I am in the U.S at the moment on business, but I got word last night that Cybercom got a Gold at the DMA’s for best use of search, the client being Jurys Inn. The entry for the award was one of the last things I worked on as “Head of Search” (along with @robreid and @robshine) and it’s always nice to get an award (well done the whole Cybercom media team). But the important thing, why did our strategy prove so successful in terms of driving traffic.
PPC Should Drive Organic Strategy
If I can give one tip for SEO consultants (and have done on numerous occasions) it’s look at both PPC & SEO as a holistic approach. Jurys Inn achieved massive results (organic visits up 35%) by using PPC data to expand keyword research. We built lots of custom reports/advanced segments in Google Analytics to develop a keyword list that drove both leads & conversions.We then ran competitive analysis on these and created a core group that we could rank top 3, but wouldn’t suck up all our resources. In aggressive markets there are some keywords that can have a detrimental affect on your strategy. They burn all your energy & resources, plus leave you with little time to implement anything else. Be smart with your keyword selection. Often ranking for multiple low volume keywords can provide better results than having that one marquee ranking (which you can boast about). If you don’t have enough content to target all the keywords, create more. On Jurys Inn we created a blog.
Links / Social / Online PR – Drive Promotion
The key advantage we had at Cybercom (they still do :)) is we are a full service agency. Trying to roll out a integrated link building strategy that incorporates social and Online PR, which are owned by different stake holders can be a difficult process. It’s complex to keep the message and strategy on target. Social and Online PR will have their on targets. Their success may not be measured by quality links gained, so SEO/Link building can be a distraction. Luckily at Cybercom we had (still do) experts in each of those under the new media team. When rolling out a new link campaign I can grab these people, enter a room and discuss the strategy. Integrating these 3 components is critical in acquiring high tier links. Content really is king when it comes to developing great links.
Know Your SERPS
You NEED to have regular DEEP DIVE sessions. If you are not doing this for your clients, the rug will get pulled from under your feet pretty quickly. When location based search began to tilt and Google began to roll out their changes, some of our keyword postions improved organically, but traffic halved. Google maps swallowed it up (interestingly Rand Fishkin or one of the search panelists at the conference I was at last night spoke of the same thing). Once spotted you need to start working on putting it right. On location, check out http://getlisted.org/index.aspx to see how your listing is doing.
I have worked in a lot of markets and travel is pretty aggressive, especially in the UK, but the above shows the right strategy can drive massive results.
Organic visits increased by 35% with the PPC cost per conversion decreasing by 65%. Total conversions increased by 37%. Total revenue increased by 31%.
A big congratulations to team Cybercom especially @robshine (Media Innovation Director) and @robreid (Client Service Director). The award is great recognition of the talent we have in Ireland and great validation for some late nights in the office working our socks of to achieve such incredible results.