Webinar: Enterprise SEO - Your Questions Answered

Uploaded by SlingshotSEO on 25.07.2012

Jeremy: Welcome everybody. Today, I'm with Joel Book of ExactTarget. We're
going to talk about enterprise SEO questions. We've had a lot of questions
come in. They can be through prospect, clients that we have, or from
Twitter, or other on our blog that we've had. We try to consolidate some of
those questions and get to some of the most popular and we'll be accepting
questions throughout this webinar if you want to hit us up at the #SEOQA as
we have here at the bottom.
It won't be at the bottom of all the slides. We'll do it again at the end
of the session so if you want to ask questions please copy down that hash
tag here at the beginning. That's #SEOQA. All right so as I mentioned I'm
here with Joel. I'm Jeremy Dearringer, Chief Research Officer at Slingshot
SEO. You can find me on Twitter at papaslingshot and Joel let him introduce
himself. We have a few slides to talk about ExactTarget and what Joel's
responsible for.
Joel: Well, Jeremy, thank you very much and hi folks. It's great to be
alongside Jeremy for the next hour. This is quite frankly an opportunity
I've been looking forward to for some time because Slingshot SEO is one of
our top partners and obviously Slingshot needs no introduction in terms of
their capabilities in the SEO space.
They're very, very solid in that regard. A lot of what Jeremy and I are
going to speaking today really talks about this convergence or this really
very tight synergy between SEO and its role in customer acquisition or as
I'll get into more specifically e-mail subscriber acquisition but
ExactTarget for those of you who may not be familiar let me just kind of
share a little bit of background about who we are at ExactTarget.
ExactTarget, probably best known as one of the leading providers of hosted
solutions for cross channel marketing. Now certainly, ExactTarget probably
best known in the e-mail marketing space more specifically permission based
e-mail. Our platform supports all variety of permission based
communications including e-mail, mobile e-mail, as well as SMS both SMS
outbound as well as SMS inbound messaging.
Our newest platform is called the interactive marketing hub which you can
see a schematic up here which really provides a single consult for
marketers to use to execute all types of interactions with customers,
prospects, dealers, resellers, partners, etc. The whole focus of
interacting marketing hub is to really put one central point of command in
control in the place, or in the hands, of the marketing professional so
that they can really engage with and serve customers more effectively over
their lifecycle.
Now, we have the great the great pleasure of working today with more than
4,500 companies worldwide. You see some of these clients represented here.
ExactTarget is not an agency. We don't create and send e-mail
communications or mobile communications. We don't necessarily handle all of
the social media communications for clients. They use the ExactTarget
software platform to serve themselves so this is a self-service or software-
as-a-service application.
In addition to the 4,500 companies with whom we work with direct we also
have a very, very large partner network of which Slingshot SEO is one. So,
that's why this webinar that we're doing today with Slingshot is just so
enjoyable because it allows us to talk about the combined strengths of both
Now, if you want to talk about today's webinar and some of the content that
Jeremy and I will be sharing, easiest way to do it is via Twitter. Jeremy's
already given you his #@papaslingshot and of course the Twitter sign for
Slingshot is @slingshotseo and for me my Twitter hash tag is simply
@joelbook. Without further ado Jeremy let's kind of getting into the crutch
of what we want to talk about today.
Jeremy: All right. Thanks. It's just an absolute pleasure to have you on
the call, Joel, and Slingshot, just to give you guys a quick idea we're not
only an SEO agency that does strategic consulting but we're actually a full
service execution company when it comes to doing things that impact SEO.
What we like to say, One of our tag lines hers is that we are provide
digital relevance for deserving brands. That means that you might be
relevant offline but we need to make sure that you're relevant online. That
Google and Bing and other search engines understand that. Some of the
brands that we've been fortunate enough to work with are on the slides you
can see. We've had some great experience in the enterprise space and we've
dealt a lot of great brands that are deserving in their space, and we've
helped them become digitally relevant.
I think we want to get started. This is a common question that we get all
the time and ever since the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal
started talking about a couple big brands, one of which is JCPenny and that
seems to be the one that comes to mind most often when people are asking us
this question.
This question gets brought up at events that I'm at constantly. It's
brought up to our sales staff constantly and its really struck fear in a
lot of enterprise-caliber companies as to say how do I avoid this? How do I
not end up on the front page of the New York Times the Wall Street Journal
for something like this? JCPenny is the classic example here that we're
going to go ahead and talk about.
It's pretty simple don't work with link brokers. Okay. I did not say the
word link builders here. I said the link brokers. It's as simple as you
don't want to pay webmasters directly or bribe webmasters for links on
their websites.
If you're not providing any relevant content that somebody would want to
organically or naturally link back to or you're not marketing your product
for somebody to link back to or you're not providing relevant content to a
third party website then they want to source that content and link back to
you in some way then you might be having issues. I think this is very
tempting for a lot enterprises to get involved with this kind of stuff,
because in an enterprise setting you don't necessarily have all the
resources at your disposal.
You have compliance departments to deal with, legal departments to deal
with, you have lead times of eight weeks or more sometimes. They get
development resources or content resources to produce something that can be
live on your website. What enterprises try to do is, they say, "Well, what
can I work with here?" They look at "Hey, I can get rankings really fast if
I go buy a bunch of links, third-parties. No one has to touch my website. I
can go out there and just pay a broker to go out and identify high profile
websites that are willing to sell contextual text links that are going to
point back to my website". Especially when you do this kind of thing on
scale you're raising red flags and the likelihood of dealing with some kind
of situation.
Joel: With JCPenny, specifically, I think, not that I want to advocate
anybody working with link brokers, but I think that sometimes this activity
can still show results if you want to engage in it but you've got to be
very careful and very clean on how you do stuff like this because if you
get called out in public like the New York Times and you make Google look
bad then they're going have to take action and do something about it.
Jeremy: There's a lot of ways you can go about doing stuff without actually
working with brokers or bribing webmasters for links. At Slingshot we have
a methodology called "CLASS" that we work with our clients on and CLASS
stands for content, links, architecture, social media, and a strategy that
wraps that all together.
Specifically, we're talking about the link profile here. To have a well-
rounded balanced strategy you need to embrace all of these things and you
need to be producing valuable content on and off your website. The
architecture stuff is still really essential. Social media is becoming a
big deal but the link profile is still really important. You've got to
tackle this thing. You might be asking yourself the question, "If I can't
work with link brokers and go buy this stuff how am I ever going to
generate links back to my website that are going to show that I'm relevant
for search?"
