How To Build Long Term SEO Strategy


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Marqui Web Marketing Consultant Dan Biggs discusses strategy and tools for building a solid, long-term SEO strategy.

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  • WHAT IS SEO?SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the art of generating traffic to your website by making your site’s pages easily found and indexed by search engines. The goal is generating free traffic for your site by getting favourable positioning in the “organic” search results on search engines.. those that are not paid for.
  • The Search Engine WorldWhy I focus on Google and Bing – Google’s market share, what works for Google is good for others, Bing’s algo is similar. Why not focus on Yahoo? Because as of August 2010, all of Yahoo!s organic results come from Bing anyway.There are indications that Facebook may enter the market quite aggressively soon, but they don’t show up right now.
  • A bit about organic search results, why they’re importantHigher credibility because they’re not sponsoredNoticed more on Bing and Google, search users are getting more savvy about adsHigher ROI, but hard to predict results accurately
  • What do we mean by “long term SEO”? This means I won’t be telling you any tricks or quick fixes. White hat or “Long Term” SEOHaving a consistent, long-term strategy backed by good content, considerate reciprocal linking (spreading “link love”) and a well built, engaging site.At the most basic level, it’s making good web content a priority for your business and investing in some basic code changes to your site to make it as easy as possible for Google and Bing to find that content. “Short Term” or Black hat SEOChances are you’ve received email from companies that guarantee high rankings on Google for what seems to be a small amount of money. Google has clearly stated their policy regarding these types of companies – and that’s if you use them, your site could be banned from Google altogether.Black hat SEO is responsible for most “webspam” and why it is polluting the web – falsely representing companies as an authority for popular keyterms. Black hat SEO tactics will continue to be targeted by search engines for removal, and the more sophisticated search engines get at detecting it, the more sites get blacklisted.
  • I thought I’d suggest some steps that you can take towards putting a long-term SEO program together with the next group of slides here…
  • Sites that put out great content will always be rewarded in the long run.Why?Because search engines pay more attention to sites that they see are constantly updated.More people will link to great content than to boring stuff. Other websites linking to your site is the best way to get better rankings on search engines.Also, Bing and Google will be both adding social search weighting to their search engines, so the more people “like” or tweet about your site’s pages, the higher they’re going to rank. Having a good content strategy is very important I recommend this book if anyone is interested in learning more about it. I’ll provide the link at the end of the webinar. Make sure sites link to you. Explanation of pagerank, linking, incoming links.  Finding your niche: What is KEI and why is it important in finding a good niche?Deciding what search engines to target. Directories and their impact on rankings. Some demographic info.Blogging – scheduling blog topics, opportunistic blogging based on current eventsBlogs, content pages, social media, FAQs, product pages, preferred content, sitemapsExporting sitemaps to Google and Bing
  • The key element of a long-term SEO program is having people consistently working on it.What skillsets do staff need to able to implement your SEO program?Knows the business Knows the industryCan communicate brand valuesAble to write in constraints of SEO best practiceSome technical proficiencyThere are also freelance copywriters and technical writers that can provide the same service. If you have a writer that can’t be trained in SEO, there are online services such as that will optimize your site’s content for you.
  • Content management system(not just saying that because Marqui is a content management software vendor!)A CMS is essential to running a long-term SEO program because it saves huge amounts of time in publishing content and ensures a more consistent site structure. They also allow you to makeGoogle webmaster tools, screenshot, URLBing webmaster tools tools let you see how search engine spider software like Googlebot, Bingbot are viewing your site. WebCEO or online alternative screenshot, what it can do, how it speeds things up, access to algorithm (sort of) Finding niche markets to go after, the long tail, doing competitor analysis, page structure and content analysis. Using Google AdWords’ free tools to estimate search traffic and competition, a simple formula to calculate a KEI
  • In the next slides I’ll be going through some of the elements of SEO and giving an overview of some of the areas you should be looking at. The major search engines provide information about what they look for in a website and how they rank them. That said, the search indexing algorithms of search engines are complex and secret, so pretty much all that we know that will give us an edge is from the leaked information or as a result of trial and error.Because of this, there are a vast number of different ways we can optimize websites for search engines. I’ve broken this into 3 parts for the purposes of this presentation.
