SEO workshop for small businesses

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This was a workshop delivered by Fourth Day PR to give a basic overview of SEO for a group of independent businesses in Stockport. …

This was a workshop delivered by Fourth Day PR to give a basic overview of SEO for a group of independent businesses in Stockport.
This idea was for them to understand the basics of how to get their own websites appearing in search engines for relevant searches.

More in: Marketing , Technology , Design
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  • 1. SEO basics workshop for a group of small independent businesses
  • 2. Intro: what is SEO? Search engine optimisation is the process of having your website found by relevant searches in search engines. Ensuring potential customers can find your business online Getting conversions and ROI from your website. Not just focussed on just getting to number one on Google and getting irrelevant traffic.
  • 3. Background: research Before you get started, do a little research. How do people find your website? What words or phrases do they search for to find services/ products like yours? Remember: it may not be what you assume they search for. Tools:Google’s keyword planner is now in Adwords, so you must set up an account to access this.
  • 4. Background: competitor research It’s very useful to see how your competitors are ranking and what activity they are doing. Search for your/ their key words and key terms and see where they rank in various search engines. Have a look at their meta data to find out which key words/ phrases they want to rank for. Find out which social media channels they use and do they have an active blog? What backlinks do they have? (to be explained later!)
  • 5. Background: set some objectives Like any project, you need to set objectives and keep track of your processes in order to analyse your progress. SEO work is not a set process and varies from site to site. It is a good idea to track what you do and how it affects your rankings. Initially, decide on just a few keywords to rank for and see how you go.
  • 6. On-site work: meta data Meta data sits in the back end of your website and it tells search engines what you do and who you are. This is one of the most important things to get right because it has to match up to all the other pieces of information that you provide for search engines as well as your on-page copy.
  • 7. On-site work: meta data Click view >> developer >> view source (in Chrome)
  • 8. On-site work: meta data Here is a close-up of our meta-data
  • 9. On-site work: meta data Meta tag: Who you are and what you do in 66 characters Description tag: A well-written sentence encapsulating who you are and what you do in 160 characters Keywords tag: List of main keywords. It is agreed that Google no longer uses these. However you can put these in if you like. NB. Characters includes blank spaces as well as letters.
  • 10. On-site work: on-page copy On-page copy is the text on your web pages. This is read by search engines BUT also what your customers read. So it must be well-written, clear and informative. Put your keywords and phrases near the top of the text. This should happen naturally anyway. If a search engine can’t understand what you do then your customers won’t either!
  • 11. On-site work: optimise images Search engines cannot see photos so use metadata to tell them what the image is of Make sure all images uploaded to the website are labelled correctly with meta data filled in. Eg. Fourth Day PR logo file: WRONG: Image_1005_2013_10_15.png RIGHT: Fourth_Day_PR_agency.png
  • 12. Off-site work: Google/ Bing Tell them your website exists! Submit your URL to: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submiturl?hl=en_uk&pli=1 http://www.bing.com/toolbox/submit-site-url
  • 13. Off-site work: Webmaster tools Enables you to register your website with the search engine Submit a site map to search engine to help it crawl your content It will tell you if they find any errors: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home ?hl=en http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster
  • 14. Off-site work: Google Maps/ Places Make sure you have an entry on Google Maps – now called Google Places for Business. This is useful for both customers and search engines to authenticate and locate your business. Submit a new entry: http://www.google.co.uk/business/placesforbusiness/ Validate your entry by requesting a postcard or a phone call. Fill out all data fields including key words/ phrases and add all contact details and website.
  • 15. Off-site work: Google+ business page Now with your Google map entry, you will automatically get a Google+ page. Google+ is a social media network and it is widely believed to have influencing factors for SEO (not surprising as it’s owned by Google!). You can add people to your ‘circles’ and post links, messages, images and other information via your page.
  • 16. Link-building Inbound links/ backlinks are links to your website or web pages from another website. You may have heard of dodgy link building but what is it? Search engines, Google in particular, historically gave preference to websites with the most links. This led to various practices for creating inbound links, such as link farms. These have now been penalised in recent updates.
  • 17. Link-building So how do I know what to avoid now? Easy! Search is all about creating the best user experience. Don’t link from a website that looks like a spammy website, that isn’t genuine or that you wouldn’t happily show your customers. You should focus on getting quality links with relevant and useful information.
  • 18. Link-building Find out what backlinks you have already OR see what backlinks your competitors have. www.opensiteexplorer.org You can see a small amount of information with this tool without having to pay.
  • 19. Link-building: directories Directories are a good way to create inbound links, but also have extra value as customers may search them. BOTW.org.uk (£) Yell.com Dir.yahoo.com (£) Yelp.co.uk Fourheatons.co.uk Thomsonlocal.com Every industry has its own directories, trade bodies and associations, which you can list your business and website on.
  • 20. Link-building: directories Make sure copy is well-written and includes all key information and your key phrases. Ensure key phrases are written naturally into the copy so it reads well for consumers. If there’s an option to upload a photo/ logo then do it. Fill out all fields/ complete the listing. Don’t forget to amend it if you change location, branding etc.
  • 21. Link-building: content outreach Content outreach is the process of trying to build a relationship with another blog, website or publication so they will publish content about you and include a link. This is a big part of what we do in PR. We write thought-leadership articles and guest blog posts on behalf of our clients and place them within relevant magazines. We also try to negotiate inbound links.
  • 22. Content creation Search is all about creating good content and a good user experience. But what does this mean? Businesses that create content online have a chance to prove they are experts in their field. If they are actively doing this, it’s a good indicator to a search engine to rank them higher than competitors. 22
  • 23. Content creation What type of content can I create? Blog posts: news, how-to guides, industry comment Infographics: facts and figures brought to life Videos: interviews, clips of trade shows, stopmotion Podcasts: mini-radio shows 23
  • 24. Social media Why is this important? Communication tool direct to your customers Raising brand awareness and brand messages Social media use and shares are a signal to search engines that your business is active and trustworthy. Contributes to your link-building, reputationbuilding and authority-building processes.
  • 25. Social media tips Find the channels that are most relevant / used by your audience. Fill out profiles with all details, key phrases and links to your website. Choose one or two channels and do them well – rather than trying to do everything and doing it badly. Make sure your strategy and objectives link back to brand messages and marketing strategy. They are not sales channels, so messages have to be subtle. Provide interesting content to your followers – from your own blog as well as third party content.
  • 26. Conclusions SEO should be part of your wider communications and marketing plans. Make sure all messages are aligned across any marketing channel, both offline and online. Strive to be the best in your industry and let that show in your online activity. See search engines as a major customer. They want to know that your business is trustworthy, genuine and an authority in your industry. 26
  • 27. ANY QUESTIONS? For more information please contact: Nikki Scrivener / Carolyn Hughes nikki@fourthday.co.uk/ carolyn@fourthday.co.uk 020 7403 4411 www.fourthday.co.uk Want to find out more? Book us for a one-to-one session! 27