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Planning an SEO Strategy for a New Website - SMXL Milan 2019

It's very easy to get started too quickly in SEO for a new website and not plan properly using a framework to improve probability of success. Here we look at the SOSTAC framework for a new site and explore some traditional strategic models and marketing frameworks to employ in an SEO capacity for a dog friendly website in the UK territory. Expect SOSTAC, Porters 5 Forces, Ansoff Matrix, 5S's, 8P's and more

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Planning an SEO Strategy for a New Website - SMXL Milan 2019

  1. 1. 6-7, NOVEMBER 2019 HOW TO PLAN AN SEO STRATEGY FOR A NEW WEBSITE Dawn Anderson CEO of Bertey
  2. 2. “The Essence of Strategy is Choosing What NOT To Do” (Michael Porter)
  3. 3. TOO many marketing choices… It is easy to take the wrong path
  4. 4. & waste both time & money
  5. 5. It’s easy to get started quickly without knowing where you are going… or why
  6. 6. Or who you are trying to talk to…
  7. 7. Or what you are trying to say…
  8. 8. Pause… Take a good look around at the current situation
  9. 9. Before you start your journey
  10. 10. Also… Meet Bert and Tedward
  11. 11. Today’s Topic: Planning an SEO Strategy for a New Website
  12. 12. A new site === blank canvas & minimal legacy baggage
  13. 13. “Hooray”
  14. 14. We can use appropriate insights & models & take the right paths from the start
  15. 15. Let’s pretend… ‘Travels with Bert’ – A brand new site for people who want to go places with their dog in the UK
  16. 16. It’s not a real site
  17. 17. The most important focus is “dog friendly”
  18. 18. Strategy has a tightly focused plan & a top down view
  19. 19. 10 Ps of SEO Marketing Strategy Product – The target URLs / terms Price – What’s the budget we have to invest in SEO? Placement – Which neighbourhood / target audience? Promotion – Outreach / content strategy People – How is the campaign team structured? Priority – Where are the priorities? Planning – The overall plan Process – The campaign systems / schedule / actions Positioning – How are we pitching this campaign? Performance – Measurement (traffic / impressions)
  20. 20. We can use the SOSTAC PLANNING MARKETING FRAMEWORK (P.R.Smith, circa 1999)
  21. 21. SOSTAC Situation Analysis Objectives Strategy Tactics Actions Control
  22. 22. We can adapt SOSTAC For SEO Situation Analysis – Where are we now? Objectives – Where do we want to be? Strategy – How will we get there? Tactics – The details of how we get there Actions – Who does what, where & when from the detail of getting there Control – How will we know we got there? (measurement of progress)
  23. 23. Take note though... Siloed SEO is rubbish
  24. 24. Mix it up - Take a blended channel approach
  25. 25. Users don’t just hang around in search result pages on desktop … and neither should we
  26. 26. BE AWARE: A website is now just one data layer
  27. 27. Google My Business • Products • Photos • Videos (soon) • Agency management ability • Questions & answers • Offers • Events Apps
  28. 28. 10 blue links is now a very small part of the search universe
  29. 29. We have many rich opportunities with images, video, Q & A’s & featured snippets
  30. 30. SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS = Where are we now? PEST(EL) Marketplace SWOT Analysis 5S Analysis Market Trends Consumer Insights Links EAT Capabilities & Resources Rankings Clicks & Impressions Competitive Analysis Social Presence SEO Audits
  31. 31. Explore possible factors from wide narrowing to most relevant / granular PEST(EL) - Wider external conditions (MACRO) situation SWOT – Competitive analysis, SEO specific & market insights (MICRO) situation, audience insights, market specific trends NEAREST (Within organization) - Internal resources & capabilities – 5 S analysis – industry relationships & connections
  32. 32. P.E.S.T.(EL) (MACRO ENVIRONMENT) – Matters to EVERYBODY Political Economical Sociological Technological Environmental Legal
  33. 33. POLITICAL (Brexit, elections) ECONOMICAL (Recession, housing market, disposable income, austerity, local) SOCIOLOGICAL (Social media, societal change in behavior, values, morals & ethics) TECHNOLOGICAL (mobile & technological advances, AI, ML) ENVIRONMENTAL (Climate change, conscience on air travel, carbon footprint) LEGAL (GDPR, privacy, compliance)
  34. 34. Trust & privacy matters to EVERYONE
  35. 35. TECHNOLOGICAL – Emerging - Assistant + Home + Discover + Search App + Desktop
  36. 36. Multi-devicing (hugely so at home)
  37. 37. Mobile screens are mostly small
  38. 38. Our phone experiences are gamified / entertainment sources
  40. 40. UX Matters to EVERYONE
  41. 41. KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID (K.I.S.S.) • Mobile design is highly visual, goal and task driven (across several sessions / subtask). Simplicity is key.