I've got a list of a few things here that you can engage in. Slingshot can
help you with this. Other people can help you with this. There are specific
companies that can do this or you can work with your in-house team to
accomplish these things.
One thing we wanted to do at Slingshot is guest blog posting. We will
interact with webmasters and show them great content that we produced and
we'll look for guest blog posting opportunities on behalf of our clients
were we can share very valuable content and then source us as the producer
of that content and link back to a client.
Normally, there's signature links or something else that allows you to have
some credit when you produce this content and share it on third-party
websites and this is really great just from a just from a perspective of
getting your name out there. If you get it reaped and your guest blog goes
from someone's blog to have a high readership or slightly overlaps with
your market you can get in front of a lot of other people. It takes a lot
of real hard work though. Working with a link broker is the way to just pay
your way out of a situation but if you actually want to do this stuff
cleanly, these are a lot of the activities that you can engage in and
actually just do the heavy lifting it takes to actually earn the links that
are pointing back to your website.
Another thing we love to do is press releases. Real companies do press.
They want to make sure that you release press releases in the right places
online. That can be marketwire.com that can be PRWeb make sure that you're
rotating that, getting that out there, including links back so that sites
like Yahoo News and other news sources will pick up your press releases, if
you have something interesting to talk about.
Now, maybe out of ten news stories you might have for the month at your
enterprise you pick three of them of them to actually go directly to a
press outlet with your PR group. Take those other seven that are still
interesting, big hire's that you've made or something like that, they're
interesting but not necessarily worthy of approaching somebody like the
Wall Street Journal directly and actually try to release those through
online press release sites like MarketWire PRWeb.
Partnerships is another big thing we work ExactTarget on this specifically
is making sure ExactTarget has a lot of great partners and I'm sure they
all have good intentions but occasionally those partners don't link back to
ExactTarget or they don't link back to ExactTarget in the right way that
will provide them the most value from a search standpoint. We've created
context and done other kind of outreach to try to work with these partners
and create these links.
Joel: Community interaction is great. Some things that take a little less
effort but may have less value are article directories and making sure your
company is listed in directories around the web, creating badge strategies,
doing presentations like we're doing right now if somebody wants to quote
you or whether from a presentation. There's got to be great ways you can go
about acquiring a link without getting yourself into a situation like
JCPenny has to deal with today.
Jeremy: The other thing we talk about, we get really creative with content.
We can generate links form this standpoint. One of these on the right is
something that we've done for ExactTarget actually and the one on the left
is something that we did to help another client, FedEx.
In this situation many of you may of heard of infographic, you see them all
the time, you see people sharing these virally on their blogs or other
places. The most traditional way to use an infographic is to publish it on
your website and then to create start to try to promote that through social
channels like Twitter, and Facebook, Digg, Stumbleupon and these other
places and drive traffic or in that (inaudible 12:31) those people that
have to the technical ability and the willingness to link back to your
content to provide relevancy back to your website. In other words we love
to use infographics, it's not just on our clients website but we like to
use them on third-parties and we talk about guest blog posting we reach to
certain third-party websites and say, "Hey, we worked on this infographic
with ExactTarget for example or with FedEx and we'd like to host this
content on your website." Webmasters love it because it draws attention
back to their website and you provided actual valuable content and then you
can source yourself through links back. These kinds of links are extremely
valuable because of all the social signals that are built around this
content and the domain authority and the relevancy that happens. We find
creative ways to draw this back. For example on Xemion here, we actually
did a graphic for FedEx and this graphic kind of tried to connect FedEx
with the link (inaudible 13:25) or that group that has the technical
ability, to link back to you. We reached out and found a way to blend
shipping with ecommerce conversion rates. We're talking to a market that
traditionally were linked to content through blogs and what not.
Another graphic that we did for one of our client we launched this actually
on Mashable you can search this by looking for resume info graphics on
Mashable. There are a lot of other search terms that it comes up for. Some
of you may have seen it. The infographic in its entirety is far in depth
than what you see here, but just as an example of something we can get over
3,000 Tweets, already 593 Google Plus's that we were able to get through
that. That just drives a lot of relevancy for this topic and the subject
matter back to our clients that are sourced in the document on Mashable's
Joel: The next question that we're going to jump into is, how do I know
which keyword will produce a return on investment or ROI? And this is
constant questions we get but I think that when people ask this question
they're over simplifying the question. They know it's complicated. They
know it's challenging.
It's something that they have to deal with or try to prove to upper
management that what they're accomplishing is delivering a ROI. They're
trying to look for keywords specifically targeted keywords that are going
to (inaudible 14:50) they work really hard on them for 6 to 12 months and
actually accomplish the results, they know that they're going to have a ROI
at the end of the day or the most likely scenario here.
Jeremy: One of the things Joel and I were talking about the other day was
understanding what all plays a role and understanding the full economic
impact. So, are you really ready to track ROI? Would you even know what ROI
looked like if it hit you in the face when it comes to your website?
Some of the basic stuff here we're looking at this is an example of B2B
situation and this specifically is Slingshot SEO. I was looking at the last
few days here some of the goals that we're tracking. These aren't in any
necessarily particular order but as people move down the funnel and
interact with your brand through multiple channels and things.
There are things that they're going to do over the course of time before
they actually convert into sale and become a client of your business. So
you might have to figure out how to attribute a dollar value to these
various activities. For Slingshot SEO for example, I'll be real honest
about this, we've calculated that a sales ready lead for us is worth about
$1,500. All of our marketing efforts that we put into that, we know that a
sales-ready lead before it's even converted based upon our close rate our
ability to convert a prospect that we have engaged into an actual client
that's worth about $1,500 to us. So all these different elements you can
see here that if somebody used our contact form that's kind of in the top
of the funnel we don't know did that person really call us. How does that
work when we can tie that to Google Analytics or other analytics software
back to somebody that came through a search.
Did they download our recent click through rate study or did they download
a white paper? They start to do these things and engage with our brand one
of the biggest things here as we talk with Joel at ExactTarget is it's
extremely valuable to capture somebody that would sign up for a newsletter
because for the lifetime of that interaction we can now re-target and
market a nurture a prospect or a lead through a newsletter sign-up process.
