What is SEO?
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is all about making it easier for search engines to crawl, index and understand what your site is about. Getting your site search engine friendly means you site will put its best foot forward in terms of achieving higher search engine rankings – higher rankings equals more visits and more visits equals more leads or sales!
“Just being on Google isn’t enough. Few will look beyond the first page of the search results. Ask yourself this, when you do a search how often do you go beyond the first result page? Studies suggest that 90% of click originates from the first result page and positions 1, 2 and 3 gets the majority of clicks.”
Unlike traditional marketing where you go out and look for customers SEO does the opposite. Your customers are actively looking for you. They do so when they do a search on their favourite search engine. And again, if your site is not on the first search result page ranking then your customers won’t be able to find you. SEO drives highly qualified visitors – 24/7.
SEO can be broken down into three areas; on-site optimisation – or ‘code’, on-page optimisation – or ‘keywords’ and off- site optimisation – ‘links’.
On-site optimisation is critical and something you have to get done right. Making sure that your website is accessible for search engines to crawl is critical, as if your content won’t get crawled then it won’t get indexed. Ranking factors such as having a keyword based URL structure, no duplicate content, an XML sitemap to inform search engines of what pages you have are important factors to optimise for to improve rankings.
On-page optimisation is in fact really straight forward but most sites get it wrong. The key words and terms your customers search for and what your site is about must also be mentioned on your site. Ranking factors such as having your core key words in page titles, headers and mentioned within the actual body text have are important factors to optimise for to improve rankings.
Off-site optimisation refers to links. Links act as ‘votes’ and attracting relevant and authoritative links to your site is one of the most important factors – and also the hardest – for improving search engine rankings. All links are not treated the same. Some links are considered better than others and some links are outright bad, these can in fact get your site into trouble.
Why Amnesia Razorfish SEO?
Amnesia Razorfish’s SEO philosophy is characterised by a robust strategy, informed by the external environment and by understanding the client’s business operations and objectives. This is underpinned by a holistic view of the digital channel. While we believe SEO is a crucial channel and we approach it as one part of a multi-channel strategy.
“Amnesia Razorfish SEO offers innovative white-hat SEO strategies which ensure our clients dominate the search engine result pages (SERPs) for their selected keywords.”
With the ever-increasing prevalence of mobile and smart phones, it is vital to incorporate mobile search strategies as part of the overall SEO strategy.
Our approach to a mobile search strategy
Amnesia Razorfish recognises that mobile users who access the web differ from desk-oriented PC users. Factors such as the usage of a small keypad to gain access to the web as well as predictive text capabilities change the SEO parameters and highlight the need to emphasise usability and ‘findability’.
Rendering of Mobile Sites
Mobile search engines take into consideration how well the webpage will render on the phone that is being used to do the search and use this as a criterion to rank results. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the website design renders well on different types of mobile handsets, or more crucially that a best practice designed mobile site is deployed. Additionally, the speed at which the mobile site will load can also affect its ranking. To decrease download times, the design of the mobile site needs to be simple and avoid clutter.
It is essential to adjust the content to mobile audiences as and one component is to include critical search information within key parts of the contents, such as header tags, bold text and navigation. Furthermore, the layout of the webpage should be devoid of multi-media content, such as frames, Flash and other presentation methods. Keeping the content and webpage design as simple as possible will make it easier for mobile crawlers to find information and rank relevant pages.
Amnesia Razorfish recognises that location is vital in mobile search. This includes not only having optimised Google Places listings but also, with the increase in smartphones, adhering to applications such as FourSquare which are changing the mobile search landscape by integrating augmented reality. This means that a mobile search for local resources will increasingly prompt the search engine to predict the user’s requirements and use GPS location to tailor the results more. In addition to feed and place optimisation, Amnesia Razorfish’s mobile search strategy recommends a simplified webpage that is able to respond to the user’s immediate location and category needs.
The average mobile search query is 15 characters in length but involves a considerable amount of time and effort to enter. As a result, search engines have limited information and this makes it difficult to return search results of desktop search calibre. Mobile search engines thus counter the lower number of keywords through a drop down menu with search suggestions to allow users to complete their search queries more easily. This makes the user experience quicker and also returns more relevant results. In response to this, Amnesia Razorfish identifies the most widespread predictive search phrases relevant to the business and optimize for mobile SEO to appear in mobile search results.
Just as with desktop searches, having related mobile or desktop webpage links will help increase rankings. The mobile content should therefore contain outbound links to relevant partner sites. Furthermore, it is also advisable to link the traditional site to the mobile site via a text link targeting the top mobile SEO keyword. A link should also contain “mobile” in order to alert search engines that the content is accessible for mobile viewing and increase mobile search result rankings.
The growth of social media has changed the landscape of search and is increasingly important for SEO planning. Search engines are believed to use a variety of signals from social including fan bases, social links, social keywords, social bookmarks and user base interaction. We have also seen recent moves by both Microsoft and Google to more closely integrate (or replicate) Facebook’s ‘likes’ via Microsoft’s partnership with Facebook to integrate likes into Bing organic results, and Google’s +1 button currently in beta. It is expected these are intended to personalise search results and increase perception of relevance.
Amnesia Razorfish recognises the importance of social and our SEO analysts work closely with our account planners who are well versed in social.
Social is highly regarded by search engines as having a large fan base is hard to replicate, and indicates that a website’s popularity is authentic. An organic presence across several platforms and bookmarking services is preferred over domination over one social network (usually Facebook). While social cannot be forced or artificially implemented there are a number of strategies to adhere to for best practices SEO in social media. Below are some proven techniques used to impact rankings positively.
