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SEO Is… A part of an integrated content marketing mix A means to leverage knowledge about search engine behaviors around the technical and content aspects of the Web Is not rocket science But neither is heart surgery Great content has always been at the core of white hat SEO Now, more than ever, post-Panda, unique, relevant, shareable content drives SEO success
What We’ll Cover Today How to approach optimizing your content sets for the websites and other digital properties where they reside What matters most: To the search engines To your stakeholders To your business objectives How to think beyond the keyword to make shareable the key word
What Panda Did It wasn’t a surprise to most “real” optimizers Google doesn’t make changes overnight—it tests them and it’s up to professional optimizers to pay attention to the signals The search engines have always been about connecting people with the “right” answers The right answer means a better user experience They look for signals that tell them how they’re doing in providing the “right” answers Old days: on website tags and content Then: in-bound links Panda: unique, quality content written for the reader And: what people are engaging with
Evolving Best Practices The evolution we’re seeing is part of a continuous effort on the part of search engines to connect people with the information they are really seeking As content publishers, you want to be the “right” answer for the questions that matter to your business
The Content Building Hierarchy… Source: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/do-tweets-still-effect-rankings
Still White Hat SEO^Focuses on Content What’s changing is how that content moves from the originator (marketer) through the web of influence SEO still relies on link building and connecting with influencers who can redistribute your content Major media Bloggers But it also is skipping the middleman and going right to the public AND the public = content generators too Great SEO uses content to get the search engines to pay attention to your story So that your action takers will too
7 On-Website SEO Must Haves Keywords are still the SEO starting point What are the keywords that will draw the action takers that your business needs? Align the existing content sets with those keywords and assign the content sets a place on your website that becomes its home base For keywords with no existing content to support them, think beyond text and think shareable from the start Ensure the search engines have no barriers to reaching your content and showcasing it in the top rankings
On-Website SEO for Content Providers Surround the content with optimized on-page best practices: Title tag Description tag (still pulled into the natural search listings to describe the page) Keyword count Cross and outbound links Make Your Content Unique—add Author Tags Tells search engines that the content originated with you Enables search engines and other web services to identify works by the same author more easily.
On-Website SEO for Content Providers You can still use the ROD model for link building (research/outreach/distribute content)--just don’t rely on it exclusively. Article placements on authority sites with anchor-text link back to keyword optimized page—articles must be unique, not mass distributed Directory listings Web release distributions Now think SHAREABLE What do you need to do to the content to get your action takers to be engaged and to share around the content: Pass it along Comment on it Point to it
Shareable Content – Think Connections For example: if we start with your content as a web page Think of key points that could be tweets with links to the page Load related images to Flickr and tag them Upload short video interviews with the author or other subject experts, tag and link to your other content sets to YouTube, Ustream.TV, etc. Talk about related topics in online groups (a la LinkedIn Groups) Make related presentations that link to the article downloadable from various points on the Web Create a podcast, load it to popular channels, tag it and cross-promote it on BlogTalkRadio, PodOmatic, PodcastAlley, etc.
Shareable Content – Think Connections Think beyond “lots of keyword-rich content” to engagement and shareability Think cross-pollination Think building momentum
7 Off-Website SEO Must Haves Content has got to be: Unique Relevant Real Connect with the person Shareable Easy to share Trackable for the marketer
Uniqueness Counts No one wants content they can easily find anywhere else Webmasters don’t want to post it Bloggers don’t want to write about it People don’t want to read the same thing repeatedly from one website to another Everyone wants something theycan’t find anywhere else Including the search engines Make your content one of a kind to ensure offsite SEO success
Marketing 101: Relevance for Receipt Know your stakeholders—Marketing 101 hasn’t changed Marketing always starts with the recipient’s need in mind Broadcasting is dead Customize the messaging and deliver channel as much as you can Content has to be relevant to be meaningful Instantly recognizable as having a value I was thinking about that! I need that! My friend would like this. My boss was just mentioning this.
They’ve Got to Trust It Make the content reliable/trustworthy In this age of untruth and distrust, make your content 100% right: Factual Grammatical Error free punctuation Trust is built from many perspectives
Create a Connection Creates an emotional or intellectual connection—a positive one to associate with your brand First they should think/feel: Funny Heartwarming Smart Ah-ha Hmm Cool! Next they should be in a hurry to share it!
Make It Shareable If you connect with the person, they will want to share it because they want to pass the value you sparked along: With their boss (This may help you.) With their colleagues (Would this be helpful?) With their friends (Is this funny or what?) With their family (Remember we were talking about this?)
So Make It Easy to Share Break content into smaller bites Spin it into different media Connect the pieces so people can self-select the ways they want to ingest the fuel you’re providing Consider rewards for sharing: badges, coupons, exclusive deals, etc.
Make It Trackable Set measurement systems for success Tag and track everything Monitor, measure, inquire, improve
Don’t Forget: Technical Considerations Don’t put the content behind a registration field If you offer subscription based access to your website content, implement Google's First Click Free (FCF) for your content so Google knows you are permitting 5 free accesses per user each day. Don’t provide identical or vastly similar content that's accessible through multiple URLs Still avoid Flash intro pages—and flash doesn’t work well on many mobile devices either
Don’t Forget the Mobile Factor Source: Morgan Stanley 11-3-10
Make Sure Your Content Is Mobilized Resides on mobile friendly pages Chunked into bites digestible by action takers on the go Easily saved for deeper review later, links easily to expanded info
Free Keyword Research Tools https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator to identify competitive phrases and search frequencies http://www.google.com/insights/search/# Compare search patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties
Tags in Your Page Coding Title Tags Text in the top of the browser when visiting a website Meta Description Tags Text shown in search results underneath the site URL Both tags entered in the website source code
Optimized Content Best Practices One keyword per page 250 words “visible” page content 3-5 keyword mentions Placement in top 1/3 of page Use in headers (H1 tags) and sub-heads (H2 and H3 tags)