SEO Presentation - The 42nd Estate - BRA - City of Boston

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  • Hello. Today we'll be talking about a popular topic on the web, how to drive traffic to your website. Contrary to popular belief, getting eyeballs to your site is not overtly complicated or difficult. Getting the right kind of traffic to your site, however, does require hard work, patience, and knowledge. Today's presentation will cover Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of tuning a website to have it pull quality traffic via search engines. When done properly, it can be a great source of potential customers.
  • The practice of SEO is often misinterpreted. SEO can overlap with many other fields, such as web design, copywriting, social media and traditional promotional avenues such as press releases and media coverage.
  • Keyword spamming Google is smart, they can figure out when you are jamming keywords in just to rank well. Organic copy works best. Buying Ads Adsense is not SEO, buying Ads will not affect your SEO. Black Hat Magic If your SEO can't tell you what they're doing, run for the hills! Guaranteed #1 ranking!!! Ranking #1 for irrelevant/infrequently used keywords does not help. Tricks – Google is smart and will catch on. Ponzi Scheme – Link exchange doesn't help (a lot).
  • Quality Content Quality content is well-written (minimum fluff), well formatted (headings, bold, italics, lists, for easy scanning), and useful. Digital Networking Make friends with bloggers/webmasters in your niche. Connect with your customers. Know your competitors. Optimizing Code Speed kills. If Googlebot struggles crawling your site, it's less likely to come back/rank your site well. Good structure informs your readers and Googlebot. Empowering Fans Enable & encourage your fans to promote you. Social buttons, giveaways, quality customer service.
  • Figure out your business goals. These can be a mix of goals or just one goal. Then, determine the audience for your business. Then, create content that appeals to that audience and ties into your business goals. Finally, ensure your content is being picked up by search engines. For instance, your goal is to become the go-to restaurant destination in Boston. Your audience is everyone, but you should target the influencers, foodies, magazines/bloggers, reviewers, Yelpers, young adults. Business community etc. Produce content that shows why people should come to your restaurant Is it the food? Show videos of patrons enjoying the food, have chefs write blogs about their process, ingredients, meals.
  • The goal of your site will affect the SEO strategy. If your goal is to push people to a physical location, you want to target and optimize for that location. If you're selling a product/service, you want to optimize for that product/service.
  • Quality content is easy to digest and has a minimum of filler material. Web readers are notorious for quickly scanning any new page they browse to. The majority of visitors to your site WILL NOT read every word on that page. You must emphasize the important parts of your content to ensure readers are able to digest the most critical parts of your content.
  • Photos entice your readers into the article. Charts and photos can help provide information to visitors quickly. Headings and sub-headings are crucial to human readers and search engine robots. They provide a structure to your content, allowing visitors to quickly determine the content. Bold and italicized words stick out and provide search robots a hint on important words. Use web safe fonts. Helvetica, Arial, Times New Roman, Georgia, Courier, Cambria, Verdana White space allows your content to breathe and makes it easier to read. Focuses readers on your content. Lists are easy to scan and very popular on the web. 4-600 words is a good goal to aim for.
  • Avoid tables for layout purposes. Tables add to the size of your code and pushes the actual content down in the code. Flash is slow and extremely tough to crawl. Use caching (wp-super-cache) to save server resources and ensure your site stays speedy. Meta tags – next slide.
  • The more people you know who also have websites, the bigger your online network and higher potential for quality links and cross-promotion. Google is rumored to scan through gmail emails and analyze links being sent around and give a rankings boost to highly emailed links. RSS feeds allow readers to receive updates from your blog as they happen. Social Media is a great way to find and connect with your fans. Instant Messaging allows you to instantly and semi-discreetly communicate with your online network. Blogs are a great resource. Write comments and offer to guest post. Message boards – popular ones carry lots of rank.
