SEO Case Study in IIM Bangalore – Suresh Babu, OME Community Bangalore

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SEO CASE STUDY DISCUSSION IN IIM BANGALORE BY OME COMMUNITY

MINUTES OF THE MEETING: OME COMMUNITY MEET-UP OCTOBER- 2010

Programme Outline:
• Introduction amongst all attendees of the meet
• Suresh Babu speaks on OME & introduces NextBigIdea
• Case Study on “Ooty Real Estate“ by Suresh Babu
• Power tips session
• Call for Indian case Studies, volunteers and sponsors
• Suggestions by attendees
• Action item for November meet

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SEO Case Study in IIM Bangalore – Suresh Babu, OME Community Bangalore

  1. 1. SEO CASE STUDY DISCUSSION IN IIM BANGALORE BY OME COMMUNITY MINUTES OF THE MEETING: OME COMMUNITY MEET-UP OCTOBER- 2010 Programme Outline: • Introduction amongst all attendees of the meet • Suresh Babu speaks on OME & introduces NextBigIdea • Case Study on “Ooty Real Estate“ by Suresh Babu • Power tips session • Call for Indian case Studies, volunteers and sponsors • Suggestions by attendees • Action item for November meet Click to view Photos on Flicker | Click to view Photos on Facebook | Click to view Videos | More Videos The seventh OME Community meet-up began with the usual buzz and excitement on a cloudy Sunday afternoon, 31 st of October with several new members joining the bandwagon of enterprising professionals aiming big in the Online Marketing & Social Media sphere. The introductions were quite interesting; people from several industries showed their willingness to embrace the inevitable, web marketing trends vis-a-vis traditional marketing. In addition, experts, students and amateurs shook hands on this unified platform and inquisitively looked forward to a session of learning, contributing & fun. The next session kicked off with a quick introduction to the OME Community and NextBigIdea, the upcoming business plan competition being organized by the NSRCEL at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. The open challenge- “Champion of Champions” was thrown to all entrepreneurs present in the get-together. From here, Mr. Suresh Babu took on the reins and presented the topic of the month- “Online Marketing in India- some case scenarios” where he emphasized on Ooty Real estate and its Online Marketing success story. The members, mentors, NSRCEL, IIMB, volunteers and attendees are the ones who drive this community; we sincerely each and every one of them for their support. OOTY REAL ESTATE CASE STUDY: Yesterday we had had realtors who did real estate business in the way we all know so well. Today we have ‘Digital Realtors’ who have taken real estate industry to a whole new high. From high-end websites, 24x7 customer service, comprehensive e-plans, plush brochures, 3D Images, second life, real time videos- this brand new generation of Realtors deal with all their prospects with regal expertise. This transformation from traditional to online digital business was clearly reproduced in the Queen of mountains- Ooty. RESEARCHING THE REAL ESTATE IN OOTY Something interesting was noticed during researching the real estate scenario in Ooty. It was noticed that although people want to buy property, but knowledge of the local specialties was lacking. For example, the schools of Ooty, which have high international standards of education and are a part of rich tradition of Ooty were not taken into consideration. Also the provincial wildlife, the lifestyle of local inhabitants, the delicious home made chocolates, the British vegetables
  2. 2. cultivated locally- all these attractions had to be refreshed in the minds of people to draw them towards investing money and buying private paradises on this striking landscape. The central theme thus revolved around- Experiencing the Ooty lifestyle and this triggered quite some investigation and study of the lifestyle of the inhabitants for bringing it out as an enticement to willing patrons. STEPS TAKEN: The Ooty Real Estate realtors took the following steps: - Introducing the Ooty Real Estate blog which focused on the lucrative local specialties [http://ootyrealestate.wordpress.com/] in 2008 - Launching the Website and Online Marketing campaign in early 2008 - Following the Industrial best practices in SEO, No Advertisement only organic SEO - Richly supplementing the website content with 500 different well-researched key word combinations [http://www.realestateooty.com/] - Incurring a total cost of approximately INR 10,000 Website Design, Development: Meena http://www.meenabopaiah.com/ Web Marketing: SEO, Social Media Optimization by Suresh and Meena http://searchenginedetails.com RESULTS OBTAINED: After 1.5 years (observable within 6 months) of laudable Online Marketing efforts, Ooty Real Estate attained success. The Google Analytics had some critical revelations: - 87000 visits to the Ooty Real Estate website - http://www.realestateooty.com/ - 89,029 views all-time for Real Estate Ooty Blog - http://ootyrealestate.wordpress.com/ - Ranking on top 10 SERP (search engine page results) for more than 40 keywords - 850 telephone calls to the offices - 1200 emails - 75 property visits - 16 registrations - A 100 acres deal with well known market leaders in Real estate from Bangalore In conclusion, the Online Marketing campaign (SEO) for Ooty Real estate delivered admirable results in terms of acquiring prospective and actual buyers. The blog contributed greatly to provide the much-required visibility as well as exposure to the business and formed pivotal in its current accomplishments.
