Google dominates US search market share Source: Analysis by 360i. Based on data from ComscoreqSearch, December 2010.
Top 3 rankings deliver 60-70% of natural search traffic Search Engine Click-through Behavior 89.7% 4.4% 2.1% (results 1-10) (results 11-20) (results 21-30) Remaining pages make up less than 4% of all clicks. Search engine Eye-tracking Behavior studies show users fixate on the “golden triangle” area that encompasses the first three results. Close to 70% of time spent and 80% of clicks on the first page are attributed to this region.
How do I get into the search results? XML Feeds Search Bidding Systems UGC The Web Crawled daily Updated Hourly Updated in Real Time Updated in Real Time NATURAL SEARCH Feeds/XML SITEMAPS PAID SEARCH SOCIAL COMMUNITY
Universal search blends results from multiple search databases into one result set:
Local & Maps
Sites optimized for niche verticals can rank on the first page for competitive searches. Universal search - the evolving search landscape presents additional opportunities for visibility
Universal search thumbnails can induce a fencing effect changing the search paradigm
The fencing effect may impact the click-through rate of natural search rankings that appear just above or below thumbnails.
The new Natural Search Paradigm: The top natural search rankings receiving 60% of click activity will change with the integration of universal search.
Thumbnails create a fence restricting eye scanning below. Thumbnails
Optimize images for search appeal Image optimization combines many SEO tactics to target the niche appeal of Google Image Search. Title & Meta Tags Target keywords including "photos" are used in the title. Image Alt Text Heading Tags Target keywords including "photos" are used in the H1 tag. Keyword copy describes the image for text-based browsers like search spiders. Link Title Text The titleattribute provides supplemental keyword information when thumbnails are linked and/or anchor text is lacking. File Nomenclature Keyword Content Keywords used in the filename provide additional relevancy. Most important for image search, the content directly surrounding the image contains relevant, descriptive keywords. Text Navigation Plain anchor text links ensure all images can be found for indexing.
Keyword Research & Tips
Keywords are the foundation of search Keyword research is the first and most critical component of any paid or natural search campaign. NATURAL SEARCH OPTIMIZATION PAID SEARCH OPTIMIZATION KEYWORD SELECTION Change existing pages based on keywords Find optimal mix of CPC and volume for each keyword Build additional content specifically for keywords Optimize toward client conversion metric per keyword Measure success based on keyword rankings Measure success based on volume, efficiency and conversion
The default settings is the simplest method to discovering new keyword suggestions 1 https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal Enter logical search keyword(s) Per Line 2
The tool generates 150 related keywords based upon the keyword phrases submitted Enter a broad keyword or a list of keywords into the box to get a list of keyword suggestions for web optimization. Click “Get keyword ideas”. Based upon the keywords submitted, the tool will then generate 150 related keywords. You may sort the table by clicking on a column heading.
The tool displays multiple metrics to let users gauge seasonality of certain terms LOCAL SEARCH VOLUME: MONTH The approximate number of users searching on Google and the Search Network from the most recent complete month. This data is specific to your targeted country and language. GLOBAL MONTHLY SEARCH VOLUME: The approximate average monthly number of search queries over a 12 month period from Google and the Search Network.
Select terms with strong search volume, keyword variation, and relevance to the page Choose keywords from the list that are the most relevant to the page being optimized while taking search volume into consideration.
Evaluating an Existing Page’s Keyword Relevance
The tool has the capability to generate keywords depending on URL’s content The “Website content” bullet may also prove to be helpful when trying to find a keyword research starting point. Enter in the URL of the page and indicate whether you would like the tool to follow links on the page for analysis.
The tool will generate keywords based upon the page’s content From the on-page content and meta data, the tool will pull back clusters of semantic keywords. The tool will then make recommendations based upon those keyword clusters. Sometimes the URL submitted does not return useful keyword clusters. This speaks louder about the lack of actual content and meta data on-page.
Advance Keyword Selection Functions
Additional tool features allow you to restrict and expand the keyword suggestions When “Use synonyms” is checked, additional words related to query will be generated below the related keywords list. These additional keywords are a bit more general and less related to the original keyword query. Shape the keyword suggestions by excluding certain keywords or phrases from being researched. When checked, the tool will not generate any related keywords. This is especially useful when you want to decide among a small set of final keywords.