Joel: Quick question for you Jeremy. Just to jump in here on that point
because I think it's really important. Do you find as you're working with
clients and you're really advising them on how to really leverage SEO
strategically are you finding that there is this connection between winning
the search? Meaning, you've done all of the right things you've got your
site optimized with all of the right keywords, you're attracting the right
type of perspective customer to your site or to your landing page. Do you
find that most marketers that most companies then take the next step and
that is once that individual has engaged with them do they then invite
that individual to really identify him or herself by opting in to e-mail
for example?
Jeremy: I wish that I could give you the best answer in that and say that,
yes a lot of people are doing but I think that's a challenge that a lot of
marketers still need to realize and overcome. A lot of people are still
focused on what we call the last touch or attributing whatever that last
touch point is and especially in a B2B environment there's a lot of other
business to consumer markets that are very similar to this but it takes a
long time to nurture averaging buying decision even in the consumer space
may take two to four weeks. So you have to engage that customer long term.
One of the best ways to do that is through e-mail. If you can capture that
contact information maybe we would call that necessarily a sales ready lead
for example at Slingshot but once we have an opt-in somebody's opted in to
us and allow us to communicate with them in the future than we can start to
nurture them and share other content and thought leadership we're producing
and slowly build a relationship with that individual.
E-mail is one of the best ways to actually build up an asset so once we
have that initial touch from search how do we start to capture something of
value that we for a much longer of time and e-mails been a fantastic way to
do that for us and some of our clients but I wish a lot more of our clients
actually fully understood how to take advantage of that.
Joel: Well, I totally agree with that and I had a selfish reason for asking
the question. from my vantage point at ExactTarget and as somebody who's
job is teaching organizations how to really leverage digital media, I do
find that that's a gap, that that's a myth. We tend to view SEO almost in a
silo. We view e-mail in a silo. We view social media in silo. Clearly, I
think the biggest I really try to get across to marketers today is, you're
really need to think about true cross channel or integrated marketing. How
do all of these different tactics and technologies really complement each
You're in a business just like we are in software where it's not an impulse
buy. It is a considered purchase and so you mentioned lead nurturing. We've
got a deep partnership with Marketo which is the world's leading platform
for lead nurturing and lead scoring. It's...
Jeremy: (inaudible 19:57)
Joel: It's a tremendous software platform but it is only as good as your
ability to give somebody a reason to become an e-mail subscriber. Where you
now have his or her permission to now do what you just said, and that is
now deliver content that is relevant to that individual's needs, helps aid
their buying decision.
That's where technology like Marketo working in concert with technology
like ExactTarget now gives you that ability to really be able to deliver
relevant timely content or links to content that helps that individual make
an informed buying decision. It is so critical but it's one of the things I
think we really need to get focused on better.
Jeremy: Yeah, I think I remember. Darin Tobins[SP] our Account VP and I was
on a call with him with a prospect one time and he has a lot of experience,
he used to work with ExactTarget, he's got a lot of experience in the e-
mail space. This was a while back, but I had an epiphany and it really sunk
in when he was communicating to one of our prospects. This gentleman called
up and he was in business in selling ink cartridges and he was really
frustrated right off the bat on the phone call saying, "I can't stand these
people paying $20.00 a click to sell ink cartridges. How could anyone ever
make a ROI paying $20.00 per click for ink cartridges?"
Darin's quick response was, "Well, you got to understand the lifetime value
of somebody that comes to you. If I'm going to sell somebody a case of ink
cartridges maybe because they're going to get a deal on my website so I
might make a decent profit off that but then I'm going to be able to
remarket to those individuals specifically, using e-mail marketing. Every
time their ink cartridges run out in the future, I may be able to get
another sale.
So that pay per click ad or something similar would be a natural search
visitor in the first place, found the website, but to maintain value from
that customer long term you're going to need something like an e-mail
address potentially, to remarket those individuals.
I've seen the same situations with another client of ours that sells
refrigerator water filters. They've got it down to a science. They know
when your refrigerator water filter needs to be replaced and they're going
use e-mail to communicate to you at the right time so you know to go back
to them to make an additional purchase.
Joel: Well, that's true and on this slide we're going to talk here in
minute about ROI. I think today in the new dynamics of marketing, Jeremy,
ROI or return on customer is not something that is limited exclusively to
that customers purchases over term. Darin is exactly right. When we think
about return on customer, we really do need to think about not just that
initial purchase but also the repeat purchases. Nothing works better than e-
mail to stay connected with that customer and give that individual a reason
to purchase from you again.
Now we're in the age of social CRM and we're in the age of social media and
one of the things that I think more marketers are really beginning to get
their arms around is the fact that of all their customers are created equal
but the reality of it is some are simply more equal than others. What I
mean by that is all of us have customers who are what I would call brand
They have a great deep relationship with our brand and they are only to
happy to tell others about it. Well, that referral and we talk about the
power of a referral or word of mouth marketing, the technical term for that
in the industry is earned media. That's somebody that feels so good about
their relationship and the way they have been treated by you that is
willing to share e-mail, share that offer with one of their friends or of
their colleagues.
They can now share via Twitter. They can share via Facebook. We're dealing
with a whole new dynamic in marketing today, which is based on the
multiplier effect. That, is some of your best customers, your most
satisfied customers have become some of your most effective sales people.
If you give them a reason and make it easy for them to share that offer,
share that content that will have enormous impact on attracting perspective
customers to your brand. As Jeremy would tell you, it also has tremendous
impact on your search engine rankings.
Jeremy: Absolutely. I've got right here on the deck, I mean, back when NBA
and basketball was actually still good and fun for me to watch, I don't
know maybe I'm just too busy anymore but it seems like it kind of became
less interesting over time. But, talking about Scottie Pippen and Michael
Jordan here.
Michael Jordan was phenomenon all right. He's an amazing basketball player
but what would his career of looked like without Scottie Pippen? Right here
Scotty Pippen holds the record for the most career assists. That's over
6,000. If he didn't have those assists assisting Michael Jordan during his
career with the Chicago Bulls would it have been as stellar?
Now, Michael Jordan's amazing and he could probably play basketball with
anybody but I still think that there's no way he would have been as great
without Scottie Pippen supporting him. From this example kind of tying back
to basketball is multiple touches are going to interact with you actually
closing a sale even in a business consumer market when you have somewhat
more simple product that you might be trying to sell. There are
interactions that are going to happen over time that I'm going to
contribute to that actual conversion or that sale at the end of the day. So
maybe somebody found you through ad words or an organic search in the first
place but then from there they decide to engage with you on Facebook or
Twitter or they fill out they opt-in to an e-mail marketing program or a
newsletter program of some sort or a partner referral comes back to you.
Most of the time with analytics and basic reports we're tracking at best
the last touch attribution. Whatever the last touch of your website lead to
a conversion, we're going to give credit to that in most situations. If
somebody searched for something generic through SEO and actually converted
right then and there through a business consumer website you might give
credit to SEO not knowing that something else contributed to that sale
because of your brand-building or something else. Same thing with e-mail or
Twitter, but as we look at these different things, we've got to understand
how we're going to attribute some kind of value to all these things.
If you're working on a social media strategym, I'm sure you might think
what's it worth to you to have "X" amount of Twitter followers or "X"
amount of people signing up to your e-mail newsletter or how many fans you
have on Facebook or something like that. You have to put some kind of
economic value on attaining just that as people interact through the
This is a study, we're actually working on a study we hope to be released
here in two to three months, where we are setting up first touch
attributions and multi-touch attribution on some of our clients. What that
is, is looking at the ability to attribute some value of a conversion
through multiple channels as they interact with your brand and your
For right now, there's another great organization that's done a study on
enterprise retail and that's Econsultancy. I encourage anybody to look at
this. I Tweet it out about every three weeks since they released this and
it's self-serving as well, but it says generic SEO gets credited for 14
times less sales than it deserves on a flat attribution model.
Does talking about attributing just that last touch on your website,
whatever turned into a conversion for you, you might not be given credit.
This specific example originally when they were looking at last touch
attribution which a lot of times this is SEO's have to prove a ROI based on
nothing but last touch attributions.
We do that in most scenarios. They said in this situation, that roughly
1,600 conversions or sales were attributed to SEO based on the last touch,
the last time somebody interacted a website through non-branded organic
search, but, in reality it appeared in the path to conversion of 7,800
sales, same thing with e-mail, same thing with social media. It's appearing
in more past conversion than you may realize.
When you actually do the math and you divide up and you say if I equally
divide the value of the sale among all these different channels of somebody
interacting with my brand, what did non-branding generic SEO really give to
me? In their studies they showed that over 23,000 sales they could directly
attribute to non-branded SEO.
Same stuff is going to happen with e-mail marketing. Same stuff is going to
happen with social media. A lot of times people come back through a branded
search at the end and that brand is just attributing to somebody or direct
visits, somebody just knew of our brand because of some other marketing
effort that we did or something else or just people know who we are and
they'll attribute that. All those sales, they'll go to the marketing
efforts that really help drive that sale at the end of the day. It's really
important to be able to track this stuff.
Joel: That's literally what's happened here. I mean in this whole new
dynamic of cross channel marketing that we're in right now. We're dealing
with the age of the individual and back to your point. We cannot predict
when an individual, when and where that individual, is going to engage with
us and that's going to be that moment in time when he or she makes the
buying decision.
The reality back to your basketball analogy and back to the points that you
were just making, it requires multiple touches. Multiple touches also
require this ability to really be able to integrate media, what they focus,
on the individual. This is why cross channel marketing and why modern
technology now to really automate the execution of those communications is
so key.
It's not old style marketing were we decide we're going to launch this
campaign on this day. We're going to execute it through direct mail. Today
we're dealing with a whole new dynamic where we need to be able to do what
I would call "sense and respond interaction." That means that individual
might engage with us as a result of an SEO strategy but it's at that point
that we now want to be able to invite that individual to opt-in to e-mail.
If they do that then they may respond to that e-mail. That response might
then trigger another type of interaction. It could be an outbound call. It
could be another e-mail. Some of those individuals are going to engage with
a brand via social media. We need to make sure that we've got the ability
and the right technology to really be able to listen or sense when that
individual is interacting and then apply business rules that say "if this
individual is a first time buyer then deliver this offer to encourage
repurchase again".
We need to be smart enough to be able to do that and I think folks the good
news is that technology has now matured or evolved to the point where it is
much easier today for marketing teams to be able to automate that type of
real time interaction and do it to really accelerate ROI.
Jeremy: Yes. This technology has been around for a while and the issue that
I run into even with the largest enterprise companies that we have, there
is even one enterprise organization we're working with that had an entire
floor of people focusing on analytics, an entire floor of people, focusing
on analytics. They use one of the largest enterprise packages that are
They still did not go through the process of setting it up properly so that
they can track first touch attribution and these multi-touch so they could
have a true picture of what the marketing process looks like in their
Companies, like Kissmetrics, have helped simplify this. They've got,
formerly Omniture, now SiteCatalyst, offers this. You've got web trend that
will offer services like this. All of these packages you can't just go say
buy it now and just put it in as it rolls you've got to actually get in
there and work with them to set everything up properly so that you're
tracking your data and your actually getting all these touch points.
A lot of people use Google Analytics. Even in enterprises space they're
still using Google Analytics. Google Analytics a phenomenal, they're
getting better all the time. But, they haven't made it the easiest to track
multi-channel attribution.
Right now they've got a beta sign-up that you can do and I've got this, out
here on this page, where you can sign-up and they're going to release this
product to people through a beta. Hopefully, it will be alive here before
too long full time. There are some hacks we can do with clients, help them
set up first touch attributions through Google Analytics. I thought this
was interesting and something worth checking out.
Again, just to try and touch on this before we go into the key word
research more is this lifetime value again just to rehash that a little
bit. When somebody's coming through that funnel and interacting with your
brand to conversion, one of the things Joel and I were talking about the
other day is how do we use e-mail and other forms of marketing?
If we serve that client well, they're going to go back out and talk about
the amazing things that we've done and start to interact and touch other
parts and get people to interact with our brand in different ways. Really,
talking about that lifetime value and the cycle of interacting with a
prospect or a client.
Joel: Back to the original question: What about using those keywords? Now
we've made sure that you know where to start, hopefully, at least to figure
out how to track your ROI and understand the full economic value that
somebody might bring to your website.
One place I love to start for my keyword research is a tool called SEM
Rush. Some of you may have seen this but this tool is phenomenal because
you can put your website in there and it's going to show you keywords that
you're already ranking for.
Now, you get to identify the low hanging fruit here. If your ranking
between position six and somewhere on the second page for a keyword phrase,
this is some good volume or that's specifically targeted for your audience
that might be a great place to start, because Google or Bing are already
identifying you as a relevant source of information for those keyword
phrases. You don't have to start from scratch. It's really great I know
people like Doug Karr from DK New Media use this strategy a lot. He'll go
back to old blog posts.
For example, old content, and sometimes make minor tweaks on longer sales
(inaudible 34:17)he didn't realize he was ranking for and all of a sudden
move that up from a position six, maybe, to a position one or two. And
search engines often turn that into very real traffic.
You get some of the same information through Google analytics. Look at some
key words that might be driving you some traffic but maybe they're not
driving as much traffic as they could because you're not ranking highly
enough in the search results.
I encourage everybody to check out SEMrush if you haven't already. It's a
phenomenal tool for understanding (inaudible 34:43) through.
Another thing that's really important is most enterprises have been or are
already engaged in a campaign with Google Adwords or they're running pay-
per-click campaigns.
We want to make sure that you interact with that team. Don't again, like
Joel said, SEO in a silo and separate it from your PPC strategy. You want
to go with your PPC (inaudible 35:06)team managing that. You say, "Hey,
where are we getting return on ad spend? What terms are converting well for
us? Or, "What terms were converting well for us but just started to get
outside the reach of our spend?"
If we were paying $32.00 a click for interns for example, maybe that drove
tons of volume but didn't really convert the best, but we know that it did
convert. Maybe if we can target short tail phrases that we may be able to
rank for like that, it would be worth to get a return on investment for
something like that.
Joel: Jeremy, let me talk and I have a question for you, because I get this
question periodically from folks. They're looking at SEO versus PPC or pay-
per-click. (inaudible 35:44) times, I'll get asked a question by people,
and that is, "Which works best if I can't do it all? Do I make the decision
to go the pay-per-click route or the decision to got the pure SEO, or
organic search route?"
What advice do you have for marketers maybe on, let's say, a limited budget
where they don't necessarily have that ability to necessarily bid or buy
those key words? Does organic search typically work as well if they take
the right approach to it, as you've pointed out here?
Jeremy: That question would have been really easy if you would have left
out limited budget. I mean, I really recommend all this stuff because it
has synergy. PPC campaigns and natural organic search can lift each other
just like that email newsletter sign-up can help contribute to the ROI
you're going get off of search.
We like to see people do diverse stuff. Even on the weekends, I go to work
with my father. He's got a small business and I go talk to him. He's
enjoyed so much success from natural search, I kind of have to convince my
own father to diversify his strategies and get into pay-per-click and
display advertising and remarketing and email marketing, those kinds of
He does email marketing now from ExactTarget, but it's been different. We
are also updating a guide on our website that helps you choose these kinds
of key words. Just kind of wanted to mention that on the side, as I
continue to answer this question.
If I have a limited budget, one other thing, we'll get back to this
attribution tracking. A lot of times PPC will take credit for some things
that's a natural search. This is a natural search for us because second or
third touch to the website.
Someone will come through a branded search and a lot of people will pay for
their branded lifting through paid search. If somebody searched for
Slingshot SEO, they're going to probably see a paid search for it being
number one and they, out of convenience click on that.
For just doing last touch attribution, we may give far more credit to paid
search than we would the natural search that actually brought that visitor
to our website in the first place. I definitely encourage people to
diversify what they're doing and work both with PPC and Adwords. Just kind
of try to shuffle your budget so you can keep a nice balance.
I definitely don't recommend anybody going polar one direction or the
One of the things to help you determine the value of a keyword phrase, we
just released a click-through rate study. We published this in SEO Moz and
on our own website. Specifically, we got a lot chatter about this because
our click-through rate is showing lower click-through rates than some of
the previous studies that have been done.
We did an extremely expensive study looking at 200 different websites and
over 170,000 visitors through multiple keywords. We were very specific on
the data that we put. What we wanted to do here... This is not an apples to
apples comparison with other click-through rate studies. What the take away
here is that this is relative to going back to that Google Adwords traffic.
The exact traffic you can find, so a reliable tool you can look at and say,
"Okay. I'm going to target health insurance. I see that 246 or 150,000
people in the United States are searching for health insurance, that exact
phrase. Now I can come back and if I think I can rank in a position four or
higher, this is the traffic I may expect to see.
If you can earn that traffic, you can do a comp analysis which you might be
paying for, of pay-per-click. Where if you had understood the value and the
full economic impact a visitor may have, you can start to calculate in more
depth ROI you might be able to get out of the situation like this. That's
just to give you access to tools that you have. You don't necessarily have
data to internet service providers known actual real traffic on a day-to-
day through Google or Bing.
At least with Google Adwords traffic estimator you can come up with some
idea and base that on some of the numbers we have up here to calculate some
amount of traffic you may get and then derive what might come out of that.
I've got a short URL here at the bottom of that that you can copy down if
you'd like to review that entire study.
We've had certain keywords in that first position, for example, 18.2%. We
saw certain keywords that were driving as much as 72% click-through rate on
the high end of the outliers and as low in the number one position as, 3%.
I know that's a huge range but if you pay attention to this average here...
We didn't see a whole lot of difference between blended search and non-
blended search. We thought there would be a lot more difference here. It's
pretty close to similar, so this is a pretty good way to identify what that
might look like if you're trying to calculate a potential ROI.
My last closing words on that is, when you're selecting your keywords, I
would not just focus on one or two keywords, work broadly. Also, realize
that there is going to be a long tale impact if you're actually working and
producing content around that core phrase you might be working on.
If you're working on "health insurance" for example, there are all kinds of
other phrases around health insurance that you're going to start impacting
when you become relevant for a term like that. You're not just driving
traffic from that specific keyword phrase. You are going to be driving
traffic from other keyword phrases as well.
Another question we seem to get a lot and it just seems to be an (inaudible
41:10) question we get from anyone and everyone every time we go somewhere.
People think that search is changing on a day-to-day basis and they want to
know when the search engine's weighting everything towards nowadays.
They're getting different answers from people sometimes but something I
want to caution you against is, stop looking for smoking gun. There is not
one attribute or one component of the algorithm that you can impact for a
long term strategy to get yourself all the way to the top of search. That
being said, I still think that inbound links are one of the number one
factors contributing to rank right now.
Social media is becoming a big deal. Search stream data or Google and Bing
actually looking at how you're engaging with websites from the usability
standpoint is becoming an important factor.
Page speed is a big deal. How fast does your website load? Some of the same
things maybe you're seeing from a quality score standpoint with your PPC
ads may also impact usability and what happens long term on search results.
Other thing to mention, I just went to Moz Con and several thinkers at the
SEO Moz event, where SEOs go to learn SEO out in Seattle over the past
week. We're talking about actual search query volume impacting search.
That means for example, using ExactTarget for an example. If I start
searching for email marketing, I may not click the "buy now" button on
ExactTarget. I search for email marketing, I look at a few different
websites and I really start to hone in on ExactTarget's (inaudible 42:42)
"Hey, I think this is the right company I want to work with."
Maybe a week later, you come back and you conduct a search on Google for
ExactTarget email marketing. If enough people are doing similar things,
Google may start to associate the brand or the entity, ExactTarget, with
the generic phrase "email marketing."
That means that your branding strategy is important for search. This is
going to be extremely important, you have to continue to market and to
elicit those follow-up searches to associate you with various terms.
A lot of these people, they missed but the stumbled across this as being a
potential ranking factor because as they were trying to help clients with
reputation management, it's used with Google Suggest. You go on to Google
and you start typing your brand and all of a sudden some kind of bad
suggestion play comes off to the side of that and they could impact your
They were trying to correct those issues by creating artificial search
volume. Because they were doing that, they started to realize that they
were having an impact, or a perceived impact on rank because of that search
query volume increasing.
So, that said, a lot of people are getting so into social media and so into
links and this other stuff, JC Penny's, a perfect example. If you went back
and looked at their website, a lot of the fundamentals for SEO were missing
Which means to me that somebody probably had a lot of pressure on them
within that organization, had to go out and work with a link broker to get
results because they did not have resources or the buy-in internally in the
organization to actually make fundamental changes to the website that would
have allowed a deserving brand like that to start to rank for search
Things that you may think are ancient, that have been around since the late
90s, like page titles, meta descriptions, your URL structures,
accessibility so the search engines can read that content, those
fundamentals are still extremely important and you need to be committed if
you're going to get (inaudible 44:36)competitive space to actually make
those changes.
Are we going to focus on page speed? Are we going to make sure we
straighten out our architecture? Are we going to make sure all these
technical things work?
That being said, all those technical components aren't going to be enough
if you don't actually have good substance and good content to go with all
that stuff. You still have to focus on that.
Another question that I get and I was actually on an enterprise panel for a
large client, had some 300 marketers that we were sitting here and one of
the thing that they said was, "What is the big problem related to natural
search we're all trying to solve?" I think this actually helped us build
our tagline eventually. This is one of the components of the brand terming
that went into this was this question we had from an enterprise client.
What we're really trying to do here is make sure that your website is
digitally relevant. That's one of the biggest things that we're trying to
solve. The problem here is you might have a huge brand offline and my
classic example is a retailer like Finish Line as opposed to an internet
retailer like Zappos.
Zappos is far more digitally relevant, although, Finish Line has been in
business for well over 33 years in the bricks and mortar space and they're
a very relevant brand that we all know. But when it comes to chatter online
and inbound linking and social media interaction and email marketing, all
those great things, you see brands like Zappos being able to capitalize on
In just a few short years, less than ten years, Zappos has become over a
billion dollar company in that time and it's pretty amazing to see that
Another thing we're trying to solve here is execution. Actually
accomplishing something. I mean, we can sit here and talk on Webinars about
what we should do, I could go through a whole other presentation and talk
about point-to-point; you need inbound links, you need social signals from
these spaces.
When you go through all those little components, at the end of the day it's
actually taking action, it's doing something. It's creating that rich
content, making sure it appears live on your website and it's accessible.
We actually do these types of things. A lot of times, that's what it gets
down to in an enterprise, not only getting buy-in but it's actually holding
people accountable and it's working with your IT staff and other marketing
individuals. Or, working with an agency like, Slingshot for example, that
can reduce the content for you.
We produce content both on our clients websites and off our clients
websites and help them with conversionary strategies and everything from
(inaudible 47:11)in our class must validate. Specifically, one company
we've been able to help with this is Angie's List.
They were dealing with some situations where because of the heavy workload
that they're marketing staff had they could not produce the content. Even
though they had all these capable individuals on their staff that could
produce content and do all the activities necessary for search, they were
just booked.
They had so much other stuff going on that needed a list just to help, have
somebody else. If you go to Angie's List website today, you'll start to see
far more rich brand and conversion and content website than you may have
seen just three or four months ago. A lot of amazing things have happened
as a result of that.
For example, quarter-over-quarter, 2012 versus 2011, they went from over
3,000 subscriptions related to SEO, again that's not a last touch
attribution model, not a first touch but they had over 3,000 subscriptions
related to SEO.
In the same quarter, 2012, over 14,000 subscribers. That was an increase of
11,707 new subscribers to their services from search. They actually
provided valuable content that we were able to assist them with on their
website. And you can download that case, we have a lot more information
about that online.
Joel: Jeremy, you just made a really, really valuable point there that I
think is lost on a lot of marketers. Again, this comes back to my earlier
comment about looking at SEO or treating it almost like a silo science.
I see great examples. You mentioned Angie's List because they are a client
of ExactTarget, as well. They have absolutely made phenomenal improvement
in the richness of the content that is on their website. I think that,
again, that is entirely due to the counsel that they're getting from
Slingshot on that.
I see other examples of other companies doing the same thing. Where if they
really look at the results of their SEO, it will help them make good
decisions about "What is the most valuable content to have on our site that
is, really, not only just serve the needs, the information interests of the
customer, buyer, but it is also going to have a phenomenal impact on our
ability to improve our search rankings.
Make it easier for more shoppers, more perspective customers to find their
way to the site. All of this works very, very synergistically. I'm so glad
you made that point, relative to content.
Jeremy: Yes, it's just really important. People don't like to think about
SEO and content, traditionally, they don't like to think about just
stuffing keywords and putting content that doesn't have much value in a
website but it's actually nothing like that anymore.
Google understands modern searching and it understands topic modeling. You
don't have to stuff keywords anymore. You just have to provide a very rich
experience for those users and the people that want that additional
I don't know how many times I've visited websites and there content is so
sparse and so thin that I can't... the objections or the questions that I
have about a service or a product are not answered. They work really hard
on their branded (inaudible 50:23) but they forget to finish it off by
providing enough valuable rich information for me to engage and want to
share on their website.
You really need to think about putting some noteworthy content on your
website and really, truly helping your target demographic out and making
sure that that content is quality enough that it nurtures over time.
Hopefully some of you are flowing in with your questions, we're still
taking questions on Twitter. I get those in a minute. I have two questions
that I got late last night on Twitter. Again, that is #SEOQA. I'm going to
start jumping into those in a second for the last couple of minutes.
We have two questions that I got last night. One, from Dana Shudo [sp].
He's both a client and he also has a service he provides and he does
ghostwriting for people and produces content. He does a really great job at
doing that stuff. I had a great time engaging with him online. I encourage
you to get in touch with him.
Dana says, "Do you see any differences with B2B versus B2C clients?"
Absolutely. It's more to how you engage those customers than it is about
the fundamentals of SEO. The fundamentals of SEO are very much the same in
both directions. You want to focus on all those things I talked about
CLASS; Content, Links, Architecture, Social media, and have a Strategy
behind all that.
Really engaging with those users is an important thing, selecting the right
keywords. Your B2B type of a business, you're going to need to engage
people over the long term. Some of those early questions people might be
asking when they're doing that early research, you need to focus on those
keyword phrases as much as you did in keyword phrases that are going to
convert at the last moment.
There are a lot of different things about how you engage these customers,
I'm sure it's the same thing with email marketing, that really
differentiate the two.
Both, in these situations though, communicate like I said to SEOmoz or
(inaudible 52:16) coins it the term linkerati, both of those organizations,
you're going to need to communicate to the people that are online. A lot of
the strategies that might differ are, how do you engage people on Twitter
and Facebook and email, get people to interact with your website and link
back to your content that you're sharing?
Those are definitely going to be different between those two areas there.
Another question came from Chris Robrook [sounds like] and he's another
amazing SEO in the space. He's so amazing, he has to deal with an issue and
which some of us have unfortunately run into, having too much traffic of
Google Analytics to handle.
We experienced this with a client that hit number 69 on Quantcast and we
realized really quickly we couldn't segment the keyword data because it
wouldn't bucket it into other categories. Whenever really wanted to dig
into our data, we would find limitations to Google Analytics.
Jokingly, I respond to him on Twitter and I said, "You need to keep signing
up for Enterprise Analytics package because you realize most of them choke
on this data and you're just lucky enough to have that much traffic and
that's not a bad problem to have.
But, I sent an email to Doug Karr, who's a partner of ours and DK New
Media, both of us worked closely with Webtrends who's a client of ours.
Webtrends is an enterprise solution for analytics, they have a lot of
amazing stuff.
Now, outside of the box, they may run into some of the same issues but if
you work with your representative at Webtrends, we've been assured that
they can make some adjustments to your accounts and be able to handle
traffic loads. If you're getting 30 million visitors a month, if you're
lucky enough to be dealing with that kind of traffic, then you do have
solutions out there in the enterprise space.
Hopefully, Google Analytics will start to catch up and deal with some of
these issues.
I'm going to jump in here and start scanning some of these questions we are
getting online here.
I'm getting a lot of comments, trying to find some questions here. Again,
people are asking, "What's better PPC or SEO?" Maybe some of these
questions were coming in before we actually got around to answering that
Like I said, I think that the term benefit of SEO is of extreme value. If
you are forced to choose one or the other, if you have the patience and the
budget to work your SEO strategy that builds itself up, that's one way to
PPC, what that allows you to do on short order, within a month or less, you
can start to ramp four phrases and drive search traffic back to your
website and start to see how some of that stuff (inaudible 55:03)how those
people would interact on your website. If you can do a lot of testing with
PPC or you can react really quickly.
One client we had, we were targeting, I think, 50 specific phrases and a
host of long tale phrases. They were actually targeting over a million
various keyword phrases using automated tools. That is something that is
far more difficult to do with natural SEO unless you have a massive content
And with the Panda update and content farm strategy, getting into content
farming, it's probably not the way to go. PPC can be very valuable from
that standpoint.
All right. Getting more comments here.
Joel: Jeremy, I've got a question for you, as you try to continue to sort
through those. Again, this is a question that comes to me through a lot of
the people who are in my audiences these days.
Last year, we just social media, absolutely blow-up. It has become such a
force in the way in which brands are now engaging not only with prospective
customers but current customers. The conversation is going on 24/7.
What's your counsel for people in terms of the relationship between SEO and
social media? How can one support the other? Is it possible to improve my
search engine rankings by being better, more proactive at social media?
In other words, if I'm beginning to launch into an aggressively strategy,
to push out messages to my Twitter followers using a product like Co Tweet
for example, is that something that can positively influence my search
engine rankings?
Jeremy: Oh, absolutely. One of the things I love about Co Tweet is the
ability for multiple people to engage and interact through a single brand
There are a lot of other tools available in the enterprise Co Tweet's
actually... Yes, social media is absolutely essential for long term success
in search.
It's a great platform for you to market your content that your producing
great guides or whitepaper or downloads or "how-to" videos or whatever it
is, it's great content you may be producing on your website but you have to
be able to get that out there in front of the people that have the ability
to link back to you and talk about your website.
We've seen at a bare minimum that Twitter activity and public Facebook
activity and Google+ activity actually helps with content discovery at a
When Google or Bing are looking for content to index, they're going to use
those types of channels to identify that a piece of content exists in the
first place. At a minimum that stuff is going on.
Long term, this is absolutely essential for search engines. It's a
(inaudible 57:57)and I think that this will become a bigger and bigger part
of the algorithm. I think later in some of these slides... Here's a search
result page for example.
Kind of highlighting, just on a search for SEO, how much social sharing has
actually impacted a search result. From a personalization standpoint, if
you're not really engaging in social media and building up networks, you're
not going to have these kinds of things that can definitely increase click-
through rates at a minimum.
It can also move search results up for your personalized results.
Joel: The other question I was going to add is, if 2010 was the year that
social media really emerged in major force in marketing and fueling the
conversation, what's your take on mobile?
