Whether you’re working in-house or agency side, the same core skills and search marketing techniques are essential to help you succeed.How you use and apply your skills is what makes the difference between mild and magnificent success.Today I’ll be sharing my tips, techniques and tools required to succeed in search and who better to start with when discussing tools and titties...James Bond.
James Bond is the key to SEO!You all need to become ‘Double O’ agents when initiating any future SEO projects.Remember the Bond calculation: (007-7)+0=Double ‘O’ Double ‘O’It’s all about the objectives…Define the ObjectivesUnderstand the ObjectivesThink about the ObjectivesDeliver the Objectives
This time last year I was asked to deliver an uplift in Hitwise market share for FindaProperty.comTraffic and leads were secondary as this was purely a tactical play.At the same time Google launched Skippable Ads on YouTube and we realised they were pre-loading sites with each ad impression, as such, every impression was being counted in Hitwise. We ran a Skippable ad campaign which essentially gamed Hitwise Market Share until Google changed it’s implementation.
Later in 2011 the objective was brand awareness for FindaProperty.comThis time we negotiated a cunning deal with TubeMogul and ran a Click to Play video campaign, but we didn’t necessarily want the click! We ensured our branding was prominent in the first frame of the ad, so whenever the ad was served, our brand was displayed free of charge unless the ad was clicked. The click to play campaign alone generated over 22 million impressions on a budget of just £12KThat’s a lot of eyeballs.
There's no time to dwell on strategy and planning here, but once you have a strategy, be creative with your plans. SEARCH is a creative industry and the web is a magnificent medium, it’s perpetual change offers ever expanding opportunities, it’s YOUR creativity that can make a difference so try to build-in new initiatives, the hard part is getting approval.
So you’ve developed the greatest SEO plan ever conceived, it embraces latest technologies in a way nobody’s even considered yet, but you can’t just go ahead immediately, you need to get sign-off.Even Bond needs to get M’s approval on these matters, it’s just rarely in the films.So know your audience and delivery a plan that will appeal to them directly.Once you have sign-off from the internal stakeholders or client, you can start your mission.
This FIRST acronym is from my colleague Dr David Sewell.This slide is pretty much the foundation for any SEO plan, but lets move on to the tools and tips elements.
www.keywordeye.co.uk Tag cloud approachubersuggest.orgSuperbSEOgadgetRichard Baxter’s exquisite Google Adwords API for Excel plug-in is a real time saver PPC Campaigns The only way to test the water is to dip your toe in. Get true insights about traffic volumes and search queries by running PPC.Google dynamic search ads also help facilitate gap analysis for PPC campaign expansions.
You need to know you’re website like the back your hand, understand it’s core purpose, the content being delivered and the technology behind it. What are it’s strengths and weaknesses? What assets does it have available? How can you best usethem to your advantage?Run a full site crawl using some site crawling software help you understand the site content, structure, navigation, and any SEO issues along the way. There are a range of tools available such as Xenu, Screaming Frog or my tool of choice, Semetrical’s Deep Crawl.
Automation is key, schedule regular crawls to constantly monitor website changes and manually crawl the site before and after any major site releases.Semetrical Deep Crawl enables you to compare latest site crawl data against a previous crawl, highlighting the key variances in content, structure and link architecture. You can also crawl your test environment to run comparisons against the live site to assess discrepancies before a release.
Take the time to dig deep into the crawl data, identify new optimisation opportunities and prioritise them in your search marketing plans.
A case in point - We recently noticed that Google was not returning an Instant Preview for FindaProperty.com in it’s SERPS, for certain pages this can impacting CTR’s.After a little digging, David identified that whilst Googlebot was having the time of it’s life caning our servers, the ‘Google Web Preview’ user agent was being blocked completely and we therefore had no preview images being returned.We have now scheduled regular Semetrical crawls spoofing a range of User Agents.
Regularly monitor your traffic and understand daily, weekly, monthly and annual traffic trends.Look for inconsistencies at peak traffic times using the Real-Time reports in GA, my colleague Dr David Sewell spotted a series of performance issues during peak periods, which resulted in our infrastructure team re-optimising our server setup.Setup Google Alerts to highlight unexpected traffic declines. Simple yet effective.Monitor your site speed performance Google acknowledged this as a ranking factor some time ago but it remains an issue for some sites.