Social profile optimisation
Link back from social profiles to your website. Links from the profile information section on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are not no-follow links and provide a great opportunity to extend your site’s link popularity. Also, by optimising the company’s description with relevant SEO keywords search engines will associate your profile better with target keywords.
Status update optimisation
Include target keywords in status updates and social messages. Not only will this help keyword relevancy but with Google Caffeine and instant Twitter feeds this could also see the website rank on live streaming news feeds.
Content optimisation and distribution
There are many ways of building links via social media. Despite the no-follow tag the links do contribute to site authority and in the long run its organic search engine rankings. Syndicating content through social channels will help reach a larger audience, keep social channels active and provide backlink opportunities as well as social link baiting.
Social news and bookmarking
There are a number of news aggregators and social bookmarking sites including digg and reddit where links can be submitted. Building social bookmarks benefits SEO and should a link attract attention and go ‘viral’ it will trigger a rush of traffic and additional links. This is a strategy especially suited for interesting, useful or controversial content due to its high social news value.
Social media integration
Bring social media to our client’s websites via optimising corporate blogs and including content sharing functionality “social buttons” onsite allows for user interaction and automatic organic backlink creation.
To monitor and benchmark competitors we use a selection of tools and methods; primarily proprietary tools performing rank, social, backlink and spidering analyses but also a selection of industry leading third party tools. We often ‘reverse engineer’ competitors SEO strategies with the intention of:
- Maintaining awareness of competitor strategies and movements – this is not a “technique” or process as such rather the team’s experience in SEO and knowledge of the industry
- Monitoring competitor rankings and proactively investigating any key improvements
- Taking a holistic view of competitor marketing activities, beyond SEO, to gain a deeper understanding of marketing
Amnesia Razorfish is part of the Publicis Groupe, a global communications giant, and Razorfish, a leading global digital network. Publicis is the 4th largest communications group globally and 2nd largest media agency globally, and Razorfish is the largest interactive agency in the world.
At a holistic digital level, this partnership provides us access to market leading research, innovation and publisher relationships. Our group’s philosophy:
“combine the sharpest thought leadership of the consulting world with the leading capabilities of the marketing services industry to digitally connect our clients’ business needs with that of their consumers.”
In regards to specialist SEO, Amnesia Razorfish works closely with our Global Razorfish SEO Community in order to bring our clients the most effective and innovative SEO strategies.
Amnesia Razorfish is characterized by innovation. It is embedded our day to day work and informs on how we develop appropriate and commercially viable SEO strategies for clients. Our philosophy to ongoing research and development is twofold: a locally held knowledge base supported by a unique competitive advantage through our global Razorfish network partner.
Local research and development commitment
Our Australian office, alongside our global network, works with a number of thought leaders in the organic search space with whom we exchange ideas and opinions on future trends and algorithmic updates.
According to current predictions, we have below summarized key trends in ranking factors prominent in 2012, of which we use to inform on SEO strategy development:
- Diversity of link sources correlates with higher rankings
- In external links, partial anchor text correlates slightly more than exact match anchor text previously
- High authority link affiliation remains highly competitive
- Nofollowed links do help with rankings
- Higher Quality and longer content tends to rank better
- Long titles and URLs have a negative impact on SEO
- Domain name exact match remains highly competitive
- Use of keywords early on page is beneficial
- Social media presence and rankings have a high positive correlation
Demonstrated commitment to research and development at a global level
Our global Razorfish network offers us unique and unsurpassed access to best practice thought leadership on a huge range of digital areas, including SEO. Unlike some ‘global’ networks we have established channels to share knowledge and resources and to maintain an ongoing commitment to research and development. These are actively used on a daily basis by our team to maintain their knowledge.
Consolidated search strategy
One of Amnesia Razorfish’s core strengths is our understanding of all digital channels. This provides more in-depth insights as to how paid and organic search can work together on a consolidated search strategy.
Working in synergy
- High Traffic/Converting SEM Keywords could help indicate potential SEO keywords to target
- Landing Page Quality Score (QS) – with the help of SEO we ensure higher QS and may suggest relevant pages to drive SEM traffic
- Long tail/short tail strategy: Use SEO to target expensive SEM keywords or vice versa.
- Ensure SEO and SEM are not competing, rather work in conjunction to drive business outcomes. Coordination of SEO and SEM strategies (including bid management and ad copy) and results is necessary
- Consider utilising SEM and SEO to target different users within the funnel
- Use SEM and SEO where possible for geo-targeting and mobile
Beyond SEM – a multi-channel approach
Online consumers touch a brand multiple times, across multiple types of ads and channels. Last click attribution favours search as consumers tend to be deeper in the conversion funnel, however display offers significant reach and awareness opportunities that cannot be attained through search alone. Beyond a consolidated search strategy we recommend collaboration with ATL and digital media agencies.
Prior to attribution modelling, these channels can interplay to improve overall performance:
- Search retargeting that allows clients to aggregate keywords entered by users in search queries and then target users based on their recent keyword searches
- Buying display on quality sites that rank high on crucial keywords to boost organic listings
- Identifying the value of display at the top of the funnel vs. lower in the funnel
- Aligning TV TARPS with SEO and SEM activity
Advanced analytics is incorporated into our reporting assignments and is an integral part of SEO campaign and experience management, and optimisation. We consider data from an end to end perspective and it informs everything we do from keyword selection to conversion analysis to drive SEO recommendations. Our SEO strategies consider a path to conversion philosophy to focus on tactics that drive both traffic and conversions (whether sales, leads, or other conversion goals). This philosophy is grounded through robust reporting tools. Our use of best practice technology ensures our clients stay one step ahead of its competition and can rely on receiving global best of breed advice on an ongoing basis.