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OVERHAULING CONTENT STRATEGY AS PART
OF A SITE MIGRATION
BRIONY GUNSON
@brionygunson
WHO AM I?
SEO Account Manager
Resolution Media @ Manning Gottlieb OMD
@brionygunson
TODAY WE ARE GOING TO COVER…
• A methodology that my team and I have used to
overhaul client content strategy when handlin...
A TALE OF TWO HALVES – MIGRATING A SITE AND CONTENT STRATEGY
@brionygunson
VO: a lot can potentially go awry with a site m...
IT’S UNDERSTANDABLE THAT CONTENT STRATEGY IS NOT OFTEN THE
MAIN FOCUS
@brionygunson
VO: But I want to highlight why it’s a...
@brionygunson
WHY MIGRATE A SITE?
@brionygunson
2008 2015
VO: It could be about:
• Updating technology
• Visual design and layout
• Over...
WHAT IS THE TRADITIONAL ROLE OF AN SEO IN ALL OF THIS?
@brionygunson
Image source: http://giphy.com/search/white-kid-compu...
PREVENTING ORGANIC TRAFFIC LOSS
@brionygunson
Panic stations!!
HHGTTG image
TECHNICAL BEST PRACTICE & ON-PAGE REVAMP
@brionygunson
Image of the scrum board & daily r
ankings graph from BrightEdge
VO...
THE ROLE AND REMIT OF AN SEO CAN BE DICTATED BY A
VARIETY OF FACTORS…
@brionygunson
Image source: http://giphy.com/search/...
A DECISION THAT REQUIRES A LOT OF TIME, MONEY,
ENERGY AND EMOTION
@brionygunson
VO: We want our clients to have the best p...
REALLY, IT’S AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY TO REALLY GET
YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER!
@brionygunson
We should look to build a site that's...
A TALE OF TWO HALVES – MIGRATING A SITE AND CONTENT STRATEGY
@brionygunsonImage sources: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/32...
BUT WHAT DO I MEAN BY “CONTENT STRATEGY?”
@brionygunson
In this context, it’s
very much about
investigating
what the websi...
AND HOW DO WE IDENTIFY THESE CONTENT NEEDS?
@brionygunson
Image source: http://abetteruserexperience.com/wp-content/upload...
@brionygunson
CLIENT
CUSTOMERSCOMPETITORS
BY BEEFING UP THE RESEARCH PHASE PRE-MIGRATION
Foundations
for website
content
s...
@brionygunson
CLIENT
CUSTOMERSCOMPETITORS
Inputs can include:
• Target audience
• Auditing owned/earned assets
• Previous ...
@brionygunson
CLIENT
CUSTOMERSCOMPETITORS
BY BEEFING UP THE RESEARCH PHASE PRE-MIGRATION
Inputs can include:
• Share of Vo...
@brionygunson
CLIENT
CUSTOMERSCOMPETITORS
BY BEEFING UP THE RESEARCH PHASE PRE-MIGRATION
Inputs can include:
• Keyword res...
@brionygunson
KEYWORDS ONLY TELL PART OF THE USER NEEDS STORY
VO: Rise of “how to” & “why” search queries has opened up a ...
@brionygunson
Google keeps
users satisfied!
Gives them all
they need!
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pestfoto...
SOCIAL LISTENING GIVES US ADDITIONAL LAYER OF INSIGHT
@brionygunson
VO: We want to see what convos are happening on social...
Input
keywords in
SLT
Review
output for
relevancy
Group
relevant
content by
theme
Input themes
into SLT
Review
output for
...
@brionygunson
CLIENT
CUSTOMERSCOMPETITORS
WE TAKE THIS INSIGHT AND MAKE A DECISION WITH THE CLIENT
ABOUT WHAT WE CAN USE F...
WHEN SHOULD THIS RESEARCH TAKE PLACE?
@brionygunson
Reviewing
objectives
Defining
IA
In build
Migration
Day
Second
Release...
SO, HOW HAS THIS WORKED FOR US?
@brionygunson
Image source:
https://plus.google.com/+RicardoNunoSilva/posts/R9vC5UtU4VK?pi...
PREVENTING ORGANIC TRAFFIC LOSS
@brionygunson
Panic stations!!
HHGTTG image
0
500,000
1,000,000
1,500,000
2,000,000
2,500,000
3,000,000
Jun-14 Jul-14 Aug-14 Sep-14 Oct-14 Nov-14 Dec-14 Jan-15 Feb-15...
AND RANKINGS FOR CORE TERMS BASED ON USER NEEDS ALSO INCREASED
*144% increase in average
rankings in 3 months,
Generic ter...
HAPPY CLIENT AND A MUCH TIGHTER RELATIONSHIP
@brionygunson
VO: Much closer relationship with them, still drawing on these ...
1. SEOs can do so much more: Site migrations present a great opportunity!
Aim to maintain traffic but we can also work tow...
THANK YOU
@brionygunson
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Overhauling Content Strategy As Part Of A Site Migration - Search London 2015

