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#1 tambre

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 04:41 PM

So I was asked to write a document about how SEO and what I learned at the conference in NY can benefit my company and my company's clients.

At first, when I was asked to give my presentation of the SES NY conference I gave a data-dump of everything that I learned. To me, imparting that knowledge, was my way of saying, "all this I can do for you. these are infinite benefits"

I'm not really good at making projections, so I didn't. And my data-dump wasn't what was being looked for. I have been since asked to write up a document with the basic goal of being able to express:

How can SEO and what I learned benefit my company and my clients.

For two days I have looked up ways to help our clients with Google AdWords and Pay Per Click campaigns, I have looked up organic ways to help our clients...

I know how SEO helps companies. It's there to get the traffic that should be going to your site too your site. I know that if done correctly it's not just supposed to get traffic from search engines, but it's supposed to get the people now on your site to either buy or read information depending upon the type of site that you have and what the site does. I can say that with proper meta information, design and content your site will generate more business because the website will be functioning as it is supposed too.

I feel like I'm missing something somewhere though because I still don't have numbers. I have the "if we do this and this we can increase our profits/leads/viewers" but not the "by 67%" or whatever. I don't have pie charts and graphs and I'm not sure how to find or even go about creating that information.

Can anyone offer any help? Do you happen to have any suggestions on what I can do? I feel like I'm school again staring at a blank document having to write a research report and having no idea where to start. (I didn't like that feeling much ;) )

I hope I didn't ramble too much, but thank you for any help that any of you can provide.

-Sam

#2 joedolson

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 05:35 PM

And you really won't have those numbers without doing the work. Convincing somebody that search marketing can be quite difficult - because the numbers are hugely variable for every site, and you really don't know the effect until after you've made the changes.

It's an analytical art, and you can make predictions, but they aren't anything you can necessarily be pinned to.

The problem, really, is a lack of comprehension of how search works. Fundamentally, you've hit it on the nose:

I can say that with proper meta information, design and content your site will generate more business because the website will be functioning as it is supposed too.


What people don't always understand is how they're site doesn't operate correctly: not being aware of the difference between text as text and text as images, or not being aware of the difficulties involved in javascript navigation, etc.

What you really need are practical case studies - cases where search marketing demonstrates a notable change. Perhaps somebody else here has something they can refer to - all I've got is my own chronicle of marketing my own site. This is based almost entirely on new content creation and external profile development, but it's got some hard numbers, at least!

#3 phaithful

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 05:49 PM

Sam I totally know where you're coming from. I've worked for quite a few clients and a couple of large companies, and to them SEO seems too much like magic and there isn't enough meat behind it all. Much of which, I believe, is due to the lack of talk in the SEO industry about web analytics and metric measurements that are typical requirements of any web business.

So to answer you question, there isn't any metric that I can give you that is the standard since different sites perform differently and different industries have different performances.

The first thing you'll want to do is figure out what metrics the site is currently tracking what what metrics they are interested in. Typically it's UUs (unique users), visitors, visits, page views, and time spent on site.

After you've figure out what you need to report on, you'll want to track how your SEO efforts are improving those numbers. To do so you'll need to track your rankings on the SERPs for a lot of keywords. I use WebCEO personally, but there are a lot of tools that can help you do this.

Then you'll want to figure out how much traffic these keywords are bringing in. So you'll want to get the all the traffic numbers that come from search engines (you can determine this by the referrer) and then filter by the keywords. You can now match up the position of your rank to the metrics you want to track (e.g. UUs (unique users), visitors, visits, page views, etc.)

As your rank improves you can show on a spreadsheet / chart on how your efforts of improving your ranking increase those metrics.

Also, you'll want to measure how much generic / type in / bookmarked traffic you get as well. This traffic doesn't have any referrer so it's more difficult to figure out, but you'll want to track a baseline and see if there is a correlation of increase between type in traffic and your SEO efforts. Over time you'll see that if you're doing a good job, people will bookmark your site and no longer use the Search Engine to come to your site. But they are still there because they first found your site through SEO.