Additional keyword tool features allow users to refine keyword metrics Changing the column display opens up additional metrics for keyword selection. The Match Type will display the search volume based upon the specificity of the keyword search. When “Show all columns” is selected, the tool will display relative monthly search volume.
Search Engine Optimization
Methodologies of search engine optimization work in tandem FeedsOptimization On-site Optimization
Title & Meta Tags
Internal Cross Linking
Off-site Optimization 40%
Social Media Optimization
Inclusion in Universal Search 60%
On-site SEO issues and strategies for success Titles and Meta Tags Image Optimization
Section 508 Compliance
Page Headings Search Query Relevance The relevance of page’s topical focus related to a targeted keyword phrase. Content Optimization
Link Anchor Text Flash Optimization Semantic Markup XML Sitemap URL Structure Search Crawler Visibility The ability for a site or a page to be seen by search crawlers. TechnicalPractices Factors for regulating and improving the efficiency of natural crawls. HTML Sitemap File Nomenclature Breadcrumb Trail 404 Error Handling Main Navigation Site Redirections Footer Navigation Code Externalization Internal Cross Linking CSS & XHTML Validation Robots.txt Implementation
Search Query Relevance
Title & Meta Tags Heading Tags IMPORTANT VITAL Anchor Text & Linking Content & Keyword Density What key factors impact how search engines score search query relevance? VITAL CRITICAL
Title tags are the most important on-site element to influence rankings Secondary Title Tag Primary Title Tag The secondary TITLE tag should include a call-to-action and the brand name as the last element. The primary TITLE tag should include the most relevant and competitive terms first and focus on related high traffic keywords. Optimize TITLE & META tags to incorporate uniquely relevant creative copy and utilize traffic driven keywords research data. 20character limit 50character display limit 70 character target Although engines weigh the entire TITLE tag, they only display the first 66-70 characters. Unoptimized Leisure Travel Discounts, Free Online Games, Food, Entertainment, Activities & Hobbies - Leisure - AARP Optimized
Crafting Titles to be Unique per Page Highest Ranked Page Google Results The Main money page had minimal ranking results previous to implementing new title tags - Preliminary Results- Repurposing title tag has helped ranking results. A day after optimization was implemented we immediately saw results for terms that had completely dropped off results. Terms now ranking include “Retirement” & “401k Retirement Plan”.
Meta description tags help define brand image in search results There are 3 important META tags: Description Keywords Robots <meta keywords=“driver safety, older drivers, at-risk drivers, aarp driver safety program, carfit, we need to talk, aging parents, taking the keys, conversation, caring for parents, driving skills"> META description tags are a page's first impression to a searcher and communicate a customized description of the page's theme and content.
They are factored into relevancy scores by all engines.
Because of their prominent position in the SERPs, they should be carefully crafted to be both engaging and keyword-rich.
META keywords tags are mostly ignored by the major search engines because of their ability to easily manipulate the keyword density of the page.
A global keyword tag is sufficient.
A single keyword should not be repeated more than three times.
Heading tags amplify core page relevancy with semantic markup Highest Topical Priority Broadest Topical Focus Search engines are better able to determine the page's topical relevancy when heading tags correctly outline the flow of content. Heading tags define the hierarchal structure of the page content and are a key component in writing semantically correct and standards-compliant HTML. Heading tags add SEO value by: Giving stronger keyword relevance to tagged phrases. Providing a focus for a given body of text. One H1 tag per page should summarize the entire focus of the page. Good H1 tags answer the question: “What is this page about?” Page headings should incorporate traffic driven keywords. H2-H4 tags should be used for headline content that introduces subsections of the page. The priority of any heading below H4 bears very little weight and does little to gain relevance on-page. H1 – Defines Entire Page H2 – Defines Page Sections H3 – Defines Page Subsections H4 – Defines 3rd Level Sections H5 – Defines 4th Level Sections H6 – Defines 5th Level Sections Lowest Topical Priority Strictest Topical Focus
SEO copywriting: there are no algorithms for wit, irony, humor or stylish writing Be Consistent: Know your target keywords and use them
Search engines don't make strong associations between conceptually similar terms such as "home gardening" and "backyard garden."
Engines do use stemming—"garden" and "gardening" are seen as very similar, if not the same word.
homegardens.com homegardens.com homegardens.com homegardens.com Home gardening… … home garden… … gardens… Home gardening… … home garden… … gardens… Home gardening… … home garden… … gardens… Home gardening… … home garden… … gardens… Be Direct: Say what you mean, but think of search engine as another user
Avoid using too many metaphors, particularly in introductory sentences.
