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How seo became the essential digital marketing channel post covid

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Webinar by Annelle Digital (https://www.annelledigital.com/) for Kaplan HK

The presentation includes topics about:

1) Intro to SEO
What is SEO?
Search Engine Process
3 Main SEO Strategies

2) Search Engine Listing Types
Regular web listing to Universal Search, Google Images, Videos, News and Top Stories, Maps and Local 3-Pack, Zero-click search results

3) 5 SEO Trends in 2021
Machine Learning (Google Hummingbird, Natural Language Processing, Rank Brain, BERT)

4) 4 Benefits of SEO to businesses post-covid

Published in: Marketing
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How seo became the essential digital marketing channel post covid

  1. 1. SEO AND HOW IT BECAME THE ESSENTIAL DIGITAL MARKETING CHANNEL POST-COVID
  2. 2. ABOUT ME • 10 years experience in Digital Marketing with focus on SEO • Accomplished in managing SEO projects, both from in-house and agency roles, in Global and APAC region • Former Regional SEO Lead, APAC at HSBC • Co-founder of Annelle Digital, Digital Marketing Agency ( https://www.annelledigital.com/ ) • Currently, Senior Manager, Search Business Analyst at FWD Insurance
  3. 3. COMPANIES I’VE WORKED WITH Here are the companies I have worked with on my in-house and agency roles: • Nestle APAC • FedEx APAC • PayPal HK • Promise Finance • HSBC APAC • FWD Group • Standard Chartered • Johnsons & Johnsons • Hyatt Hotels Global • Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts Global • Peninsula Hotels Global • Wynn Macau • Lanson Place Hotel HK • Regal Hotels International • Star Cruises
  4. 4. INTRO TO SEO
  5. 5. WHAT IS SEO? Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the process of optimizing your webpages in order to make a website relevant to users’ query and rank higher in unpaid search engine listings leading to increase on organic traffic and leads.
  6. 6. SEARCH ENGINE PROCESS Search engine spiders crawl the web and discover pages via links Spiders learn what your website is about through content (keywords, meta data, H1, etc) and index information on database Spiders serve the most relevant results based on evaluation to online users RENDERING SEARCH ALGORITHMS (200+ Google ranking factors) UX Signals Content Quality Off-site Citations Relevancy HTML&CSStobe downloaded& parsed JS has to be downloaded, com piled + parsed and executed, 2 m ore steps. 1st Wave 2nd Wave (Render Queue) CRAWL INDEX RANK
  7. 7. 3 MAIN SEO STRATEGIES Technical SEO On-page SEO Off-page SEO Technical SEO - optimize the website’s accessibility and indexability to search engines by controlling bot behavior and search indexation through various techniques. On-page SEO - optimize factors within the website that influence organic rankings on relevant search queries. Off-page SEO - increase the website's overall authority by analyzing and expanding citations from external sources.
  8. 8. ORGANIC SEARCH RESULTS TYPES
  9. 9. REGULAR WEB SEARCH -> UNIVERSAL SEARCH • Pages found on the Web, typically showing page titles, meta description, and URLs • Optimizing the Title tag is one of the most effective ways to associate your webpage to a keyword. • Regular search results have transitioned to Universal Search. • Organic sitelinks and different type of snippets could also appear. URL Title Tag Meta Description Organic one-line sitelinks
  10. 10. IMAGES • On-site images Appearing on search results can be obtained by adding Alternative Text • Images on universal search are taken from Google Images repository
  11. 11. VIDEOS • Extracted from YouTube • Limit the title to 60 characters while description to 100 characters. • Insert your target keyword to video file, Title and description to optimize, categorize the video and tag with popular keywords related to the topic to optimize • Videos on search results triggered by “How To” queries Title Tag Meta Description
  12. 12. MAPS AND LOCAL 3-PACK • Listing on both Maps and Local-3 pack can be obtained by verifying the site to Google My Business • Local 3-Pack is triggered by location-based queries https://www.mdsdecoded.com/bl og/google-local-history/
  13. 13. NEWS AND TOP STORIES • Website needs to enable AMP, submit the news to Google and get approved to be listed on Google News • Featured websites on Top Stories are from publishers and websites that include content marketing as its strategy and publish blogs often
  14. 14. ZERO-CLICK SEARCH RESULT OR NO CLICK SEARCH RESULT • Answer to the user’s query are displayed at the top of a Google search result without clicking on a link • Triggered by queries can be about currency conversions, time zones, word definitions and “how to x • Zero-search result texts are around 54- 58 words
  15. 15. SUMMARY • Regular web search results that used to only serve website links during the early days of Google has been replaced by Universal Search • Universal Search refers to search results that don’t only include website links but also other verticals such as Images, Videos, Maps, Stories and other snippets. • To appear on other Google verticals, there are certain SEO strategies needed to implement such as Alt text for images, publishing video on Youtube, verifying your website to Google My Business, etc.
  16. 16. 2021 SEO TRENDS
  17. 17. MACHINE LEARNING HOW TO OPTIMIZE? • Create high quality and relevant content • Optimise for conversational queries, long-tail keywords, and question-based queries • Google might give preference to websites that win UX signals (CTR, Time on page, readability) WHAT? • Hummingbird algorithm marked the beginning of NLP • NLP (Natural Language Processing) allows Google to process words in search queries in relation to all the other words contained in the query • RankBrain is Google’s name for a machine- learning artificial intelligence system • BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers), helps Google understand the context of the words such as conversational queries and use of prepositions.
