Some people may think that SEO is all about magic but it’s not quite the wonderful world of Disney.You may have heard of white hat and black hat and you may have heard of Google’s furry black and white friends Panda and Penguin, but SEO is anything but black and white. I’m going to take a quick look at past search engines, how Google works, some SEO basics and then leave you with 5 things you can start applying to your own site.Feel free to make notes on the handouts and there’s a slightly enhanced version of this that I’ll email around later this afternoon.
So, search engines have been around for a while … who remembers or used any of these?Landscape if now dominated by Google with over 90% share of the UK market.Bing and Yahoo are the other major search engines, but Bing serves Yahoo so effectively one 2 search engines.
Here are some everyday statistics from Google … jump in if you know what the numbers correspond toHow does Google do it?
Program called Googlebot crawls the internet visiting web pages, following links as it goes. Both internal and external links.All that content is then indexed in Google’s servers which are held in 13 data centres dotted around the globe.3 in Europe – Belgium, Finland and Ireland
Each page is then analysed and ranked by Google’s algorithm.Over 200 unique ranking factors, even more for local SEO.How often term appears on the page / does the search term appear in the page title?Panda -> penalises low quality content / duplicated content / scraped contentPenguin -> penalises spammy sites that use keyword stuffing techniques and overuse anchor textFor local -> multiple location pages / location stuffing in the footer
You can optimise for all kinds of different searchesGoogle’s Knowledge Graph for things / images / video / shopping / local, maps / news
SEO makes your website stronger
Do you want your website to get found?Typically 3 ways to get traffic -> 1. Direct – biz card, email signature 2. Referral – social media, 4N website, guest blog 3. Search – PPC, organic – typically 50-70% of total trafficHow competitive is the internet … competing pages
Look for less competitive keywords.Focus on what’s called the long tail rather than head term, ego phrases.Accountant -> payroll bureau -> Bristol payroll bureau serviceLook for other related terms to your main keyword
Take a look at other things people are interested inChocolate donuts -> recipes -> calories and nutrition
Who’s hooked up to Google Analytics?See where your traffic is coming from … social media referrals, guest blog referralsWhat keywords are people using to find you? Are they all using your name?For larger sites you’ll want a sitemap and then submit it to Google through Webmaster Tools
Important on-page ranking signalsKeyword in URL / page title / H1 tag / in contentGoogle can’t read images so you need to tag themPage description is important to convince searchers to click on your link rather than anyone else’s
Once site is all sorted how do you flag down Googlebot … linksUsed to be able to build hundreds of links to directory sites, article sites, leave comments on blogs … no longer as effectiveLinkbuilding now is very much down to good marketing … need to create good content and build strong relationshipsIndustry organisations / Local directories / Suppliers / Friends / Other local businesses / Sponsor local teams, events
Wonderful World of SEO
The Wonderful World of SEOSorry, it’s not quite Disney!
Life before Google … who remembers any of these?1993199419971994Launched in 1998http://www.searchenginehistory.com/
Every day stats:• Over 1 billion searches• 181 countries around the world• 146 different languages• Over 20% of all searches have local intent• 15% of all searches have never been seen beforehttp://www.google.com/competition/howgooglesearchworks.html
Googlebot crawls theweb, indexing the web pages itfinds. This information is thenstored in one of Google’s 13 datacentres dotted around the world.http://www.google.co.uk/about/datacenters/ | http://onvizi.co.uk/resources/understanding-how-google-works/
Google’s algorithm takes over 200 unique signals into accountwhen ranking web pages and delivering search results.The algorithm is constantly tweaked and improved, with around500 changes made each year.
Search results include KnowledgeGraph, news, images, video, timetables, shopping
SEO:Search Engine OptimisationMakes yourwebsite strongerand more visible
Q: Why do you need SEO?A: To make your site visible in the SERP’sSearch Engine Results Page’s142 million pages compete for “accountant”Over 85 million pages targeting “florist”Close to 95 million pages on “website design”“gifts” has 1,090,000,000 competing page resultsSo how do you compete with that?http://www.flickr.com/photos/babasteve/3136370471/
Look for less competitive keywordshttps://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool
5 Actionable SEO Tips for your own website1.Do some keyword research2.Ensure you have both Google Analytics andGoogle Webmaster Tools setup correctly3.Optimise every page and blog post on yourwebsite4.Create good quality, relevant content5.Build strong, social relationships