Another value that is sometimes over looked is the strategic value of SEO. For many of your customers, the first time they see the website will be from a search engine. So it's your job to make sure the Title, Description, and the page they land on are all part of a good user experience. It also plays into branding and how people perceive your site and company.

Lastly, competitive intelligence SEO is another metric to track once you get all your internal tracking down. You'll want to monitor your competition and their ranking as well. As you rank higher they will rank lower, which means you are taking traffic away from them. If you can push a competitor off the top 3, they will see a significant drop in traffic for that keyword.

This is only the tip of the iceberg... I'll probably blog about this stuff more, since I think there are too many SEOs out there that don't. Everyone knows they want SEO, but many times they don't know how effective it is or even how to measure it. They just know that everyone else is doing it and so should they.

I feel like I'm missing something somewhere though because I still don't have numbers. I have the "if we do this and this we can increase our profits/leads/viewers" but not the "by 67%" or whatever. I don't have pie charts and graphs and I'm not sure how to find or even go about creating that information.

Over time you'll be able to extrapolate and better predict / forecast those metrics such as profits/leads/viewers by building a history of data and watching the trend.

Edited by phaithful, 25 May 2007 - 05:57 PM.


#4 EGOL

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 05:59 PM

I don't work for anyone. I cook up my own prospects and plan my own attacks. I attack what motivates me and where I think I can win - not what a company needs.

It is a balance between the cost of the attack and the purse that is up for grabs and if that attack is suited to your resources and talents.

With that background I reject topic after topic as not being in alignment with my skills or being in an area where I would be outgunned. I don't think that you can build a profitable attack on everything and any SEO who takes every job that comes by will probably end up with some poor performers.

I am going to make a presentation like yours to an institution soon. It will actually be two presentations. The first will present possible goals that a competetive website might help them with. I will present many possible targets, branding, sales, community, communication, gathering data from their service areas, placing information into the open which was previously obtained by phone call or email (and which consumed staff member time)... etc.... then at the end of that presentation we will brainstorm and the leaders will tell me which targets they want to attack. I will then study on those and come back with presentation #2... one that explains the resources, efforts, determination and timeline that will be part of reaching their defined goals. A LOT of guessing and gut feel will be in those projections. You don't know how some contests will go until you are into them... and some of these goals are not contests - you simply do them.

In short, the boss should define the goals and only then can you give specifics - if you have some experience from previous work - if not then you need to consult with a pro... In areas where competition is involved, the sizes of the slices in your pie charts will depend upon who you are competing against and the resources, etc. that your leadership will commit to the attack. If they don't think in an "attack" mode then their success will be marginal.

Edited by EGOL, 25 May 2007 - 06:38 PM.


#5 SEOigloo

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 01:04 AM

This is a great topic, Sam. You're being given really good advice here.

I'll just briefly add, if I was in your shoes, I'd be telling my boss that one of the things I'd learned about SEO is that few SEOs give set numbers. There are just too many variables. You can bring your boss here, show him this thread, and hopefully he'll see that what you presented is, in fact, what most SEOs have to tell their clients. Work comes first, numbers come afterwards, when you see what happens with the work you've done.

Just my 2 cents!
Miriam

#6 bwelford

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 05:55 AM

I'm sure your management knows how to run a sales force. They would never hire a sales representative and then just keep paying his or her salary without checking results. In fact they would probably 'manage' that sales representative's efforts by measuring performance and by giving support to make them a more effective sales person. At a very simple level, two good measures are:
  • How many sales calls does that sales representative make?
  • What proportion of face-to-face meetings result in sales?
In this modern world, where purchasing people are too stressed for time to be seeing sales representatives, the website is often potentially the most powerful sales representative you have. Particularly if people find your website using a keyword search, then they're probably actively looking to buy something. This is not the old Push Marketing where you're trying to get people's attention by sending them unwanted direct mail brochures or blasting their eyes with irritating TV ads. This is Pull Marketing where they come looking for you because you have something relevant to their needs.