  • What does this mean? It ties very closely into usability. Usability is the practice of making your web-site easy to use by as many people as possible. Google and other search engines attempt to mimic human behavior as much as possible. Their goal is to provide humans the most useful and relevant information possible. Thus, search engine robots attempt to mimic humans. But the search engine robots cannot see, nor hear. This means you must help search engines (and disabled humans) use your site. Use text and describe any photo/video content in text.

Transcript

  • 1. Search Engine Optimization: How To Get Targeted Traffic Via Search Engines By Adam Pieniazek – Cofounder – The 42 nd Estate
    • Presentation Outline:
    • What is SEO?
    • Create a Website in 5 Minutes
    • Content Is King
    • Optimizing Code for Speed & Structure
    • Digital Networking for Link Building
    • Empowering Your Fans/Customers
  • 2. What is SEO?
  • 3. SEO Is NOT
    • Keyword Spamming
    • Buying Ads (Adsense)
    • Black hat Magic
    • Guaranteed #1 ranking!!!
    • Tricking Search Engines
    • A Digital Ponzi Scheme
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jepoirrier/2046188221/
  • 4. SEO IS
    • Producing quality content
    • Quality Link Building
    • Optimizing code for speed and structure
    • Internal Navigation
    • Digital Networking
    • Empowering your fans
    • Usability
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/palomagomezg/3431433137/
  • 5. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattsearles/2703757588/
  • 6. Business Objectives
    • Is your website the destination or a guide?
      • Sell products/services?
      • Educate readers?
      • Promote a physical event/store?
      • Generate Ad Revenue?
  • 7. Create a Website in 5 Minutes
    • Use Wordpress.org
    • 5 Minute Installation
    • Easy to use
    • Free!
    • SEO Friendly
    • Huge Community
    • Lots of Plugins & Themes
    • Matt Cutts Approved
    • http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/seo-for-bloggers/
  • 8. Picking a Domain Name
    • Use .com, DO NOT use .net, .org, .me etc.
    • Use relevant keywords
      • Good: wintercoats.com
      • Bad: stuffforlowdegreetime.net
      • Worst: things-123.us
    • Use Google Keywords Tool: http://bit.ly/kwdtool
  • 9. Google Analytics
    • Great for tracking trends
    • Can make unique tracking codes per link
    • Utilize Traffic Sources
    • Link to other pages from high traffic pages
    • Expand
  • 10. Content is King
    • Content is the #1 factor for SEO
    • Your content needs to be:
      • Useful
      • Easy to Read
      • Relevant
  • 11. Blog!
    • Blogging produces fresh content
    • Google loves blogs (because they love fresh content)
    • Threadless T-shirt from http://bit.ly/TweetALot
  • 12. Producing Quality Content
    • 79% of web readers scan a page.
    • 16% read word for word.
    • Users stay on your site for 4.4 seconds for each additional 100 words.
    • Make your content easy to scan!
    • Stats from:
    • How Users Read on the Web http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9710a.html
    • How Little Do Users Read? http://www.useit.com/alertbox/percent-text-read.html
  • 13. Structure Content for Scanning
    • Photos
    • Headings and sub-headings
    • Bold & Italics
    • White Space
    • Lists
    • 4-600 Words
    • Keywords at start of sentences / paragraphs / pages.
  • 14. Optimizing Photos
    • Compress file size.
    • Save with descriptive filename (use hyphens to separate keywords).
    • Use “alt tags” to describe photo.
      • <img src=”/big-dog.jpg” alt=”A big dog runs in the park” />
    • Surround with text.
  • 15. Headings
    • HTML headings take the form of:
      • <h1>This is a heading</h1>
    • H1 should be used only once per page.
    • H1 should be highly relevant to on page content and meta title.
    • Use H2 and H3 for content sub-headings
    • Use H4, H5, H6 for secondary content (sidebars, footer, etc.)
  • 16. Bold & Italics When writing content that spans multiple paragraphs, heading and sub-headings help give structure to the document. Bold and italicized words call attention to the reader. They are also used by search engines as a guide. Use bold [ <strong></strong> ] for most important keywords.
