SERVICES EMPLOYED: SEO
A Search Strategy that Integrates Internal Marketing Teams
Seer believes that organizations that collaborate to create content and develop community by strategically delivering content through multiple channels will see larger gains in organic search while being a more effective marketing team.
Because of this, Seer worked with a Fortune 25 financial institution to develop a centralized communication system and establish an SEO strategy that leveraged the social media, public relations and editorial teams for mutual performance gains.
In order to better understand the areas of opportunity for each department, Seer performed a Gap Analysis that identified opportunities that would influence organic search visibility more globally and extend the reach and effectiveness of the work of the public relations, editorial, and social teams.
The goal of the Gap Analysis was to reveal SEO opportunity in the following areas:
- Press Releases
- Blog Optimization
- Social Channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+
- SEO and Social KPIs
The process uncovered areas of improvement for all departments. To begin bridging these gaps, Seer noticed a need for:
- Knowledge Distribution Tools
- SEO Education
- Technical Website Changes
In response to the Gap Analysis findings, Seer helped the financial institution create a workflow that encouraged internal communication and enhanced online performance. The teams involved varied in size from less than 10 to more than 200.
Part of the process included creating:
- SEO Training Program
- Communication Process
- A Keyword Database
SEO Training Program
The overarching problem that was uncovered through the Gap Analysis was a lack of internal SEO knowledge across departments. In order to encourage SEO best practices, Seer created an SEO Training Program.
The program consisted of training sessions lead by Seer team members, training materials and SEO best practice one-pagers. Each training session covered SEO basics as they pertained to each department. For example, for the 200 member PR team, the first session reviewed press release optimization and how small changes can increase the visibility and effectiveness of each release.
Best Practice one-pagers were created covering SEO basics for on-going tasks such as press release creation, YouTube video uploading and blog post creation.
In order to evaluate the adoption of these best practices, Seer regularly monitored new posts, releases, videos and used internal success stories as examples in trainings to encourage continued use.
Through this process, and additional face time with other departments, Seer was able to identify an issue with the setup of one section of the website. Identifying this issue lead to the implementation of a small change which increased traffic and indexation.
The next step was to ensure all departments were aware of upcoming, large initiatives. To create an effective process, Seer began by evaluating the current internal process.
Through the evaluation, Seer discovered that internal requests, that were already being made, could act as “triggers” to utilize a central database of information and alert other departments of developing stories or initiatives. This gave way to the creation of a keyword database which became the central hub for knowledge distribution.
On top of the need for a keyword database for the communication process, the Gap Analysis uncovered a need to better utilize internal links and discuss priority topics or keywords.To solve both problems, Seer created a database that housed targeted keywords with search volumes and landing pages for each line of business. This database provided guidance on which landing pages to link to in new content (such as Press Releases or Blog Posts) depending on the topic selected.
For example, if the editorial team is creating a piece regarding personal finance best practices they would refer to the database, select “personal finance” and would find a list of keywords, search volume, and internal pages that fall under that category. This information would then be utilized in the new blog post.
The first step to encourage use of this tool was training. Seer created and held multiple trainings surrounding the use of this database to ensure each department felt comfortable accessing and using the information.
Since the newly developed communication process revolved around this database, it was important that it be kept up-to-date. After evaluating changes to the website and the search landscape in the industry, Seer developed a system to update the database every six months.
In this example, the SEO team utilized an existing internal request process to alert the PR team of an upcoming initiative. The PR team then utilized the keyword database as well as the internal request to create and optimize a press release. This release, along with the SEO information, was added to the keyword database and is utilized by all other teams for upcoming initiatives.
Armed with an integration roadmap, Seer conducted a thorough evaluation of current social and organic standings in order to create success metrics for this initiative.
Seer focused on 3 key metrics:
- Conversion Rate (comments on branded content)
- Amplification Rate (retweets or shares for branded content)
- Applause Rate (public approval rate for branded content)
These metrics along with traditional search visibility metrics (traffic and on-site conversions) were used to evaluate the success of the integration plan.
- Established formal SEO Training Program that included development of Best Practice one-pagers covering SEO basics for key tasks
- Developed a Keyword Database that could act as “triggers” to alert other departments of developing stories or initiatives