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SearchLove London | Rand Fishkin, 'Cracking the SEO Code for 2015'


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It’s all changed – from how people use the web, to how Google ranks pages, to what resonates with influencers. Not surprisingly, the tactics marketers employ need to change, too. But tragically, many of us are stuck in a rut, eeking out the last few drops of fuel from efforts that are dying or dead. What’s even worse – the cutting edge practices that are producing remarkable returns heavily benefit early adopters, and if we’re not in those groups, we could find ourselves way behind in the years to come. In this presentation, Moz founder Rand will dive deep into what really works to drive traffic, rankings, branding, and conversions (and what’s better left in the scrap heap of yesteryear).

Published in: Marketing

SearchLove London | Rand Fishkin, 'Cracking the SEO Code for 2015'

  1. 1. Cracking the SEO Code for 2015: Tactics to Love vs. Leave (advanced edition) Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish |
  2. 2. This Presentation Is Online Here:
  3. 3. What Changed? A brief look at how SEO has evolved over the past five years.
  4. 4. #1 Searchers (and engines) are demanding more from results than ever before
  5. 5. Page Speed Expectations Via
  6. 6. Design & UX Expectations Via The Rise of Customer Expectations Around User Experience
  7. 7. Content Quality Expectations Via
  8. 8. Employing User & Usage Data
  9. 9. Leaning More Heavily on Human Quality Raters Via
  10. 10. Past SEO Success May Not Be Indicative of the Future
  11. 11. #2 The move from keyword matching to topic association
  12. 12. 1998-2008 Keyword Matching
  13. 13. 2009-2012 Keyword Matching
  14. 14. 2013+ Keyword Matching
  15. 15. 2013+ Keyword Matching
  16. 16. 2013+ Keyword Matching
  17. 17. 2013+ Keyword Matching
  18. 18. Google’s Upgraded Their Understanding Have We Upgraded Our Content?
  19. 19. #3 Domain-level keyword connections are on the rise
  20. 20. Google’s Algorithm Used to Be Very Page-Level Biased This page has the most relevance and links. This one has the 2nd most.
  21. 21. In the Past Few Years, They’ve Become More Inclusive of Domain-Level Signals We’ve seen a lot of searchers around this type of topic get positive results from this site. Let’s see if we can find a relevant result from it.
  22. 22. Don’t Have a Domain-Level Content Strategy? You May Lose to Less SEO-Sophisticated, More Brand-Focused Competitors
  23. 23. #4 Google’s crackdown on spam is basically a crackdown on ranking without a brand
  24. 24. Manipulating Google? You’d Better Be a Brand. Via
  25. 25. Ranking Well, But Not a Brand? Google’s Gonna Reclassify Those Tactics. Via
  26. 26. #5 Critical SEO data still flows for the 1%, but is unavailable to the 99%
  27. 27. ~10% of Referral Data Still Available Via
  28. 28. AdWords’ [Exact Match] No Longer Exact Via -variant-matching-for-all-exact.html
  29. 29. Via
  30. 30. But If You’re a Big Advertiser, that Keyword Data Still Flows Through Your Reports
  31. 31. GA Sampling is Pervasive Unless You Pay… Via
  32. 32. This Inequity Might Feel Familiar Over time, behaviors of brands, searchers, & algorithms have combined to create something similar in SEO
  33. 33. Tactics Processes and practices to change in the year ahead to stay a step ahead
  34. 34. Keyword Research & Targeting
  35. 35. Classic Keyword Process Collect Input Brainstorm Generate an Ideation List Use KW Research Tools to Expand Group Keywords by Targeting & Ranking Ability Produce List of Pages to Create Based on KWs Don’t KW Cannibalize – Consolidate if Need Be
  36. 36. What’s Broken? Collect Input Brainstorm Generate an Ideation List Use KW Research Tools to Expand Group Keywords by Targeting & Ranking Ability Produce List of Pages to Create Based on KWs Don’t KW Cannibalize – Consolidate if Need Be
  37. 37. Instead of This: Use KW Research Tools to Expand Do This: 1) Search the web, news, images, YouTube, & Buzzsumo using your list 2) Collect the concepts, topics, intents, related searches, & popular content you find 3) Aggregate into a new keyword list for refinement via volume estimate/expansion tools
  38. 38. Instead of This: Group Keywords by Targeting & Ranking Ability Do This: 1) Group keywords by overlap in searcher intent 2) Break into buckets of 1-5+ terms/phrases that all serve those same intents. Worry less about precise KW match targeting in the title/URL/headline.
  39. 39. Instead of This: Produce List of Pages to Create Based on KWs Do This: 1) Produce a list of searcher intents w/ 1-5 KWs each. 2) Create pages to target each intent, and plan ongoing content efforts w/ more competitive & temporally demanding KWs
  40. 40. Instead of This: Don’t KW Cannibalize; Consolidate if Need Be Do This: 1) If you have multiple pages already targeting the same KW intent(s), consider consolidation (especially if they don’t rank well). 2) Anticipate creating fresh content that may repeatedly target the same KWs based on temporal changes, new intents, & the goal of connecting your domain w/ those terms in the engine.
  41. 41. A simplistic example to help illustrate: Keyword Brainstorm List Mustache Products for Baddies Evil-Doers Facial Grooming Evil Mustache Wax “Infamous!” “Sinister!” I’m already getting expansion terms from searching Bad Guy Moustaches Criminal Mustaches Villainous Men’s Grooming
