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Better Together Search and Social - Moving From Cowboys to Hedgehogs By Ellen White


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From the SMX West Conference in San Jose, California, March 1-3, 2016. SESSION: Better Together: Search & Social. PRESENTATION: Better Together Search and Social - Moving From Cowboys to Hedgehogs - Given by Ellen White, @ellenreathwhite - Team Detroit / Ford Motor Company, Director, Organic Search (SEO). #SMX #24A

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Better Together Search and Social - Moving From Cowboys to Hedgehogs By Ellen White

  1. 1. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Rugged Individualism versus Secure Interdependence Better Together: Search + Social Moving from Cowboys to Hedgehogs
  2. 2. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite ELLEN  WHITE   •  Employer  –  Team  Detroit   •  Client  –  Ford  Motor  Company   •  Search  Marketing  Specialist  –  SEO/SEM   •  Digital  Analytics     Director  of  Organic  Search  (SEO)  for  Ford  Motor  Company.  Previous  clients  include   Johnson  Controls  and  Scotts  Miracle-­‐gro.  Worked  at  Oneupweb  Digital  Marketing   Agency,  also  sold  software  as  a  service  for  Automatic  Data  Processing  (ADP)     Excels  at  communicating  in  a  plain,  straightforward  fashion  the  complexities  of  today’s   emerging  Search  Marketing  environment.     Committed  to  bringing  rigor,  discipline  and  standardization  to  the  Search  profession.   Believes  implementation  is  the  foundation  for  success…it’s  not  enough  to  hand  off   recommendations.     Favorite  Quote:  “Was  ever  a  would-­‐be  gardener    SEO  professional  left  so  entirely  to  her   own  blundering?  But  every  mistake  must  be  used  as  a  stepping  stone  to  something   better…and  all  my  mistakes  only  make  me  more  determined  to  persevere.”  
  3. 3. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite The SEO team bubbles up recommendations based on analytics data •  “There is a great deal of interest in [FILL IN THE BLANK], Our site is the best source of information regarding this topic. But the way the site is designed blocks search engines from finding that information.” Recommendation •  Help search engine crawlers find and understand content Implementation •  Discovery à Design à Develop à Deploy à Post-Deployment •  Research à UXA & Copywriter Input à Engineering Input à QA à Reporting + Additional Optimizations How the Organic Search (SEO) team works within the agency Insights, Recommendations & Implementation - 100,000 200,000 300,000 400,000 500,000 600,000 Dec2014 Nov2014 Oct2014 Sep2014 Aug2014 Jul2014 Jun2014 May2014 Apr2014 Mar2014 Feb2014 Jan2014 Dec2013 Nov2013 Oct2013 Sep2013 Aug2013 Jul2013 Jun2013 May2013 Apr2013 Mar2013 Feb2013 Jan2013 Dec2012 Nov2012 Oct2012 Sep2012 Aug2012 Jul2012 Jun2012 May2012 Apr2012 Mar2012 Feb2012 Jan2012 Dec2011 Nov2011 Oct2011 Sep2011 Aug2011 Jul2011 Jun2011 May2011 Apr2011 Mar2011 Feb2011 Jan2011 Dec2010 Nov2010 Oct2010 Sep2010 Aug2010 Jul2010 Jun2010 May2010 Apr2010 Mar2010 Feb2010 Jan2010 Dec2009 Nov2009 Oct2009 Sep2009 Aug2009 Paid Visits from Search - Wired & Mobile Natural Visits from Search - Wired & Mobile
  4. 4. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite          Search   Marke*ng.   There we were, Search Marketing professionals, finally established, sitting at anchor on calm waters.
  5. 5. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite          S O C I A L         M E D I A .   And suddenly our little sister hit the scene…and our parents were enamored.
  6. 6. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Dependence ! Independence ! Rugged Individualism ! Interdependence Cowboys. We are here. Characterized by •  Competence •  Getting it DONE! •  “I’ve got this”
  7. 7. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Characterized by •  Rivalry •  Jockeying for position •  Fear of showing our inadequacies The problem with Cowboys. Dependence ! Independence ! Rugged Individualism ! Interdependence We are here.
  8. 8. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Search + Social is you? Dependence ! Independence ! Rugged Individualism ! Interdependence A special kind of cowboy Characterized by •  Ignoring weaknesses •  Low-grade anxiety •  “I’ll figure it out” mentality •  Tendency to focus time & efforts on what you know •  Headed for burnout You are the Search and Social Team. You can’t do it all.
  9. 9. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Better Together. Keep these five truths in mind. 1.  No single person or team can master the complexities in today’s Search/ Social discipline 2.  Your knowledge in no way diminishes me. 3.  Sharing my knowledge in no way threatens my place in this world. 4.  Knowledge gaps are not intelligence gaps. 5.  We are all capable of learning. Dependence ! Independence ! Rugged Individualism ! Interdependence Let’s get here. Be Humble. Be Teachable.
  10. 10. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Interdependence Leverages Unique Expertise. What it is. •  A focus on unique expertise •  The opposite of “working on your weaknesses” •  Focus on that one thing you do better than anyone else at the table •  Become a specialist •  Let the strength of others strengthen your work/team “A fox knows many things, but a hedgehog one important thing."