  42. 42. SOCIOLOGICAL - The modern shopper is time poor, research crazy & constantly connected via mobile
  43. 43. THE ATTENTION ECONOMY Information overload Too much content We are all researchers Agile task-driven searchers ‘Noisy’ information systems
  44. 44. • “The Brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text” • – 3M Corporation Research
  45. 45. • TECHNOLOGI CAL & SOCIOLOGICA L - The move to a more image & video based information consumption
  46. 46. Images (& video) matter to EVERYONE
  47. 47. Ethical Marketing MATTERS to EVERYONE - Brand values, causes & conscience
  48. 48. Speed & Security Matters to EVERYONE
  49. 49. Be fast & secure from the start
  50. 50. Mobile Optimisation is a Given
  51. 51. SOCIOLOGICAL – Personalisation is increasingly important
  52. 52. Our site MUST pass mobile-friendly tests
  53. 53. People may still manage their lives on desktop in this “dog friendly” market
  54. 54. Local Matters - “”NEAR ME”… it’s now about finding a specific thing, in a specific area, and in a specific period of time. “(Lisa Gevelber, Google, 2018)
  55. 55. But… It Depends …
  56. 56. Travels with BERT is ‘online only’ (no bricks & mortar)
  57. 57. The entities within ‘Travel with Bertey’ might be bricks & mortar ‘local’ things Pubs Hotels Beaches Cafes Restaurants
  58. 58. So… Schema ‘All The Things’ X 3 implementation YoY
  59. 59. What can we take from the MACRO factor PEST(EL)? Mobile friendly test Fast loading HTTPS About Us / Contact Us Privacy & Security Policy GDPR & Cookies Plenty of Images / video Signals of Trust / Social Proof Great UX Elements of Personalisation Schema
  60. 60. We now have some ‘Must Haves’
  61. 61. MICRO ENVIRONMENT - Things that matter to you, your target audience & competitors
  62. 62. What about MICRO factors? Narrower “dog friendly” market factors?
  63. 63. 'Dog Friendly’ web search interest is still growing
  64. 64. Pets are Family
  65. 65. The ‘humanization’ of the family pet
  66. 66. Pomeranians of Instagram
  67. 67. User Generated Content
  68. 68. Dog Friendly image search demand is rising
  69. 69. Summer UK ‘Staycations’ on the increase
  70. 70. “We’re going to need a place to stay”
  71. 71. “The intelligence is coming together”
  72. 72. What does the competitive landscape look like?
  73. 73. Probably not the same as your traditional competitors
  74. 74. Let’s take an example UK competitor
  75. 75. Similar Sites & Competitors
  76. 76. Competitors include a diverse set of sites
  77. 77. Very diverse blend of competitors Vets Hotels Travel aggregators Other pet friendly sites Pet magazines Pet food suppliers
  78. 78. Travelodge is their number 1 competitor across ‘Share of Voice’, but we only want to win on ‘dog friendly’ places
  79. 79. “Where are competitors getting traffic from?”
  80. 80. Traffic Sources by Channel
  81. 81. Search Traffic By Split
  82. 82. 5 S Competitive Analysis – How do we fare? SELL – Sales / Rankings / Traffic SPEAK – Dialogue & trialogue SERVE – Customer service / reputation SAVE – Wastage / efficiency SIZZLE – Audience engagement / content
  83. 83. What are your internal capabilities & resources versus competitors?
  84. 84. Internal Resources & Capabilities v Competitors COMPETITORS V YOU EXPERIENCE FINANCIAL MANPOWER GOVERNANCE LEGACY ISSUES Means Do you have strong experience of the vertical? Do you already have established industry relationships? Reputation? Do you have realistic expectations of what can be achieved with the finances available? Can you raise finance if needed? Who do you have available from a manpower perspective? Do you need external help? Specialists? Are there layers of governance which prevent you or competitors from being agile? Are you regulated e.g. by FSA or Law Society? Are there legacy issues which may cause generational cruft / delays / internal politics / bottlenecks? You Competitor 1 Competitor 2 Competitor 3
  85. 85. Who are your audiences?
  86. 86. Of course, it’s broadly going to be dog lovers
  87. 87. It’s likely to be a dual sided model Broadly Dog lovers Broadly Leisure Establishment owners / managers
  88. 88. “Where are they hanging our socially?”
