What is SEO? A Think-n-Drink Introduction to Search Engines - How To Increase Website Traffic | Astek Academy

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This presentation was given by Astek President Andy Swindler and Sr. Community Manager John Armstrong for Astek's Monthly Think-n-Drink on Search Engine Optimization. …

This presentation was given by Astek President Andy Swindler and Sr. Community Manager John Armstrong for Astek's Monthly Think-n-Drink on Search Engine Optimization.

Participants were introduced to basic topics such as keyword research/usage, content strategy, techniques in website design and development and competitive analysis - all which contribute to improving search results.

Astek's Chicago-based Think-n-Drinks are open to the public, unbelievably affordable, include wine and snacks and take place on the first Tuesday of each month. Find more info on our social media pages (#chiThinkDrink) or at:


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  • 1. Let’s start at the very beginning! (It’s a very good place to start) SEO
  • 2. Why SEO? Hubspot.com, 2013
  • 3. Why SEO? 93% of online activities begin with a search engine. College of Marketing, 2013
  • 4. Why SEO? •  For today’s purposes “Google” = “search engines” •  Optimizing your content for Search = SEO –  Increase brand awareness –  Sell more products –  Get the most out of your valuable content
  • 5. Search Market Share
  • 6. SEO is a Mindset
  • 7. SEO is a Mindset •  Every time you write for the Web, consider SEO •  People may call your product/topic something other than what you do •  There are no guarantees •  There is no perfect, just keep at it to take advantage of unseen opportunities •  Marketing is experimenting
  • 8. SEO is Everywhere •  Google indexes your: –  Website –  Social media –  PDFs –  Other channels •  Get the robots talking –  Google likes keywords &" technical best practices •  It’s evolving and not going away soon •  Only 2% of searchers click to 2nd page
  • 9. SEO State of the Union •  SEO = Relevance + Authority •  Google’s job = provide relevant content for Web searches •  Used to rely primarily on keywords in content & links but now other factors •  Don’t mess with Google Bots
  • 10. SEO Tactics – 5 Segments •  User Accessibility •  Robot Indexability •  On-Page SEO •  Off-Page SEO •  Competitive Analysis
  • 11. SEO Tactics – User Accessibility " Robot Indexability •  XML Sitemap & Robots.txt –  CMS should auto-generate •  Canonical URLs –  wiley.com -> www.wiley.com •  301 URL Permanent Redirects –  Every time you change page URLs •  ADA Compliance –  disabilitycomplianceforhighereducation.com
  • 12. SEO Tactics – Off-Page Content •  Optimize with Keywords – HTML Title (70 char., unique) – Meta Description (150 char., unique) – H1 (unique)/H2 Tags – Optimize Images •  File size for speed •  Image file names •  HTML alt tags
  • 13. SEO Tactics Visualized Meta Title Meta Description Keywords
  • 14. SEO Tactics – On-Page Content •  Google loves freshly updated original content –  Creates more frequent indexing •  Use your content advantage –  Keywords and audience segments
  • 15. Keywords •  Google scans your content for keywords –  Product more important than brand –  Keywords near the front are ranked higher •  Go for long tail keyword phrases –  More specific & less competition •  Research to learn how people refer to your product/topic – it may even inspire you to change it on paper
  • 16. Keyword Research •  Google AdWords Tool •  Why use a PPC (pay per click) Tool? –  It’s free –  Google data •  Learn what people call your product •  Look for High Search, Low Competition •  SEO helps PPC campaign performance –  Consider PPC as complement to SEO
  • 17. Keywords – Long Tail
  • 18. Competition Pay attention to what your competitor is doing! •  What keywords are they using? •  What is their content strategy for their products? •  Can you find a different strategy that doesn’t compete with them for search? •  Are they optimized? If not, can you do it better and compete with their search positions?
  • 19. Mobile SEO
  • 20. Hubspot.com
  • 21. SEO Tools – Research/Evaluation •  SEO Guides –  Google: http://bit.ly/WoKpXA –  SEOmoz: http://mz.cm/YkE8QN •  Keywords –  Google AdWords Tool –  SEMrush – PPC competitive research •  Evaluation –  Google Analytics + Webmaster Tools –  SEOmoz – whole site –  SEO Quake Firefox toolbar plugin – page by page –  Screaming Spider –  HubSpot Website Grader –  Google Site Speed Report
  • 22. Thank You! Andy Swindler @aswindler John Armstrong @johnequatro