Calgary Entrepreneurs Search Engine Marketing with Laura Callow


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Laura Callow from Intuit and Stuart Crawford from Bulletproof InfoTech hosted June's Calgary Entrepreneur Meetup with our topic on Search Engine Marketing. This was a great presentation on what small business owners can do immediately to grow their business online.

I can speak from experience that Bulletproof InfoTech does a tremendous amount of marketing online to bring our quality IT support services to business in Calgary and laying the ground work for those in search of Central Alberta IT services.

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Calgary Entrepreneurs Search Engine Marketing with Laura Callow

  1. 1. SEM Introduction Calgary Entrepreneurs Meet-up June 11 Informed decision-making comes from a long tradition of guessing and then blaming others for inadequate results. - Scott Adams
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>SEM defined </li></ul><ul><li>What is SEO </li></ul><ul><li>Why SEO? </li></ul><ul><li>How SEO works </li></ul><ul><li>What about the Spiders? </li></ul><ul><li>SEO workflow </li></ul><ul><ul><li>new site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>existing site </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All about PPC </li></ul><ul><li>Nitty Gritty Down and Dirty SEO & PPC </li></ul><ul><li>Tools 4 u </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is SEM? <ul><li>Some acronyms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SEO (search engine optimization) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEM (search engine marketing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PPC (pay per click) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WA/GA (web/google analytics) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www (world wide web – w3) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>url (uniform resource locator) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>w3c (world wide web compliance) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Serps (search engine results pages) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Big G (Google) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Y! (Yahoo) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WTHK / Owl?Hell (Live/MSN/Bing)  </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. What is SEM? <ul><li>Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a set of marketing methods used to increase the visibility of a website in the search engine results pages (SERPS) </li></ul><ul><li>There are three (3) main methods: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Engine Optimization (SEO) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pay Per Click (PPC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paid Inclusion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEM = SEO + PPC + PI + Analytics </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. What is SEO? <ul><li>Attempt to improve the organic / natural rankings of a site in the search engine results pages for a relevant finite set of keywords. </li></ul><ul><li>Improvement is both in terms of number of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>listings in the SERPs (amount of visible real estate) per terms and across number of branded and non-brand terms, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>where those listings rank </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>+/- 40% of click throughs can be attributed to the number one organic result </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. What is SEO… Top 10/11 SEs: Google - Yahoo - MSN - Ask - Altavista - AOL - AlltheWeb (Fast) - Gigablast - Netscape Search - - WISEnut -
  7. 7. Rank 1 Real Estate/Visibility
  8. 8. Title Tag META description
  9. 9. Real Estate/Visibility
  10. 10. Why SEO… <ul><li>Results in FY09 for QuickTax with effective SEO implementation and integration across most areas with some limitations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search traffic increased 50% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search conversions increased 20% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective SEO & social integration combined with SEO backlink strategy increased inbound external links nearly 100% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEO teamed with PR and optimized a test online press release which received over 41K headline impressions in three days, and spiked both referral site and organic search visitors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEO achieved a net gain in Google rankings on target universe of keywords & Google exposure on selected terms increased more than 12% (excluding long tail effect) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Why SEO… “ tax” “ tax software” “online tax returns” “ free online tax software for students” SEO Long-tail
  12. 12. Why SEO… <ul><li>In other words: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>increased sales </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>increased traffic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>decreased reliance on PPC (cost savings) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>increased online exposure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>increased online brand awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>increased online market penetration via search & social initiatives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>increased customer collaboration and community interaction via search and social initiatives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All for FREE </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. How SEO Works… <ul><li>SEO is required to research and identify the top keyphrases being used by the online market </li></ul>
