaysBasically with Author Rank Google will eventually say “Get Down or Lay Down”
Google Wants Authoritative AuthorsGoogle is trying to determine the person behind the content to apply an author rank to the content and help with surfacing authoritativcontent in Search Results. Claim your content! How to Implement: http://iacq.co/11Vh11p
Rel-publisherYou can surface your brand’s content using rel-publisher. http://iacq.co/14ssu4u
The Knowledge GraphGoogle is looking to understand the connections between entities and not just words. http://iacq.co/15xXP8p
Google+ and the Knowledge Graph are fueled by Schema.orgThe way to make it easier for Google to understand the entities on your site is by marking it up with metadata using Schema.orghttp://www.schema.org
Facebook Open GraphSocial signals are growing in significance to site rankings so it’s imperative that content has the best opportunity to be shared andtherefore the metadata should speak directly to your users in that channel.
Twitter CardsTwitter’s version is called the Twitter Card: https://dev.twitter.com/cards
What About Meta Keywords?Google hasn’t used meta keywords for some time. Here’s a post where they officially announced it in 2009: http://iacq.co/14mU577 Ifyour CMS requires you to specify meta keywords to make the site searchable, choose a new CMS or use Google’s free search appliancehttp://iacq.co/11g5NQa
Otherwise…People like me use tools like Screaming Frog to quickly identify the keywords your site is targeting. ProTip: Screaming Frog makes agreat tool for starting your content audits http://iacq.co/16CFRpR
JourneyPlan for content that’s engaging andkeyword-relevant
Plan for Content that is both Engaging and Keyword-relevantBe mindful of the consumer decision journey and the user’s vocabulary, but first and foremost make an engaging experience.
Lexical Co-Occurrence or Topical PagerankThe SEO word game has gotten a little more intense. SEO’s have figured out that Google rewards pages that have the right “co-ocurringkeywords with the target keyword. http://iacq.co/12r5Qio
nTopicnTopic is a tool to facilitate topical pagerank content creation. It tells you want co-occuring keywords you should be using in yourcontent and scores your copy for those keywords. Note: This is not the new “keyword density.” http://www.ntopic.org
Multi-DimensionalBehavioral targeting makes contentplanning more complex
Behavioral Targeting Makes Content Planning More ComplexContent needs to be developed to speak to each persona in each need state.