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Phil Mackechnie – TravelSupermarket.com – SASCon Mini 2014

SAScon Mini 2014

Phil Mackechnie, Head of Organic Performance, Travelsupermarket.com – How will you break the cycle of bad SEO/ Marketing

Well, I’m a bit disappointed that this isn’t about the marketing of Bad (1987) by Michael Jackson. MoneySuperMarket.com is a pretty bad ass site which I’m sure you’re all familiar with. They’re hashtag epic… with nearly a 300,000 SearchMetrics visibility, they’re doing pretty darn well. He’s from New Zealand. Let’s see what he has to say!

“People get into a rhythm that makes them resistant to change. To understand the mind-set try switching hands when you brush your teeth in the morning”

The last 12 months have been pretty up and down in SEO.

Spam is being target by Google more effectively than ever. So effectively that Google are now confident enough to show you what they consider to be bad links. Spam is really bad marketing and SEO needs to get away from it.

Spam ignores the customer.

Chasing things that are new, big and shiny can neglect the basics. They make it about the company – not the audience. We need to engage with our audience.

A lack of imagination and good ideas is a real problem though. Data or insight driven ideas deliver results that are credible or long lasting. Consult your data! PR agencies/story tellers  thrive here to create the story from your data.

Poor measurement is another bad trait. In the world of not-provided, you must find ways to determine where growth comes from and whether it’s branded or non-branded.

Siloed working & team structure. Analyse how your teams work together and make sure there are the right skills to make things work together.

Where is search going?

1998 – Understanding Misspellings

2002 – Understanding Synonyms

2004 – Autocomplete added to Google. Followed by Instant Search in 2010

THE FUTURE

- Things not strings. Semantic analysis and the Knowledge Graph.

- Google Now. Suggesting things before you even type in a query based on context of your environment and what you’re doing. 

- Better understanding the customer. Working with the CRM team.

- Structured data/Google Authorship – make it as easy as possible for search engines to understand the data – without giving too much data for Google to just take it.

- Mobile Optimisation – Google will always prioritise and rank sites which offer a full user experience across multiple devices. Bespoke content for device, not just responsive.

- Semantic Search – Google Hummingbird update in 2013 is a step towards optimising for user intent – not keywords.

- Convert more of what you have. Conversion optimisation.

- Mobile Search will be a priority. Mobile delivers >50% of MoneySuperMarket.com’s traffic

- Push your data partners for bespoke requirements

- Restructure your team – traditional role based approach isn’t always effective. You need overlapping skills that understand each others roles. Expand the skillsets of your team.

- Data has to drive all your decisions.

- We have to mature. We can’t just bung bloggers £50 for a link.

- How do you get people to your “great content”? SEO and “organic paid social”. Peer to peer validation.

A more integrated approach to SEO is needed. Integrated teams with a common goal.

Deliver brand and consumer content not SEO content.

We must create and distribute great brand content which has a value to our consumers.

Links will follow naturally if the content is right.

 

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