Monitor your website uptime - any unscheduled downtime means a loss in traffic Work closely with the infrastructure team and makes sure they inform you about any scheduled outages in advance.Switch off paid channels when experiencing any downtimePingdom offer a selection of paid services.Free Robotto tool from Semetrical: Alerts you via email whenever the Robots.txt status changes. This helps capture if someone ever mistakenly changes your robots.txt, but also highlights server issues because the status changes from a 200 response.
Despite securing organic rankings in position 1 and 2, the no.2 spot can deliver more traffic if the CTA is correct for the query.Regularly tweak your TITLEs and Descriptions, and optimise for the CTR sweet spot.
Offer something useful or valued in returnDataWidgetsAwardsInfographicsTickets
It’s essential that you understand who your audience is and where they
007 Tools Tips & Techniques
007 Enterprise SEO:Tools, Tips & TechniquesTony KingHead of Search Marketing13th April 2012
James Bond is the key to SEO success……you need to become ‘00’ agentsThe success or failure of any project is downto the objectives…The Bond Calculation: (007-7) + 0 = OOOO 1. Define the Objectives 2. Understand the Objectives 3. Think about the Objectives 4. Deliver the Objectives 2 of 20
Not all objectives are appealing……try be flexible & creative in your approach 3 of 20
Others are… Objective: Brand Building – Eyeballs! Delivery: +22 Million Impressions for £12,000 4 of 20
You have your mission objectives……you just need a plan!1. Develop the strategy (British Intelligence) • How big is the task? • Whats the order of play? • Who can support you (Internal/External)? • How and when? • How much will it cost?2. Create the killer SEM plan… • Be creative • Collaborate • Take some risks 5 of 20
Getting approval/securing the deal… …know your audience Who has final approval of your project? • The CEO/M? • CTO? • Marketing Director? • Finance Director? • Penry, the mild-mannered janitor?1. Communicate the plan in a language they understand • Each audience requires a different delivery • Appeal to their wants and needs • Focus on the benefits to them2. Secure project approval3. Defeat the villain Meet the defined Objectives4. Passionately embrace the Bond Girl, roll credits. 6 of 20
So where do you begin?What comes FIRST?Your website should be FIRST • F indable • I ndexable • R ankable • S ustainable • T rackable1. Identify your target keywords2. Optimise your site and content3. Build good quality links4. Optimise your paid channels5. Engage with your audience 7 of 20
Keyword Research……Tool Tips•www.keywordeye.co.ukFor quick and dirty research, Keyword Eye provides a quick and easyvisual interface.•ubersuggest.orgUber Suggest has become my starting point for any keyword researchproject, especially since Google Instant was implemented .•https://seogadget.co.uk/google-adwords-plugin-excel/Richard Baxter’s exquisite Google Adwords API for Excel plug-in is a realtime saver and essential for through research.•PPC CampaignsBudget depending I will always try to run PPC activity to test true trafficpotential and insights into actual search queries. 8 of 20
Know your website……like the back of your hand•What content is available on the site?•What technology is being used?•How many pages are there?•How many are indexed?•Which are the key pages?•Crawl the website in full and audit the data returned.•Tool Tips for Crawling: •Xenu Link Sleuth: http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html •Screaming Frog: www.screamingfrog.co.uk •Semetrical Deep Crawl: www.semetrical.com 9 of 20
Keep everything ticking along nicely……automation frees up your time for the analysis•Schedule regular website crawls •An archive of site crawls can help you determine cause and effect •At some stage you’ll need to explain how ‘things worked before’ •Sites change and you may not always be aware of the changes•Allocate a regular time to review the data in full•Semetrical Deep Crawl: www.semetrical.com 10 of 20
Get beneath the surface……make sure nothings broken•Identify the SEO hazards and prioritise resolutions: •Broken links and 404 Errors •Spider traps - Infinite link loops •Redirection errors and chains – 301’s & 302’s •Sensor check Canonical tag implementations •Monitor any server errors and identify causes •Duplicate content •META data issues •Remove or enhance any thin content •Review ad to content ratios •Monitor page load speeds •Review content layout and schemas 11 of 20
