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What Startup Execs Need to Know About SEO in 2017

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Rand's presentation to Foundry Group's portfolio of startup execs in August 2017, covering 5 important areas of knowledge around SEO at the executive level.

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What Startup Execs Need to Know About SEO in 2017

  1. Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com What Startup Execs Need to Know About SEO in 2017
  2. Slides online at bit.ly/execseo2017
  3. Google Dominates Online Traffic Referrals#1
  4. Where Do People Search?
  5. Breakdown of Searches on Major Web Properties (October 2016)
  6. Breakdown of Searches on Major Web Properties (May 2017)
  7. GoogleCore Oct2016 May2017 GoogleImages Yahoo Bing GoogleMaps Amazon Facebook Gained/Lost 58.9% 27.7% 2.6% 2.3% 2.2% 1.9% 0.7% YouTube 3.8% 64.8% 21.8% 2.4% 2.4% 1.2% 2.3% 1.5% 3.6% +5.9 -5.9 -0.2 +0.1 -1.0 +0.4 +0.8 -0.2
  8. GoogleCore Oct2016 May2017 GoogleImages Yahoo Bing GoogleMaps Amazon Facebook Gained/Lost 58.9% 27.7% 2.6% 2.3% 2.2% 1.9% 0.7% YouTube 3.8% 64.8% 21.8% 2.4% 2.4% 1.2% 2.3% 1.5% 3.6% +5.9 -5.9 -0.2 +0.1 -1.0 +0.4 +0.8 -0.2 We think this is Halloween
  9. GoogleCore Oct2016 May2017 GoogleImages Yahoo Bing GoogleMaps Amazon Facebook Gained/Lost 58.9% 27.7% 2.6% 2.3% 2.2% 1.9% 0.7% YouTube 3.8% 64.8% 21.8% 2.4% 2.4% 1.2% 2.3% 1.5% 3.6% +5.9 -5.9 -0.2 +0.1 -1.0 +0.4 +0.8 -0.2This is compensated for by a rise in web search clicks to local results
  10. GoogleCore Oct2016 May2017 GoogleImages Yahoo Bing GoogleMaps Amazon Facebook Gained/Lost 58.9% 27.7% 2.6% 2.3% 2.2% 1.9% 0.7% YouTube 3.8% 64.8% 21.8% 2.4% 2.4% 1.2% 2.3% 1.5% 3.6% +5.9 -5.9 -0.2 +0.1 -1.0 +0.4 +0.8 -0.2 I’m keeping an eye on these two
  11. Google’s Growth So far, 2017 is trending ~10-15% higher than 2016, not including voice or Apple devices
  12. Total Searchers vs.Active Searchers United States Canada United Kingdom Average Searches/Month %ofSearchersw/10+ Searches/Month 103-119 120-139 120-135 ~39% ~40% ~41%
