SEO: Maximizing online business visibility
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SEO: Maximizing online business visibility



Strategic and tactical guide for increasing business visibility online via Local Search and SEO best practices. Download the PPT for proper transitions and full notes.

Strategic and tactical guide for increasing business visibility online via Local Search and SEO best practices. Download the PPT for proper transitions and full notes.



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  • To get started discussing and researching SEO practices, it is important to have a grasp on some common terms and acronyms you may encounter. This slide will provide you with the short list to help you recognize these terms moving forward.
  • Google continues to dominate the US and Global search markets. Accordingly, the majority of your efforts should be directed and vetted there. Nonetheless, it remains valuable to continue checking your positioning in Bing/Yahoo which control 10% of the market combined.
  • First foremost, you must ensure your website is crawlable by the SE spiders – avoid/limit exclusive use of unindexable technologies (Flash, All Graphics Content). If the bots can’t see your content, your SEO efforts are worthless!Next, you should review your business strategy to help align your SEO efforts accordingly. If your business is primarily brick & mortar, focus most of your efforts on Local SEO. If you are a pure-play e-tailed, focus your efforts on more traditional product/brand focused SEO. If you do both, you’ll need to focus on both, though it is likely these will be separate efforts and properties rather than shared.
  • The following section will introduce to you the concept of Local Search, and some of the key opportunities for bolstering your business’ position in this important search segment.
  • Local search is critical for any brick & mortar businesses to focus on - it is the new yellow pages. Local search is highly geographically-correlated, with the SEs presenting varying local businesses that match a given search term most the time. Local results are often presented when including a city/region in a search term or performing search via mobile device. These results dominate the top of the first search page when relevant local results are found.The local results are a new battleground for advertising and competing on reputation. The results in Google pull in reviews of businesses from around the internet, including Yelp, Zagat, along with reviews submitted on Google. This slide includes sample local search results for Motorcycle dealers in Milwaukee. You can see here that any reviews are also referenced on this page. Next I’ve included an example of where Google is taking local listings next, which is a substantial change. Google is slowly rolling out a new “Carousel” view of local results, presenting matching local businesses in a large, visually-driven, image carousel at top of the search page. This is presently limited to certain categories such as restaurants and hospitality, but you can be certain it will soon be rolled out to all other categories. Prepare for this update to elevate your business above the masses!
  • The most important foundational element you can establish to increase your local SEO is claiming and enriching your “places” pages in Google and Bing. It is free and one of the easiest ways to elevate your business above others in local search. According to MDG Advertising, only 37% of businesses perform this most important step. Further bolster the appearance of your business and improve your positioning by building up a rich Google+ page for your business, including all your core business information (hours, location, contact info) as well as things like photos, videos, and events. This information will enrich your representation in Google search results while providing potential customers with rich details about your business.
  • While Google represents the key channel most likely to drive local search, there are a number of additional sites where you also should establish your business listing to ensure utmost visibility . These key sites are all free and take just a few minutes to establish. Once your profile is well established on all of these, you will be positioned well above your competition for success in Local search. Better yet, being listed in more than one of these sites increases the likelihood of multiple listings for your business appearing on the first SERPs. Since these domains have a lot of clout online, listings contained within these sites often rank among the top results.
  • Now that we’ve covered Local SEO tactics, we’ll shift to basic and advanced SEO practices to help drive online sales and e-commerce. The intent is to explore the key tenets at a conceptual level to aid in planning and implementation. We will not go into code itself in this session, though links are presented to additional resource throughout to help with deeper technical guidance
  • Search Engine Optimization is a cyclical process – not a one time effort. To maximize the return of your SEO efforts, you should continually engage in this process to refine and improve your positioning. The first step is a self-assessment of your site’s Search engine positioning. The second step is performing keyword research to determine the ideal and most effective keywords to target with your SEO efforts. The final step is implementing the desired target keywords into the core SEO elements. Upon completing these, the cycle repeats itself, beginning with an analysis of your new position as a results of the preceding activities.
  • Research present positioning via:Google SearchSearch business nameSearch on relevant keywords (products, geographical area, brands)Google Webmaster Tools ( Review top source keywords & SERP positionGoogle AnalyticsReview current organic search traffic, top keywords, click through rates
  • Research present positioning via:Google SearchSearch business nameSearch on relevant keywords (products, geographical area, brands)Google Webmaster Tools ( Review top source keywords & SERP positionGoogle AnalyticsReview current organic search traffic, top keywords, click through ratesWhen reviewing these trends, consider how they align with your e-commerce site and sales focus. Try to see if there are any unique keywords driving lots of traffic and/or high conversion rates which could be further exploited. If you have not already, be sure to hook up full e-commerce analytics so you can view full conversion value of the various organic keywords.
  • After performing an in-depth review of you current organic keyword traffic and positioning, it is time to focus on those which you wish to further enhance your targeting. The goal here is to find the highest search volume trends that line up with your website and products, which have the least competition. There are a number of tools that can help you accomplish this. Good keywords can be identified via analytics review, competitive review, and through trial and error. Google Trends and Google Keyword planner are two of the most invaluable tools in selecting those keywords that represent the greatest opportunity. Don’t miss the opportunity to target “long-tail” keywords – keywords that may appear to be less attractive variations of ideal terms, but which offer moderate volume and little competition. A strategy built on combining a few long-tail keywords can yield greater impacts than narrow, deep focus on one high competition term.
  • This slide shows the results of various keyword research tools. Note the trends and competition analysis offered by the Google tools – these are great insights. Also note the CTR statistics offered by Webmaster Tools – you might find a gem that offers better than average click rates.