So how do you get your on-line sales representative (your website) to perform well. The first step is to hire the right website. In other words, it must be designed with the potential to be selling-effective. Unfortunately most people don't realize how complex that is. There are so many ways you can get it wrong and cut the efficiency by 10% or 50% or 99%. In these Forums you can learn how to do most of the right things to mean you've got a pretty good website.

After that, then you can do a simple metric exercise just as you did for your human sales representatives. Two good measures are:
  • How many visitors arrive at the website every hour or every day?
  • What proportion of those visits result in actions that will lead to sales?
Visitors only arrive at the website if they become aware of your website somehow. That could be because they see the URL in a trade magazine or see a PPC (Pay-per-Click) ad as they visit some other web page. The most effective way if your market-place and your website allow it is to have those visitors clicking on a link in a keyword search they have done. If you do this right, then probably more than 70% of the visitors to your website will come via Google. The other search engines will also generate some traffic.

Then there's the question of what those visitors do once they're on the website. Again this can be a complex subject. There's lots of good advice in the Google Analytics Conversion University.

If the management doesn't realize that the Internet is the real market-place now, they're missing the boat. This becomes more and more true as time goes on. We now have the Mobile Web opening up, which will be much bigger than the Desktop Web in a few years. Just get management to look at what their competitors are doing on the Internet. If that's minimal, then you have a great opportunity to beat them. If they're already active, then you've got to match and even exceed what they're doing. It can be a question of survival.

#7 EGOL

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 07:29 AM

I think that a lot of managers believe that it takes a few minutes a week to tend a website. That is very true - if you expect poor results from that website. But if you want a successful site then you must spend a lot of time learning and a lot of time doing and a lot of time evaluating and then starting over with the process again.

Most people who run very successful websites spend a good amount of time studying and exchanging ideas with others - as you see happening all over these forums. Most here are not chatting because we lack something to do. We do it because it leads to success - and forms strong relationships where you can turn for advice.

If you company expects you to do this work then they should back you with adequate time to learn. Without that you leave things to chance and when you leave things to chance you genearlly lose.

The people I know who run very successful websites spend a couple hours a day learning and researching. Then the rest of the day implementing and assessing.

You management needs to realize that there are only ten spots on the first page of google. If you want visibility you must take one of those spots away from someone else who probably worked hard to earn it - and they might fight back when you take it. If you go into this without a commitment to excel your efforts will be second rate and second rate in a competitive space yields very little prize.

THen if you claim that space you need a website that can easily be used by visitors and that is attractive and inviting to use. There are many pieces to the puzzle.

Commendations to your management for sending you to SES. That is a great start. Many of us here attend those meetings - and others - frequently.

Edited by EGOL, 26 May 2007 - 07:37 AM.


#8 ukdaz

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 11:15 AM

I think that a lot of managers believe that it takes a few minutes a week to tend a website. That is very true - if you expect poor results from that website.


Egol

:applause:

Well said! It never ceases to amaze me the number of people out there that STILL think that having a cheap website putting in very little effort will result in them making millions/hundreds of thousands...

Daz

#9 rustybrick

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 05:56 AM

I think Barry Welford summed it nicely. You can come up with some numbers to get yourself a budget to work with as a test campaign.

#10 SportsGuy

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 09:26 AM

Please forgive me if this point has been covered and I missed it while skimming through the responses above.

One critical point that needs to be looked at is the site itself.

No good getting users to the site if the site's design/layout is not optimized to generate sales/leads, etc.

I've worked with a few sites where the goal was to positively influence inbound traffic from search sources. basically, they wanted better rankings on Google. I usually explain that it's not better rankings per se that you might want, but trackable results such as 20% more inbound traffic from the engines overall.

So, I'm going to suggest you split this hunt into two segments:

1 - take a look at your traffic logs and determine what volume of traffic you currently get is from inbound search traffic. Most analytics packages should be able to show you these numbers.