  18. 18. CORE WEB VITALS WHAT? • Google announced in May adding Core Web Vitals as ranking factors for page experience. • Largest Contentful Paint – being able to see your page • First Input Delay measures - the time it takes for a user to actually interact with your page. • Cumulative Layout Shift - how stable a page is as it loads HOW TO OPTIMIZE? • Optimize the page based on the results from tools such as Page Speed Insights, Lighthouse and Chrome Dev Tools. • Reference: web.dev/vitals.
  19. 19. MOBILE FRIENDLINESS WHAT? • Google moved to mobile-first indexing in July 2019 and will be switched for all websites to March 2021. • Mobile-first indexing means Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. https://developers.google.com/sear ch/mobile-sites/mobile-first-indexing HOW TO OPTIMIZE? 1) Implement responsive web design 2) Do not use separate mobile URLs 3) Add Structured Data 4) Add Image Alt Text 5) Make sure that Googlebot can access and render your content 6) Same content on desktop and mobile 7) Follow the image and video best practices
  20. 20. VOICE SEARCH SEO HOW TO OPTIMIZE? • Target long-tail terms • Publish content that answers “who, what, when, where, why and how” questions • Verify your site to Google My Business to appear on local search. WHAT? Voice search SEO is a strategy that optimizes the content to enable your voice search on devices that runs through digital assistant to rank on top of search results. • Known digital assistants are Google, Siri and Alexa.
  21. 21. E-A-T WHAT? • EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) are quality standards primarily affecting YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) websites. • YMYL are websites that offer financial or medical information that could impact mental, physical, and emotional well-being. HOW TO OPTIMIZE? • Have quality content aligned to what your clients value and prefer • Aim to get links/mentions from official business listings, .edu and .gov sites • Build relationships with journalists to get links/mentions from publications • For content authors, aim to get published from different high-level sites to demonstrate expertise • Work on reviews • Engage on forum discussions
  22. 22. SUMMARY 1. Machine Learning - write high quality content that answers user’s query 2. Core Web Vitals – optimise your site’s loading speed and page experience 3. Mobile-friendliness – prioritize optimising your website for mobile search 4. Voice Search – publish short and direct answers to questions typically asked via voice search 5. E-A-T – build your website’s authority for your blog topic and get your content written by an expert to gain Google’s trust
  23. 23. BENEFITS OF SEO POST-COVID
  24. 24. FOUR CONSUMER TRENDS Economic Impact Companies optimizing costs are expected to add to economic woes. Organizations must quickly understand the economic impact of COVID-19 on their customer base. Erosion of Trust Trust in brands is eroding, with reputational risk especially precarious if corporate values do not meet those of customers Rise of Digital Companies should rapidly adopt digital to reduce cost to serve and meet customer demand for e- commerce. Home is the new hub Companies should seek to tap into the growth of the community, the demand for localization and new 'essentials' such as homeware. https://home.kpmg/xx/en/home/insights/2020/06/consumers-and-the-new-reality.html
  25. 25. COST-EFFECTIVE METHODS Q1 2020 advertising spend dropped by 28% accdg to a study by admango . Goals remain the same. Difficult to convert sales from social marketing according to 42% of the respondents from a Nielsen study SEO bring consistent long term performance growth without any advertising budget required https://www.campaignasia.com/article/early-adspend-impact-of-covid-19-in- hong-kong-much-sharper-than-sars/459325 https://www.verizonmedia.com/hk/insights/hk-advertising-spending-projection- survey-2020-highlight
  26. 26. RANK CONTENT UPDATE Number of monthly searches remained constant but conversion rate from paid search decreased according to WordStream Customers are searching for expert advice or to get some help and not looking to convert https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2020/03/18/covid-19-google-ads-data https://developers.google.com/search/docs/data-types/special-announcements
  27. 27. CAPTURE FRESH ONLINE CUSTOMERS 1 in 4 consumers were replacing in-store shopping trips with online according to a study by Numerator. SEO helps on bringing traffic and designing the website structure that is easy to navigate for consumers https://www.numerator.com/resources/blog/impact-covid-19-consumer-behavior
  28. 28. ENFORCE ONLINE AUTHORITY Consumers have a preference shift towards engaging with leading digital organisations according to a report by KPMG. Companies that are consistently ranking high on search results have top of mind advantage leading to improved branding and are deemed trustworthy. https://home.kpmg/cn/en/home/insights/2020/11/impact-of-covid-19-on-hong-kong-consumers-behaviours.html
  29. 29. SUMMARY 1. SEO is cost-effective. It can be run without any advertising budget eliminating organizations’ concern of wasting money due to low conversion rate. 2. SEO can bring new website content such as changes on value proposition or messaging to match customer’s concerns on top of search results. 3. SEO can help on bringing traffic as well as designing the website structure that is easy to navigate for consumers even for those who are non-digitally savvy. 4. Websites optimized for SEO and are consistently ranking high on search results are deemed trustworthy.
  30. 30. Q&A

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