  • Title: An essential thing to get right – this helps the search engine determine what the page contains. Google and Bing treat these slightly differently but as a rule, you should put the keyterms close to the start of the title wherever possible.A Note about Meta keyword and Meta descriptionBack in the day, these were the two central elements to SEO, but web spammers, keyword stuffers and black hat SEO bandits have considerably degraded the usefulness of them. Quite a few voices in the industry are saying that these are almost completely ignored by search engines. This is quite true for Google. It is good practice to get these right though, for the sake of Bing and other search engines.Meta Keywords: it’s difficult to know what difference they make, if any, but we should always go after any chance to improve the relevance for keywords on the page.Meta Description: a unique description for each page on the website is good practice. It should be no more than 125 characters long, with spaces. Something simple and concise is more likely to get included in the search engine results. These days the description is more likely to be used as a caption than the text snippet – which usually comes directly from the page content.Links: Anchors, headings, subheadings, content, content blocksKeyword densityImages
  • HTML/XHTML validation, clean codeExplain semantic code?Document Type Declaration (DOCTYPE, DTD), XHTML is stricter and cleaner that HTML.
  • Site structure, outgoing links, sitemaps. Be in a good position before you start, if you don’t have the foundation then you all of your efforts might be in vainURL formation – SEO friendly URLsOutgoing linksHTML and XML Sitemaps
  • Why image tagging mattersRedirects, www or no www, trailing slashes or not, moving to a new site, using permanent 301 server side redirectsRobots.txtWhat it’s for, why it’s importantFAQsThere is a growing trend towards “natural question-guided” search
  • Submitting to directoriesWebmaster tools, submitting xml sitemaps (how Marqui easily generates an xml sitemap)Google hates duplicate content on-site and off-site. If people are stealing your content, you can find out via Copyscape Plagiarism Checker and press releases via http://churnalism.comOriginal, fresh, interesting, optimized content.Incoming social media links, they matter a little bit and are weighted on the authority of users who post links on TwitterPress releasesRemoving URLs from Google
  • Paid search (Microsoft AdCenter and Google AdWords)URL purchasingWeb hosting, page load speedGeolocation of hosting
  •  Tips on attracting incoming linksTreat blog and site like a hub, encourage syndication to get as many impressions as you can.Clean up your incoming links and include link title attributes in all your incoming links <a href="" title=” Search Engine Optimization”>Search Engine Optimization</a> Consistent link building is highly important Use online tools like to distribute press releases containing links to your site. Contacting site owners, etiquette, some tips on effectively contacting peopleThe NoFollow links – is there such a thing as DoFollow links and publishing content to external sites to bait links  Finding your backlinks, reciprocal links, crosslinks (inside content) Don’t buy links! You get punished.
  • Analytics system like Google Analytics or Adobe/OmnitureSitecatalystURL shortening services offering tracking –’s Open Site Explorer
  • Google “Panda” algorithmGoogle algorithm change 2011 “Farmer” or “Panda” algorithm, being rolled out in March and April – What are content farms and what are article directories? There is a definite crackdown on content farms that produce large amounts of highly search-optimized content, and also sites that “scrape” or copy articles and mash up content from multiple sites to aggregate them all together.The industry buzz has been that this update has had negative effects on search result quality, and we are starting to see some reports from various places suggesting that Google’s market share is flat and slowly losing to Bing. Duplicate content being punished?One development could indicate that Google will start to penalize sites that have duplicate content published on the web: a UK based price comparison site backed by Microsoft, lost 94% of their presence in search results on Google as a result of the update. The suspected reason for this is that the site aggregates product reviews from other sites and posts that content.Curated searchFacebook curated search, Google’s +1 button, Bing’s Facebook socially enhanced results (social search with Bing)BingThe search engine market share according to comScore as of April puts Google at 65.7% and Microsoft’s Bing at 29.6%.