  13. Google CTR Breakdown Relatively flat excluding seasonality = SEO not being cannibalized by Google’s own results
  14. What are the Web’s Top Traffic Referrers?
  15. Google.com Oct2016 May2017 Facebook.com Reddit.com YouTube.com Imgur.com Bing.com Wikipedia.org Gained/Lost 59.2% 6.5% 5.4% 4.5% 2.2% 2.2% 1.4% Yahoo.com 6.0% 62.6% 5.9% 4.1% 4.7% 1.5% 2.1% 1.4% 5.0% +3.4% -0.6% -1.3% +0.2% -0.6% -0.1% +0% -1.0% Amazon.com 1.3% 1.4% +0.1%
  16. Google.com Oct2016 May2017 Facebook.com Reddit.com YouTube.com Imgur.com Bing.com Wikipedia.org Gained/Lost 59.2% 6.5% 5.4% 4.5% 2.2% 2.2% 1.4% Yahoo.com 6.0% 62.6% 5.9% 4.1% 4.7% 1.5% 2.1% 1.4% 5.0% +3.4% -0.6% -1.3% +0.2% -0.6% -0.1% +0% -1.0% Amazon.com 1.3% 1.4% +0.1% This is when Reddit stopped using Imgur for all its image hosting
  17. Google.com Oct2016 May2017 Facebook.com Reddit.com YouTube.com Imgur.com Bing.com Wikipedia.org Gained/Lost 59.2% 6.5% 5.4% 4.5% 2.2% 2.2% 1.4% Yahoo.com 6.0% 62.6% 5.9% 4.1% 4.7% 1.5% 2.1% 1.4% 5.0% +3.4% -0.6% -1.3% +0.2% -0.6% -0.1% +0% -1.0% Amazon.com 1.3% 1.4% +0.1% In 7 months, Google gained more share than all but the top 5 even have 
  18. Top 10 11-100 101-1K 1K-10K 10K+ Google 22.2% 14.9% 18.0% 18.7% 26.2% Facebook 42.7% 17.7% 15.3% 12.9% 11.3% Yahoo 39.2% 15.8% 15.6% 14.0% 15.4% Reddit 75.2% 11.0% 7.2% 4.4% 2.2% Youtube 80.1% 7.2% 5.4% 4.1% 3.2% NotAll Referrers Send Traffic Equally (data below from May 2017)
  19. Top 10 11-100 101-1K 1K-10K 10K+ Google 22.2% 14.9% 18.0% 18.7% 26.2% Facebook 42.7% 17.7% 15.3% 12.9% 11.3% Yahoo 39.2% 15.8% 15.6% 14.0% 15.4% Reddit 75.2% 11.0% 7.2% 4.4% 2.2% Youtube 80.1% 7.2% 5.4% 4.1% 3.2% NotAll Referrers Send Traffic Equally (data below from May 2017) Google distributes traffic pretty evenly
  20. Top 10 11-100 101-1K 1K-10K 10K+ Google 22.2% 14.9% 18.0% 18.7% 26.2% Facebook 42.7% 17.7% 15.3% 12.9% 11.3% Yahoo 39.2% 15.8% 15.6% 14.0% 15.4% Reddit 75.2% 11.0% 7.2% 4.4% 2.2% Youtube 80.1% 7.2% 5.4% 4.1% 3.2% NotAll Referrers Send Traffic Equally (data below from May 2017) Facebook is strongly biased to the top
  21. Top 10 11-100 101-1K 1K-10K 10K+ Google 22.2% 14.9% 18.0% 18.7% 26.2% Facebook 42.7% 17.7% 15.3% 12.9% 11.3% Yahoo 39.2% 15.8% 15.6% 14.0% 15.4% Reddit 75.2% 11.0% 7.2% 4.4% 2.2% Youtube 80.1% 7.2% 5.4% 4.1% 3.2% NotAll Referrers Send Traffic Equally (data below from May 2017) Reddit & YouTube even more so
  22. Google SearchActivity The average searcher does ~3.4 queries per day on their desktop and mobile (each).
  23. Mobile CTR 2.0% on Paid 40.9% on Organic 57.1% Don’t Click
  24. 2.8% on Paid Desktop CTR 62.2% on Organic 35% Don’t Click
  25. CTR on Google Mobile vs. Desktop There may be more traffic opportunity from desktop STILL due to higher CTR Source
  26. Rankings Are Determined By a Few, Broad Areas of Input #2
  27. The 8 BroadAreas of Google’s RankingAlgorithm (forclassic,ten-blue-links styleresults): Links Quality of Host Domain Query Satisfaction User Experience Personalization Technical & Crawl KeywordsContent
  28. Does the text match what Google’s MLsystems calculate to be relevant, high-quality, & a match for the searcher’s intent? Content
  29. Editorially-given, anchor-text-rich, followed links from high quality sources still matter to Google (esp. in competitive results) Links
  30. If Google sees high rates of pogo-sticking or other signals that your page/site isn’t solving search queries, they’ll likely rank you lower Query Satisfaction Via WB Friday
  31. Using the searcher’s keywords intelligently on your page still matters for rankings (and for CTR in the results) Keywords
  32. Domains accrue signals of quality & value. Powerful domains may give the pages they host a boost in ranking ability. Quality of Host Domain Via OSE
  33. Google wants to see sites provide an easy-to-use, intuitive experience on every device, at every speed, without impediment. User Experience
  34. Speed & accessibility to crawlers still matters, and Google still doesn’t handle non-text, or non-HTML- link accessible pages well. Technical & Crawl
  35. The geography, device, search history, and timing of a searcher’s query can all change Google’s results significantly. Personalization
  36. Ranking in Classic Results May No Longer Be Enough to Win #3
  37. 18 Unique Types of SERPs that Show Up in 0.5%+ of Google’s Results One of my favorites: the “disaster type” answer
  38. In our data, only ~3% of results are the “classic ten blue links” kind
  39. SERPs like these are far more common
  40. These types of results can dramatically reduce organic CTR (in this case, Moz estimates only ~24% organic CTR)
  41. Infuriatingly, Google’s restricted who can appear in certain types of listings (e.g. video is now YouTube or Vimeo only)