  42. 42. People are clearly curious about what signals mustaches send! A perfect topic for my content. Johnny Depp & Lyft… Potential partners in moustachio’d crime?
  43. 43. Google clearly has search volume and data for terms like this, but they won’t show them in Adwords 
  44. 44. Using the data I received from my searches, however, gives me some new opportunities (w/ very light competition)
  45. 45. Group keywords by intent, not matching Villainous Mustaches Evil Mustache Villain Mustache Bad Mustache Monster Mustache Criminal Mustaches Evil Mustache Styles Vile Mustaches Styles Sinister Mustache Products Searchers looking for any of these keyword phrases likely have the same, shared intent/goal Unsavory, Moustachio’d Characters Sacrilegious Mustaches Loathesome Mustache Wax Detestable Stache Products Vampiric Mustache Grooming Goods Famous Villain Mustaches Movie Badguy Mustaches
  46. 46. Make Pages that Focus on Intent Content that engages people AND fits with topic modeling algos
  47. 47. Build Up Your Site’s Association with a Topic (or set of topics) Beardbrand’s constant presence across the web (in social, video, news, blogs, etc) means Google associates mustache product searches with their site.
  48. 48. Link Building Earning
  49. 49. We Sometimes Have Blinders On In Link Building Mode…
  50. 50. Instead of This: Must. Get. Followed Link with Anchor Text.
  51. 51. Do This. Build. Relationship.
  52. 52. Social Media Can Build Relationships
  53. 53. Comments Can Build Relationships
  54. 54. A Friendly Email Builds a Relationship Even when the email is simply through a form, a note of thanks/compliment goes a long way.
  55. 55. Advertising is a Relationship
  56. 56. The goal isn’t links. The goal is to grow the quantity of interactions to the point where the relationship is real. Links are just a great side effect of the relationships (BTW - that’s exactly the type of link Google wants to count)
  57. 57. Pro Tip #1: These are terrible targets: Sites #1-10 get all the attention, and likely experience online interaction fatigue very fast
  58. 58. These are ideal targets: Sites #12+ are far more likely to be flattered by/interested in online interactions, and have far fewer pre-existing, web-based relationships
  59. 59. Likewise, these are probably terrible targets: Folks with heavy Twitter followings often get bombarded with offers
  60. 60. While these are likely excellent targets: A high social authority means lots of RTs per tweet, but probably not nearly as much attention as the vanity metric owners
  61. 61. Pro Tip #2: Need a warm intro? GoConspire I can find anyone at a given company and/or any specific person and how we’re connected. Whoa.
  62. 62. Pro Tip #3: Correlation Exists Between Advertisers on Small-Medium Sites & Links There’s a strong probability that at some point, the blogger/site owner will editorially link to these folks, simply because they’re top of mind.
  63. 63. Pro Tip #4: Brand Mentions Near Keywords May Have Link-Like Effects This page isn’t even a great match, but Google’s associations of w/ terms like “house” and “home organization” and “checklist” likely play into the ranking
  64. 64. Content Creation
  65. 65. Content Marketing May Be Creating False Expectations & Bad Practices
  66. 66. Me. Must. Get. Viral. Hit.
  67. 67. Me. Must. Publish. Every. Day.
  68. 68. Me. Must. Write. Good. Unique. Content.
  69. 69. Me. Must. Make. Content. Convert.
  70. 70. Why. Me. No. Get. Results.?
  71. 71. Criteria for Modern Content Investments: One-of-a-Kind–appears nowhere else on the web Relevant –contains content engines can interpret as on-topic Helpful – resolves the searcher’s query in a useful, efficient manner Uniquely Valuable – provides information that’s unavailable elsewhere Great UX– is easy & pleasurable to consume on any device Likely to Spread– convincingly answers the question: “Who will amplify this content and why?”
  72. 72. Pro Tip #1: Imitate What Works!
  73. 73. e.g. Buzzsumo can tell you the content that’s performed best for any given keyword, timeframe, platform, author, or website
  74. 74. Pro Tip #2: In General: Text < Visuals < Interactive This planner from made Reddit’s homepage , in part thanks to interactivity
  75. 75. Pro Tip #3: Even great content benefits from paid amplification Check out Quicksprout’s Guide to Content Syndication Networks
  76. 76. Choosing Where To Invest
  77. 77. Measurability is Often Inversely Correlated w/ Opportunity
  78. 78. Serendipity is Powerful Because It’s Hard to Track, and Almost Never Competitive Attend a conference in Portland Meet a woman through a mutual friend who invites you to participate in a webinar Webinar attendee is impressed, invites you to speak at an event in San Jose San Jose event leads to $1mm in new business How do you attribute/measure the value of going to conferences in Portland? More: Manufacturing Serendipity & WB Friday on Serendipitous Marketing
  79. 79. Only by increasing the vectors of exposure to potentially powerful events can you scale ROI
  80. 80. My Advice: Blogging Display Ads Video Photography Google+ Presentations Interviews Overinvest in your unique strengths. In-Person Relationship Building Twitter Networking Facebook Instagram Research Illustration Offline Advertising Illustration Social Ads Podcasts Whitepapers Email LinkedIn Pinterest SEO PPC
  81. 81. SEO is getting harder
  82. 82. But, that high barrier to entry means greater opportunity for those who succeed.
  83. 83. Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish |