SEO leadership: Get from 'Why' to 'Why Not'

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We provide great advice. We guide, cajole, try to help. But we run into brick walls.

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SEO leadership: Get from 'Why' to 'Why Not'

  1. SEO LEADERSHIP THROUGH FRICTIONLESS CLARITY WHY THE HELL NOT?!
  2. Woo-Woo Po‫﬛‬ break schedule
  3. h‫﬙‬p://portent.co/why-the-heck-not
  4. @portentint Examples and exploding heads portrayed in this presentation are based on an aggregation of actual events. I smushed them together. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. I am not talking about you. Really. Honest. I’m not.
  5. @portentint If you get fired, it is not my fault.
  6. @portentint This story has a happy ending.
  7. @portentint WE’RE SMART
  8. @portentint HERE’S THE THING AW YEAHHH WE GOT THE GOOD IDEAS WE’RE GONNA KICK SOME ASS
  9. @portentint heeelllllppp meeeeeeee ALAS.
  10. @portentint “Start producing good content.” “What’s the impact?” “You’ll build authori‫﬚‬ & brand.” “We’ll need to test that.”
  11. @portentint “Fix all of your broken incoming links.” “What’s the impact?” “You’ll reclaim all this link juice.” “I’ll need to run this by my IT team.”
  12. @portentint “Tweak your site architecture like this…” “No, we can’t do that. Can we just skip to the next thing?” From @gfiorelli1  
  13. @portentint “Please let us know when you change anything.” “Anything?” “It’s really, really important.” “It’s not up to us, but I’ll ask.” From @LocalSEOGuide  
  14. @portentint “Fix these on-page issues.” “[NAME HERE] tells me it’s not necessary.” “Sorry, but it’s really imporatnt.” “We’ll have to agree to disagree on that...” “I…” (partly) from @ShahMenz  
  15. @portentint One time, I kinda lost it.
  16. Part 1: In which you learn from my mistakes.
  17. I was puzzled
  18. Our job: Move towards the goal
  19. Their job: Move towards the goal
  20. why won't you take my good advice?
  21. @portentint he wants us to change the nav?! OMG he's so cute and innocent i could just hug him.
  22. @portentint
  23. @portentint
  24. fix this thing and we'll do better. trust me. HOW YOU THINK YOU LOOK
  25. @portentint fix this thing and we'll do better. trust me. HOW YOU REALLY LOOK
  26. You bring risk, effort & ambigui‫﬚‬
  27. In that context, their first question is…
  28. “Why should we?”
  29. Once that question is asked…
  30. …you’re scrambling, chasing the question, trying to answer it, losing focus on the goals
  31. @portentint WE are asked to LEAD But we’re not in charge
  32. “BECAUSE I’M RIGHT” WILL NEVER WORK IF YOU’RE NOT IN CHARGE,
  33. BECAUSE I SAID SO IS NOT LEADERSHIP IT’S NOT THEM, IT’S US
  34. Part 2: In which we sometimes fix it
  35. We have to crush ‘why should we’
  36. And replace it with…
  37. Why the hell not?!!!!
  38. @portentint “Please let us know of upcoming changes to architecture/server setup.” “OK, how oſten.” “Daily updates would be great.” “Our internal process is weekly.” “That works.” “Great, we’ll get that set up.”
  39. @portentint The heavens opened
  40. @portentint “We need to consolidate these 3 links.” “Why?” “It’ll help channel authori‫”.﬚‬ “Done.”
  41. @portentint The heavens opened
  42. @portentint “You need a content strategy.” “Can’t do that.” “How about if we try one longform piece?” “Go for it.”
  43. @portentint The heavens opened
  44. We got to ‘why not’
  45. To get to why not, know the numbers and establish frictionless clari‫﬚‬
  46. @portentint Frictionless: In comparison to other options, requiring almost no effort
  47. @portentint Clari‫:﬚‬ Easy to understand the action, how to do it and what it’ll require
  48. @portentint “Please let us know of upcoming changes to architecture/server setup.” “OK, how oſten.” “Daily updates would be great.” “Our internal process is weekly.” “That works.” “Great, we’ll get that set up.” Frictionless Clari‫﬚‬ Nirvana
  49. Part 2: In which I share my retirement plan (and the three steps to get to why not)
  50. Capybara Kingdom how could you not love this face?
  51. Capybara Kingdom Petting Zoo Season Tickets RecipesEvents Welcome to Capybara Kingdom! We’re the world’s first capybara preserve and zoo. Come take in the spectacle of the world’s largest rodents as they cavort and frolic in our best imitation of their native habitat. We have a capybara petting zoo, capybara events, capybara information and yes, weekly capybara adoptions. For more informations, please lick here All capybara, all the time!!! Season passes for only $50!!!! 10 things you didn’t know about capybara New therapy capybara program launches Seriously, if you want to learn about Capybara, try this link Escape rumors completely false
  52. You’re hired
  53. @portentint HERE’S THE THING AW YEAHHH WE GOT THE GOOD IDEAS WE’RE GONNA KICK SOME ASS
  54. @portentint “Start producing good content.” “What’s the impact?” “You’ll build authori‫﬚‬ & improve engagement.” “What will that change?” “You may rank higher.” “How much higher?” “I can’t be sure.” “We’ll need to test that.”
  55. “Why should we?”
  56. Time to get to why not
  57. FIRST, KNOW THE NUMBERS
  58. No numbers gets you here
  59. @portentint visitors Things to know
  60. @portentint visitors revenue Things to know
  61. @portentint visitors revenue conversion rate Things to know
  62. @portentint visitors revenue conversion rate micro conversions Things to know
  63. @portentint visitors revenue conversion rate micro conversions current ad spend(s) Things to know
  64. @portentint visitors revenue conversion rate micro conversions current ad spend(s) labor costs Things to know
  65. “Ian slow w/ maths”
  66. @portentint visitors revenue visitor value=   Things to know
  67. Handy-dandy calculator
  68. @portentint 5% conversion rate no micro-conversions avg order = $10 Things to know
  69. @portentint $50k/year on Adwords 1% conversion rate $2000 in sales Things to know
  70. @portentint Something else you need
  71. The goalsThe Goals
  72. $10,000 revenue goal
  73. $5,000 revenue goal
  74. Handy-dandy calculator
  75. The goalsHandy-dandy calculator
  76. CREATE CLARITY
  77. @portentint LACK OF CLARITY SHORTENS ATTENTION SPAN
  78. @portentint “I think you should produce good content.” “You’ll build authori‫﬚‬ & improve engagement.” “You may rank higher.” “I can’t be sure.” A‫﬙‬ention Span: Your Mom
  79. @portentint “I think you should produce good content.” “You’ll build authori‫﬚‬ & improve engagement.” “You may rank higher.” “I can’t be sure.” A‫﬙‬ention Span: Your Dad
  80. @portentint “I think you should produce good content.” “You’ll build authori‫﬚‬ & improve engagement.” “You may rank higher.” “I can’t be sure.” A‫﬙‬ention Span: Your Dog
  81. @portentint “I think you should produce good content.” “You’ll build authori‫﬚‬ & improve engagement.” “You may rank higher.” “I can’t be sure.” A‫﬙‬ention Span: Yourself
  82. @portentint “I think you should produce good content.” “You’ll build authori‫﬚‬ & improve engagement.” “You may rank higher.” “I can’t be sure.” A‫﬙‬ention Span: Your Client
  83. @portentint LACK OF CLARITY HIDES THE DESIRED OUTCOME
  84. @portentint LACK OF CLARITY MAKES RESOURCING IMPOSSIBLE
  85. @portentint LACK OF CLARITY FRUSTRATES STAKEHOLDERS
  86. @portentint Lack of clari‫﬚‬ brings back the Question Of Doom
  87. @portentint “Whyshouldweputourcollective assonthelineforthis!?”
  88. @portentint Clari‫﬚‬ comes from context
  89. The goalsHandy-dandy calculator
  90. @portentint we need to add 10,000 visitors OR double conversion rate OR do a li‫﬙‬le bit of both
  91. COMPETITION: BUZZSUMO
  92. COMPETITION: SEMRUSH
  93. COMPETITION: MOZ/MAJESTIC
  94. COMPETITION: RIVALIQ
  95. COMPETITION: ADAGE DATACENTER
  96. @portentint Hmmm. Videos get a lot of a‫﬙‬ention. I wonder if we could add 10,000 visitors that way? Or do the equivalent?
  97. @portentint If we could get 12,000 views on our video channel, and we could get 120 of those to become season ticket holders, that’ll sure help us hit our goals.
  98. Why not try it?!!!
  99. @portentint Clari‫﬚‬ = A well-defined action
  100. @portentint “You should produce good content.” “Create a weekly, 10-20 second video recorded using a cell phone, posted to the Capybara Kingdom YouTube channel”
  101. Why not do it?!!!
  102. @portentint Clari‫﬚‬ = Understandable
  103. @portentint “Since the Panda update thin content’s really been a problem. Google’s trying to incorporate more human factors into content. We need to build out substantial content to balance the thin stuff…..”
  104. @portentint “Since the Panda update thin content’s really been a problem. Google’s trying to incorporate more human factors into content. We need to build out substantial content to balance the thin stuff…..”
  105. HEMINGWAY EDITOR
  106. BLANK SHEET OF PAPER TEST If you showed this to a non-SEO stranger, would they understand it?
  107. @portentint “Create a weekly cute capybara video.”
  108. Why not do it?!!!
  109. @portentint Easy to delegate
  110. @portentint Anyone with a cell phone that records video and relatively steady hands can do it.
  111. @portentint ahem
  112. Why not try it?!!!
  113. @portentint “We want to modi﬌ the navigation.” “What do you recommend?” “Something like this.” [shows example]
  114. Cool tool: Skitch
  115. Why not?!!!
  116. @portentint “We need to speed up your site.” “What’s slowing it down?” “These images and this script. I can get you the faster versions today.”
  117. Why not fix it?!!!
  118. @portentint Must-have: Narrative
  119. @portentint “Let’s get armadillos into the next video.” “I told you last month: Capybara eat armadillos.”
  120. Cool tool: Gmail
  121. Cool tool: Evernote
  122. Cool tools: Hipchat/Slack
  123. Cool tool: PM soſtware (really)
  124. CREATE CLARITY
  125. REMOVE FRICTION
  126. @portentint Friction is about perspective
  127. @portentint No round trips
  128. @portentint “Create a weekly cute capybara video.” “Why?” “All of these people ask questions about them.” “What will that change?” “You’ll get a‫﬙‬ention and links…” “Interesting. What will it take?” “Let me check on that.” “Go for it.” doomed
  129. @portentint “We really need to speed up your site.” “OK, what do we need to do?” “I’ll need to ask the development team.” doomed
  130. @portentint “Since the escape, we’ve had fewer visits.” “How many?” “I’ll check the data when I get back to the office.” doomed
  131. @portentint “We want to modi﬌ the navigation.” “What do you recommend?” “Let me talk to the team.” doomed
  132. @portentint we’re working on it let me check that i’m not sure hang on while i look i’ll have that answer for you in a couple days it’s in your inbox i don’t know i thought you’d know here are the 25 ways we could do it i have no freaking idea heh i know, but it’d be be‫﬙‬er if you figured it out for yourself hmmm squirrel! let me see if fran’s available to answer that
  133. @portentint we’re working on it let me check that i’m not sure hang on while i look i’ll have that answer for you in a couple days it’s in your inbox i don’t know i thought you’d know here are the 25 ways we could do it i have no freaking idea heh i know, but it’d be be‫﬙‬er if you figured it out for yourself hmmm squirrel! let me see if fran’s available
  134. Round trips waste time
  135. Round trips cause decisions in a vacuum
  136. Round trips create friction
  137. @portentint To reduce round trips, learn the @#)($* out of everything
  138. OGILVY ON ADVERTISING
  139. INFLUENCE
  140. GETTING NAKED (NO, NOT THAT WAY)
  141. TREEHOUSE.COM
  142. KHAN ACADEMY
  143. STACK EXCHANGE
  144. QUORA
  145. @portentint pick one social network. learn to use it as a marketing tool, top to bo‫﬙‬om. move on.