Review the site through different eyes……what would a bot make of it?•Crawl the site using different User Agents•Each engine has a selection of bots•Identify relevant bots for your site•Schedule regular site crawlsUser Agent Resources:•www.user-agents.org• Firefox User Agent Switcher plug-in from Chris Pederick:http://forums.chrispederick.com/discussion/7/a-large-regularly-updated-import-list-of-user-agents•Some Google Agents (Not exhaustive):http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1061943 12 of 20
Monitor your site performance……through traffic signals•Monitor your regular traffic patterns •What are the daily, weekly, monthly and annual trends? •Review Google Analytics Real-Time (beta) reports•Setup Google Alerts to highlight unexpected traffic changes•Monitor and optimise your site speed performance •Google Webmaster Tools provides a rough indicator •Review the Google Developers - Page Speed - Insights section at: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights or download a browser version: http://code.google.com/speed/page-speed/download.html •Pingdom also offer some pretty good analysis at: http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/ 13 of 20
Monitor your server performance……be prepared for any downtime•Monitor your website uptime •Work closely with the infrastructure team •Switch off paid channels during any downtime•Tool Tips: •FREE ‘Robotto’ Robots.txt alerting tool: http://robotto.semetrical.com •Pingdom offer a selection of paid site monitoring services: www.pingdom.com 14 of 20
Keep an eye on the competition……repeat the crawl & monitor initiatives•Crawl your competitors sites •Identify new content •Exploit any gaps•Monitor their server performance •Be alert to any downtime – This could be an ideal time to bid on brand terms through PPC•Review organic ranking performance •Monitor highly competitive terms and the specific pages ranking•Tool Tip:•Niels Bosma’s SEO Tools for Excelhttp://nielsbosma.se/projects/seotools/download/ 15 of 20
Don’t get hung up on Rankings……it’s your CTA and CTR’s which matter•Top rankings might not get the results you’re after •Google doesn’t always get it right •The ‘right’ webpage might rank lower in the SERPs •Monitor your Click Through Rate in parallel with rankings•Optimise your Call To Action in the SERPs •Tweak and test new META Titles and Descriptions •Monitor changes to CTR’s •Higher CTR’s will in-turn impact rank positions•Niels Bosma’s SEO Tools for Excel is a great tool for on-the-flyanalysis of webpage TITLES and META Descriptionshttp://nielsbosma.se/projects/seotools/download/ 16 of 20
Build good quality links……think about your assets•Review your current link equity: •Open Site Explorer - http://www.opensiteexplorer.org •Majestic SEO - http://www.majesticseo.com •Blekko (Using the ‘/seo’ query) - http://blekko.com•Look for any reconfiguration opportunities•Research and develop new links: •Make your site link worthy •Consider your audience(s) and develop an offering too good to refuse •Create something compelling•Badge schemes still work! •Brand logos for Estate Agents •Primelocation.com Property Blog Awards 17 of 20
Know your audience……and identify where the are (online)•Speak to the Marketing team and get their inputs•Research your audience online: •Review Google Analytics Audience reports •Hitwise provide sociodemographic data•Utilise Social Media Channels •Facebook Insights and Ad Creator tools can provide useful audience data •www.facebook.com/insights •www.facebook.com/ads/create/ •DoubleClick Ad Planner Tool •www.google.com/adplanner/ •Follow your audience on twitter •What’s their language •Are there any trending topics? 18 of 20
Get social with your audience……engage them on their terms•Facilitate social sharingmechanisms on-site•Engage with your audiencesoff-site too: •Facebook •Twitter •Google+ •YouTube •Pinterest•Read and heed the advice of Wil Reynolds at Seer Interactive.Wil has devised a methodology of mashing social and link data to buildeven more targeted links to your site:http://www.seerinteractive.com/blog/using-twitter-and-backlinks-to-build-links/ 19 of 20
Build a good Search team……and continue to develop new skills 20 of 20