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Introduction to SEO

Introduction to SEO



Slides for my 3 hour lecture on the basics of SEO for the DMI Digital Marketing Bootcamp in February 2011 in Belfast.

Slides for my 3 hour lecture on the basics of SEO for the DMI Digital Marketing Bootcamp in February 2011 in Belfast.



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    Introduction to SEO Introduction to SEO Presentation Transcript

    • Search Engine Optimisation
      A quick & dirty intro guide to playing tag with search engines
      Barry Adams
      Senior Digital Marketer for Search
      Pierce Communications
    • Slide 2
      Barry Adams credentials
      Who is this guy and why is he teaching SEO?
      • Senior Digital Marketer for Search at Pierce Communications
      • Previous:
      • SEO & PPC consultant for the Independent News & Media (Belfast Telegraph, nijobfinder, nicarfinder, Property News)
      • Web Consultant to SMEs in the Netherlands
      • In-house webmaster and digital marketer for Honeywell & Philips
      • Search blogger on State of Search (www.stateofsearch.com) and Search News Central (www.searchnewscentral.com)
      • Prolific twitterer (@badams)
    • Slide 3
      What is SEO?
      Why is SEO important?
      How do you do SEO?
    • Slide 4
      What is SEO?
    • Slide 5
      Search Engine Optimisation
      • Wikipedia: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results.
      • Getting more relevant traffic to websites via search engines' organic results.
      Definition of SEO
    • Slide 6
      Why is SEO important?
    • Slide 7
      Search Engines
    • Slide 8
      UK Search Engine Market Shares
      SE Market Share 2010
      • Google 92.03%
      • Bing 3.17%
      • Yahoo! 2.95%
      • AOL 0.91%
      • Ask 0.85%
      • Other 0.09%.
    • Slide 9
      Some Relevant Statistics
      Worldwide Internet Usage
      • 2 billion users online
      • Dec 2009: 131 billion searches (that’s more than 49,000 searches/second)
      UK Internet Usage
      • 51.4 milion users (82.5% of the population)
      • In April 2010, Google received 4.1 billion search page views in the UK
      • The UK internet economy is worth £100 billion = 7.2% of UK gross domestic product
      Search Engine Usage
      • 89% of all online purchases in the UK begin with a search
      • 92% of all UK Internet users choose Google as their preferred search engine
      • Organic search results receive over 75% of all clicks
      • 91% of users do not look past the first page of search results
    • Slide 10
    • Slide 11
      Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
    • Slide 12
      Organic (natural) Results
    • Slide 13
      Paid Advertising (PPC: Google Adwords)
    • Slide 14
      Google Instant & Google Suggest
    • Slide 15
      Verticals & Search Refinements
    • Slide 16
      Universal Search
    • Slide 17
      News Results
    • Slide 18
      Image Results
    • Slide 19
      Video Results
    • Slide 20
      Local Results (Google Maps)
    • Slide 21
      How do you do SEO?
    • Generic SEO Tools
      Slide 22
      Google Analytics
      Free world-class web analytics
      Know what is happening on your website
      SEO purposes: discover which keywords drive the most traffic & sales
      Will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses
      Rankchecker (Firefox plugin)
      Free tool to check where your website ranks in Google for a given set of keywords
      Not 100% accurate: rankings are fluid (personalised results, local results, etc.)
    • Slide 23
      SEO is about two things:
      • Keywords match a search query to a webpage.
      • Links determine which webpage ranks highest.
    • The SEO process
      Slide 24
      • Find the right keywords to optimise for
      On-Page Optimisation
      • Implement those keywords on the website
      • Make the website search-engine friendly
      • Build links to the website to increase its authority
    • Slide 25
      • Find the right keywords to optimise for.
    • Slide 26
      Keyword Research
      • Start with a basic set of keywords related to the website and the industry it operates in
      • engagement ring, diamond engagement ring, gold engagement ring
      • Use a keyword tool to expand the list and research competitive info
      • wedding ring, wedding band, platinum bands, white gold engagement rings, cheap engagement rings, custom engagement rings, hand-made wedding rings, design your own wedding ring, celtic wedding rings, ...
      • Refine the list to a set of target keywords
      • diamond engagement rings, celtic wedding rings, gold wedding rings, platinum wedding bands, white gold engagement rings
    • Slide 27
      The Long Tail
    • Slide 28
      Keyword Research Tools
      Google Adwords Keyword Tool – http://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
    • Slide 29
      Google Adwords Keyword Tool
      Advanced options: country & language settings
    • Slide 30
      Google Adwords Keyword Tool
      Match Types: Broad / [Exact] / “Phrase”
    • Slide 31
      Keyword Research Tools
      Wordtracker - http://wordtracker.com/
    • Slide 32
      Keyword Research Tools
      Google Trends – google.com/trends
    • Slide 33
      Keyword Research Tools
      Google Suggest