Algorithms don’t know what you mean by "diamond in the rough", they may index your content under "rough diamonds.“
What would you type into a search engine to find your own site? These are the terms to target when writing.
SEO copywriting: there are no algorithms for wit, irony, humor or stylish writing For the Users:
Users are going to read easily accessible information that is short and to the point.
Bullet points are a great way to convey key information, quickly.
Highlight the selling points, as well as what key points for prospective buyers, ie fit, texture, etc
For the Spiders: Say what you mean, but think of search engine as another user
Having a subsidiary text block, that is out of the way of the conversion process will allow for much needed text. (LL Bean and Zappos do a great job)
Subsidiary block will allow for keyword insertion and variety.
Want to add flowery language in your text, this is the best place to do it.
SEO copywriting: there are no algorithms for wit, irony, humor or stylish writing User Generated Content:
Product reviews connect all these dots, for free.
Reinforce keywords, selling points, and colloquial language that users will read.
Give users something to talk about, and a forum to do so, and they will do SEO for you.
Did I mention, Fresh and Real? Users will write how they search. Can you say long tail?
Linking is critical: search engines assign relevance and pass PageRank through linking structures Web site Inbound Links External The Web Inbound links are the major factor in calculating site authority and PageRank. Link analysis for authority and relevance is based on two assumptions:
Off-site links convey human endorsement and are a "vote" of a page's value relating to a specific topic.
Pages co-sited by the same source page are likely related to the same topic.
Internal Cross Links Internal cross linking provides an efficient method for search spiders to discover deeper level pages.
Keyword anchor text that focuses relevancy to the linked page is crucial to linking strategies The Web "www.example.com" "music videos" "celebrity gossip" "click here" "music news" "music" "at example.com" "Lindsay Lohan" "watch here" "Lindsay Lohan videos" Anchor Text “Watch Lindsay Lohan music videos online at www.example.com.” music videos celebrity news celebrity news music videos UnoptimizedAnchor Text Lindsay Lohan videos Lindsay Lohan gossip Lindsay Lohan gossip Lindsay Lohan videos Anchor Text Optimized Internal Cross Linking Optimized anchor text in internal and external links places linking relationships in context and increases relevancy.
On-page best practices in action Keyword-rich Title Text Navigation H1 Heading Tag Keyword Content Body Cross Linking Keyword Cross Links Heading Tag
Search Engine Visibility
Text navigation for menus improves overall site visibility and keyword relevance Visibility: Plain HTML text menu navigation provides an easy path for search engine crawlers to follow and index deeper level URLs. Optimized global and internal menus keep all pages two clicks or less from the homepage. Relevance: Optimized menus also help establish a strong internal linking structure by leveraging keywords in link anchor text and increasing the relevance for linked pages. Text-based Global Navigation Text-based Left Navigation
Site design does not have to be overshadowed search engine optimization efforts CSS CSS Image Replacement HTML CSS image replacement uses a combination of style sheets and ordinary HTML to display a visible image, usually consisting of rendered text, while preserving the underlying text-based, structural HTML markup for search spiders.
HTML Sitemaps improve overall visibility Search spiders may start their crawl of a Web site from any entry point. Sitemaps ensure there is a text link path to all site nodes. Linking the sitemap from the global footer or header allows spiders to efficiently access all portions of the site from any page or entry point. Without a sitemap, spiders must backtrack using the global navigation to the top tier and back down the hierarchy to reach deeper level pages. Full sitemaps allow search spiders to access pages from almost any site tier resulting in a more efficient crawl. Top Tier
XML Sitemaps allow spiders to access pages that may be missed during natural crawls XML Sitemaps are an easy way to automatically inform search engines about all the URLs that are available for crawling on a site. New pages are indexed quicker when spiders have an up-to-date XML Sitemap and don't have to discover new pages by a natural crawl. An XML Sitemap supplements a site's HTML Sitemap and internal link structure so that crawlers can more intelligently crawl the site. An XML Sitemap lists the preferred URL along with additional metadata about each URL: When it was last updated (lastmod) How often it usually changes (changefreq) How important it is, relative to other URLs in the site (priority) An XML Sitemap can be uploaded to search engines or specified in the site's robots.txtand is not linked directly from HTML pages. The XML Sitemap can be automatically generated by a number of software tools and CMS platforms.
