SEO: Search Experience Optimization

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    17-Jul-2015
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Transcript of SEO: Search Experience Optimization

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Lead team: SEO, SEM, and Affiliate

Doing Internet Marketing for around 6 yearsStarted out in the Local SEO space at Dex Media... Local business listing provider.

3 Years at Bodybuilding.comStarted out as an SEO Specialist and moved on from there.

Get in touch with me on Twitter. User name: DerrickHicks3

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What is Bodybuilding.com?

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##C3NYLargest, most visited fitness site at more than 30 million unique visitors a month.60%+ traffic comes from organic searchOver 50% of our traffic happens on mobile devices

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##C3NYHeadquarters is based in Boise, Idaho.But, we have 5 distribution centers around the world... And growing.

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##C3NYOur business model is completely centered on: Content, Community, & CommerceDid inbound marketing before it was the thing to do.

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##C3NYOur content team is one of the largest teams in our company.50+ people. 1/3 of them are on our Video Production Team.

20,000+ articles publish 4-5 new day.

over 9,000 videosProduce around 800-1,000 videos a year in house!

On top of that... We offer detailed, 12 week training & nutrition plans for free.

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##C3NYCommunity called BodySpaceMillions of members.You can track workouts and your fitness journey as well as connect with like-minded people.

Oddly enough, we also have one of the largest forums in the world.Our forum was our original community.

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##C3NYAnd lastly, we are an ecommerce company that sells sports nutrition supplements.

We have over 10,000 skews and 120 country specific catalogs.

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Obvious organic search is important. Thats a given. But today, I want to talk about Search Experience Optimization and...

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...how that relates to Design Considerations for Search

James and I work very hard to try and DESIGN a great search experience for our customers.

One of the ways we do this is by finding popular topics people search for and then working hard to understand:Who is looking up that topic and why. What is the motivation.What currently ranks on the first page.What would be the most epic format to answer the question people are looking for.

When I say format, I mean in-depth articles, Video, Top 10 Lists, etc.

Let me show you some examples.

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Here is an example of a video trainer.

Content team did amazing job building this.

It has pages and pages of content covering:TrainingNutritionSupplementationMotivation

It would be impossible to make something this epic without video.

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Here is an example where video might actually get in the way.

This article is just an epic list of High Protein Foods. Video would slow the page down and not really add that much value.Maybe we could have videos of recipes, but things like that would do much better on their own pages.

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Here is another example where, again, lists are the best way to answer a question.

People want a fast, easy to digest recommendations for protein powder.

We have a video on the page, but its not really what people are looking for.

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Last example of designing a great search experience is a quick story.

We have a bunch of category pages in our store. Here is an example of one for creatine.

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These category pages have a bunch of content as well as a video on the page.

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Last year, those videos were giving us Video Rich snippets in the search results.

Long story short, we looked at a ton of data and determined these video rich snippets were hurting us.

We removed them and our traffic and revenue doubled for over 300 category pages.

Video was not what people wanted. They just wanted to buy supplements.

Hopefully these examples give you some ideas on how you need to design a great Search Experience for your customers.

It really is important it is to think about the format of the content you are creating. Dont just do video or mobile because it is growing like crazy. Do it because you know its whats best for YOUR specific customers.

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Alright... So how do we get our content team to work with us?

Well, that is actually a long story and has been a work in progress for over 2 years.

Ill save you the nity gritty details and try and sum it up for you.

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First off... Just like any big company, Silos happen.

Content team was so busy. Things seemed to be working. Why should they listen to us?

We saw huge opportunities, but struggled to get buy-in.

Here was one of the main opportunities we were seeing...

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This slide is showing number of content assets created a year.

Content asset = Greater than 2,000 organic search entries a week.

We where doing pretty good, but it was sporadic.

It also meant that less than 3% of the content we were producing was becoming true content assets.

Statistically speaking, we were kind of just getting lucky.

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So I had the brilliant idea of trying to influence some of the strategy & content design of one of the largest teams in our company.

This picture is seriously how I felt when we first started trying to work with our content team. They are beyond amazing... and way more fit than that guy.

Despite feeling like the tiniest sumo wrestler in the world, here is how we started to influence their team.

We started meeting with them once a month with the goal of helping THEM be more successful.Its pretty much always about them, what they are interested in, and how that overlaps with the SEO team.

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Look at key metrics:

Traffic, revenue, new visit %, bounce rate, etc

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Show some stand out pieces that have performed well, editors love this.

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Share a few specific opportunities for keywords to target. The fewer, the better.

A Conductor dashboard is helpful for this.

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Conversation naturally happens around ideas for how we can improve our contents performance.

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DPG uses Trello for work flow.

We can see all upcoming articles, inject suggestions.

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Lets look at our results so far

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Reminder: An SEO asset = an article that brings in more than 2,000 visitors a week from organic search.

Large jump in the total number of SEO Assets we were creating by year... Getting lucky more often.

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We also starting getting some huge wins as well. So the quality of our SEO Assets is going up too.

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This is just a reminder slide on how important it is to look at things in the long term.

You will see a compound interest effect if you focus on building long-term evergreen content that people search for all the time.

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Thank you!

Make sure you connect with me if you have any questions. Happy to help.

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