  • R Q & A - need a few planted questionsContent management system – any recommendations?You mentioned keyword niche – can you go into more detail with that? I see in my blogging tools that I get notice about pingbacks and trackbacks – should I approve them? Do they matter? Does Google count reposting PR articles as duplicate content? Any tips on training staff on SEO? (lots of super valuable, free resources on Google and Bing’s webmaster tools help documents, if you’re into books The Art of SEO by Eric Engeis great for fundimentals but SEO changes so much so fast, that online is usually the best resource. forum is the best resource as far as I’m concerned. )
  • How To Build Long Term SEO Strategy

    1. 1. 4/20/2011<br /><br />Webinar: How to Build a Long Term SEO Strategy<br />April 21, 2011<br />
    2. 2. GoToWebinarControls<br />Click the button with the arrows to minimize your GoToWebinar controls<br /><ul><li>Type your questions for us into the box at the bottom and press Send</li></li></ul><li>Agenda<br />What is SEO?<br />The World of Search Engines<br />Long-term vs. Short-term SEO<br />Setting up a Long-term SEO Program<br />On-page SEO<br />On-site SEO<br />Off-site SEO<br />Measuring Success<br />Future Trends<br />
    3. 3. What is SEO?<br />SEO = Search Engine Optimization<br />Getting “free” traffic through organic search results<br />Making your site easy to index by search engines<br />4/20/2011<br /><br />4<br />
    4. 4. The Search Engine World<br />Google has been the market leader for the past 10 years<br />Bing & Yahoo! now represent nearly 30% of market<br />Google is still as important as ever, Bing is gaining on them, Facebook may aggressively enter the market soon<br />
    5. 5. More People Notice Organic Search Results<br />The importance of search engine ranking positions<br />Organic results are noticed more<br />Higher return on investment from SEO but..<br />Lower predictability of results<br />Source: User Centric, “Eye Tracking Study”, Jan 27, 2011 via<br />
    6. 6. Long-term vs. Short-term SEO<br />What is “Long Term” SEO? <br />What is “Short Term” SEO?<br />4/20/2011<br /><br />7<br />
    7. 7. Setting up a Long-term SEO Program<br />4/20/2011<br /><br />8<br />Get a Strategy<br />Staff Resources<br />Get the Tools<br />
    8. 8. Step 1: Strategy<br />Get a Strategy<br />Content (Get this book!)<br />Incoming, outgoing links<br />Keyword niche<br />Which search engines to target?<br />Blogging<br />Social media<br />FAQs<br />Content pages<br />Preferred content<br />4/20/2011<br /><br />9<br />
    9. 9. Step 2: Staff Resources<br />Coach your in-house staff to build on your website’s SEO<br />Commit staff resources to write content, blog, or create new pages<br />Knows your business<br />Knows your industry and competitors<br />Can communicate brand values<br />Able to write link-worthy content!<br />Some understanding of the web<br />External Resources<br />Freelance copywriters<br />ScribeSEO (I’ll provide the URL at the end of the webinar)<br />4/20/2011<br /><br />10<br />
    10. 10. Step 3: Get the Tools<br />Content management system<br />Google & Bing Webmaster Tools<br />WebCEO<br /> Open Site Explorer<br />CopyScape<br />Google Analytics or <br /> Adobe/OmnitureSiteCatalyst<br />
    11. 11. Elements of SEO<br /><ul><li>Algorithm is complex and secret
    12. 12. Vast number of ways to positively affect SEO
    13. 13. On-page SEO
    14. 14. On-site SEO
    15. 15. Off-site SEO</li></li></ul><li>On-page SEO<br />Title<br />Meta keywords<br />Meta description<br />Keyword density<br />Images<br />Text content: Links, anchors, headings, subheadings, paragraphs<br />
    16. 16. On-site SEO<br />Nice clean code!<br />
    17. 17. On-site SEO<br />Navigation structure<br />URL structure<br />Outgoing links<br />XML sitemap<br />HTML sitemap<br />
    18. 18. On-site SEO<br />Image tagging<br />FAQs<br />Robots.txt<br />Redirection methods<br />Internal links or crosslinking<br />
    19. 19. Off-site SEO<br />Directory submission (Yahoo!, DMOZ, Yellow Pages)<br />Google and Bing Webmaster Tools<br />Watch out for plagiarism<br />Lots of original, fresh, interesting content<br />
    20. 20. Off-site SEO<br />Paid search support for SEO<br />URL purchasing<br />Web hosting, page speed<br />Geolocation of hosting<br />Press releases<br />
    21. 21. Get More Incoming Links<br />Encourage sharing and syndication through RSS and social media, social bookmarking<br />Use Webmaster Tools to see who links to you<br />Clean up your incoming links, add title attributes<br /><a href=“” title=“ Search Engine Optimization”>Search Engine Optimization</a> <br />Contact site owners to set up reciprocal links<br />Use online tools like to distribute press releases<br />Don’t buy incoming links.<br />
    22. 22. Measuring Success<br />Analytics system<br />URL shortening services<br />Benchmarking reports<br />SEOMoz’s Open Site Explorer<br />
    23. 23. Future Trends in SEO<br />Google “Panda” Algorithm change<br />Is duplicate content being punished?<br />Curated/social search<br />Bing<br />
    24. 24. Summary<br />No credible company with long-term business goals should consider short term SEO gains with black hat tactics, the risks are too high.<br />Like everything on the web, content is king<br />Contributing staff resources to ongoing SEO program is essential<br />Don’t forget Bing!<br />
    25. 25. Q + A<br />Dan Biggs, Web Marketing Consultant<br /><br />Feedback? Questions? <br />Connect directly or DM us on Twitter at<br />
    26. 26. Links<br />Marqui Content Management<br />Scribe SEO<br />WebCEO<br />Book: Erin Kissane - The Elements of Content Strategy<br />Google Webmaster Tools<br /> tools<br />Google Analytics<br />Bing Webmaster Tools<br />CopyscapePlagiarism Detector<br />Churnalism<br />