    • Keyword Research
      Slide 34
      Tips and advice:
      • Make sure your target keywords are relevant to the website’s business
      • Go for keywords that you can actually rank for (hint: ‘car insurance’ is probably out of your league)
      • Try to mix generic keywords (‘wedding ring’) with long-tail keywords (‘white gold engagement ring’)
      • Don‘t rely too much on keyword tools, their data isn‘t 100% accurate – use common sense
      • Monitor your SEO results to find out which keywords perform the best, and focus your efforts there
      • Re-do your keyword research for ongoing clients regularly
    • The SEO process
      Slide 35
      On-Page Optimisation
      • Implement those keywords on the website
      • Make the website search-engine friendly
    • On-Page Optimisation
      Slide 36
      • Search Engines rank webpages – not websites
      • Build a page around a theme and stick with it:
      • One page about wedding rings
      • One page about engagement rings
      • One sub-page about white gold engagement rings
      • Don’t stuff a webpage full of keywords – moderation is key
      • Always keep the end user in mind – don’t write for search engines, write for users!
    • Slide 37
      On-Page Optimisation
      Elements to be optimised:
      Title tag
      Meta Description tag
      Headlines and paragraph structure
      Body text
      Image alt attribute
      Internal links
      Sitemap (HTML and XML)
    • On-Page Optimisation
      <title>Digital Marketing Training Courses from the Digital Marketing Institute</title>
      Start with your focus keyword, end with your brand name (you can use separators like – and | )
      Keep it short – 65-70 characters
      Unique title for every page on your website
      Usually shown on SERPs (but not always)
      Slide 38
      Title tag
    • On-Page Optimisation
      <meta name=‘description’ content=‘The Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) provides online marketing training courses on a range of digital marketing throughout Ireland: Dublin, Cork and’>
      Not a ranking factor – but a very important click-through factor
      SERPs only show 150 characters – but no guarantee they’ll actually show your description.
      Try to include the focus keyword once
      Slide 39
      Meta Description tag
    • On-Page Optimisation
      Slide 40
      Headlines and paragraph structure
      <H1> headline
      <H2> subheader
      <H3> subheaders
      <p> paragraphs
      Allows SEs to understand the content and its context
    • On-Page Optimisation
      Slide 41
      Body text
      Write for users, not for search engines
      More content = better for search engines
      Less content = better for users
      Minimum 200 words (rough guideline)
      Include your focus keyword(s) and synonyms
      Write naturally and make it readable
      Don’t stuff it full of keywords
      Find the right balance
    • On-Page Optimisation
      Make images relevant to the content
      Include a relevant alt attribute – preferably containing (part of) the focus keyword
      Can you think of a better alt attribute than the one above?
      Slide 42
      Image alt attribute
      <imgsrc="http://digitalmarketinginstitute.ie/files/2008/11/ireland-map.jpg" alt="Ireland Map with pins">
    • On-Page Optimisation
      Bad URL:http://domain.com/default.aspx?p=43351&s=abx&ref=ps-2301-g&…
      Good URL:http:// domain.com/wedding-rings/platinum-wedding-band.html
      Don’t overdo it – no keyword stuffing
      Use a logical structure that makes sense to humans
      Slide 43
    • On-Page Optimisation
      Link from top to bottom
      Link sideways & diagonally
      Use keywords in the linkWrong:To read more about wedding rings, click here.Right: Read more about wedding rings.
      Use breadcrumb links
      Slide 44
      Internal links
    • On-Page Optimisation
      Slide 45
      Sitemap (HTML and XML)
      HTML Sitemap:
      Webpage listing all (relevant) pages on the website
      Allows users to quickly find the page they’re looking for
      Allows search engines to index all pages on your website
      XML Sitemap:
      XML file containing all webpages on a website that you want to get indexed
      Can also include images and videos
      Gives more information to search engines: update frequency, importance, preferred URL, date of last change.
      Never a replacement for a good indexable website!
    • On-Page Optimisation
      Slide 46
      Lies, Myths, and Disinformation:
      Hidden text (white text on a white background)
      don’t use it, it doesn’t work and may get you penalised.
      Meta Keywords tag
      mostly useless but for completion’s sake you can fill it in.
      Keyword Stuffing
      doesn’t work and may get you penalised.
      Shockwave Flash
      invisible to search engines so don’t use it if you don’t have to
      mostly invisible so be careful when using it
    • On-Page Optimisation Tools
      Slide 47
      XENU Link Sleuth
      Indexes all pages of a website - data is exportable to Excel
      Use to create XML sitemap & diagnose title tags, meta descriptions, internal linking, and indexation issues
      Firebug (Firefox plugin)
      Use to diagnose header tags, image alt attributes
      Google Webmaster Tools
      Representation of how Google sees your website