  146. @portentint Must have: Knowledge base (info at your fingertips)
  147. EVERNOTEEvernote
  148. PLAIN TEXTPlain text
  149. Cool tool: Confluence Questions
  150. @portentint what is the…? where are the…? how do I…? who do I ask for…? who is…? what if…? can I…?
  151. Get ‘seed’ questions from Quora
  152. @portentint No silly mistakes
  153. @portentint mistakes ≠ errors
  154. From Hubspot: h‫﬙‬p://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/14-worst-‫﬚‬pos-ever
  155. From Hubspot: h‫﬙‬p://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/14-worst-‫﬚‬pos-ever
  156. Every mistake erodes trust and creates friction
  157. USE THIS
  158. Cool tool: Grammarly
  159. Cool service: Wordy.com
  160. Not a brain substitute
  161. @portentint Thinking > Testing
  162. @portentint
  163. @portentint
  164. @portentint WHAT HAPPENS IF WE PUT ALL OUR CONTENT BEHIND A LOGIN WALL?
  165. @portentint WHAT HAPPENS IF WE HAVE 19,523 DUPLICATE PAGES?
  166. @portentint Must have: The knowledge
  167. @portentint CRO: See what’s already been tested Cool resource: WhichTestWon
  168. @portentint Drag race your site Cool resource: Webpagetest.org
  169. @portentint See the links
  170. Why not fix it?!!!
  171. @portentint Know the relative cost/benefits
  172. Make it a no-brainer
  173. @portentint It’ll require about 1 hour per week.
  174. @portentint You already have someone training the animals. Just have them do a 30-second recording every day.
  175. @portentint 1 video = 1 hour of work $50/hour $50/video
  176. @portentint If the video generates 100 visits to the site in its lifetime we get a measurable 1:1 ROI
  177. @portentint If the video generates 5 orders to the site in its lifetime we get a measurable 1:1 ROI
  178. @portentint Adwords budget = $50,000/year 20,000 clicks 1% conversion rate 200 orders @ $10/order $2,000 …
  179. @portentint 6-month Cat Fancy ad = $25,000 ??? calls ??? conversion rate …
  180. @portentint Se‫﬙‬ing up compression = .5s faster load time = 4 hours’ work = $400
  181. @portentint Se‫﬙‬ing up compression 25% faster load time 40 orders = 1:1 ROI
  182. @portentint Compare to Adwords…
  183. Relatively low cost/clear benefit reduces friction
  184. Why not try it?!!!
  185. FRICTIONLESS
  186. We have clear actions that are relatively low-cost, high-benefit
  187. This is no longer ambiguous risk.
  188. It’s a set of actions to which we all say…
  189. @portentint why not! why not! why not!
  190. @portentint thanks for the help. ian's happy. we're happy. time to return to our vats for regeneration.
  191. fix this thing and we'll do better. trust me. HOW YOU LOOK
  192. What about strategy?
  193. Strategy only ma‫﬙‬ers if you execute on it.
  194. Our advice only ma‫﬙‬ers if $#!! gets done.
  195. You validate a strategy by implementing it.
  196. SEOs are leaders who aren’t in charge
  197. SEOs must get to why not
  198. Know the numbers
  199. Create frictionless clari‫﬚‬
  200. @portentint WE’RE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM
  201. most clients won’t get to why not
  202. that’s ok. we still love them.
  203. be brave.
  204. ‘why not’ always helps
  205. Ian Lurie @portentint www.portent.com h‫﬙‬p://portent.co/why-the-heck-not SMALL, UNMARKED BILLS PLEASE

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