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Challenges of Big Brand SEO and Finding the Right Partners for Success

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  • Flight Centre is the largest travel agency in Australia with over 600 stores. Escape Travel has over 100 additional stores.
  • Searchisstill the mostpopularway for users to find a website (on average)accounts for more than direct, email or social referals (for most sites).
  • Starting with search in mind – Better results when thinking of search from the start of any new web project than trying to fix things up afterwards. Can ensure good structure and design for well optimised pages that will be good for SEO and as high quality SEM landing pages.
  • Keeping up date with algorithm updates and new factors impacting search.
  • Bigger doesn’t mean better. Try to be lean and nimble with a focus on quality and user experience. Always put the user first. Google making these changes for a reason and the focus is all about quality. Generally speaking, SEO and providing great content and pages that customers will enjoy and will convert well are now all in line. Good opportunity to improve your site and be deserving of high rankings.
  • Check out Youtubevideo on Google Flights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC2bUYVkjrY
  • Focus is on quality, user experience and conversion. Creating a smaller, higher quality site with content that is share worthy. Still in development and will take time to roll out in phases.
  • 3 mains steps are research, select, manage
  • Check experience of agency in terms of the staff doing the work and experience with other clients.
  • Owning your Google Adwords account may not always be possible but always ensure you have full access. No reason an agency should ever insist on owning the Analytics and Webmaster accounts – just insist they use your accounts.
  • If you have any questions after reviewing this on Slidedeck – just tweet me.
  • Transcript

    • 1. THE CHALLENGES OF
      Search marketing
      For big brands
      & picking the right partners for success
      Interactive Minds | Brisbane | 05 Oct2011
      Richard Greenwood | SEO Manager | Flight Centre t: @expressseo
      01
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 2. Search Marketing
      at flight centre
      02
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 3. Our brands
      Our core search team manages SEO and SEM for three of Flight Centre Ltds largest retail brands.
      Flight Centre
      Escape travel
      Studentflights
      03
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 4. MeetThe Search Team
      Our search team has separate specialists for both SEO and SEM and feeds into senior management and site managers for each brand .
      Jordan payne
      Richard greenwood
      DAVID TAIT
      Online execs
      FC: Fran Curro
      ET: Michelle Bianchi
      SF: Dan Shaw
      Online Marketing Manager
      SEO Manager
      SEM Manager
      04
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 5. Search team roles
      Seo manager
      • SEO Strategy for each brand
      • 6. Manage relationships with SEO agencies and link builders
      • 7. Provide input on improvements on site architecture, coding, content and design.
      • 8. Reporting to management and other business areas
      • 9. Help source additional linking opportunities
      Sem manager
      • SEM Strategy for each brand
      • 10. Reporting to management and other business areas
      • 11. Input on ad creative and account structure to improve QS/QI
      • 12. Managing creation of landing pages
      • 13. Management of budgets across a portfolio of accounts
      • 14. Analysis of marketing activity to improve ROI
      • 15. Manage relationship with SEM agencies
      05
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 16. Setting the
      scene
      06
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 17. Searchis not standalone
      • Don’t treat search as an ‘add on’ or as ‘someone else's’ job.
      • 18. Search should be an integral part of your entire marketing mix.
      • 19. Keep search in mind throughout the business
      • 20. e.g. If you sponsor an event, ask for link.
      • 21. Starting with search in mind – Better results when thinking of search from the start of any new web project than trying to fix things up afterwards.
      }
      {
      Search should
      Not be an
      afterthought
      07
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 22. Keepyourfinger on the pulse
      • Search constantly changing
      • 23. What worked a few years ago might not work now – e.g. meta keywords
      • 24. Don’t get complacent:
      • 25. Don’t rely on outdated knowledge
      • 26. Don’t assume others will already know . e.g. developers
      • 27. In house experience critical to drive projects and keep your agency to task.
      • 28. Be prepared to change the way you do things
      A few blogs to follow..
      econsultancy.com seomoz.org searchengineland.com
      08
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 29. The changing face
      Of Search
      09
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 30. {
      Google panda really
      changes The way
      a lot of us Need to
      approach Seo forever
      Rand fishkin - seomoz
      }
      10
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 31. Panda meetsflight centre
      Impacts of Panda and preparing for further waves
      Thin content
      Tens of thousands of pages of thin
      content on product pages, legacy
      content and strategies.