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My presentation from Search London (http://www.meetup.com/search-london/) 1st Sept 2015, where I shared a methodology to start overhauling client content strategy when handling a site migration. Beyond just information architecture implications, it’s about setting up the site to address user needs whilst also satisfying search intent.
I've included voice over (VO) comments in boxes on most slides.

Key takeaways:
1. SEOs can do so much more: Site migrations present a great opportunity! Aim to maintain traffic but we can also work towards future proofing the site for content. Make your client visible AND valuable to users.

2. Beef up the research phase: Client, competitor and customer research done as part of a migration provides great insight, which, coupled with social listening, lays the foundations of a website content strategy.

3. Timing: Get involved at an early stage and allocate sufficient time for research AS WELL as getting best practice SEO in place for the migration. That said, the research can still be valuable even if the timing isn’t perfect.

Published in: Marketing
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Overhauling Content Strategy As Part Of A Site Migration - Search London 2015

  1. 1. OVERHAULING CONTENT STRATEGY AS PART OF A SITE MIGRATION BRIONY GUNSON @brionygunson
  2. 2. WHO AM I? SEO Account Manager Resolution Media @ Manning Gottlieb OMD @brionygunson
  3. 3. TODAY WE ARE GOING TO COVER… • A methodology that my team and I have used to overhaul client content strategy when handling a site migration. • Beyond just the usual IA implications, it’s about setting up the site to address user needs whilst also satisfying search intent. @brionygunson
  4. 4. A TALE OF TWO HALVES – MIGRATING A SITE AND CONTENT STRATEGY @brionygunson VO: a lot can potentially go awry with a site migration… Image sources: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3262/2684820457_a1797af6c7.jpg http://abetteruserexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/content-strategy-480x432.jpg
  5. 5. IT’S UNDERSTANDABLE THAT CONTENT STRATEGY IS NOT OFTEN THE MAIN FOCUS @brionygunson VO: But I want to highlight why it’s actually a great opportunity to investigate content strategy as part of the process, as there’s so much insight gleaned from the research done to ensure that a site migration goes well.
  6. 6. @brionygunson
  7. 7. WHY MIGRATE A SITE? @brionygunson 2008 2015 VO: It could be about: • Updating technology • Visual design and layout • Overhauling content • Upgrade CMS • Change of vendor Or all of the above!
  8. 8. WHAT IS THE TRADITIONAL ROLE OF AN SEO IN ALL OF THIS? @brionygunson Image source: http://giphy.com/search/white-kid-computer-thumbs-up
  9. 9. PREVENTING ORGANIC TRAFFIC LOSS @brionygunson Panic stations!! HHGTTG image
  10. 10. TECHNICAL BEST PRACTICE & ON-PAGE REVAMP @brionygunson Image of the scrum board & daily r ankings graph from BrightEdge VO: typically look to ensure technical best practice is in place and use this as an opportunity to revamp on-page optimisation, e.g. • 301 redirects from old to new site are in place • The new site can be crawled and indexed by search engines • Preventing duplicate content on the new site • Resolving 404s • Measuring and tracking traffic, rankings, index – meticulously measure pre & post migration etc
  11. 11. THE ROLE AND REMIT OF AN SEO CAN BE DICTATED BY A VARIETY OF FACTORS… @brionygunson Image source: http://giphy.com/search/white-kid-computer-thumbs-up
  12. 12. A DECISION THAT REQUIRES A LOT OF TIME, MONEY, ENERGY AND EMOTION @brionygunson VO: We want our clients to have the best possible product – so what about also looking to increase traffic, engagement, conversion? Image source: http://www.vebidoo.de/erich+cermak
