Search 2012 for small businesses


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PowerPoint Slide set to support Search section of Website. This website aims to take a view of digital marketing from a small business perspective and suggests what is essential rather than desirable and how it can be achieved at minimum cost. Other slidesets on the site also available on Slideshare or viewable on the website

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  • I have been giving this presentation for 3 years now. I laugh when i look at the original version “effective websites for small businesses”Such is the rapid changeCome complete circle on some issuesOnly an Introduction – not a how to!Small Businesses perspective onlyRe engineered it in the light of past comments and made it an overview only. Taken out a lot of detail to get within 1.5 hoursAbout apprcistion “know what you dont know” rather than “how to” education.
  • Ok ive done the scene setting- why this stuff is imortant time to delve into the real stuffWhat does it all mean
  • Google is not neutral. It has a view and you have to understand how it forms a viewDont navigate using the navigation bar as we also assumed back in the 90’sPeople use google as their home page or their browser home page defaults to google e.g Firefox
  • Google is not neutral. It has a view and you have to understand how it forms a viewDont navigate using the navigation bar as we also assumed back in the 90’sPeople use google as their home page or their browser home page defaults to google e.g Firefox
  • Nobel Maths prize
  • Designers desisgn websites for the human eye. You should design websites for the google eye!More than this it has to be a very pure form of HTMLSoftware packages (Dreamweaver,Frontpage, Serif)- produce weak HTMLNeed to write in native HTML to maximise visibilty
  • Bad nieghbourhoods mark you downAvoid link farms and content dupilcators3. JC Penney
  • Search 2012 for small businesses

    1. 1. Search: 2012 for Small Businesses Richard Masters1 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    2. 2. Why is Search Important?  Search is all about looking for something you want. In this context on the Internet.  People search for all kinds of things on the internet amongst the most important are goods and services to buy.  One of the most common reasons for small businesses to have websites, is for their goods and services to be found by people searching for them.  Getting found by easily and readily by search is therefore important for a large number of small2 businesses Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    3. 3. Small Business Search Strategies Search is important for a large proportion of small businesses but not all. It is important to establish if search, and what type of search, is likely to be important before investing resources in it.3 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    4. 4. Types of Search Strategy  The next 2 slides (5&6) presents a flowline for small businesses by type to determine if a search strategy is likely to be important and, if so, what approach is likely to be best.  Two basic types of search strategies are identified: Paid search and Organic search. These are not mutually exclusive but strategies usually favour one or the other.  The subsequent 2 slides (7&8) further distinguishes Organic Strategies, known collectively as SEO strategies, into unpaid approaches (DIY SEO) and commercial Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012 approaches (SEO Services). Also Pot luck
    5. 5. Is Search Important?5 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    6. 6. Types and Importance Type Importance Traditional marketing •Existing and target customers not online •Search unimportant. Directories maybe. Nameplate/ Business card •Tend to be personal branding sites sites •Exact name search used Electronic Brochure sites •Well defined customer base •Small numbers of B2B customers •Complex and high value transactions Paid Search (advertising) •Large and medium sized companies •Commodity/undifferentiated type products •Monetiseable business models and predictable RoI •Simple transactions often high volume Organic search •Small and medium businesses •Differentiable products •Unpredictable RoI6 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    7. 7. Search Strategies7 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    8. 8. Search Strategies Category Characteristics “Pot Luck” •By far the most common approach! •Website design/commissioning: No thought given to search PPC •Links displayed for selected search terms •Payments triggered for every click •Can be effective. Adwords. Display advertising •Contextual Banner adverts placed on selected websites •Pop –up, pop-under or roll over etc. Adsense. •Revenue opportunity for popular websites SEO Services •Third party services provided to improve organic SERPs positioning •Increase in GM covers the cost. Proven RoI •Decreasing effectiveness and popularity DIY SEO •Uncertain RoI makes costs unjustifiable •Incorporate SEO principles into DM strategy and Web8 Richard Masters 2012. design 10/07/2012 •Increasing popularity
    9. 9. Search Engines The core to all search strategies is a basic understanding of search engines. These are particularly important for organic SEO strategies.9 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    10. 10. Introduction to Search Engines  Way back in Web 1.0 times, it was assumed people used their Browsers address bar to navigate the web!  In reality, most people use search engines to find information they require. The traffic to these is the largest traffic category on the internet  Users request information from search engines, increasingly using their own natural language and expressions rather than simple lists of search terms.  The search engine returns a list of information it10 Richard Masters 2012. search. This is known as thinks is relevant to the 10/07/2012 the Search Engine Results Page or SERP for
    11. 11. The Anatomy of a SERP  The returned SERP has paid links at the top and down the right hand side.  The organic search results are listed in the order of relevance as perceived by the search engine concerned Richard Masters 2012.  The nearer the top of11 10/07/2012 the SERP listing you
