How to Integrate Search in a Complex Enterprise Environment

At AdTech Sydney, I attended this session where Telstra shared their experience of integrating their search strategy to deliver better results. Kevin Tunney, the Search Account Director from Resolution and Robin Stafford, the Search Manager from Telstra presented.

Adtech Australia

Having an integrated search department was quite a challenging role. At Telstra , there were 8 content management systems.. This means that the same recommendations had to be given 8 different ways and they had to find 9 different ways to implement it.

The Telstra Enterprise Environment also meant the agency dealing with hundreds of different people across multiple business units. There were also varying knowledge of search – some did not understand the different between the SEO and PPC.

So how does Telstra’s search look?  Resolution acquired Bruce Clay.  Pior to that, Resolution had been running the PPC and Bruce Clay, the SEO.

Now Telstra had a new business objective:  Drive an increase in efficient orders through an integrated approach.

SEO and PPC were both doing well.  With SEO, they already had input into key processes, input into key campaign launches.  There was therefore no fat to cut, the aim was to re focus on the user.  There is no single search journey.  Telstra wanted to convert more searchers, not searches.

Users do not differentiate between paid and organic, 41% of people do not know they are clicking on a paid ad. (Bunnyfoot consultancy Feb 2013)

Therefore Telstra broke their engagement into 4 Pillars:

  1. Measurement
  2. Communications
  3. Strategy
  4. Execution

Pillars of Integration

1. Measurement

Within Telstra, they use Omniture.  Originally SEO and PPC were not even segmented, the way it is set up, all PPC traffic is merged into the SEO traffic.  However, Telstra managed to resolve this.

But what Telstra did notice was that they were not measuring conversions in the same way for SEO and PPC.  With cookies, the first time someone lands on a PPC ad, a cookie will be dropped.  Based on the first click attribution model, PPC will get the sale.  The way many systems have been set up, is that if SEO is the first point of contact, there is no cookie dropped so if PPC is the second click, PPC will get the sale. This is not a correct way of tracking.

Therefore Telstra with the help of Resolution, added a 30 day cookie to SEO traffic.  It took 6 – 9 months to get this implemented but once it was, they saw a dramatic change.  SEO had a 66% increase in orders attributed to it.  Therefore SEO has a proper view of orders.

2.  Communication

There was a rigid processes to internal communications set up.  In early stage of content creation, the SEO team could see what products were being pushed and at which time.  This took two forms:

1. Combined Briefs

2. Shared calendar

There were also weekly WIPs – SEO and PPC and they delivered integrated business reviews.

This really streamlined the process and having this one brief meant Telstra could swap data quite quickly. Telstra uses the Project Management System of Agile Scrum which added the most amount of value in the shortest time.

3. Specific Tactics from the Strategy

Site audit focusing on common quick wins

  • SEO and PPC training to key producers within Telstra
  • Identify content gaps based on SE and PPC keyword data from insights
  • Focus on quality content and engagement
  • Combined landing page strategy
  • Identify conversion optimization and opportunities

4. Execution is Discreet

There was some overlap eg quick load time, conversion rate on the page, which helps both SEO and PPC.  But the nuts and bolts  and execution is discrete.

Case Study

The challenge – to measure the performance increase when an organic listing appears with a paid listing.

Average CTR

The Approach

  • Telstra monitored 26 million keyword impressions between Sept 2013 and Jan 2014.  Using organic data as the base, they measured the uplift in performance when a paid ad appears alongside an SEO result.
  • Telstra’s results showed text ads increase the CTR by 50% on both traffic on brand and non brand terms.
  • Text ads increased average conversion rate by 22.5%

The Telstra case study shows how important it is to have an integrated search strategy in order to be able to correctly attribute conversions to SEO and PPC.

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