Inside-Out SEO


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A different way of implementing SEO by working inside the company with small groups, teaching them how to do their regular tasks but in a more search-engine-aware manner.

Presented at Webmasterworld Pubcon conference in Las Vegas, 9 Nov 2010

Published in: Business, Technology, Design
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  • The problem with the conventional SEO approach is that the company does not usually get to know or understand why they are making changes. There is little corporate memory. Not everyone in the value chain is even aware of the SEO work, so they might change something and cause a ranking drop. This is great for the external SEO, but not so great for the business.
  • Getting others involved in the value creation process
  • You probably know the Google Keyword Tool, which seems to be the most reliable tool today. Use exact match numbers to get conservative search counts.
  • Services such as Hitwise provide graphs of traffic share, but being an expensive service, smaller companies might want to make guesstimates based on known visitor numbers.
  • The person who does this research would differ from company to company, but ideally should be the person who is guiding the writer and knows the needs of the stakeholder.
  • This is a high-level brief for a content writer, who could be internal or external.
  • Inside-Out SEO

    1. 1. Twitter @ashnallawalla Inside-Out SEO or How to make the rest of the company help you to do your job Ash Nallawalla
    2. 2. Twitter @ashnallawalla 2 Background  Ash Nallawalla, Melbourne, Australia  In-House SEO at large, high traffic corporate sites – presently consulting to a global top-20 bank.  Moderator, Local Search forum,  Monthly column in APC Magazine - print edition of  Online SEO training site  Blog:  Twitter: @ashnallawalla
    3. 3. Twitter @ashnallawalla 4 Conventional SEO is hard work  Common SEO approach at large companies: 1. External SEO consultant, with or without an in-house SEO in place 2. Website discovery and audit process 3. Recommendations document 4. Implementation • Get stakeholder signoffs for: – Content – Site design and coding – Legislative compliance – Brand – Legal – Technology/Engineering/IT – Project funding – Linking
    4. 4. Twitter @ashnallawalla 5 Introducing “Inside-Out SEO” Also known as Stealth SEO. Or Getting Others to Do Your Job SEO. But it’s not Easy SEO. Not Lazy SEO.  It’s Distribution of Labour. Start by hiring an in-house SEO. Value creation is a team effort.
    5. 5. Twitter @ashnallawalla GETTING STARTED 8
    6. 6. Twitter @ashnallawalla Identify your SEO “helpers” Who creates content in your company?  Product managers  Advertisers (for a directory site)  Corporate Affairs  Human Resources  Producers  Publishers  Others who influence, e.g. Legal, Branding, Marketing (tone of voice, style) Get them thinking about keyword research and links. 9
    7. 7. Twitter @ashnallawalla Provide basic SEO training Run a 2-hour SEO class for your helpers  First hour for content creators, Brand, Legal, Corporate Affairs  Full 2 hours for coders  Cover both on-page and off-page concepts. I do the above plus give them access to a self-paced online SEO 101 course at 10
    8. 8. Twitter @ashnallawalla KEYWORD RESEARCH 11
    9. 9. Twitter @ashnallawalla 12 Keyword research Show your “helpers” how to use the Google Keyword Tool – use exact match
    10. 10. Twitter @ashnallawalla Estimating traffic (informed guess at best) Depends on target audience (local or global). Say, 10,000 local searches for a keyword. What will your website traffic share be? Say, you have a 10% traffic share. You can hope for 1000 visits per month. Yes? No, your page needs to rank #1-5 for that keyword, else you will get less (or no) traffic. 13
    11. 11. Twitter @ashnallawalla 14 Estimating traffic volumes Remember, this is an exercise for choosing the best words, not for accurate traffic estimation. (SEO involves a lot more) Pick less than 10 related keyphrases for the article. (This spreadsheet can be downloaded at URL below)
    12. 12. Twitter @ashnallawalla APPLYING THE KEYWORD RESEARCH (The following tips can be used by small or large teams.) 15
    13. 13. Twitter @ashnallawalla 16 Brief for content writer (could be internal) Audience: Engaged couples Length: 500 words Write the article to the following guidelines containing the following keywords: • Article Title: budgeting tips, wedding • Heading 1: budgeting • Heading 2: budget planning • 1st para: budget spreadsheet, budget planning, budgeting tips • Body: budget planner, budgeting, wedding budget, budget calculator, budget planning, budgeting tips, wedding budget planner
    14. 14. Twitter @ashnallawalla Brief for webmaster Title tag: (written by content writer) CMS Section: Planning H1: Budgeting for your wedding H2: Budget planning tools Link these words to URLs:  Budget planner to <URL>  Wedding budget to <URL>  Budget calculator to <URL>  Wedding budget calculator <URL> 17
    15. 15. Twitter @ashnallawalla Brief for Corporate Affairs Prepare social media release (for some event, not wedding example):  Standard textual information found in traditional press release.  Links to images, video, company URL  Our social networking handles, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare Ask journalists to show our URL in their articles. (Deep links are better) 18
    16. 16. Twitter @ashnallawalla Brief for Social Media Coordinator We are hosting this <event>. Send all links to <url> Announce via Facebook Page on <date/time>  Use these keywords <list> Send a Tweet on <date/time> Upload photos to Flickr on <date/time> Upload video via TubeMogul on <date/time> Mention in some forums if appropriate. 19
    17. 17. Twitter @ashnallawalla Guidance for marketers Review style guide for any guidance that needs to be changed to honour the language of the customer. Request branding people to consider the above when reviewing “tone of voice” instructions. Use keyword research principles to review PPC (aka “SEM”) keywords (Google AdWords Quality Score considerations) 20
    18. 18. Twitter @ashnallawalla 21 Monthly “Value Creation” meetings Organise a monthly meeting to include all who create valuable content for the website. Review traffic stats for past month and get a report from each person on what they are working on and what traffic to expect in the coming month. Review conversions and help people to understand why conversions were up (or down) and where content played a role.
    19. 19. Twitter @ashnallawalla Summary Get your colleagues thinking about the language of the customer. Show them how to use keyword tools, e.g. Google Educate others such as Legal and Branding about SEO principles. SEO is a team effort. Getting the content right at the start is better than subsequent intervention by the SEO manager. 22
    20. 20. Twitter @ashnallawalla Thanks Ash Nallawalla  (blog) 23