  3. 3. Ensuing Question and Answer session: 1. Q: What is the first thing that should be focused on for such online marketing projects? A: An Online Marketer should know what his main objectives for the campaign are - What is needed to be achieved- Goals and objectives - What can provide value - What can solve a problem - What steps result in conversion 2. Q: So what is the basic purpose/need of a website? A: A Website is essential for providing: - Quick access - 24x7 visibility - Direct interaction with clients - Showcasing the various product/service capabilities 3. Q: What are the primary requisites for starting an Online Marketing campaign? A: Primary online marketing strategies follow the order of steps below: - Studying current market & competitors - Studying why people come to a website - Building a SEO strategy taking hints from above - Deciding on a good domain name - Domain registration - Key word research for visibility & originating good content - Building content & following certain basic guidelines for the same - Website construction based on research above - Following SEO Best practices 4. Q: How did you decide on the content for the website? How did you know what to write? A: Research showed that, people were interested to buy property in Ooty but also needed knowledge on basic amenities like: - Hospitals - Schools - Location of houses/land available as real estate - Life style - Neighborhood Also focused on local specialties like: - Wildlife - Potential income source - Nearby tourist spots & proximity to them Therefore, we hired content writers who could elaborate on all the above in the Ooty Real estate blog. We promoted this blog with popular key words
  4. 4. 5. Q: All results were tracked through Google Analytics. What about enquiries that came through the telephone- were they tracked through analytics as well? A: No. The above stated Google analytics results did not consider the telephonic enquiries, which were accounted for separately. 6. Q: Were there any overseas sale that have happened due to the above online marketing efforts? A: Yes. There has been one such sale, but several enquiries from foreign residents and NRIs. Most of the enquires are from Bangalore, India. U.A.E. Singapore, US, UK 7. Q: What have been your major challenges in this venture? A: The principal challenge has been that of resources: - Lack of good content writers - Lack of people to continually promote it on Social Media 8. Q: What is the future of this business venture with respect to Online Marketing? What other efforts are needed from your end? A: The next steps needed to be taken for this venture are: - Build customer relationships - Provide good customer support - Provide content 9. Q: How did you decide which were the better options- long tail key words or regular one-word phrases? A: In general, the category of keyword chosen depends on the type of: - Business or industry - Users for whom the website is intended - Location of the business Keywords should be based on the understanding of user needs. Short keywords help in overall website optimization where as long-tail key words help in SEO; a combination of both should be used and has been used in this case. 10. Q: Has Google stopped long-tail keywords? A: No. Google has not stopped it completely but curtailed it to some extent.
  5. 5. 11. Q: How many keywords are too much? A: Roughly, 200 words per page is what is recommended with 5% of those words containing the keywords that would help in the ranking. - The page title should include the words you hope to be ranked and most importantly the intent of the visitors - The Meta description tag should contain keywords and describe the page. Each page should have unique Title and description relevant to that page, and contain 1 or 2 grammatically correct sentences containing the important words. - The page title should use <h1> or <h2> level heading tags with keywords - Google regards the first sentence of body text on the page as being the most important & hence the most important words should be placed there. - Number of keywords depends on the content of the website. The more the amount of text, the better it is for Google to index. - A good website should focus on the content-reader rather than search engines. So, unnecessary crowding of keywords should be avoided 12. Q: What is the ranking mechanism of Google? Does it rank a page by its popularity, content, keywords or by the bounce rate? A: Google considers all the above factors and the ones below: - Number of pages with a high PageRank that it links to - Number of inbound links - Relevance of search /key words on the page - Number of actual visits to the page - Age of the domain - Keyword in the page title, description and content - Keyword from the inbound link - Authority of the inbound linked website - Anchor links 13. Q: What is your future strategy to keep with the competition? A: Ooty Real estate has a first-movers’ advantage. It can foresee the future and the future Online Marketing trends, whereas the competitors will solely focus on their current promotional events. The following activities are being planned by Ooty Real estate: - Active progression into Social Media marketing - Promoting local events on Video - Keeping a tab on what the close competition is doing - Understanding of the customer intent and providing them the necessary content 14. Q: What if an appropriate keyword domain name is not available? A: Google’s algorithms rank a page not just only because of its domain name. The name of the domain is just one factor; there are more than 500 algorithms by Google The following factors plays a major role - Content of the website (with relevant keywords)
