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SEO Training


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Intermediate training on Search Engine Optimization.

Intermediate training on Search Engine Optimization.

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  • 1. Keyword Strategy
    Prepared by Brandon Steele
  • 2. Introduction
    At the conclusion of this training you should
    The Importance of Keyword Rankings
    How Keywords Relate to the Product Life Cycle
    The Purchase Decision Model
    The Demand Distribution Curve
    Keyword Strategy
    On Site and Off Site SEO
  • 3. The Importance of Keyword Rankings
    Search Results Click Through for 1st Page In Yahoo
    Source Yahoo
  • 4. What About for Google?
    Source Richard Hearne of Red Cardinal
  • 5. What about the 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th Pages?
    Source Richard Hearne of Red Cardinal
  • 6. Product Life Cycles
    • Introduction – Slow growth and little demand as product is intro
    • 7. Growth – Market begins to accept offering and increase in demand rapidly fuels sales
    • 8. Maturity – Increased competition and market saturation
    • 9. Decline – Competition begins to exit the marketplace as sales decline
    Question: Where does the new SHU MBA we are introducing fit?
  • 10. Product Life Cycles and Keywords
    At the introduction stage there may be few searches, if any, for the program
    At the maturity stage there may be a longer, more diverse, long tail
    Keywords selected in the introduction stage may no longer be applicable during the growth stage
    Distance learning vs. online learning
    Consumers are generally better informed during the maturity stage than they are at introduction or during growth
  • 11. Unsought Products
    Definition: Products that the consumer does not know about or does not normally think of buying.
    Special Category: New Unsought Product – Products at the introduction stage of their life cycle.
    Consumers may want these or may not
    But, they are not familiar with them and so are not actively seeking them out
    Marketing must be a push strategy
    Go where the consumers are, instead of waiting for them to find you
    Will likely be very little direct / specific keyword searches
  • 12. The Purchase Decision Model
    Triggered by internal or external stimulus
    Personal – Commercial – Public - Experiential
    Several Processes & Criteria
    Key is to understand & reduce perceived risk
    Consumer may experience dissonance
  • 13. Key Points Re: The Consumer Evaluation Process
    The consumer is trying to satisfy a need
    The consumer is looking for certain benefits from the solution
    The consumer sees each product/service as a bundle of attributes that together work to satisfy the need
    Consumers pay attention to those attributes that deliver their perceived sought after benefits
    Key takeaway is that it’s the CONSUMER’S PERCEPTION!!!!
  • 14. 3 Behavioral Keyword Groups
    Keywords from the Learn Stage Prospects are gathering information to determine what can solve their problem
    Examples: mba salaries, marketing job growth
    2. Keywords from the Shop Stage Prospects are gathering information that helps them decide on a specific solution. Queries are generally more specific than in the learn stage.
    Examples: online mba degree
    3. Keywords from the Buy Stage Information that prospects need to validate their decision and make the purchase. May not have visited your site during any of the other stages.
    Examples: online mba degree, gonzaga university review
  • 15. Keywords and the Purchase Decision Model
    Learn Stage + Shop Stage
    Learn Stage Keywords
    Shop Stage Keywords
    Buy Stage Keywords
  • 16. Keyword Demand Distribution Curve
  • 17. A Common Definition of Long Tail
    “Long tail keywords are a type of keyword phrase that has at least three, and some times as many as five words in the phrase. Long tail keywords are used when the website wants to refine search terms to the web page, as well as when the searcher is looking for something rather specific.” ~
  • 18. Why that definition is misleading…
    There can be one-word keywords in the long tail
    There can be specific queries in the body and head
    There can be generic queries in the long tail
    Keywords in general are used when the website wants to refine search terms or when the user wants to refine their search query
  • 19. A More Precise Definition of Long Tail
    Long Tail keywords are low frequency searches on the demand distribution curve.
    Key Points:
    In "long-tailed" distributions a high-frequency population is followed by a low-frequency population, which gradually "tails off" in a tangent curve.