    12. 12. Search Engine Market: June 2012  Google dominates search on a global basis  Bing is growing in importance especially in the US  Other search engines can be regionally important12 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    13. 13. Google is synonymous with the concept of Search Engines as it dominates the marketplace. It is important to understand how search engines work in general terms as a basis for understanding SEO strategies aimed improving an individual businesses search performance.13 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    14. 14. The power of  Data:  1 Billion searches per day  Circa 90% of search engine traffic  Signposts 40% of all worlds web traffic  Controls 50% of all world ecommerce transactions  Google effectively controls searching the web  If you want to understand how search works you have to understand how Google works14 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    15. 15. Where is coming from?  Mission (2012) is: “to organize the world„s information and make it universally accessible and useful”.  To do this it classifies all of the pages on the web from which it derives a rank for all web sites.  Googles index is index called Page Rank Index(PRI) which summarises it‟s view of the importance of web sites.  As with all classificatory systems it is based on a view of what is important and what it believes users are looking for. Richard Masters 2012.  To understand search and manage how you10/07/2012are
    16. 16. Page Rank Index  Page rank is calculated by an Algorithm:  The “ reducible and transportation matrices of the Google vector”  In Plain English  PRI= Visibility * Relevance * Reputation  You need to maximise each of these to achieve a high scoring  Each is examined in more depth below16 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    17. 17. 1.Visibility  If Google cannot see you it cannot classify you!  Google does not see what you see; it only sees naked HTML!  It cannot see: Flash, Javascript, Images, non-HTML navigation etc.  Google visibility should be a key requirement in any website specification  This is largely a technical issue not a visual design issue.  A key requirement in website design, if search is of17 paramount2012. to design for the “Google Richard Masters importance ,is 10/07/2012 eye” first and foremost.
    18. 18. Google‟s View of a Web Page18 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    19. 19. 2.Relevance  Attempt to measure usefulness to users of the content  It scans page content and deduces key words  It assesses the uniqueness and originality of the content (sometimes called authenticity)  Another key is “citations” which is a measure for reputation:-  Measured by Links and their trustworthiness  It recognises cheats and marks you down and, in some cases, it now penalises you!19 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    20. 20. 3.Reputation  Measured by visitor traffic numbers and the quality of the visitors.  This is, in turn, driven by the quality and originality of your content and credibility of your links  This is further informed by its perceived needs of its clients (searchers)  i.e. what are they looking for ( the proxy being Google searches).20 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    21. 21. The PRI Algorithm evolves  To make the whole business more complex the PRI algorithm is not static but changes over time(see next slide)  The pace has picked up recently with firstly the incorporation of “Social Signals” from social media and..  In 2011 and 2012 it introduced two major updates known as the Panda and Penguin updates (see later for details) which radically changed the ground rules by stressing the importance of content quality and natural links.21 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    22. 22. Google Algorithm Changes  1996-1999: On-page keyword usage + meta data  1999 - 2002: +PageRank -meta data  2002 - 2005: +Anchor text + Domain name  2005 - 2009: +Domain authority + Diversity of linking domains + Topic modelling  2010 :+ Social media stream+ Original content- duplicate content  2011:- Content farms (Panda updates)  2012:- Link Spam (Penguin update)22 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    23. 23. Recent Changes: Good News! 2011 Panda Update 2012 Penguin Update23 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    24. 24. Panda and Penguin Updates  Since 2010 Google have made fundamental changes to its search algorithms know collectively as the Panda and Penguin updates  The net result of these updates have been to increase the importance of original content and natural links and to decease some of the so called “black hat” techniques adopted by some commercial SEO suppliers  These are of fundamental importance to SME‟s because they largely remove the need to employ specialist SEO services to get listed in search and explains the recent rise in DIY SEO.24 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    25. 25. Recent Matt Cutts (Google) quotes “Even if you do brain-dead stupid things and shoot yourself in the foot, but have good content, we (Google) still want to return it," says Cutts. In fact, Cutts says that Google tries to make it so that sites "dont have to do SEO." “We are trying to level the playing field a bit.... All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over- optimization or overly SEO – versus those making great content and great site. We are trying to make Google Bot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect” conten.php>25 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    26. 26. 26 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    27. 27. Search Engine Optimisation SEO is the process of getting your site listed favourably in SERP listings. It is useful basics to understand the basics, whether writing a specification to evaluate potential suppliers aginst, or defining the objectives of your own DIY strategy.27 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    28. 28. Search Engine Optimisation “SEO”  SEO can be defined as: “SEO is the process of increasing the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high- ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP). The higher a website ranks in the results of a search, the greater the chance that that site will be visited by a user.” Wikipedia 2012  Therefore in order to maximise visitors (potential customers) to it‟s website a business must apply the basic principles of28 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012 SEO.
