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What is SEO? How does it work? What do I need to know and what 5 things should I do today?
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What is SEO? How does it work? What do I need to know and what 5 things should I do today?


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My slides delivered at a Guardian masterclass February 2014. in London UK. …

My slides delivered at a Guardian masterclass February 2014. in London UK.

It contains
* What is SEO?
* How does SEO work?
* The evolution of search
* The 3 big areas of search
* 5 practical things you can do today.

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  • 1. for by Adrian Land, Managing Partner, SESOME.
  • 2. 1 hour to talk about SEO
  • 3. Why can I talk about SEO? I have been doing SEO before it was called SEO. Starting off in the late 90’s, and survived the dot-com bubble before driving ROI from natural search and other channels for competitive companies in challenging verticals. In Oct 2013, found my own agency Previous Roles Held • • • • Head of Inbound Marketing at My Head of SEO, for Thomas Cook Group Global Director of SEO for Head of Search for HomeAway Group Europe Recent Speaking He recently presented at a retail conference eTail Europe about the evolution of SEO. To view To find me: @adrianland | |
  • 4. Itinerary What is SEO, and why is it important? How does SEO work? The evolution of search Recent changes to the search-scape 3 big areas of SEO Platform Reputation Content 5 practical things you can do today Questions and wrap up
  • 5. Who has a website? Do you do any SEO?
  • 6. What is SEO? “The process of improving the volume and/or quality of traffic to a web site or a web page via ‘natural’ or unpaid practices” Personalised SERPs based on your search history, your open graph, your social media interactions, thematically related search, ‘suggest’/’instant’, and now your other Google products & services you use
  • 7. >200 to >500 ranking factors* * Depends on who is guessing
  • 8. Why does that matter? If you run a quality website With unique, quality text That has a following, is social and referred to That is frequently updated That has the information that users want You should win If you don’t, you won’t!
  • 9. Why is it important? • 65% of sessions online start with a search* • Search is getting very specific • • Types: Websites, Images, Maps, Shopping, Blogs, Video, Places, Discussions, Academic, Patents etc. Frequency: By hour, day, specific date, years • Location: Given and implied • Search isn’t just Google anymore. What about YouTube, Facebook etc. • 3 types of keywords • • • Brand / Navigational Transactional Informational Keywords imply users intent and needs! * Made that up – couldn’t find a reliable stat – but it is a lot!
  • 10. How does SEO work? 1. 2. 3.
  • 11. In a room like this
  • 12. Evolution of search But the mission of the engines is still to give the best, most relevant results to their users And, our objectives are still the same What has changed in Google?
  • 13. Panda, Penguins and Hummingbirds On site Rewarded quality content, code, speed, engagement Off site Penalised ‘poor’ link profiles Rewrite of the algo NLP and sentiment. Rewarded answers and knowledge
  • 14. Web/Link spam – was penalised
  • 15. Using the whole search term… OLD SEO: How do I rank for this keyword? NEW SEO: How do I answer my users questions? … and not just keywords Plus, other clues to understand your query to provide you the answer
  • 16. It doesn’t have to like pulling teeth!
  • 17. SEO is like a cake! Match your big idea, to a demand Then make it happen: • Platform / CMS • Content • Onsite optimisation • Reputation building
  • 18. Platform
  • 19. How to choose the right platform? (and for SEO) • Easy to setup / install / easy to maintain • Easy to configure & customise • Multi platform ready/responsive design • Plugins to aid speed • Easy to use day-in-day-out!
  • 20. Reputation
  • 21. Link building is using the “wisdom of crowds”
  • 22. Earning peoples attention, as opposed to borrowing/buying it Brands and Innovators have an unique advantage: • High quality creative • Quality & focused content • Cutting edge products/services • Big data • A brand that resonates and is worthy of being talked about
  • 23. The evolution of link building When a technique is overused and abused it gets down weighted in the signals it gives Over used and called out: • Reciprocal link exchanges • Buying old domains • Easy directories • Article submissions, content spinning • Bought links • Blogroll & footer links • Bulk social bookmarking • Guest blogging [for SEO-only approach] • Blog commenting
  • 24. Content
  • 25. Strong content • Make your content great • Make it relevant and engaging • Quality – “panda questions” • Gentle keyword usage • Make it shareable Types of Content Tell a story, Interviews, Rants, Infographics, music, Case-study/research, What ifs, Predictions, Stupid and Funny, Contests, Deals, News, Comparisons, Reviews, How to's, Polls and surveys, Resource centres & Lists - digests