  11. 11. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite #1 Requirement Feel Safe. Ongoing & Continuous Change •  Search algorithms •  Social media sites & their influence Emerging •  Vocabulary •  Thought-leaders •  Strategies •  Tactics •  Analytics •  Goals & Objectives •  Your knowledge & the knowledge of others E V E R Y T H I N G  is  emerging.   N O   O N E   is  a  complete  expert.   In order for an atmosphere of interdependence to thrive, all parties must feel safe.
  12. 12. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Today’s Challenges. Deadlines ! Fast Pace ! Constant Change = Profound Complexities Moving from rugged individualism to leveraging unique teamwork. •  Rely on the knowledge of others •  Receive knowledge graciously •  Assume a level of expertise with all teams and clients •  Avoid the tendency to jump to “I knew it first!” •  Don’t worry about your weaknesses, worry about the weaknesses of your team(s) •  Expose your weaknesses so that you can get knowledge and training
  13. 13. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Checklists. •  Create a set of checklists that fit your organization •  Create checklists for processes and teams •  Add communication checkpoints •  Print your checklists •  Use the checklists & refine •  Avoid the dumb mistakes •  Complexity of today’s digital world demands checklists •  Don’t let overconfidence cause you to make mistakes! How did Sully and his team execute such a successful landing & evacuation? Checklists. Rugged Individualist ! Operational Excellence.
  14. 14. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Search versus Social What’s the difference?
  15. 15. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite   Consumer   Consumer  Consumer   Standard Search Marketing Model Drive consumers to our platform from Google, Yahoo! And Bing. How we did it •  Content •  Links •  Site Architecture •  Paid Media Where we struggle •  Content •  Links •  Site Architecture •  Budgets for Paid Media Search vs Social Search.
  16. 16. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Consumer   Ford  Content   Ford  Content   Ford  Content   Ford  Content   Social Media’s Distributed Content Model Meet consumers on their platforms. How its being done. •  Content •  Tweets & Posts •  Videos •  Blogs •  Images •  Links…a powerful ranking signal Search vs Social Social.
  17. 17. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Search vs Social Search Strengths “We know exactly what we want and how to get it.” Social Strengths “We will come to you.” Search Challenges “You must come to us.” •  Deep research on important terms •  Strong knowledge of ranking factors •  Success measured on one platform •  Quick insertion into the cultural conversation •  Ability to use common language •  Slow turnaround •  Architecture & Design Roadblocks •  Frequently restrained from using common language
  18. 18. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Search + Social Strategy & Tactics.
  19. 19. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Create  a  ROADMAP.   Strategy. Social can leverage the SEO team in the following ways: •  Knowledge of linking •  Keyword research data SEO can leverage the Social team in the following ways: •  Ability to deploy content when brand site content is thin, non-existent or unable to be reached by search engine crawlers
  20. 20. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Create  a  ROADMAP.   Tactics. Create a written roadmap that contains •  Linking Strategy •  Content Calendar
  21. 21. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Tactics. Linking Strategy •  Leverage these powerful social media websites! •  Links matter / don’t matter? It don’t matter! •  Hoping for “likes”? Stop. •  Be engaging. •  Write good content (and include some valuable keywords in a professional manner) •  Have an established plan for posts, tweets, comments. •  Be authentic. A2ract  LINKS.   Attract links. Understand links. Fix bad links. Report-out on incoming links from your social media sites! I know. It’s a Lynx.
  22. 22. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Establish  BRAND.   Tactics. What is your brand’s theme? For what topics do you want your brand to show up? Where online should your brand show up? Extend branding to all •  Copy (posts/tweets) •  Images •  Videos
  23. 23. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Be  LIKEABLE.   Tactics. Likeable Traits •  Quick wit •  Humor •  Thematically relevant to your brand •  Authenticity •  Good member of the community •  Responsive to others
  24. 24. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Determine   VOICE  and  CADENCE.   Tactics. •  Use the SEO team’s keyword research to create content strategy •  Vary posts and tweets regularly •  Provide links to your own content and to the content of sites that are thematically relevant and of interest to your audience
  25. 25. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite NavigaBon  can  get            TRICKY.   Tactics. •  Managing mistakes •  Employee Turnover •  Training – both inter and intra-team •  Ongoing & continuous innovation and improvement
  26. 26. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite Refine  your  ROADMAP.   Get  Your  BEARINGS.   Tactics. Refine Your Strategy. •  SEO Team strategy •  Social Team strategy •  Review & revise quarterly in first year
  27. 27. #SMX #24A @EllenReathWhite SEE YOU AT THE NEXT #SMX! THANK YOU!!