  14. 14. How SEO Works… <ul><li>SEO is aimed at telling the spiders that our page is really the most relevant result - of all the possible results returned – for our chosen keywords & phrases; ultimate objective - to be #1 </li></ul><ul><li>This process of convincing the spiders involves analysis & optimisation of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Html structure and underlying site architecture including W3C conformity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The individual URLs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Page Titles & Metadata </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Headers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Copy / content keyword density, prominence and weighting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective labeling and file names of imagery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Directory Submission, Sitemap Creation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reporting, Analysis and Evaluation </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. What the spider sees… Identifying your page (onpage) Html: 1a. URL names keyword .html 1b. Anchor text on another page ‘ Here ’ s more “ keyword ” info ’ or in our own navigation 2. Title <title> Keyword </title> 3. Metadescription <meta name=&quot;description&quot; content= “ keyword ... keyword … variation&quot;> 4. Image names & tags <img src=&quot;images/ keyword .jpg&quot; alt= “ keyword image described “ width= “ x&quot; height= “ y&quot;> <ul><li>URL = include / keyword / </li></ul><ul><li>Cookie crumb = keyword </li></ul><ul><li>Header = keyword </li></ul><ul><li>Sub-headers = keyword or variation </li></ul><ul><li>First words of first paragraph = keyword </li></ul><ul><li>Last paragraph contains keyword </li></ul><ul><li>Keyword density to 3-7% throughout copy </li></ul><ul><li>Include long-tail in copy, plurals & variations </li></ul>Visible Factors: *Copy writes for the audience while following these guidelines Ahhh… What a great resource for people searching for information on ‘ keyword ’! I simply MUST tell my algo… . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  16. 16. What the spider sees… Identifying your page (offpage) <ul><ul><li>Spamming and Manipulation of data = algorithm skew </li></ul></ul><ul><li>THEREFORE: </li></ul><ul><li>SEO makes sure that the spiders further identify your page as an authority resource and a trusted site: </li></ul>Student tax Online tax Tax software downloads Need a free tax solution Tax Software site Tax help Personal tax options Small Business tax site Tax Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . High PR trusted sites link to our page using our keyword or URL as the anchor text All these great trusted sites on long standing domains with lots of relevant links pointing to them seem to think this page is a good resource for their visitors to go to for more information on ‘ keyword/tax software ’. Ergo this page is an authority on ‘tax software’… I simply MUST tell my algo…
  17. 17. When to include SEO <ul><li>From the very beginning of any project including: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New web pages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New microsite </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Redesign/rebrand </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New PPC/other campaign landing pages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Any navigational changes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blog initiative/posts/articles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Press and news releases </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Other social media initiatives </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All online and offline marketing initiatives to grab tag-line or primary message to optimize online webpage </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. What is SEM? When to include SEO <ul><li>For each project: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keyword research will be applied at bare minimum to </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Site structure and navigation (anchor text) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>URL creation and directory structure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Page Headlines and guidelines for copy/content creation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Image descriptions and naming protocols </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other SEO work will involve telling the engines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>what they may crawl and index and how often </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>what they should display in the SERPs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>when pages are updated, added or removed </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>where to go if a page is moved or deleted </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>simulating spider crawls for page size and speed </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying crawl issues </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>indicating site authority & authenticity via backlink initiative </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. SEO Workflow – new site When SEO is adapted into the project as above, the costs/resourcing of implementing full SEO for a website are likely to be half that of including SEO reactively
  20. 20. SEO Workflow – existing site
  21. 21. What is PPC? <ul><li>Pay per click: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sponsored listings within the major (and 2 nd tier SEs) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You pay per click </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Your strategy needs to be well defined with minimum barriers to conversion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You need to set your objectives carefully or it can be very costly </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Marrying organic and PPC exposure can increase click throughs by over 50% on either/both listings due to perceived authority, relevance and authenticity of claim </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 22. What is PPC?