2 - review the site with an eye towards improving the sales funnel. Are there barriers such as;

~ a prominent phone number shown instead of an obvious online path
~ hidden pathways - build a sign up section to look too much like the rest of the site and new users may miss it
~ asking for too much information up front - asking users for a lot of personal info up front is a turn off for many
~ number of steps in a process - make the process too long and you'll lose users along the way

Anyway, my point is that increasing inbound search traffic is only one variable in the conversion chain. So, tread carefully when trying to determine dollar values when pitching execs. SEO and it's results are but one tool in the Marketing department's tool box.

I personally stick to using my seo methods as a way to help with inbound traffic numbers.

If you can, ask the sales department what an average conversion is worth to your company. You can use THAT data to project "what if" scenarios. If the average conversion is worth $500, and you know the current site converts at a 3% rate, then any MORE traffic your SEO efforts generate will likely follow the pattern.

10,000 visits from search a month now = 300 conversion @ $500 = $150,000/month in revenue

Let's say your search optimization efforts alone net a 15% increase in inbound traffic:

11,500 visits from search a month then = 345 conversion @ $500 = $172,500/month in revenue

So, obviously it's worth it to your company, should the numbers be realistic. Couple this with reviewing the site and optimizing the sales funnel and you could see even greater returns.

Now, on the cost side, we have:

You. :(

Your salary, your benefits, the costs of having you in place (computer, phone, etc.)

...and in reality, we also must account for the other folks in your business you'll need time from - IT folks, SysAdmins, Product Managers, etc. (as applicable). Each hour of anyone's time increases the cost to your business of getting the project (search optimization) up and running.

In the end, experience has taught many of us that the return is easily well worth the investment.

If your company requires some concrete numbers before unleashing you with funding, two things will need to happen:

1 - you will need to give them some level of comfort that this is not a black hole for funds - which I think you can do. :P
2 - you will need to educate them that there is nothing you currently possess (as a company) that you can use to say, "If we spend this, we get this back." Running a well optimized website can be very different from running a poorly optimized website - in terms of traffic...and traffic = revenue.

At some point they will need to have faith in what you say. Getting an optimization campaign running from the inside is very much a sell-job at times. But in the end, YOU could legitimately come out a hero.

#11 Black_Knight

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 10:25 AM

2 - review the site with an eye towards improving the sales funnel. Are there barriers such as;

~ a prominent phone number shown instead of an obvious online path

I would never advise anyone NOT to have a prominent telephone number if the site is their own, and is geared to sell.

The only times you should not have a very prominent telephone number shown on every page is if you are an affiliate site, and need all transactions to be online to get counted (and are unable to place your own telephone number and fill in the applications for people), or if the site's primary aim is not to provide sales leads, but instead is to reduce call-center time spent on support and answering questions.

In all other cases, emblazon a telephone number on every page, because a large number of people don't trust forms as much as they trust the telephone. There is a proportion of people who will not buy without talking to a human being. If they can't do that on your site, they can certainly do it at someone else's.

What you should do however is have a dedicated telephone number given on the website that is not given through any other marketing. That way every call to that number is attributable to the website. Even when the call is made by someone who was given the number by a friend or relative, and never personally saw the site themselves (and may not even own a computer).


Back to the original questions...

In general, a successful SEO optimised commercial website gets around 80% of its traffic (and customers) from search referrals. This figure is higher where other forms of advertising (such as magazine ads and billboards) isn't driving traffic to the website. Companies with market-leading brand names, the really well known brands in any market, get a higher degree of type-in trafic, but then, they also get a higher degree of search traffic serching for them by brand name. Getting hard and fast numbers where so many variables are in play is impossible.

So instead, perhaps it is best to look at the opportunity cost. As Barry mentioned above, a website geared for sales isn't just a brochure with an order form. Not if it is done right that is. Instead, it is an automated sales agent, present in every town, city, village, farmstead, car, or cafe, where there is internet access. This sales agent has the accumulated sales talent of your entire existing sales team, works 24 hours a day every day of the year, never takes vacations, and can serve as many customers at a time as you care to allow.