  6. 6. - Amount of value addition it gives to the user - Relevance of the content to the country/location 15. Q: What is the best & fastest method to get good results apart from pay-per-click? A: The following factors can give excellent results but not necessarily fast: - Social Media Marketing – fastest, easiest and free - SEO Search Engine Optimization – Useful for Long term - Listing in relevant directories / sites / blogs - Providing value addition to customers through content or other offers - Answering questions/ providing solutions 16. Q: How can SEO help a big brand (e.g. Mantri)? A: SEO can help a big brand through: - Proper segmentation of the target customers - Conversion of visitors into prospects - Promoting sales - Offers all kind of information through appropriate key words - The Experience 17. Q: What is the difference in quality between customers who come through SEO and ones who come through offline display Ads? Who converts better? A: SEO method can be used to bring in traffic to a website and will lead to conversion considering other factors such as Usability, architecture, content, ease of use, visitor intent, call to action and many more. Display ads are promotional and expensive. If there is budget a combination of offline and online will reach more. But both would lead to a word of mouth marketing and if the customer experience is convincing enough to other prospects, it leads to conversion. 18. Q: What if keywords from a competitor or a similar product are copied? Will it get the same traffic? A: Yes it will, but that is what makes an online marketer to stay ahead of latest algorithm and search engine updates. Moreover providing value through content and building authority will help stay ahead of the competitors. - Content of the website (with relevant keywords) - Amount of value addition it gives to the user - Relevance of the content to the country/location 19. Q: What are the current salaries of SEO consultants in Bangalore? A: The salaries depend on the experience level of the personnel and the organization they work for. On an average, the rates are as follows: - Less than 3 years of experience: INR 2 to 4 lakhs per annum - More than 3 years of experience: INR 5 to 9 lakhs per annum
  7. 7. POWER TIPS SESSION: The power tips for the month of October were as follows: 1. Nanda Kishor K N: Firefox SEO Addons/ Plugins- SEO Doctor- [https://addons.mozilla.org/en- US/firefox/addon/102178/] 2. Suresh Babu: Google Squared- [http://www.google.com/squared] 3. Shiva Purohit: Visibility on Facebook with Infrequent tagging of photographs or tagging photographs on alternate days 4. Raghava Satish Peri: Multi-listing on Google- For one keyword, a website gets ranked multiple times on the Google search engine: Raghava describes this as Google 3.0 phenomenon 5. Swati Swayamprava: Google Places [http://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter] 6. Shankar: In page analytics- [http://analytics.blogspot.com/2010/10/introducing-in-page-analytics-visual.html] 7. Parashar: Google Page Speed [http://code.google.com/speed/page-speed/] 8. Fatema (Freya) Rehman: Creating ‘Lists’ on Facebook to Organize Friends and many more constructive Facebook tips [http://blog.fatema.in/] 9. Goldee Udani: Beeolve [http://www.beevolve.com/] The "October 2010 “Power Tips” was unanimously won by Ms. Fatema (Freya) Rehman. Sundaram Sriram Kumar, Senior Area Manager, South India at McGraw-Hill Education, sponsored this award. Freya is the Social Media Marketing and Influence Expert at Marketing Fiends- a two-member start-up focusing on photography and Social Media services. Having worked as Internet & Social Media Marketing Consultant at BookBuzzr, as Consultant at Muse -Spiti EcoShpere and Content manager at BPO-Sutra, among several others- she is a powerhouse of information when it comes to Social Media. She has received her core education from Bangalore University. Catch more on the power tip she gave to the group in her own words on her blog: http://blog.fatema.in/ LinkedIn profile: http://in.linkedin.com/in/fatemarehman | Twitter handle: freya3377 | Facebook profile: http://www.facebook.com/#!/freya3377 The November power tip is to be sponsored by Sameer Gupta, Managing Director at SS ABLE Advisory Private Limited.
  8. 8. CALL FOR INDIAN CASE STUDIES, VOLUNTEERS AND SPONSORS During this OME Community convene, a call was made for the submission of Case Studies from any Indian industry, which has used Online and Social media marketing successfully or with some effect. All interested people are requested to submit or share their story during the subsequent OME meets and give suggestions to all the budding entrepreneurs who have plans to launch their own industry. The best practices being followed by these industries will also be discussed and further suggestions from members welcomed. Also OME Community has called for volunteers to assist the core team with the monthly meets as well as other activities and taking some individual responsibilities of this burgeoning association. A special emphasis was made on any Sponsors who can support the monthly OME Community events and help with the costs of venue, ambience, prizes or any other aspect of the OME activities. SUGGESTIONS: Attendees gave various ideas for subsequent OME Community sessions. To sum them up: 1. Phase-wise conferences could be arranged on particular subjects 2. More Online marketing/ Social media specific case studies 3. OME Community website to be an open interactive community 4. Series of talks on different Social Media and their features 5. Newsletter that talks of a particular topic comprehensively 6. Subscribe/Feed button the website 7. Details on different Online marketing/ Social media applications (apps) 8. Power Challenge to solve Online marketing/ Social media problems faced by attendees As an action item, it was suggested that OME members help solve an Online Marketing problem within 15 days time and post their solutions on the OME LinkedIn group. Follow OME Community: Follow OME Community on LinkedIn | Follow OME Community on Facebook | Follow OME Community on Twitter

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