    Important Note: The events at the far end of the tail have a very low probability of occurrence.
  • 20. Low Frequency Searches on The Demand Distribution Curve
    Another look at the Keyword Demand Distribution Curve…
  • 21. Notes on the Long Tail
    Fewer query frequency (relative)
    Can be one word queries or multiple words
    A long tail keyword in one distribution curve, may be a body or short tail keyword in another
    Conversely: A body or short tail keyword in one distribution curve, may be a long tail keyword in another
    Long Tail keywords in one distribution curve may receive more queries than head keywords in another
    You don’t make your money IN the long tail you make your money ON the long tail
    It’s the aggregate of the long tail keywords that is profitable, not the individual keywords within the long tail
  • 22. Common Long Tail Truisms That Aren’t Always True
    Long tail keyword queries are long
    There’s gold hidden there in them long tails!!!
    Long tail searchers are at the decision stage of the purchase decision model
    Long tail keywords convert better
    Long tail keywords are cheaper to target in PPC
    It’s very hard to rank for short tail keywords
    These are all Hasty Generalizations!!!
  • 23. Notes on the Head or Short Tail
    • Higher frequency searches
    • 24. Can be one word queries or made up of many words
    • 25. If the head is very generic, you probably haven’t segmented
    • 26. The “short tail” also encompasses body keywords
    • 27. By optimizing for the body, you will typically also optimize for both the head and some long tail keywords
    • 28. Truisms that aren’t always true:
    • 29. It’s difficult to rank for head keywords
    • 30. Head keywords are expensive
    • 31. Head keywords don’t convert very well
    • 32. Head keywords are very generic
  • Demand Curves within Demand Curves
  • 33. Curves within Curves within Curves
  • 34. User behavior and Demand Distribution
    “The probability of a re-query drops (from almost 50% to less than 20%) as query frequency increases from the tail to 100+ occurrences” ~ “Understanding the Relationship between Searchers’ Queries and Information Goals” by Downy, Dumais, leibling and Horvitz (CIKM 08)
    “The differences in distribution of actions following a query observed seem to be related to the query frequency rather than the query length” ~ “Understanding the Relationship between Searchers’ Queries and Information Goals” by Downy, Dumais, leibling and Horvitz (CIKM 08)
    “The relative steepness of the power-law indicates that users do not need many words to formulate information needs or that the diminishing value of adding words appears soon.” ~ “A Study of Query Length” by Arampatzis and Kamps (SIGIR 08)
    The average query length was 2.30 words, the longest were in the education category and had a mean of over 3 words per query. ~ “Patterns of Search: Analyzing and Modeling Web Query Refinement” by Lau and Horvitz 
  • 35. Understanding Keyword Tiers
    Tier 1 (top priority): These keywords are a close match to your program offerings or site’s content and contribute to having a viable market
    Tier 2 (medium priority): These keyword are not exact matches, but still are related to your program offerings or site’s content, however they may offer less demand frequency or lower conversion rates
    Tier 3 (low priority): These keywords are not exact matches, but still may be topical to our program offerings or site’s content, however conversion rates may be lower
  • 36. Brand vs. Programmatic vs. Other
    • Keyword traffic to our microsites can be bucketed into:
    • 37. Brand Traffic: Gonzaga University, Scranton Online Programs, etc.
    • 38. Programmatic Traffic: Online Masters Degree, MBA Programs Online, etc.
    • 39. Other Traffic: FASFA Code, Jesuit Teachings, Workplace Conflict
    • 40. Currently organic traffic on our sites is overwhelming driven by brand searches
    • 41. Can be a factor in explaining why:
    • 42. SEO converts at a higher rate than other channels
    • 43. There is a regional bias from our application base
    • 44. The “About Us” sections get few page views
    • 45. Brand ranking normally requires little effort, because of URL selection, trademark infringement protection, etc.