The website can out-perform your best sales person by such a length it could terrify him. Done right, it will outperform 6 sales people with ease. In fact, the only limit on its performance is the sales talent put into the site's content and processes. That doesn't in any way imply that you should replace a few salespeople and put their salary into the website instead. Far from it.

The website can provide an endless stream of hot prospects calling your sales team for fast closing. Or it can, with their input, be as good as they are in selling the product from initial enquiry to closure, and still keep those existing sales folks busy just with people who'd prefer to close the deal with a human voice or a personal meeting or whatever.

There's an important point in this. Too many companies have their websites written by the marketing team, as if it were a brochure. But brochures are used by salespeople to actually get the deals. For a commerce site, you are far better having the content written by front-line sales people, creating pages based on all the customer-cases they can think of, knowing the precise questions customers ask, and the answers given that convert most successfully.

It is the sales people who can answer the question "if someone comes up to you interested in [search keywords here], what's the best way to lead them to a sale?", and in doing so, can give you the content for the best possible converting paths and landing pages.

#12 Ruud

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 10:29 AM

You already have a large amount of information, data, benefits, pitfalls etc. in your head and in your notes.

Maybe it's time to do some mindmapping. No need to invest in expensive software either. You can do it on paper or use a free web service such as MindMeister.

I've attached a quick braindump mindmap to give you an idea. It can help to visualize information.

Attached Thumbnails

  • SEO_benefits.jpg


#13 SportsGuy

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 12:09 PM

Excellent little tool there Ruud - thanks for sharing - I like it. :)

#14 AbleReach

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 06:15 PM

...brochures are used by salespeople to actually get the deals. For a commerce site, you are far better having the content written by front-line sales people, creating pages based on all the customer-cases they can think of, knowing the precise questions customers ask, and the answers given that convert most successfully.

This is a very good point, and one that can be hard for the non web person to grasp. This is also a very good reason to hire people who do specifically web work to make a site, not print designers or someone whose primary background is in other forms of communication.

#15 sitecreations

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 07:23 AM

I haven't seen this mentioned, but value of a visitor doesn't stop during the first visit. A customer value during visit #1 is just part of the picture. Properly executed, lifetime value may be 10-15x or more.

But this will vary widely depending on the intent of the customer during the first visit.

Customers who are highly motivated during visit #1 are definitely going to be more expensive (more people are going after them) but are also going to be more motivated to open your emails, tell their friends, read/listen to subsequent offers, etc.

#16 bwelford

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 08:25 AM

Welcome to the Forums, sitecreations. :wave:

You make an excellent point. That leads into the thought that you should work hard to make your website "sticky". Hopefully it's so attractive that visitors will want to bookmark it for future visits. If you have a RSS news feed even better. If they subscribe to that, they will get an instant alert when you add some news.

#17 tambre

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 11:16 AM

wow! :o you guys gave so much amazing information! i am so glad that i asked here instead of stewing over the issue in my head. writing my presentation certainly is easier now.
i wish i knew what to say individually to each of you for your comments and your suggestions, but i am at a loss of words. :notworthy:
thank you all very, very much for all of your fantastic input. :D

-edit:

After you've figure out what you need to report on, you'll want to track how your SEO efforts are improving those numbers. To do so you'll need to track your rankings on the SERPs for a lot of keywords. I use WebCEO personally, but there are a lot of tools that can help you do this.

i'm assuming that a program like webpostion gold can do this?

Then you'll want to figure out how much traffic these keywords are bringing in. So you'll want to get the all the traffic numbers that come from search engines (you can determine this by the referrer) and then filter by the keywords. You can now match up the position of your rank to the metrics you want to track (e.g. UUs (unique users), visitors, visits, page views, etc.)

i think i know how to do that, but i'm not totally sure. the webstats that i use don't show all the search engines (which i'm assuming you mean the referrer is the SE). so, lets say that "keyword A" brings in like 10 people from Google, but there isn't a record for any other search engine, what do i do? i'm not given an accurate result then for my search term thus i won't be able to give an accurate report on traffic + stats = sales/leads/etc.
i think what i'm asking is how can i find out how much traffic each keyword is bringing in?

ok, here's another question for you all.

what if i don't have control over design, content or anything? what if i only have control over finding keywords and putting them into the code and building rankings that way.

all of the suggestions and and replies to my first message are great if i'm given control over content, design and the optimization. can i still utilize the same suggestions and methods if all i am able to do is find keywords and building rankings?

thank you!

-sam

Edited by tambre, 29 May 2007 - 12:49 PM.


#18 SportsGuy

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 03:17 PM

Not to be counter productive, but I have to caution users when using automated tools to track rankings in the SERPs - the engines have openly stated they do not liek this activity. true, they do make APIs available to limit your, but in the end, it still comes down to this:

Is tracking ranking on a phrase a realistic metric?

I say, not really. I no longer track SERP rankings and focus solely on the log details to measure inbound search traffic. if those numbers are good, everything else is moving in the right direction.

Sure, I watch our ranking on select phrases when we introduce new content, but generally speaking, in the broader picture, I stopped tracking SERP rankings years ago.

In the end, I simply don't feel that tracking SERP rankings is a real metric - opinions may differ and that's fine.

In the end, if you are goign to use a rank checking tool, do so carefully. History has shown Google might push back on sites abusing it's resources. Using their API should keep you in check, but still...

what if i don't have control over design, content or anything? what if i only have control over finding keywords and putting them into the code and building rankings that way.


If you are goign to put something in the code, it'll be int he content. If it's hidden from view in the content but resides in the code, this can be a form a spam, so treat carefully.

On balance, you NEED access to those areas you mention in order to make the many minute changes needed to every site to rank well over time. Search optimization is a game of inches, not miles. So, for every inch you cannot gain, you're still that much farther from the goal. :D

In the end, if you cannot influence any of the on-page items that can be tweaked to help a page become optimized, then it's a lost cause. if even one competitor does a slightly better job than you optimizing, well, they'll get more traffic, etc., etc.

#19 Angela Charles

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 03:52 PM

what if i don't have control over design, content or anything? what if i only have control over finding keywords and putting them into the code and building rankings that way.


If the client isn't willing to make changes to design or content for purposes of SEO, then you really aren't accomplishing an SEO project, and it would be very difficult to project any level of success.

SEO entails:
  • Clean design/navigation that makes the site search-engine friendly
  • Keyword rich, useful content that's enticing to search engines and site visitors
  • Appropriate coding (page title tags, etc.)
  • Attention to incoming links
Separately, this may not be exactly what you were looking for re: numbers, but having some background on user behavior might help explain importance of SEO. There's a very good article on ClickZ about "How B2B Buyers Search"

#20 tambre

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 04:42 PM

If you are goign to put something in the code, it'll be int he content. If it's hidden from view in the content but resides in the code, this can be a form a spam, so treat carefully.

oh, sorry, i meant "in the code" as in putting in the meta information, nothing shady. i like to be as close to white hat as possible :D

#21 iamlost

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 11:53 PM

A lot of great advice in this thread.

The best ways to describe a commercial website that hammers its power into the noggins of management:
* wholesale/affiliate/retail/consumer question/problem answering departments.
* in-house branding/marketing/advertising agency.
* lead generation, sales and after-sales service departments.
The website is the company made virtual.

In manufacturering it is equivalent to a major branch plant, in retail to regional-mega-store. And it requires the same level of commitment the company would provide the B&M equivalent.

It can be a real slog to get the suits to see that some servers and relatively few geeks can have such an impact on the bottom line. I suggest you research the staffing and authority levels of successful online players in your industry (there be gold in annual reports and trade mags).

what if i don't have control over design, content or anything?