      Duplicate content
      Content duplicatedacross brands
      and othersuppliers.
      Legacy site issues
      Content on multiple systems
      causingmessy site architecture
      and crawl errors.
      11
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 32. Lookingahead
      Customisedresults
      Traditionaladsacross top and side
      plus ten standard organicresultsbecominglesscommon.
      Google flights
      Huge impact on travelsector.
      Similarthingsrolling out in other
      competitive industries.
      Social drivensearch
      Social signalsinfluencingsearchresults and changing how people findwhattheywant and need.
      Mobile search
      Google takingintoaccount mobile
      accessibility plus impact of apps.
      12
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 33. Life on the inside
      13
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 34. Pros and cons of big brand search
      A big brand name and organisation lends some advantages to search marketing but also presents many challenges in keeping up with smaller, nimbler online only competitors.
      cons
      Pros
      oftencompetitiveindustry
      In house resources
      Complexorg structure
      Bigger budgets
      Hard to benimble
      expertise
      Manyplatforms & systems
      Brand strength
      Conflictinginterests
      Google Account managers
      Legacy content
      BUreaucratICprocesses
      14
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 35. How we’vetackledthese issues
      And how you can too..
      Project management
      Knowledge sharing
      Sharedproject management toolssuch as
      Basecamp and JIRA for trackingtasks.
      Twowayknowledge sharing amongother teams and to senior management.
      Increasedresources
      Consolidatesystems
      Moving content awayfromlegacysystems. For example, movingmost content onto a single CMS.
      Allocatedadditional budgets for content
      creation, development and link building.
      Site ownership
      Seofrom the start
      SEO no longer treated as an afterthought.
      Feedback providedfrom the start for new
      site sections and redevlopment in the works.
      Currentlyhiring a webmaster whowillbe
      beresponsible for site issues such as crawl
      errorsfound in Google Webmaster Tools.
      15
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 36. Tips for Picking Your
      NExt Search agency
      16
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 37. Picking YourSearchAgency
      Short description of the page content
      2
      3
      1
      REsearch
      Select
      manage
      • Monitor performance of agency results and responsiveness.
      • 38. Do they delivery what was promised?
      • 39. Ensure transparency is maintained.
      • 40. Don’t let yourself be forgotten once the honeymoon period ends.
      • 41. Experience
      • 42. Resources
      • 43. Technology
      • 44. Reporting
      • 45. Inclusions
      • 46. Transparency (it’s not magic)
      • 47. Client Retention
      • 48. Client Case Studies
      • 49. Agencies own results
      • 50. Value / ROI
      • 51. Terms of contract - include a get out clause
      • 52. Set expectations and service standards
      • 53. Establish key contacts
      17
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 54. A few
      pitfalls
      To avoid
      18
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 55. The Cookie cutter won’tcutit
      Picking your own package is often ineffective for client and agency
      Premium
      Basic
      Regular
      5 Keywords
      10 Keywords
      20 Keywords
      CompetitorAnalysis
      2 HoursConsultancy
      5 HoursConsultancy
      Analytics Setup
      Directory Submissions
      Monthly Report
      Monthly Report
      Monthly Report
      Account Manager
      29995
      39995
      $
      $
      49995
      $
      mo.
      mo.
      mo.
      Buy
      Buy
      Buy
      19
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 56. {
      Beware
      of SEO guarantees,
      they are not Always
      in your interest
      }
      • No one can actually guarantee organic Google rankings
      • 57. Can push focus onto secondary terms so agency meets terms of guarantee rather than focusing on the harder to achieve high traffic terms.
      20
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 58. Stay in control
      Make sure you own your key accounts rather than your agency to avoid being trapped
      or losing vital data if you ever change providers.
      examples
      Google analyticsaccount
      Google webmaster toolsaccount
      Google adwordsaccount
      Equivalents for othersearchengines
      21
      Search Challenges| Richard Greenwood | @expressseo| 05/10/2011
    • 59. Thank You
      For LIstENING
      ANY
      Questions?
      Slidedeckavailable via Slidesharelink via Twitter @expressseo
      Richard Greenwood | Follow me: @expressseo