  42. And on mobile, even more kinds of searches are limited to particular networks (Google Play & iPhone App Store).
  43. Analyze Which Types of SERPsAppear Most in the Keywords You CareAbout These show me how many of each SERP type appears in the results for this keyword list (via KWE)
  44. Then Determine What Verticals & SERPTypes You Need to Optimize For It might pay to generate some visual charts in addition to a text- only version…
  45. We expected answers like these would siphon away traffic from our site… In reality, we got more! Featured Snippets are one of the most powerful forms of this:
  46. But some answers really do remove traffic (estimates of 50%+ traffic loss to web results after SERP changes like these)
  47. Consider Click-Through-Rate When Choosing Keywords The organic results on this page probably get only ~60% of the clicks from searchers
  48. Consider Click-Through-Rate When Choosing Keywords But, the organic results here are likely getting 100% of the clicks
  49. You can make these estimates yourself when evaluating keywords for SEO effort:
  50. Or you can use a tool like Keyword Explorer to get the CTR Opportunity scores 100% CTR Opportunity 60% CTR Opportunity
  51. It’s Possible to Use SEO to Get Into Featured Snippets (and earn big CTR boosts) They beat out Wikipedia by phrasing the content to match the *answer* Google wanted for this search query
  52. More on How to Become theAnswer: Via Dr. Pete (and more Dr. Pete)
  53. SEO Doesn’t Work For Every Organization#4
  54. Some products don’t have enough explicit search volume:
  55. Some find the SEO results too competitive to be worthwhile:
  56. Some have chosen not to build the strength required in content creation/marketing (for a variety of reasons):
  57. Should Your Company Invest in Making SEO a Core Competency? Opportunity (search volume) Opportunity Cost (other channels) Passion & Interest Cost of Acquisition vs. Lifetime Value
  58. My Best Advice for Building SEO Into Your Company’s Marketing #5
  59. Contract First, Then Hire Via Moz’s Recommended List
  60. Expect 6+ Months of Investment w/ Little to No ROI Your first few months will probably look like this.
  61. Focus on Your Marketing Flywheel, Not on Finding an Elusive Growth Hack
  62. Moz’s Flywheel KW Research + Industry Intuition Publish Content Promote via Social Channels Push to email + RSS subscribers Earn Links + Amplification Grow social, email, RSS, & WoM channels Grow Domain Authority Earn Search & Referral Traffic Rank for More Competitive KWs
  63. KW Research + Industry Intuition Publish Content Promote via Social Channels Push to email + RSS subscribers Earn Links + Amplification Grow social, email, RSS, & WoM channels Grow Domain Authority Earn Search & Referral Traffic Rank for More Competitive KWs In 2006, I was lucky if new content led to any links or rankings at all
  64. KW Research + Industry Intuition Publish Content Promote via Social Channels Push to email + RSS subscribers Earn Links + Amplification Grow social, email, RSS, & WoM channels Grow Domain Authority Earn Search & Referral Traffic Rank for More Competitive KWs But, by 2017, nearly every post earns a handful of links, & some earn a lot!
  65. Moz is a Business Built on Content
  66. Dollar Shave Club was Built on a Press & Media Flywheel Via NYTimes
  67. Dribbble was Built on a UGC/Community Flywheel
  68. But… Almost Every Flywheel Finds a Point (or Points) of Friction Publish Content Promote via Social Channels Push to email + RSS subscribers Crap… We’re not reaching anyone who will link/amplify us 
  69. This is a Good Time for a GROWTH HACK!
  70. Hacks aren’t necessarily evil, spammy, or without value. They can be useful when applied to a sound marketing strategy.
  71. Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com Bit.ly/execseo2017

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