Is there a relationship between mobile and search engine strategy?
Jeremy: Absolutely. How many of us are sitting in our living rooms or at
dinner or whatever it is and anything we talk about, if I wanted to talk
about Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and I tried to lay down the
(inaudible 59:01).
I can guarantee I'm going to have three friends hanging out with me.
They're going to jump on their cellphone and check that stat and try to
prove me wrong.
Everything from commercials, everything is being aided by mobile.
Everything that you're doing. It doesn't take rocket scientist to figure
that out. Just hang out and observe what your own friends and family are
doing around you every day and what you're doing.
Often my boys will laugh at me because I have a 27 inch monitor in my
office and I'll be sitting on my chair with a screensaver on my monitor and
I'll be working off of my cellphone.
I'm just so used to going to a cellphone. And one of the important things
to note here, people are interacting with this website very similar to the
way they are interacting online with iPhone and Android phones. They can
see your website in the same way that they can see it through a desk top.
A lot of people are trying to force you to go through specific layouts just
for phones. A lot of times people set that and forget and I'll get trapped
in a loop trying to get out of it.
A lot of times they'll forget about the social media and email sharing
features that are necessary and that you want to have easily accessible to
If I'm reading somebody's blog post on a desk top, I can easily click a
Twitter share button or Google+ share button or something like that, or
share it on Facebook. A lot of people forget about those social sharing
activities or a call to action for email sign-up when they get into mobile
Yes, it's actually important and it's not going to be important in the
future. It's been important for years now. So if you're not engaged on
mobile, you need to start reacting to that immediately.
Joel: Yes, I would completely agree with that. Let me throw another
question to you and this may be kind of a wrap-up for the Webinar. It's
something, Jeremy, I know is on the minds of probably a lot of people on
this Webinar today. It certainly is a question that people in our audiences
when I speak on behalf of ExactTarget have.
As it relates to planning your SEO strategy, whether you're just getting
started or if you're just looking to get better at is over time, is this
something that can be handled internally by most companies?
Or, when does it make sense to reach outside to go to somebody like you and
your team at Slingshot SEO? I ask this question not as a kind of softball
but my perception, and I think the perception of a lot of marketers, when
we talk about search engine optimization, I think a lot of marketers view
it much the same way they tend to analytics, as some kind of very dark
science which is only practice by a few anointed individuals.
My question is this something that can be learned by today's generation of
marketers? Can they help themselves or serve themselves? When does it make
sense for them to engage you?
Jeremy: Absolutely they can handle it in-house if they have the buy-in and
the wherewithal to do that. We've seen organizations... One that's amazing.
They've done a phenomenal job and is One Click Ventures. They have websites
such as Diapers Etc and they have a sunglasses website and all kinds of
It's been a phenomenally growing company. They won a TechPoint Award with
Slingshot that the founder here, [Evan Titus] here this year. They've done
an amazing job. We interact with them, they're marketing team comes over
and talks with our marketing team sometimes. They still tout all these
different elements.
You have to have people dedicated to doing these things, producing
phenomenal content and somebody understanding architecture and working on
page speed or somebody focusing on link strategies and link graph
optimization and social media as it relates to search.
If you can bring all those things together, then, absolutely. One of the
things here at Slingshot, we aren't trying to handcuff anyone into working
with us forever, so if you want to start building a natural search
optimization team in-house, you can believe that that's important to the
long term success of your organization. Don't be shy, don't be bashful as
you work with our team, please ask and say, "This is what we're trying to
do, can you assist us in building this?"
We've got a new portal coming out. We're hoping to launch it as the
ExactTarget connection to that. It's going to allow our clients to interact
with us in a much, more dynamic way on all the stuff that we're doing,
which is software.
One of the things that we thought about doing is when you sign-up, you work
for us to accomplish and execute (inaudible 1:03:28) pushing all these
kinds of different things.
As you build your natural search engine team start doing to get (inaudible
1:03:32), then you can work away with points and actually get this
(inaudible 1:03:37) and work off of what you're doing so we can slowly
transition you to having a natural search team.
Some people just need that outside expertise, somebody to handle that. They
just can't get the buy-in to make the actual hires necessary.
One thing I'd highly recommend, don't just put one person in an SEO
position and tell them to handle all your natural search, your PPC and your
email marketing. That's a recipe for disaster. That individual needs help.
They can't, especially in an enterprise, handle all those things by
themselves without a third-party agency or organization to help or allowing
them to hire internally and build out a team.
Joel: I think that's sound advice for everybody. I guess short answer to my
question, I'm just getting started. I can come to Slingshot initially to
help make sure that I'm building on rock, not sand with my strategy. I can
learn what I need to know from you but then, you're very much in tune.
Your business model is to teach me what I need to do, hand it over to me so
that I can then really begin to serve myself going forward but I still need
to stay in the game. I still need to be a student of the discipline.
Jeremy: Exactly. We just get into the situation where you have to figure
out, can we do the work? Is Slingshot going to be more cost effective or in-
house? Or, is it a critical advantage of our organization to actually run
that in-house or security issue of some sort, you need to manage that in-
But often we have clients accidentally forwarding emails just when they're
trying to build a natural search team and they're afraid to have those
discussions with us. But we are definitely willing and able to have those
discussions and assist you in that process in building out your in-house
Joel: That's great. For those of you that are on today's Webinar, I should
have mentioned this at the beginning, not only is Slingshot SEO a partner
of ExactTarget, ExactTarget is also a client of Slingshot.
You did not ask me to do this Jeremy, but I will tell you, our affiliation,
our relationship with Slingshot has been an enormously productive for us in
really improving the ROI, the effectiveness of own search engine
optimization strategy. I would just say, Thank you, for the guidance that
you've given us. It's really paid off.
Jeremy: Now this is going to sound all planned but we definitely use
ExactTarget and have a lot of success email marketing, one of which we used
to help promote the Webinar. We enjoy it both ways and it's a great
relationship. Hopefully we'll continue that.
Joel: Absolutely.
Jeremy: So thank you. Thanks for participating.
Joel: You're very, very welcome.
Jeremy: Thanks a lot (inaudible 1:06:08). If you have further questions, we
have a lot of guides online that you look at to follow-up or feel free to
hit us up on Twitter or through our blog.
Contact us if you additional questions or some one-on-one stuff that'd you
would like to discuss with us or somebody else on our team.
Thank you.