  89. 89. A good place to start is probably Facebook
  90. 90. “What are they saying?”
  91. 91. “What are they reading about? Who’s advertising in print?”
  92. 92. What are the big things that matter? THINGS TO DO PLACES TO GO PET CARE PLACES TO STAY
  93. 93. S.W.O.T. (Marketplace Analysis) Transfer the collected data to here Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats
  94. 94. What can we take from the MACRO & MICRO factors? Mobile friendly test Fast loading HTTPS About Us / Contact Us Privacy & Security Policy GDPR & Cookies Plenty of Images Signals of Trust / Social Proof Great UX Elements of Personalisation Schema Dual sided model Location based entities Dog lovers Establishment owners Facebook community Growth market Humanisation of pets Instagram / images Diverse competitor set Things to do Places to go
  95. 95. OBJECTIVES Where do we want to be?
  96. 96. What’s the BHAG? (Big, hairy, ambitious goal)
  97. 97. Now… Get S.M.A.R.T
  99. 99. Better Still… Map 5 S to SMART Objectives SMART for each SELL SPEAK SERVE SIZZLE SAVE
  100. 100. OBJECTIVES = Where do we want to be (5S’s & KPIs)? SELL •SELL objective SAVE •SAVE objective SERVE •SERVE objective SIZZLE •SIZZLE objective SPEAK •SPEAK objective
  101. 101. 5 S OBJECTIVES (Smith & Chaffey, 2000) – Are we there yet? (Started Q1) OBJECTIVE FACTORS SELL SERVE SPEAK SAVE SIZZLE S Increase traffic to x target URLs from organic search on non-brand generic terms Improve click through to faq pages NOT phone calls Identify & connect with influencers / key customers via social & email Stabilise bounce rate on transactional pages Create interactive ‘best of’ guides for locations M From 0 visit pcm to 1k visit pcm Reduce calls by 50%. Visits to help centre up by 50% From 0 to 50 influencers / key customers from 72% to 48% 300 shares / comments / likes A Yes - Achievable Yes Yes Yes Yes R Yes - Realistic Yes Yes Yes Yes T By Q4 (9 months) By Q3 By Q4 By Q4 (9 months) By Q3
  102. 102. Identify interim KPIs for the roadmap Rankings Impression count CTR Dwell time Micro conversions
  103. 103. STRATEGY How will we get there?
  104. 104. Ansoff Matrix For SEO – What kind of strategy is it? Market Penetration Product Development Market Development Diversification No content, no contacts and no current rankings Some contacts & target visitors but no rankings / visits for terms yet Some content, some contacts, some rankings. Need to improve overall Some rankings, few contacts, not the right type of content for new target market informational needs
  105. 105. It’s going to be an acquisition and market development or diversification strategy
  106. 106. You are not a brand (yet)
  107. 107. Hierarchy of brand as solution consciousness Unconscious competence (mostly ‘brand as solution’ aware) Conscious competence (solution aware) Conscious incompetence (problem aware) Unconscious incompetence (problem unaware)
  108. 108. “1 in 3 smartphone users bought from a brand they didn’t intend to because they met ‘in the moment’ information needs” (Google, 2015)
  109. 109. Strategic Elements Segmentation Strategy Communications Strategy Content Strategy Information Need Targeting
  110. 110. How can we segment the audience?
  111. 111. You can’t make everyone happy… You’re not cake
  112. 112. Segmentation Strategy Primary Persona Secondary Personas Members of Decision- making Unit Segmentation rationale?
  113. 113. Audience identification… Viable segments & personas
  114. 114. Audience Segmentation Geographic Demographic Psychographic Behavioural
  115. 115. What do your primary & secondary personas look like?
  116. 116. Hubspot Buyer Persona Tool
  117. 117. What matters to our segments / personas & when (Intent)? Problem unaware Problem aware Solution aware Solution brand aware
  119. 119. Humans forage for information (like bears)
  120. 120. Consumer behavior is task-driven
  121. 121. Tasks != Sessions
  122. 122. Task Driven Consumer Behaviour
  123. 123. Consider very carefully the tasks and subtasks of the target personas
  124. 124. Task Driven Content Planning
  125. 125. Ask customers, staff & panels
  126. 126. Kantar’s NeedScope What is the emotional need of the user? SURPRISE ME HELP ME REASSURE ME EDUCATE ME IMPRESS ME THRILL ME
  127. 127. Consumer Cross Stitch Model (Coloring In Department)
  128. 128. Are there temporal & location based factors to consider?