      Great data!
      Pay attention to the warnings
    • Google Webmaster Tools
      Slide 48
    • The SEO process
      Slide 49
      • Build links to the website to increase its authority
    • Linkbuilding
      Slide 50
      Links determine a page’s authority
      Higher authority = higher ranking on SERPs
      More links = higher authority
      Not all links are equal
      1 valuable link from a high authority website > 100 links from low-quality sites
      Link text is very important
      Branded link: Pierce Communications
      Keyword-rich link: Web Design Belfast
      a website needs both
    • Linkbuilding
      Slide 51
      How to see if a link is valuable or not?
      A measure of how important Google believes the page is
      Not an accurate measure but gives a general idea
      0 = bad, 10 = awesome
      Developed by SEOmoz and a little bit more accurate than PageRank
      Not ‘nofollowed’
      rel=nofollow attribute means a link will not pass any value
      Common Sense
      Spammy websites = low quality link
      Popular site = high quality link
      Relevant site = valuable link
    • Linkbuilding
      Slide 52
      Different types of links:
      Reciprocal links
      Site A links to site B, and site B links back to site A
      Not very valuable – avoid if you can
      Link wheel
      Site A links to site B, site B links to site C, site C links to site A
      Not very valuable and a spam signal – avoid if you can
      One-way link
      Site A links to site B. The end.
      Most valuable type of link – get lots of these!
    • Linkbuilding
      Slide 53
      How to build links?
      Directory Submissions
      Press Releases
      Article Marketing & Guest Blogging
    • How to build links?
      Slide 54
      Directory Submissions
      Online (business) directories such as:
      Best of the Web (botw.org.uk)
      The best directories are usually paid
      Always check if a directory link is valuable
      What is the PageRank of where your link will end up?
      Is that page/category even indexed by Google?
      Is the link nofollowed?
      Usually good for building a base of branded links
      Try to find vertical directories relevant to your industry
    • How to build links?
      Slide 55
      Press Releases
      Great way to build valuable links
      Make sure your press release…:
      Is newsworthy, relevant, and interesting enough to be worth reading
      Contains a link back to your site (preferably with a keyword-rich link text)
      Use professional PR distributors
      PR Web: £40 to £200 per press release
      PR Newswire UK: pricing per article
      BusinessWire: pricing per article
      MyNewsDesk: £0 to £590 per month
      No guarantee it will be picked up by news outlets
      But generally more money spent translates to more & better links
    • How to build links?
      Slide 56
      Article Marketing & Guest Blogging
      Write relevant articles / blog posts (or hire a copywriter)
      Links in article & in author bio
      Article sites:
      Guest blogging:
      Approach blogs & websites directly and offer content
    • How to build links?
      Slide 57
      Linkbait is:
      Content (published on your website) that is so interesting / funny / newsworthy / controversial that people will link to it without having to be asked
      Types of linkbait:
      Great articles with valuable insights
      Breaking news stories
      Top 10 lists
      Spread via social media
      Share on Twitter & Facebook
      Submit to social news sites such as Reddit
    • Linkbuilding Tools
      Slide 58
      SearchStatus Firefox plugin
      Shows a webpage’s PageRank & mozRank and highlights nofollowed links
      SEOmoz Open Site Explorer
      Free version shows you a good overview of links pointing to a site
      Analyse your competitor’s links and see if you can get some of them as well
      Don’t just copy, but let yourself be inspired
      Google Webmaster Tools
      See some of the links that Google actually counts
    • Slide 59
      Barry Adams
    • What’s next?
      Slide 60
      Reading Material & Advanced SEO
    • Reading Material
      Slide 61
      SEO is not static, so keeping up to date is crucial
      Search Engine Land
      State of Search
      Search News Central
      Search Engine Journal
    • Advanced SEO
      Slide 62
      Search Intent
      Informational / Navigational / Transactional queries
      Matching user intent to your SEO goals
      Search Patents & Research Papers
      Insight in to how search engines operate
      Technically challenging so leave the interpretations to the experts!
    • Advanced SEO
      Slide 63
      Information Retrieval (IR)
      A discipline of Computer Science
      IR is what search engines do: retrieve information from the web with the highest possible levels of precision and recall
      Information Architecture (IA)
      Making information accessible to humans
      Websites built using good IA are nearly always SEO-friendly
    • Advanced SEO
      Slide 64
      Microformats / Microdata / RDFa
      Also known as ‘structured data’
      Meta information – information about information
      Next-generation HTML code containing new markup
      Very SEO-proof, makes life for search engines much easier