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Futureproofing your SEO strategy


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Published in: Technology, Business

Futureproofing your SEO strategy

  1. 1. Future Proofing SEOby Patrick Altoft
  2. 2. What I’m talking about• Penalties• Making users love you• How great sites are winning the SEO race• How to make your site great• Being memorable• Content strategy• Getting social• Links
  3. 3. PandaSites that Google thinks are low quality gotwiped out• Duplicate content• Poor “return to search” metrics(voucher sites & car classified sites)• Lots of low value pages• Thin content
  4. 4. PandaRather than having somehuge change that happens ona given day.You are more likely in thefuture to see Panda deployedgradually as we rebuild theindex. So you are less likely tosee these large scale sorts ofchanges.Merchant update?
  5. 5. Poor quality sites just don’t perform as wellHistorically a mediocre company with a below average site could implement anaggressive link strategy based on mediocre links and generate top rankings.Now Google actively penalises for bad links & content rather than just devaluing them
  6. 6. Does Google like your business model?
  7. 7. Unnatural LinksGoogle has manually penalisedthousands of sites for havingunnatural linksWe run a penalty recovery serviceand have helped over 35 brandsrecover from their penalties in thepast 6 months
  8. 8. PenguinArtificial intelligence algorithm designed to identifysites that fit a pattern of manipulating the algorithmby building unnatural links to get rankings higher thanthe site deserves
  9. 9. Link DevaluationA gradual drop inrankings since 22ndNovember could be dueto link devaluation(November 22nd was also aPanda update too)
  10. 10. Do people love you?It’s unquantifiable, tough to explain to clients & impossibleto make a business case for but love is slowly & steadilybecoming part of the Google algorithmGoogle can tell whether people love your website & isrewarding the most loved websites with higher rankings.Panda downgraded sites that people didn’t love – whywouldn’t Google reward sites that people do love?
  11. 11. How can Google understand love?Hundreds of user engagementsignals are analysed and fed intoan artificial intelligence algorithmThe algorithm learns how todetect whether users love a siteor not (probably with the help ofseed sites)Remember, Chrome has 33%market share & Analytics is inuse on over 10m websites
  12. 12. How artificial intelligenceshapes the algorithmNew algorithm• Based on what we knowabout sites that are loved, dowe think that people loveyour site?Old Algorithm• Let’s score you on varioustrust signals & see how youperform
  13. 13. Great sites are winning• Doing SEO for a great site is 10x easier than doing SEO for a mediocre site• For most companies this is the difference between success and failure in an SEO campaignPanda?
  14. 14. People love John Lewis
  15. 15. People love M&S
  16. 16. What can I do?• Want to know how Google sees your site? Just askyour visitors.• Every site should be permanently asking forfeedback from different groups of people• Adopt a mantra of continual improvement & usesurvey scores as a KPI•
  17. 17. Content StrategyOur Data Insights team analysed visits across one of the UK’s largestretail ecommerce websites and found that users who engaged with apiece of content such as an article, forum thread or video on the sitebefore reaching a product or category page were 5 times more valuablethan users who arrived directly on a product or category page.Users who engage with quality content place more trust in the brand soconvert at a higher rate, purchase more products and have a greatertendency to make repeat purchasesIncreasing brand trust, improving conversion rates and encouraginglarger sale values are all vital elements of any digital marketing campaign
  18. 18. Attribution modellingAdding attribution modelling into the mix demonstrates even further why a strongcontent strategy is so important – on average non-brand organic SEO is 40% morevaluable than a traditional “last click wins” methodology would show.Content strategy increases assisted conversions
  19. 19. Content makes your site memorableOur research shows that 40% of ecommerce transactions are carried out24 hours or more after users first visit the website
  20. 20. Being memorableOnly 40% of revenue is attributable to users who buy on the first visit – most of yourcustomers will need to remember you and find you a second time
  21. 21. Content AuditDocument• Typography• Readability• Spelling/grammar• Shareability• Keyword use• Copyscape report onstolen content• Social media sharesShareable Content• Brainstorming• Competitor Analysis• Examples &screenshots fromcompetitorsInformativeContent• Research Q&A onYahoo Answers,Quora, Facebook,Twitter• Search for questionsin Analytics data &keyword tool data• Gap Analysis ofcurrent content• Examples &screenshots fromcompetitors etcUser GeneratedContent• Reviews –implementation,incentivisation etc• Q&A section or Q&Aon product pages etc• Forums, blogcomments, guestblog posts, in-depthcontent reviews• Examples &screenshots fromcompetitors etcSite Structure• Where does contentneed to go (blog orQ&A etc)• How should thesections bestructured• Design & UI• Interlinking betweensections• Examples &screenshots fromcompetitorsContent RoadmapDocument• Monthly or weeklycontent plan• Special events &calendar• Blog calendar• PR calendarContent Strategy Framework
  22. 22. People are already doing this
  23. 23. ReviewsIf you don’t have a userreview strategy – why not?
  24. 24. Questions & AnswersWhy wouldn’t you do this?
  25. 25. External Reviews• Build users trust• Improve conversion rates• Increase basket size• Improve Quality Score for PPCWhy wouldn’t you do this?
  26. 26. UsabilityHow many sites are hard touse on a mobile device oriPad?What’s your conversion rateon Safari?Our data for 30m UK users inAugust puts Safari at over 30%market share with most visitscoming from iPad and iPhoneuse – Safari is the mostpopular browser on lots ofecommerce sites
  27. 27. Usability & Conversion Rates
  28. 28. This sounds hard, can we ignore SEO?For an established business the new rules of SEO are a tough sellbecause businesses need information about ROI to sign off projectsand struggle to implement new ways of workingMaybe you can just ignore SEO?
  29. 29. The new rules of The InternetLook at it another way - Google is just mirroring real life and ranking sites that userswant to see. If people don’t like your site this will impact everything you do online.If you don’t focus on making users love you then how will you get traffic?• PPC – Google will bring these factors into the Quality Score algorithm sooner or later• Direct – if users don’t love you will they still visit your site directly?• Social media – unloved sites never succeed in social media• Affiliates – can you afford to pay commission for all your sales/leads?• Conversions – users convert better if they love the site
  30. 30. It’s not about growthLook at all the brands who have lost huge amounts of revenue due toPanda, Penguin and unnatural links.SEO is no longer just about growth.For some businesses SEO is just about forward thinking to protect marketshare and make sure the next major update doesn’t ruin your business.
  31. 31. Link strategyThe only way to future-proof your link strategy is to make links a naturalby-product of your normal marketing strategyAs you might expect, this isn’t easy. How many links does your marketingstrategy deliver every month at the moment?If you sit back and wait for links to arrive you won’t get enough to rank
  32. 32. RelationshipsClient PRStrategyCorporateCommsMediaRelationsBlog OutreachSocial MediaCrisis CommsInternalCommsPublic AffairsAgencySEOStrategyLinkbuildingKeywordResearchOther SEOprojectsOnsiteOptimisationClient does some great stuff over hereMost agency/client linkbuilding relationships work like thisAgency does some other stuff over there
  33. 33. It should work something like thisMarketingCorporate CommsLinksMediaRelationsLinksBlogOutreachLinksSEOKeywordsTechnicalSEOSocialMediaLinksCrisisCommsLinksReputationManagementInternalCommsSEOTrainingPublicAffairsLinksEvery marketing task can be performed by the client or the agency – usually an agile agency willfill the gaps where the client doesn’t have in-house resource
  34. 34. Recommended Reading
  35. 35. Patrick@branded3.com