  • We’ll now transition to a focus on how to execute a solid SEO strategy, once you have successfully identified your current position and what terms will be most valuable to target.We will focus primarily on the core SEO elements and how to execute very cleanly on those, which is the most critical step to ensure success after the keyword research. The next focus will be to touch briefly on some more advanced SEO efforts which can be undertaken, though not until the core elements have been successfully implemented. There are no shortcuts in SEO, so it is important to put in the effort to hit all the core elements first.
  • In implementing a successful SEO campaign, there are 3 core area on which you should focus: structural elements, off-page elements, and on-page elements. All of these items should work in conjunction to boost your positioning in targeting desired keywords. Missing any one of these core areas can mean the difference between ranking on page one versus page five. We’ll now briefly touch on each of these elements to aid in your understanding of their purpose and how they contribute to the whole of your SEO strategy.Structural ElementsDomain NameDomain names can help serve as a core keyword anchor for your all SEO efforts. If for example your shop is dedicated to selling HD riding cameras, securing a root store domain name such as or would clearly help bump up your likelihood of ranking higher for all your camera SEO efforts.Domain AgeThe SEs take domain longevity/age into consideration when ranking the authority of the domain. The greater the age of your domain name, the greater chance of it being bumped up in authority and rankings.Canonical Tags & 301 RedirectsEvery site out there can typically be reached by the root domain ( as well as via the common www subdomain ( Unfortunately pages on both of these variants can be considered as separate content by the SEs, potentially splitting the ranking of a page between the two references. 301 domain redirects and canonical tags in the page code can be used to help concentrate the SEs intepretation of duplicate pages down to one reference.Off-Page ElementsInbound LinksThink of in-bound links as votes for your site and content – the more there are from highly influential/authoritative sources, the greater importance the SEs will place on your site and content for ranking purposes. This is one of the single greatest elements that can significantly boost your SEO. However, the quality of links cannot be overstated. Links from industry authorities can boost your site significantly while links from ill-reputed “link farms” can ruin your ranking.Inbound Link Anchor Text Next to the source of in-bound links, the anchor text is the next most important element in off-page SEO. Where links count as votes, the anchor text is considered by the SEs to be the subject of the page. Well placed keywords here that echo those in the content of the target page and URL are the foundation of good SEO. Since sites typically have little to no control over these off-page elements, the SEs take these into heavy consideration as a verification of the true value and relevance of a given page being linked to.Social Signals/MentionsThough most social media sites purposely block SEO rankings being driven off their pages and postings, the SEs are increasingly monitoring the content of postings and taking them into consideration. Google for instance reads from Twitters “fire hose” directly to find breaking social trends that may be relevant to current search terms. Google also threads in personal Google+ connections and postings for search terms for users of their network. Considering these elements, a solid social media presence and consistent postings promoting your products and/or content can help drive word of mouth online, increasing the chances of other sites further linking to your product pages/conent.On-Page ElementsPage TitlesThe Page Title HTML element is a very critical element to align with your core keyword targeting strategy. The page title is most often the bolded heading for pages on the SERPs. Keywords matching the user’s search term are bolded here as well.Page DescriptionsThe Page Description HTML element is another great keyword opportunity. As long as the description is relevant and well-formed, the SEs often use this as the link summary text below the title on SERPs, which also feature bolded matching keywords.Heading TagsHTML heading tags (H1, H2, etc) used shrewdly with meaningful keywords that line up with the URL, Title, and Description help further bolster the relevance that the SEs place on the page for a specific search term. Page ContentUnique, concise page content that contains natural but consistent target keywords is the final key step in building on-page SEO. Differentiated content is valuable as it helps your site to get a leg up on other sites that are perceived to have the same content. Frequent content updates and the “freshness” of content also have a positive impact on rankings. Consider strategies to regularly build and enrich your keyword-relevant content by authoring product reviews, Q&As, and how-to articles. Accessibility TagsSE bots interpret all pages essentially in their raw code/text content. Implementing proper accessibility best practices can help boost your keyword relevance to the SEs while also helping you to better serve those with special needs using screen readers. Implementing alt tags for images, long descriptions for links, and so on can further help you differentiate your site and content.
  • Now that we’ve covered the core SEO elements to target in the execution of your SEO strategy, we’ll now cover an example of HOW to implement your keywords in these areas.The key is consistency – think of your keyword strategy as a filament that threads through all of the elements highlighted on the prior slide. It is critical to ensure your target phrases are represented consistently across all of these elements to maximize your ranking potential. This slide highlights the example flow of a keyword strategy targeting the GoPro Hero3 camera. Note that an even more effective keyword combination here could be a variation, such as “Hero3 HD Camera” or “HD Sport Camera”. This is why your keyword research is so critical.
  • Since we noted there are no shortcuts in SEO, I wanted to quick highlight some key Dos and Don’ts to help guide your overall approach. Don’t forget the value of unique, enriched content that is relevant to your keywords. This content at the very least should be your product links, titles, and descriptions. Better yet, consider generating user reviews or self-authored product reviews to create more unique content which not only can have a beneficial SEO impact, but also create genuine user value. This type of content is also referred to as inbound marketing, which can lead to increased traffic gains through social sharing and word of mouth.
  • Once you’ve nailed the core SEO strategies noted in the preceding slides, you can focus on additional advanced SEO strategies such as “rich snippets” structural markup, syndicating your product list to search shopping engines, and optimizing your page load speed.All of these are less common strategies that you can consider implementing to further differentiate and boost your site rankings, once you’re successfully competing on the more standard elements. Rich snippets are symantic tags added to your content to help the SEs understand and interpret various information on your page. Google is making a hard push to encourage this as it helps them present even more advanced information displays in the search results. The benefit is that certain items, such as reviews, when properly tagged can be picked up by the SE, leading it to display a distinct reviews element to your search listing, including a small stars rating graphic, which can substantially set your site apart in SERPs dominated by text only. To learn more about rich snippets, review the links below.