  • 26. The “Panda” questions from Google We, and the bots, want quality content – real content, not automated, not duplicate nor “thin” content. Here are some questions from Google to think about when planning your content. Our content team use this too • • • • • • • • Would you trust the information presented in this article? Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature? Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations? Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site? Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors? Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines? Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis? Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • 27. Continued… • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • How much quality control is done on content? Does the article describe both sides of a story? Is the site a recognized authority on its topic? Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care? Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced? For a health related query, would you trust information from this site? Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name? Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic? Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious? Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend? Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content? Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book? Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics? Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail? Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
  • 28. So, how are we doing?
  • 29. 5 SEO things you can do today 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Use Google’s own Webmaster Tools GA dashboards Keyword Research Content Use that content to build relationships & links
  • 30. • Verify your site & log in daily/weekly • If you have any problems you will get a message • Health • • • Check crawl errors, and fix Crawl stats and improve Fetch as Googlebot to test indexation of specific pages • Traffic • • Search queries – what terms and their rank and CTR Links to your site – see the latest inbound links • Optimisation • Sitemaps – check your indexation status for key pages
  • 31. 5 SEO things you can do today 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Use Google’s own Webmaster Tools Analytics & Insight using GA dashboards Keyword Research Content Use that content to build relationships & links
  • 32. • Setup filters to show you different sections of your site • Set up multiple dashboards • Automate their delivery by format and to whom • Measure against objectives • By entry pages, by referrer and keyword
  • 33. 5 SEO things you can do today 1. Use Google’s own Webmaster Tools 2. GA dashboards 3. Keyword Research 4. Content 5. Use that content to build relationships & links
  • 34. Keyword research • It is a science mixed with experience and common sense – think LIKE a recipe where you customise to taste • 2 free tools • Google insights • Google keyword planner
  • 35. Google Trends Use to find trends over time. Shows keywords, topics by location Can use for spelling e.g. Mallorca or Majorca, Holiday versus Vacation Default is Worldwide Can refine Can focus by geography
  • 36. Google keyword planning tool
  • 37. 5 SEO things you can do today 1. 2. 3. 4. Use Google’s own Webmaster Tools GA dashboards Keyword Research Content 5. Use that content to build relationships & links
  • 38. Content calendar, for users and Pandas!
  • 39. 5 SEO things you can do today 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Use Google’s own Webmaster Tools GA dashboards Keyword Research Content Use that content to build relationships & links
  • 40. Relationships and Link building • Link building is still important • Links should be for Users and SE’s alike • Find sites and communities and reach out Find sites – known to you, through social, or adv Google searches Log their details – Contact details OR twitter (private list) OR Email Identify and reach out as a local expert – Understand their offering BEFORE you contact – Tweet them – you want to engage NOT pitch – Be honest – Build a rapport and relationship with them first Then… and be discreet – Share their posts – Offer to write some original and compelling content for them – Offer information or education (if appropriate) – Tweet your content or imagery – keep it personal – Ask if you can meet up
  • 41. A couple of quick & simple resources
  • 42. Resources to get you going 2 resources for you to get going: SEOMoz’s SEO starter guide Google’s SEO starter guide
  • 43. Questions
  • 44. Thank you Adrian Land Managing Partner @adrianland
  • 45. for In conjunction with 1st February 2014 by Adrian Land