You must have input into those things. And your input must be taken seriously. SEO like usability and accessibility is an integral concept and commitment, not a tacked on afterthought.

Site architecture, canonical issues, linking patterns, appropriate navigation, web optimised content, unique title and page descriptions, maximised keyword/phrase page/content/description/title/heading considerations, duplicate and thin content concerns, site log and A/B testing analysis, backlink acquisition, etc. ad nauseum.

If you, as SEO, are not a valued member of the site design and maintenance teams you can not do your job properly and the company will likely fail its website objectives, if it has any.
:hanginginthere:
TEAM. Be part of the team. Team effort. Go team go. Yea TEAM. :cheerleader:

#22 Black_Knight

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 02:07 AM

what if i don't have control over design, content or anything? what if i only have control over finding keywords and putting them into the code and building rankings that way.

SEO/SEM is a Marketing activity. It cannot be effectively done if it is not treated as Marketing, but instead is treated as mere advertising.

You'd be limited to paid placements and a rather limited link-building effort.

You cannot perform organic SEO at all without being able to change copy and content, unless you use cloaking and face all the risks that entails.

Adjusting meta content hasn't cut it since around 1996. You might as well try to power sailing ship by standing at the stern and blowing through a straw.

The Meta keywords is not a ranking factor at all. Putting keywords into a keywords meta tag can have no positive effect on rankings a all. The Meta Description tag is used really only for snippet generation, and even for that is highly limited. Again, adjusting this won't really help you rank at all, it just improves the appearance of a high-ranked listing you get through optimising the content and a powerful link-building campaign.

#23 SportsGuy

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 07:07 AM

You might as well try to power sailing ship by standing at the stern and blowing through a straw.


BWAHAHAHA! Coffee out my nose when I read that one this morning...LOL

Nice one!

#24 tambre

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 01:00 PM

lol black knight, that was the greatest mental image :) thanks for that and for the great reply.

#25 phaithful

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:31 AM

so, lets say that "keyword A" brings in like 10 people from Google, but there isn't a record for any other search engine, what do i do? i'm not given an accurate result then for my search term thus i won't be able to give an accurate report on traffic + stats = sales/leads/etc.
i think what i'm asking is how can i find out how much traffic each keyword is bringing in?

This question was a bit confusing. I'm going to assume that the website already is tracking the web site traffic accurately. Most analytic packages will give you the breakdown of how much traffic arrived from search engines and what search term was used to find your site.

This is usually done automagically by the analytics package, but if you needed to do it manually through server logs, you would look at the referer data. When a webpage is requested certain information is passed between the browser and the server. If a user clicks on a link from a Google SERP it will tell the server the URL which the click came from... so in a manual process you would look for 'google.com' in the referer data as well as the search term which typically follows the 'q=' parameter in the URL string.

example:

Referer: http: //www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=new+homes+for+sale

Is tracking ranking on a phrase a realistic metric?

I say, not really. I no longer track SERP rankings and focus solely on the log details to measure inbound search traffic. if those numbers are good, everything else is moving in the right direction.

An interesting point, and yes the inbound search traffic is probably the most important metric to be following and if you have limited time and resources I would probably focus in on the same. However, rankings are not to be discounted.

I realize that with the different data centers, personalized search, co-op, etc. can skew rankings dramatically, but I've still found as a whole it's still a good metric to track.

One of the points on this thread was alluding to forecasting and predicting future efforts. By matching up the amount of search traffic of a keyword phrase(s) to the position it holds will provide great insight into how much additional traffic you can expect by moving up in the rankings. In addition, you will know how much traffic you are taking away from your competitors when you displace them from their higher ranking as you move on up.

When dealing with budgeting, long range forecasting, or any type of executive reporting these metrics not only reveal a great deal to the business owners, but will also hopefully gain you a larger budget to work with.

Edited by phaithful, 04 June 2007 - 12:33 AM.




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