    29. 29. Types of SEO Activities A useful working classification of SEO activities is to divide them into “On page” and “Off page” activities. These can be defined as follows: On Page On-page SEO encompasses all the techniques used in the overall design and development of a website to make the website transparent and easily indexed by Internet search engines. Off Page Off-page SEO encompasses the many techniques used for creating inbound links to a website page to increase the perceived popularity of the pages with regard to search engine algorithms. Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    30. 30. On Page SEO  Keywords and their usage  Meta data ( title tags, meta tags, descriptions, site maps etc.)  Heading Structures  Domain name and URL structure  Navigation (simple and self evident)  Image labels (image “alt text”)  Content (quantity, variety and freshness)30 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    31. 31. Off Page SEO  Inbound links ( numbers, authority, anchor text)  Social Integration  Email integration Fortunately there are some excellent basic free guides available which provide advice on both on-page and off-page SEO! See SEO Resources Paper for detailed information and free guides on the next slide.31 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    32. 32. More Information  Most important thing is that basic SEO is not rocket science and recent changes have made it even easier ( see below)  Good starting point is these two downloadable free guides: ebook/intro-to-seo engine-optimization-start32 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    33. 33. Essentials for getting SEO right Clearly for search to be successful marketing strategy there are a large number of factors that are important and the devil is, indeed, in the detail. However, it is possible to suggest three things that must be got right to be successful.33 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    34. 34. Three fundamental things to get right 1. Metadata 2. Content 3. Social Integration These are all covered in more detail below34 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    35. 35. 1. Metadata  This is one of the key on page elements. Simple to get right but often missed!( see Resources Paper)  It is amazing how many websites completely ignore Metadata.  For existing sites this can be checked easily using either: -Browser extensions/add-ons (such as the SEOmoz toolbar) -Hubspots‟ Marketing Grader tool  For new sites, plan to get these elements right35 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012 from the start and plan your site around them.
    36. 36. 2. Content  The last section discussed the importance of a “Content Rich Website” in the context of the need to create dynamic websites where fresh content can be continually added  High quality, fresh and relevant content is vital to any organic search based strategy. That is why the section on websites above, stressed the importance of CMS and Website Builders in generating user content. Static websites simply do not hack organic search.  In fact, having a content strategy is of such importance, the next section is totally dedicated to the role of content and strategies to36 develop it. Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    37. 37. 3.Social Integration  The increased importance of Social Signals in the Google search algorithm was outlined above. Every indication is that this will increase in importance in the future!  The previous section on “websites” also emphasised the view of a website as a “hub” or the centre of a content “ecosystem” with links to content generated on Social Media sites.  As well as helping with the PRI of a site they also drive traffic directly via links and referrals looks at  As with content a whole subsequent section Social Media and it’s key role in Digital37 Marketing. Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    38. 38. Using External Resources As with all aspects of Digital Marketing there are significant resource costs involved. Recent changes to the search algorithms have made the chances of DIY SEO much more likely to succeed. However, using external resources is still a viable option under some circumstances.38 Richard Masters 2012. 10/07/2012
    39. 39. Using External SEO Resources  Huge oversupply in the marketplace! Some good but some very suspect. So choose carefully.  Two options: Outsource the work as whole to an Agency or take on freelancers and mange them yourself.  Small business SEO is very different from Big Brand SEO. Check experience and references.  Acid test is will agency guarantee increased GM to cover costs or work on a pay for results basis.  Don‟t assume your web company can will, or can do it!39  Write a clear specification and always go to 10/07/2012 Richard Masters 2012.
    40. 40. Further Downloadable Resources Document Title View/Download from Google: Resources Document SEO: Resources Document External Suppliers: Resources Document Content: Resources Document Not yet available Social Media Integration: Resources Document Not yet available Are Web Design and SEO companies reaching the end of their lifecycle?40 Richard Masters 10/07/2012
    41. 41. More/Contact Email: Website: Linked In: limited Facebook: Masters/170520949660575 Twitter: @mastersassoc G+: Richard Masters 10/07/2012