  130. 130. Keyword Research / Information Needs Mapping
  131. 131. Search Demand Curve (img attrib: ahrefs)
  132. 132. A balance between “Is it worth it?” and “Expensive vanity terms”
  133. 133. Dog Friendly Major Themes
  134. 134. Dig deep with Answer the Public
  135. 135. Word clouds & keyword research
  136. 136. Find out what matters to your audience also with ‘phrase extension keywords’ (Dog friendly +) word clouds
  137. 137. Pull out the big themes & identify ‘top tasks’
  138. 138. BCG Growth Share Matrix (Use for Queries) Question Marks Stars Dogs Cash Cows ? ? ??
  139. 139. Communications Strategy (What are you saying and where?) Transactional content Informational content Hygiene content (brand) Influencer / key advocate outreach content
  140. 140. Just what is the right information need for the right user at the right time?
  141. 141. Since ‘relevance’ to one persona is not ‘relevance to another
  142. 142. Matching ‘content’ with ‘intent’ requires increasing precision
  143. 143. Identify the temporal, sequential & emotional nature of user ‘tasks’ & task timelines
  144. 144. Be timely
  145. 145. Be timely – Days of the Year
  146. 146. Be timely – Dog shows
  147. 147. Content Strategy (Types / schedule) Content Marketing Matrix Temporal Elements Location Based Content Emotional Needs Targeting
  148. 148. Blended content mix • Inspire • Educate • Entertain • Convince
  149. 149. Make sure you mix it up well
  150. 150. How is the Information Need Served by Google’s Results?
  151. 151. Answer The Questions
  152. 152. Dog Friendly People Also Ask
  153. 153. Extract phrases ‘people also ask’ Chrome extension
  154. 154. Dog Friendly Image Search gives entity and classification clues
  155. 155. TACTICS The detail of how we get there
  156. 156. TACTICS = The detail of getting there Communications Mix Technical Audit On-page Optimisation Content Plan Contact Plan (digital PR & social colab)
  157. 157. TACTICS = The detail of getting there Map chosen messages to content Ideate & create chosen content types Identify outreach targets / influencers Build the blend of content Site architecture & navigation / findability mapping to needs Launch & post launch audits Collaboration with other channels Utilise common / shared cross-channel data Take an image led approach
  158. 158. In S.O.S.T.A.C. – The ‘Tactics’ and ‘Actions’ are at letters number 4 and 5 for a reason
  159. 159. Since too many jump straight into the details without a proper plan
  160. 160. Confusing strategy with tactics
  161. 161. Umbrella strategic elements with UX & Findability Focus
  162. 162. What are our comms messages mapped to information need meeting paths?…
  163. 163. It’s just like gathering & organizing books in a library system or using an old card index system
  164. 164. Think about the different ways people seek information Some browse Some search Some berry-pick
  165. 165. And helping personas find the way
  166. 166. Map what matters to ‘Top Tasks’ navigations
  167. 167. Types of navigational systems Chronological Alphabetical Audience defined Matrix Hierarchical Steps Internal site search
  168. 168. Findability is ‘King’ Global Submenu Sectional Signposting Top task paths Focused informational views
  170. 170. Group Similar & Related Things Together
  171. 171. Categories & subcategories’
  173. 173. Use clear structure in pages to emphasise importance of key points. Think accessibility first
  174. 174. Focus on your topics
  175. 175. Gamify with Interactive content
  176. 176. Involve the visitor
  177. 177. An Example of a Structured Website • Hierarchical nature of a website • Tree structure • Well sectioned and including clear containers and meta headings • An ontology map between semi and structured
  178. 178. ACTIONS = Who does what, where & by when from the detail? Responsibilities & structures Processes & systems Map internal skills & resources Allocate / source external suppliers Use Gantt charts & project management systems Deadlines Break tactics down into bite-sized actions & allocate
  179. 179. Break down all of the tactics into bite sized chunks and allocate them as actions
  180. 180. SOSTAC ACTIONS TASK WHO WHAT WHERE BY WHEN 5 S TYPE Identify influencers Outreach / SEO Exec SPEAK Keyword research SEO Exec / Assistant SELL, SERVE Persona task mapping SEO Strategist SELL, SPEAK, SERVE Content creation - text based Copywriter Content creation - visual Graphic designer Tech SEO audit Tech SEO
  181. 181. Gantt Charts & Project Planning
  182. 182. The Project Management and Planning Part of the Project & BAU Asana Monday Trello Basecamp Slack
  183. 183. CONTROL = How do we know if we got there? Who monitors what & when? Analytics KPI reviews 5 S status reviews – how often? Dashboards Reporting – Frequency? Automation? Google Search Console
