Empowerment Day : Strategy Session

By, Krunal Barabde

Topic: SEO Strategy from Planning to Execution

Location: Thunderbird School of Global Management

Presenter: Mr David Shapiro

A Friday afternoon on Thunderbird campus is normally lazy, but on 3rd October 2014, there was some buzz going around the campus, as most the students were crossing the entangled lanes of thunderbird campus to reach lecture halls, one might feel unusual. Yes, it was unusual Friday as Thunderbird Marketing Association had arranged multiple events to cover the interests of the ones who are interested to pursue their career in Marketing. As Internet of everything is changing, lives it is important to get noticed the midst of this everything. This leads us to the platform of the SEO Strategy from Planning to Execution Workshop conducted by Mr. David Shapiro.

Mr. David Shapiro is Manager of Search Engineering for iCrossing, a digital marketing agency from Scottsdale Arizona.   He has nearly 9+ years of experience of working in Search Engine Optimization Engineering. Mr. David credited and thanked, Thunderbird Professor Finn for getting Mr. David his first job.

Mr. David classified workshop in the 3 stages.

  1. What is SEO, Why and How SEO
  2. Case Study – Moving Company
  3. Breakout Questions

SEO- Search Engine Optimization is the way of digital marketing strategy, where internet traffic is driven to the website and final goal of conversion of traffic to business is achieved.  Traffic is related to optimization of the website in order to feature it in the top 3 or top 4 searches on famous search engines such as Google, Bing etc.

According to the speaker, a well-defined approach is required to achieve the Search Engine Optimization for a business. The basic step is to ask right questions; because asking right questions (Mr. David had list of questions, which normally his company asks to their clients) will lead you to identify challenges and then formulate unique strategies to address them.

Mr. David, emphasized that on the three pillars of the SEO which help you to strategize the approach: crawlability, relevance, and popularity. Crawlability is to scan through all of the content on the website and index the important and keywords for the website so that the website is listed on the search results of the search engine. Relevance is to create relevant content to your industry, mentioning the keywords and high volume words in the content, so that the website page becomes more searchable. Additionally, content has to be relevant to the customers or clients you will be dealing, hence it is also important to understand the keywords important to their understanding. Popularity is very critical to achieve in order to get your page ranked in top three searches on the search engine, as per Mr. David, there has been constant shift in popularity metrics. For example Google ranked websites based on the citations, in recent development concept of popularity has shifted to social media.

Later it is important to solve the ambiguity of the users by redirecting the links and reducing the irrelevant content on the website, In order to improve the content, he introduced a pyramid model ranking the keywords from top to bottom, with high degree of keywords at the top of the pyramid. Create brand popularity and engagement signals with help of content and agents and influencers. Influencers can be identified using followonk.com where their social media influence is evaluated. Additionally, the speaker also showed some of the tools such as Majestic.com and retail in real time that are used by the search engines to identify the popularity of the websites and the content. All these efforts are measured in terms of the conversion of traffic and ability to be listed in the top three searches on any big search engine

In the case study, we analyzed a moving company case where the moving company is formulating SEO strategy based on the approach specified by the speaker and how it is achieved? At the end of the session we had break out session where very important discussion of the workshop discussion took place, between attendees.

Some of the important questions such as how the mobile application business will affect the search engine business, since the internet search is shifting on the cell phone apps with emergence of apps like yelp and yellow pages. Another important question was what content should be on the website? There are some online tools such as google web master tool or keyword search on google will definitely help to formulate the required content for the website.

Finally with question answers and with a clarity about how SEO works the workshop ended, there was sense of appeasement in the air since many of us know there is SEO and it is necessary for the modern business, but we don’t know how to achieve it. In fact in some of the business that are completely online, for them it is like getting the top real estate location so that people do visit them. It was nice workshop arranged with attendance of approximately 30-40 people lasted for 2 hours.


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