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FirstFocus Search Engine Optimization - Back To SEO Basics

Presented as SES Amsterdam March 17th 2009

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FirstFocus Search Engine Optimization - Back To SEO Basics

  1. 1. Search Engine Strategies Amsterdam 2009 SEO - back to basics Menno Flikkema, FirstFocus bv http://www.firstfocus.eu (dutch) http://en.firstfocus.eu (international)
  2. 2. Welcome! <ul><li>Menno Flikkema </li></ul><ul><li>Search Engine Optimization Consultant (SEO) </li></ul><ul><li>FirstFocus bv </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Since 2004 specialist in organic search for international clients (NL, IE, DE, CH, PL, BE) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clients mostly B2B but also travel, finance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>FirstFocus audits sites, develops search tools and OnTarget SEO CMS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.firstfocus.eu/OnTarget-SEO-CMS.html (dutch) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://en.firstfocus.eu/OnTarget-SEO-CMS.html (international) </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Overview <ul><li>Part 1: Fact Based Marketing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changing world of search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality traffic – what is your share? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make it measurable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use search to start a dialogue </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Part 2: SEO back to basics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HotelVandaag.nl business case </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology and the value of a webpage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Optimizing content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The impact of your neighborhood </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. New channels change nature of web 2001 : So I have to tell about this thing my cat did today 2004 : Pictures of my cat 2005 : Seems logical, movies of my cat 2007 : 01:12 My cat just sneezed 01:13 My cat sneezed again. 01:16 The cat hasn’t sneezed recently 01:16 Getting worried 2008: follow my cat 24/7 March 3 rd , 2009: In a survey by German broadband association Bitkom around 84 percent of respondents aged 19-29 said they would rather do without their current partner or an automobile than forego their connection to the Web. ( reuters ) 2009: Y ou did WHAT to that poor cat?
  5. 5. Changing world of search
  6. 6. This is how skittles does it
  7. 7. This is how Ryanair does it
  8. 8. I t all boils down to traffic 10-30% 20-30% 20-30% 40-60% CTR = Click Through Rate
  9. 9.
  10. 10. T ry to make some educated guesses research suggests avg. 89/11% http://www.seomoz.org/blog/clickthrough-rates-in-the-serps-what-are-the-real-numbers CTR from First SERP page ~70% Second page and further ~30% Very different per keyword!
  11. 11. What is your average CTR? 20 % 18 % 15 % 13 % 22 % 10 % 5 % 3 % 2 % 25 % 0,3 % 15 %
  12. 12. Adwords gives insight in search volume Google “keyword tool external”
  13. 13. What is the potential of search marketing for you? <ul><li>Calculate the missed opportunity cost of not ranking for information, products and services that you offer </li></ul>x average conversion rate x x <ul><li>E.g.10000/day x 10% x 3% x €50 = €1.500/day </li></ul><ul><li>Ex. CPM revenues (visitors x avg.pages/visitor) </li></ul>average transaction amount # of people searching for your keywords expected click-through rate
  14. 14. Part 2 HotelVandaag.nl case
  15. 15.
  16. 16. What is Hotelvandaag.? <ul><li>Hotel booking site with no booking fees </li></ul><ul><li>Quality beyond hotels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What else does a visitor need? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ratings and reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Michelin, Gault Millau Restaurants </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interaction, Social Media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>With hotels: comments, micro blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With users: Twitter, Flickr and Google Maps </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Create a community driven site and stimulate user generated content </li></ul><ul><li>Use organic search to drive traffic </li></ul>
  17. 17. The basics of SEO SEA Technology Content Authority Quick wins Time consuming but necessary Consistent content, patience, good neighborhoods €€€ Buy your way in, but not now SEO Time, effort
  18. 18. SEO: Technology Technology
  19. 19. code Make sure your site doesn’t end up like this Google “site:domain.com” SEOmoz crawl test
  20. 20. Standards based design Title and URL Alternative to JS Navigation Proper lists Headers
  21. 21. What’s ideal for robots? <ul><li>Search engines are programmed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Performance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Clean code that follows W3C standards </li></ul><ul><li>A strong domain </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Name, trust </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pretty URL’s, Unique titles, Meta description </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People need confirmation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Obvious content area </li></ul><ul><li>Clear navigation structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most underestimated SEO factor </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Internal link structure
  23. 23.
  24. 24.
  25. 25.
  26. 26. SEO: content Content This should be a continuous process
  27. 27. What is top of mind? I need a hotel reservation! Going out, weekend city trip Need hotel for business Luxury Need a hotel today Looking for reviews Want boutique hotel
  28. 28. Create new relevant content <ul><li>What else does a visitor to a city need other than a Hotel? </li></ul><ul><li>Adding selected restaurants, culture and shopping seems to decrease relevance </li></ul><ul><li>… but creates and enormous long tail of traffic for very specific searches </li></ul><ul><li>This is added value for the potential customer who needs a hotel </li></ul>
  29. 29. The long tail works for Hotelvandaag.nl Nice hotel Romantic hotel Boutique hotel Restaurants 58000+ different queries
  30. 30. Check your focus Use online tools to check focus Each page has a content fingerprint Search “keyword cloud”
  31. 31. SEO: Authority This should be a continuous process Authority ..by looking at who’s linking to the competition
  32. 32. Yahoo! Search “linkdomain:domain.com –site:domain.com”
  33. 33.
  34. 34. Migrate existing trusted domains Redirect page by page The fast track to links 30 000+ links “ Never buy links, buy sites!” Marcus Tandler, SES Hamburg 2008 Use the power of your old domains
  35. 35. Many new improvements on the way <ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus of pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve bounce rates </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Booking flow </li></ul><ul><ul><li>GUI design A/B testing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conversion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All pages have similar design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create themed designs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Even more dialogue! </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Improve conversion with search Make search central to fact based online marketing and improved conversion Search Optimization Analytics Reports
  37. 37. Conclusions I <ul><li>Changing times require new business models, be critical of your media mix </li></ul><ul><li>Make search a process – measure, evaluate and improve </li></ul><ul><li>SEO Basics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each page has a ‘fingerprint’ that makes it unique </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each page has value that it can share </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn from your competitors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use SEO tools to your advantage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If your technology is lacking – change it </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Conclusions II <ul><li>Use existing sites to boost new content – old, forgotten sites may be very valuable </li></ul><ul><li>Interact with users and use social media to gain unique content and links </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain a dialogue -- Integrate channels, use search queries to improve presentation and conversion </li></ul>
  39. 39. Questions? <ul><li>Follow me! </li></ul><ul><li>http://twitter.com/seomenno </li></ul><ul><li>http://linkedin.com/in/mennoflikkema </li></ul><ul><li>Menno Flikkema </li></ul><ul><li>FirstFocus bv </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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