  184. 184. It’s very easy to go off course
  185. 185. Measure well from the start
  186. 186. Add site to Google Search Console immediately
  187. 187. To Setup -> Google Analytics ‘The House Model’ (Coloring In Department)
  188. 188. Switch data retention to don’t expire automatically
  189. 189. Configure organic search sources
  190. 190. Setup Dashboards
  191. 191. 5 S REVIEW (Smith & Chaffey, 2000) – Are we there yet? (Started Q1) OBJECTIVE FACTORS SELL SERVE SPEAK SAVE SIZZLE S Increase traffic to x target URLs from organic search on non-brand generic terms Improve click through to help centre NOT phone calls for self- service & to reduce customer service costs Identify & connect with influencers / key customers via social & email Reduce bounce rate on transactional/ money pages Create geolocated interactive ‘best of’ guides for locations M From 0 visit pcm to 1k visit pcm Reduce calls by 50%. Visits to help centre up by 50% From 0 to 50 influencers / key customers from 72% to 48% 300 shares / comments / likes A Yes - Achievable Yes Yes Yes Yes R Yes - Realistic Yes Yes Yes Yes T By Q4 (9 months) By Q3 By Q4 By Q4 (9 months) By Q3
  192. 192. Consider automating reporting
  193. 193. Connect Google Search Console to Data Studio
  194. 194. Connect Google Search Console to Data Studio
  195. 195. Repeat SOSTAC periodically Situation Analysis Objectives Strategy Tactics Actions Control
  196. 196. Thank you Keep in touch @DawnieAndo @BeBertey
  197. 197. Sources, References, further reading
  198. 198. References
  199. 199. Appendix
  200. 200. Control factors Who monitors what and when? Who is responsible for reporting? What is the reporting frequency? Who needs to know what metrics? What are the interim KPIs?
  201. 201. 5 S Analysis For SEO COMPETITORS V YOU SELL SERVE SPEAK SAVE SIZZLE Means How are the transactional pages ranking? / traffic levels? / Is the right page ranking? / Sales generated? / Intent correctly aligned with page? How are the informational/ hygiene pages ranking / traffic levels Is digital PR / content amplification underway and is there a dialogue or trialogue with community? / Social presence / Influencer connections? Is there wastage in their current strategy / SEO campaign? Chasing vanity / low priority terms? Is there brand ’buzz’ and more authority / EAT factors / Great content which excites the audience? You Competitor 1 Competitor 2 Competitor 3
  202. 202. PESTEL - -Things that matter to a HUGE amount of people (maybe even EVERYBODY)
  203. 203. Query Classifications - There are some we know of already
  204. 204. Test your structured data
  205. 205. UX - Use informational clusters & working memory chunking
  206. 206. SOSTAC For SEO Situation Analysis – PESTEL / SWOT / Rankings / Traffic / Conversions / Impressions / 5 S KPIs / Market Trends / Competitive Analysis Objectives – Rankings / Traffic / Conversions / Impressions / 5 S KPIs (SELL, SPEAK, SAVE, SERVE, SIZZLE) Strategy – Ansoff Matrix / Comms strategy / Content strategy / Acquisition or Retention?/ Boston Growth Share Matrix / 10 Ps of SEO Marketing Strategy / Information needs analysis / Persona & Segment selection / Influencer comms strategy / Content ideation (Content marketing matrix) / Stock and flow content plan Tactics – Information architecture / site structure build. Keyword research. Intent to URL mapping. Content marketing matrix. Content creation. Tech & on page SEO audits. BAU audits. BAU & hero project content creation. Graphic design & dev task overviews Actions – Map actions / tasks to people with deadlines (Gantt) – Project management (Trello / Monday / Asana / Basecamp). Who? What? Where? By When? Activity frequency (BAU and project). Control – Reporting and KPI monitoring + reviews / dashboards / Rankings / GSC / GA monitoring / Data integrations – Did we get there yet? Are we still on course?
  207. 207. Breadcrumbs • Global • Sectional
  208. 208. Jump Pages For humans and search engines alike
  209. 209. Look for content opportunity ‘patterns’ in search volumes
  210. 210. Find out what matters to your audience also with ‘related keywords’ word clouds
  211. 211. New ways to satisfy information need are growing in relevance
  212. 212. Be mobile first & foremost – personalise where you can BUT there are SEO considerations
  213. 213. Different features matter to users more dependent on the domain News (freshness) Jobs (salary, job title, location) Restaurants (location, cuisine) Shopping (price)
  214. 214. Ansoff Matrix Market Penetration Product Development Market Development Diversification New product for new market New product for existing market Existing product for existing market Existing product for new market