  13. 13. REALLY, IT’S AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY TO REALLY GET YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER! @brionygunson We should look to build a site that's design, structure and functionality make it compatible with the content needs relevant for our client’s audience. By doing an extra bit of research, an SEO can contribute a lot more insight and value to the client, whilst ensuring the SEO objectives are met. Image source: https://southcarolina1670.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/house-after.png?w=676
  14. 14. A TALE OF TWO HALVES – MIGRATING A SITE AND CONTENT STRATEGY @brionygunsonImage sources: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3262/2684820457_a1797af6c7.jpg http://abetteruserexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/content-strategy-480x432.jpg
  15. 15. BUT WHAT DO I MEAN BY “CONTENT STRATEGY?” @brionygunson In this context, it’s very much about investigating what the website content strategy should be and basing this on consumer needs. Image source: http://abetteruserexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/content-strategy-480x432.jpg
  16. 16. AND HOW DO WE IDENTIFY THESE CONTENT NEEDS? @brionygunson Image source: http://abetteruserexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/content-strategy-480x432.jpg
  17. 17. @brionygunson CLIENT CUSTOMERSCOMPETITORS BY BEEFING UP THE RESEARCH PHASE PRE-MIGRATION Foundations for website content strategy VO: as part of a migration, you will (or certainly should) do quite a lot of research which you can break down into three key areas – client, competitors & customers.
  18. 18. @brionygunson CLIENT CUSTOMERSCOMPETITORS Inputs can include: • Target audience • Auditing owned/earned assets • Previous campaigns • Brand strategy What does the client want to achieve from this migration? BY BEEFING UP THE RESEARCH PHASE PRE-MIGRATION VO: makes sense to ensure you fully understand the client – understanding what it is that they want to achieve with the redesign/overhaul, so you are clear on what you are migrating over and the stakes involved.
  19. 19. @brionygunson CLIENT CUSTOMERSCOMPETITORS BY BEEFING UP THE RESEARCH PHASE PRE-MIGRATION Inputs can include: • Share of Voice on social • Share of Voice via organic search • Backlink profile • Estimated traffic • Recent campaigns How can we differentiate ourselves? VO: similar to client research, we would also look to see who is doing well in this space. Where there is overlap this is where we need to think about how we can differentiate our clients from their competitors.
  20. 20. @brionygunson CLIENT CUSTOMERSCOMPETITORS BY BEEFING UP THE RESEARCH PHASE PRE-MIGRATION Inputs can include: • Keyword research • Search trends • Survey data • CRM data • Facebook demographic data • PPC demographic data Is this enough for user needs? VO: Thinking about the crossover: Is the current content doing a good job at targeting those terms? How do we compare to competitors?
  21. 21. @brionygunson KEYWORDS ONLY TELL PART OF THE USER NEEDS STORY VO: Rise of “how to” & “why” search queries has opened up a lot more content opportunities for brands – increasing presence of search snippets show the importance Google is giving to answering user needs
  22. 22. @brionygunson Google keeps users satisfied! Gives them all they need! Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pestfoto/7263971706