How the conversations can help… Let your customers share with their friends Customers do the hard work, and the search engines listen. Social Links are now scored algorithmically Expand the reach of your brand and product Increase call to actions on multiple channels Build Brand loyalty and expand on lifetime value of customers
Technical Best Practices
Keyword-rich filenames & directories have advantages over meaningless character strings Site Architecture should logically segment content into directories named with keywords.
Don't over-categorized content by burying it in very deep directory structures.
Keep pages as close to the site root as possible, but categorize them in directories as appropriate.
File Nomenclature should use keywords that will add value to search relevancy.
Use 2-3 keywords in filenames to increase relevancy for those terms.
Don't repeat terms already used in directory names.
To avoid duplicate content, use standard directory indexes like index.html instead of keyword filenames.
Restrict content and control the crawl of search engine spiders with robots.txt SEO Best Practices suggest the robots exclusion protocol is useful in controlling the indexing of content. The robots.txt file should be located at the root of the Web server and is the first file that is request by a search engine spider. By using a robots.txt file, Web sites can prevent certain pages from being indexed: Pages or portions of a site that are still in development Duplicate content, search results pages and other pages that may dilute the overall relevancy of the site A well-crafted robots.txt file will strategically enforce topical integrity by only allowing certain relevant content to be indexed. Some CMS platforms such as WordPress benefit greatly from "sculpting" the robots.txt file – carving out areas of irrelevant content to not be indexed.
Advanced Technology SolutionsStrategies for Video Optimization
VIDEO OPTIMIZATION SEO BEST PRACTICES TRADITIONAL SEO VIDEO SPECIFIC SEO ON-PAGE SEO
Titles & Meta Tags
Navigation to Videos
Unique URL per Video Player Page
Video Data Feeds
Video Player Pages in HTML Sitemaps
Watermarking Original Content
Video optimization targets standard on-page SEO and a few strategies unique to on-site video
Web Page with Stand-alone Video Player Web Page with All-in-one Video Player Video Title Video Description SWF Video Player SWF Video Player FLV Video File FLV Video File Video Title Video Description Navigation to Additional Videos Navigation to Additional Videos Video Title – Description Link Video Title – Description Link Video Title – Description Link Video Comments Video Comments Video Title – Description Link Does not require SWFObject or Flash alternative content optimization. RequiresSWFObject or Flash alternative content optimization. Flash video players that wrap more than just the video asset require more optimization
Advanced Flash Optimization
Flash-based pages are virtually unseen to search spiders User ViewUsers see the entire Flash site and all pages. Spider ViewSpiders see only the HTML content of the container page. Content available to the spider is so minimal, it has not bothered to return to the site in 2 months. !
Overview of SEO strategies for Flash sites Increased Effort & Benefit
SWFObject alternative HTML layer provides indexable content to search spiders Change the spider's view, add alternative content. EXAMPLE SWFOBJECT CONTENT Dentsu America We believe that consumer are looking for a good conversation. With brands, with companies, with other people who are living the way they are. We believe that big ideas are the seeds of those conversations. And the stronger these seeds are, the more they’ll grow, the further they’ll travel, the longer they’ll live, and the more compelling they’ll be. Our Clients include Toyota, Canon, ExpressJet, NBA and AIG. Our work for TV, print and interactive media includes some of the most innovative advertising campaigns: Toyota’s “Why Not?”, Canon’s REALiS and ExpressJet’s “What are you waiting for?” Our network is the largest advertising brand in the world. Recent News & Press February 4, 2009: Dentsu America – Creating Online Communities for Toyota, Canon and On the Job … REPLACE
Deep linking provides URLs to each “state” of the Flash application.
Flash application states are analogous to individual Web pages.
With a unique URL, each page can then be optimized to focus relevancy for more targeted keywords.
Using deep linking, a virtual site structure can be created replicating a traditional HTML site. 55
Deep linking increases visibility, allows targeting of deeper level page specific content The most relevant “page” of the Flash application is returned for the query: “georgia rule cast.”
SEO Tools:Crawlers:Visual SpyderXenu Link SleuthSEO Specific:SEO MozWeb CEOConductorFirefox:FirebugySlowWeb DeveloperPage InfoFoxy SEO Tool Keywords:Google Insights Google Trends Google AdwordsTechnical:Ping Whois Web Specific: Alexa Compete