  23. 23. What is PPC? <ul><li>Advantages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PPC is very user friendly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>AdWords Editor lets you bulk and single change keywords, titles and descriptions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You control your daily and monthly budget </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You can easily geotarget down to a postcode level </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You can switch ads on and off at the click of a mouse </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Google analytics is free reporting that ties your organic and PPC results together to allow for ease of reporting and tactical refinement </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. What is PPC? – Analytics Example
  25. 25. What is PPC? – Analytics Example
  26. 26. What is PPC? – AdWords PPC
  27. 27. What is PPC? – AdWords Editor
  28. 28. What is PPC? <ul><li>PPC costs, but it is manageable, easy to trial and refine inhouse, and easy to gain qualifications in-house without spending a fortune outsourcing – up to a point. </li></ul><ul><li>Rule of thumb: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If your PPC objective is brand exposure, only watch impressions and position </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If your PPC objective is awareness and contact, watch impressions and CTR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If your PPC objective is profit, set up normal and conversion goals in GA with monetary values assigned and track consistently (daily or weekly as opposed to biweekly or monthly) </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. SEO Nitty-gritty <ul><li>Conduct early keyword research using tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google adwords keyword tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wordtracker </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keyword discovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check competition </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Map keywords to your wireframe or pass to IA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Include in URL structure (- not _) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provide onpage optimization using brand & prime keyword/page </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Title tags 65-70 characters including spaces (DC and canonical issues) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>META description up to 155 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Header tags </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alt Atributes (image optimization) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Crawl your site, check for errors and use Tools! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>404, 500, 999, DC, canonical, page sizes, w3c, redirects, cms limitations and more </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. SEO Nitty-gritty <ul><li>302 vs 301 </li></ul><ul><li>PageRank </li></ul><ul><li>Local Listings…. </li></ul>
  31. 31. SEO Nitty-gritty – Local Listings
  32. 32. SEO Nitty-gritty – Local Listings
  33. 33. PPC Nitty-grittY <ul><li>Conduct early keyword research using tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google adwords keyword tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wordtracker </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keyword discovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check competition and determine strategy (universe, sample, broad, phrase etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Map keywords to dedicated landing pages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Include in URL structure (- not _) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Develop clear structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Campaign (ski vacation/beach vacation) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adgroup ( [ski]/ family/romantic/weekend/) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adcopy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Title 25 characters </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Description 35 x 2 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>URL issues and length (new US rule rolling out) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A/B copy testing and other multivariate testing </li></ul></ul></ul>
  34. 34. PPC Nitty-grittY <ul><li>Expect </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CTR of 1-15% (excluding brand) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversions of 2-7% (across the board, higher for brand and local in general) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To watch your spend </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need to optimise with –ive keywords </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To tactically refine based on analytics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To get addicted to analytics, watch for it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To need to create dedicated landing pages for higher conversions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To create more targeted messaging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To reap pretty good ROAS… </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Tools <ul><li>1. Simulated Crawl GSiteCrawler gives you full URL list, aborted URL list, some duplicate content, page sizes, page-by-page data, additional external 1-click tools and more. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Tools <ul><li>2. Server Header Check This tool has helped me figure out quite a few mysteries regarding “WTH happened to my rankings” and other everyday stressies when URLs have changed. </li></ul><ul><li>3. SE Advanced Operators| this is a firm favourite. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Web Page Speed Report this can be of help </li></ul><ul><li>5. URL Strength Trifecta </li></ul><ul><li>6. Competitor Discovery & investigation SEMRush , </li></ul><ul><li>7. Keyword Density & Prominence Great tool . </li></ul><ul><li>8. Twitter Twitter Search and BackTweets . </li></ul><ul><li>9. Reputation Management Google Alerts </li></ul>
  37. 37. Tools 10. FireFox SearchStatus, SEOpen and RoboForm
  38. 38. Thank You! Attendee offer. <ul><li>Intuit QuickBooks would like to extend their offer EasyStart </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is the same as the full version, but limited to 20 customers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>http://quickbooks.CA/EasyFREE </li></ul>
  39. 39. Q&A