    • 46. However, to grow SEO traffic we must either:
    Increase brand awareness and buzz, that is: stimulate brand demand
    Diversify away from brand keywords
  • 47. Selecting the Right Keywords
    Understand where your program fits into the product life cycle
    Brainstorm an initial list of keywords:
    Jury of Executive Opinion: Faculty, Reps, Marketing Managers, Student Services, etc.
    Google Analytics
    Gut check based on available information
    Use the list as a spring board to focus your selection efforts
    Run the list through a keyword research tool to verify interest
    Refine your list by weeding out keywords:
    with little demand
    that because of too much demand may not offer a return relative to the effort expended to rank for them
    From your final list sort your keywords into the 3 tiers
    Understand where your keywords fit on the demand distribution curve and where they fall on the purchase decision model
    After you’ve selected your keywords select the landing page (reverse may also apply)
  • 48. Keyword Research Tool Examples
  • 49. Using Google Analytics to Research Keywords
  • 50. On-Site SEO
    URL: Depth, Length & Keyword
    <Title> Tag: Keyword
    Meta Description Tag: Pull and Keyword
    Body tags: <h1>, <h2>, <strong>, etc.
    Content: Density, Proximity and Freshness
    Information Architecture: Indexability
    Most Importantly: Have valuable and relevant content that is well written.
  • 51. What About the Meta Keywords Tag?
    Not presently factored into Google’s algorithm
    However, IS used for Google’s custom site search service
    Bing does factor it in, but unclear how much weight given to it
    Yahoo does use it to populate paid inclusions
    Fire and forget: Include it when launching new content, but understand that it likely offers very little ROI and accordingly shouldn’t preoccupy much of your time.
  • 52. Title Tag Example
    Important Note: Title Tag doesn’t just factor into your search ranking, but also
    influences the click through rate from the SERP and helps shape the expectation
    of the prospective student.
  • 53. Meta Description Tag Example
    Important Note: Meta Description Tag doesn’t just factor into your search ranking, but also influences the click through rate from the SERP and helps shape the expectation of the prospective student.
  • 54. Body Tag Examples
    Important Note: The body tags can make usability easier by breaking up content sections, calling attention to important points and by helping to match the page’s content to the prospective student’s expectations of what the page is about.
  • 55. On Site SEO and the Long Tail
    Diversity and length of the long tail means you realistically won’t be able to optimize for every keyword
    Also makes it hard to play the expectations game
    Limited market viability means that it may be futile to try to optimize for a single keyword or even a handful of keywords
    Think through your strategy before you use a long tail keyword in your URL, <title> tag or page tags
  • 56. How Do You Rank for Long Tail Keywords?
    Proximity Matching: When Google doesn’t have a direct match, it serves up a proximal match
    It does this because “20 to 25% of the queries we see today, we have never seen before” (UdiManber)
    So, all things being equal you can rank for long tail keywords simply by targeting body or head keywords
    Put another way: when you target higher frequency keywords you may score a 2for: the higher frequency keyword + some long tail keywords
  • 57. Off-Site SEO
    Link Building: directory, article, blog, paid, link hubs, etc.
    Popular Definition: Links are votes to your site. The more votes you have the better chance of winning the Google search contest.
    This definition is misleading!
    A better way to understand it: Citations in scientific papers
    The more citations from other papers an original paper has, the better we can estimate the value of that original paper
    Links create an “information economy” where the “content cream” rises to the top because the most experts refer to them
    Quality of link trumps mere quantity of links
    Anchor text gives the search engine an idea of what the page that is being linked to is about
    Important point: Links are from other sites to your site, not from within your site (or IP) to other pages on your site (or IP)
  • 58. Link Hub Example
    Link hubs are sites that link to your competitors
    This indicates a likely predisposition to linking to content related to the industry you are in
    Could be directories, paid links, etc
    Enter URL of 2-10 competing websites and when links overlap, Hub Finder flags linking URL
  • 59. Evaluating Keyword Campaigns
    Have rankings increased in Google?
    Has site traffic increased?
    Is the bounce rate indicating a potential problem?
    What are the conversion rates?
  • 60. Questions
    Thank You!!!!!
  • 61. Case Study