The Secrets of SEO


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The Secrets of SEO: What Your Web Guy Won't Tell You.

‘Build it and they will come’ might work for the field of dreams, but it does NOT work for websites. Your website must follow the best practices in SEO to get found online. But SEO is primarily a content strategy. Your web guy may know how to fill in meta tags, but he or she doesn’t know WHAT to put in those critical tags, nor does he know how to write content that will be rewarded by Google.

This presentation explains how to find keywords in the “sweet spot” and other SEO secrets that can bring your website out of the search rankings’ basement and onto the first page.

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The Secrets of SEO

  1. 1. WHAT YOUR WEB GUY WON’T TELL YOU The Secrets of SEO Maria Verven, VERVE
  2. 2. MARIA VERVEN  Entrepreneur and owner of Verve P.R. and Vaping Vamps  25 year career in P.R., former V.P. of Piper Jaffray, FleishmanHillard  Lecturer at the U of MN, Teaches New Rules of Marketing & SEO classes  Passionate about helping small businesses get found online
  3. 3. What is SEO? Doesn’t my web guy do that?
  4. 4. HUB SPOT’S 2013 SEO MYTHS
  5. 5. WHAT HAPPENED? There’s been a massive shift from traditional marketing to Internet or inbound marketing
  6. 6. THE BIG PICTURE 634 million websites 51 million websites added last year 42 million blogs, 60% of businesses have a blog 11 million publish using social networks
  7. 7. OLD SCHOOL MARKETING Yellow Pages Newspaper Advertising Direct Mail Telemarketing INTERNET (INBOUND) MARKETING SEO: Search-Optimized Website PPC & Banner Ads Social Media Content Marketing, “New” P.R.
  8. 8. WHY THE SHIFT? Because it cuts the sales cycle in half – or less
  9. 9. WHAT HAPPENED IN JAN 2012? Google Analytics
  10. 10. WHERE WOULD YOU HANG A PICASSO? Building a website that’s not optimized is like hanging a Picasso in your basement
  11. 11. SEO DEMYSTIFIED SEO = Optimizing websites so they show up higher in the organic search engine results It is not PPC (pay per click) SEM (Search Engine SEO = Search Engine Optimization Marketing) includes both SEO and PPC
  14. 14. SEO: LIKE A BRICK HOUSE The House = SEO on every page The Chimney = Your content strategy (blog, social media, P.R., etc.) The Smoke = Keywordrich content updates
  15. 15. ON-PAGE VS. OFF-PAGE SEO On Page SEO: 1. Pick the best keywords for each page 2. Do everything right so Google “gets” it
  16. 16. KEYWORDS  Words describing the product or service you’re selling  Keywords are usually a string of 3-5 words  You want your site to rank when people search for your keywords
  17. 17. TYPICAL GOOGLE SEARCH Title Tag Domain Meta Description
  18. 18. KEYWORDS MUST MATCH Your Keywords
  19. 19. CHOOSING KEYWORDS Use Keyword Tools  Analyze the Competition  Type keywords into search engine while logged out  Research backlinks to highly ranked sites Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools  See which pages are getting the most traffic
  20. 20. FINDING THE SWEET SPOT Keywords with good search volume The Swe et Spot  Keywords that aren’t overly competitive
  22. 22. THE DEAD GIVE-AWAY Title tag has no keywords
  23. 23. KEYWORD CHART – Welchlin Keyword Traffic Competition
  24. 24. HOW TO BUILD A WEBSITE Build your website from the outside looking in Optimize every page for a different keyword Content, content, content
  25. 25. WHERE TO USE KEYWORDS Title and meta description (Meta tags) Headings and content (On page) Titles and descriptions for images and videos Anchor text (text with a link to your website) Internal and external links
  26. 26. META DESCRIPTION AND TITLE Meta Title  70 characters (about 8-12 words)  Use keywords, avoid filler words (like your business name)  Search engines read L to R. Include keywords first! Meta Description  160 characters  Can be more promotional Create unique meta tags for each page
  27. 27. QUALITY (ACCORDING TO GOOGLE) Original content (250+ words) Consistency and relevancy Images and Videos Correct spelling, proper grammar, proper text formatting Links and social shares from high quality sources
  28. 28. BEST PRACTICES FOR CONTENT 250 words per page Limit keywords to1-2 per page Content should make sense & flow naturally OK to substitute relevant keywords (lawyer for attorney) and variations (speaker/speaking)
  29. 29. IMAGE OPTIMIZATION Use keywords in Alt text to describe photos Good: wedding photographer in Maple Grove.jpg Bad: bride photo.jpg, bride with bouquet.jpg
  30. 30. OFF-PAGE SEO TIPS Build links by creating quality content Update content frequently Do NOT invest in link-building schemes Social search (intersection of social media and SEO) is increasingly important Usability of your site is also increasingly important  High bounce rate and low engagement are red flags
  31. 31. SEO FOR PR Good P.R. is worth tons of link-building efforts Optimize the title, lead and 1st 250 words Free pitch services: PRWeb, Pitch Engine “Deep link” to inside pages Article marketing: 400-500 word articles using keywords , etc.
  32. 32. SOCIAL MEDIA
  33. 33. FINAL TIPS SEO = part art, part science. Your web developer may know the science but not the art of content. SEO = an ongoing strategy. Ranking can take months, so be patient. SEO = part analytics. Look at your web stat’s to see which pages are getting the most traffic.
  34. 34. KEEP IN TOUCH! Maria Verven VERVE