  23. 23. SOCIAL LISTENING GIVES US ADDITIONAL LAYER OF INSIGHT @brionygunson VO: We want to see what convos are happening on social around our clients, their products and their competitors and any relevant topics So we want to add this additional layer into the site migration process when understanding clients, competitors & customers. Image source http://40n2v21d6ogh2vw593p4ksu1.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp- content/uploads/2014/04/SocialMediaSchedulingListening-776x415.jpg
  24. 24. Input keywords in SLT Review output for relevancy Group relevant content by theme Input themes into SLT Review output for search queries Search vol, rank, content format METHODOLOGY OF IDENTIFYING THOSE NEEDS VIA SOCIAL LISTENING @brionygunson “Train tickets” “Cost”, “Type”, “Where to buy”, “How to collect” Search vol 50 rank 38 travel guides “when is the cheapest time to travel by train?” VO: The scale and depth to which you want to go to is up to you!
  25. 25. @brionygunson CLIENT CUSTOMERSCOMPETITORS WE TAKE THIS INSIGHT AND MAKE A DECISION WITH THE CLIENT ABOUT WHAT WE CAN USE FOR THE MIGRATION
  26. 26. WHEN SHOULD THIS RESEARCH TAKE PLACE? @brionygunson Reviewing objectives Defining IA In build Migration Day Second Release? Reviewing objectives This presents a big over simplification of a migration process! But, ideally, we want to be starting research 8-10 weeks before any decisions are made about defining site structure – the earlier you can be involved in the site migration process the better.
  27. 27. SO, HOW HAS THIS WORKED FOR US? @brionygunson Image source: https://plus.google.com/+RicardoNunoSilva/posts/R9vC5UtU4VK?pid=57965 10546364478562&oid=102679111540717383584
  28. 28. PREVENTING ORGANIC TRAFFIC LOSS @brionygunson Panic stations!! HHGTTG image
  29. 29. 0 500,000 1,000,000 1,500,000 2,000,000 2,500,000 3,000,000 Jun-14 Jul-14 Aug-14 Sep-14 Oct-14 Nov-14 Dec-14 Jan-15 Feb-15 Mar-15 Apr-15 May-15 Jun-15 Jul-15 PHEW! MIGRATION WENT WELL AND WE GREW TRAFFIC WHILST REDUCING SIZE OF SITE BY 50% MIGRATION DAY @brionygunson SECOND RELEASE National Campaign +70,000 organic visits compared to July 2014 VO: New site launched in August 2014 with new content, CMS, design, layout, structure & we reduced the size of the site by 50%. Post launch, we see a slight drop off in Sept but this is seasonality, & then we start to see a gradual lift up until another release in February 2015 where we launched a content hub based on user needs research. +70,000 visits compared to 2014 when there was a national campaign that same month – with TV, radio, OOH, paid spend – boosting search interest around the brand.
  30. 30. AND RANKINGS FOR CORE TERMS BASED ON USER NEEDS ALSO INCREASED *144% increase in average rankings in 3 months, Generic terms from page 4 page 1 *avg. 62,000 search vol @brionygunson
  31. 31. HAPPY CLIENT AND A MUCH TIGHTER RELATIONSHIP @brionygunson VO: Much closer relationship with them, still drawing on these insights now AND we really understand their business and we’ve become much more important to them
  32. 32. 1. SEOs can do so much more: Site migrations present a great opportunity! Aim to maintain traffic but we can also work towards future proofing the site for content. Make your client visible AND valuable to users. 2. Beef up the research phase: Client, competitor and customer research done as part of a migration provides great insight, which, coupled with social listening, lays the foundations of a website content strategy. 3. Timing: Get involved at an early stage and allocate sufficient time for research AS WELL as getting best practice SEO in place for the migration. That said, the research can still be valuable even if the timing isn’t perfect. KEY TAKEAWAYS @brionygunson
  33. 33. THANK YOU @brionygunson

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