  • 17. White Space Good use of white space (empty space) brings readers attention to your content.
  • 18. Lists
    • Great form of link bait.
    • Search engines & humans love lists
    • Easy to scan.
    • Gives editorial review.
    • Humans naturally search for lists.
  • 19. Less is Better
    • Be succinct.
    • Less words = more keyword density.
    • Past 500 words, exponentially less chance of readers reading.
    • Content higher/earlier is valued more than content lower/later.
    • Eliminate filler to improve scanning.
  • 20. Location, Location, Location
    • Humans and search engine robots place higher value on earlier/top content.
    • Make your most important points at the start of sentences/paragraphs/pages.
    • U.S. Visitors read left to right, place content on left, sidebar/extra info on right/bottom.
    • List your location in meta title, about page, homepage.
  • 21. Quality Link Building
    • Produce link bait (lists, tutorials, reviews)
    • Connect with bloggers/webmasters in your niche
    • Analyze quality site with PageRank, Traffic, and Your Eye
      • PageRank Toolbar
      • Compete.com, Quantcast.com, WebsiteGrader.com
      • Content, Design, Community
  • 22. How To Get Quality Links
    • CNN.com
    • Guest Blogging
    • Produce lists
    • Tutorials
    • Contests
    • Google Reader Shares
    • Comments
  • 23. Optimizing Code for Speed & Structure
    • Use CSS for styling/layout
    • Avoid Flash
    • Use Caching
    • Meta Tags
    • Semantic HTML
    • Anchor Text
    • Test, iterate, test, iterate, test, iterate.
  • 24. Meta Tags
    • Meta Title
      • Appears at top of browser window
      • <title>Your Meta Title</title>
      • Should be similar/exact to H1
    • Meta Description
      • May appear in search results.
      • 160 characters or less.
      • High relevancy to H1/title and content.
    • Meta Keywords – Don't Bother
  • 25. Digital Networking
    • Email lists (newsletter)
    • RSS Feeds
    • Social Media
    • Instant Messaging
    • Blogs
    • Message Boards
    Find your audience and push your message to them.
  • 26. Internal Navigation
    • Your homepage is (likely) your most powerful page.
    • Link to important pages from homepage.
    • Make sure all pages are linked to
    • At most 2-3 directories deep
    • Use keywords in anchor text
  • 27. Empowering your Fans
    • Share on Social Media Buttons
    • Promote Your Fans
    • Connect with your Fans on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Find out where they are and join them there.
    • Comments (respond to them!)
    • Ask them how to improve (polls, emails)
  • 28. Usability
    • Have text for non-text elements (CSS Image Replacement)
    • Describe videos/images with text (publish transcripts).
    • Degrades gracefully when CSS/Javascript/Images turned off
    • Check in a text browser (Lynx)
  • 29. Search Engines are... Blind
  • 30. Additional Resources
    • The 42 nd Estate's SEO Posts http://www.the42ndestate.com/tag/seo/
    • Google's SEO Webmaster Page http://bit.ly/GooWebSEO
    • Google's SEO Starter Guide (.pdf file) http://bit.ly/GooSEO
    • Yoast's Wordpress SEO Guide http://yoast.com/articles/wordpress-seo/
    • Wordpress's SEO Guide http://bit.ly/SEOwp
  • 31. Even More Resources!
    • http://www.seomoz.org/tools
    • http://www.seomoz.org/articles
    • http://tools.seobook.com/
    • http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/
    • http://websitegrader.com/
    • http://www.google.com/webmasters/
    • http://www.wordtracker.com/
  • 32. Contact Me
    • E-mail: [email_address]
    • Office: (617) 326 7402 Cell: (617) 418 1055
    • Skype: the42ndestatellc
    • Twitter: @The42ndEstate / @AdamPieniazek
    • LinkedIn: linkadam.com
    • Facebook: bit.ly/42fbook / fbadam.com