SEO: Maximizing online business visibility SEO: Maximizing online business visibility Presentation Transcript

  • Maximizing Online Visibility Brad Smith July 2013
  • Overview • Quick Bio • SEO Strategy Basics • Increasing Business Visibility Online (Local SEO) • Maximizing Online Sales (E-Commerce SEO) • Free SEO Tools & References 2
  • Quick Bio • Director of Product Management @ ARI – BA in New Media Development – MBA with Marketing & E-business emphasis • Life-long power sports enthusiast • Part-Time Aaron Rodgers look-a- like • Connect with me via 3
  • SEO Strategy Basics Key Terms 4 “SE” Search Engine “Spider” & “bot” Search Engine indexing robot “SERP” Search Engine Results Page “CTR” Click Through Rate (percentage of clicks/exposure) “Inbound Links” External links to site pages “Anchor Text” Text anchor display of a link “PageRank” Google page quality score
  • SEO Strategy Basics Current Search Market Shares 5Source:
  • SEO Strategy Basics Ensure your site is crawlable 6 FLASH ALL GRAPHICS RICH HTML Online Visibility Social Product SEO Local Search Align online marketing strategy with business strategy Brick & Mortar Local SEO Pure E-Tailer Product SEO Bricks & Clicks Local & Product SEO
  • 7 Local Search
  • Local SEO 8 Local Search Intro • Critical focus for Brick & Mortar businesses • Tight geographic relevance • Increasing representation in SERPs • Increasingly including social/reputation elements • Core to capitalizing on Mobile search trends
  • Local SEO 9 Optimizing Online Representation for Local Search  Claim Google Places/Google+, Bing Places pages  Enrich Google+ Business Page  Business Images, Videos  Hours  Location  Contact Information Events Videos Business Categories Only 37% of businesses have claimed local search listings - MDG Advertising
  • Local SEO 10 Key Places to Establish Business Profiles
  • 11 E-Commerce SEO
  • E-Commerce SEO 12 E-Commerce Search Engine Optimization Process Self- Assessment Keyword Research Execution
  • E-Commerce SEO Self-Assessment How Sample Searches What to research  Current rankings and presentation  Keyword traffic trends  Inbound Links 13 Self- Assessment Keyword Research Execution
  • SEO Strategy Basics Sample Research 14
  • E-Commerce SEO Keyword Research How Competitive Keyword Review Google Trends Google AdWords Keyword Planner What to research  Current Keyword Traffic / CTR  Keyword Search Volumes & Trends  Keywords Targeted by Competitors 15 Self- Assessment Keyword Research Execution
  • SEO Strategy Basics Sample Keyword Research 16
  • E-Commerce SEO 17 SEO Execution How Core SEO Elements Advanced SEO Elements Self- Assessment Keyword Research Execution
  • E-Commerce SEO 18 Domain Name Domain Age URL Structure Canonical & Redirects Structural Elements Inbound Links Inbound Anchor Text Social Signal/Mentions Off-Page Elements Page Titles Page Descriptions Heading Tags Page/Product Content Accessibility Tags On-Page Elements Core SEO Elements Page Title Page Description
  • E-Commerce SEO 19 Best Practice Keyword & Content Flow Inbound Link • “GoPro Hero3 Camera" URL • Page Title • GoPro Hero3 Camera | Black | HD Page Description • Go pro with the new smaller, lighter HERO3 with built in Wi-Fi… Page Heading • GoPro Hero3 Camera – Black Product Info •Photos w/Alt Tag “GoPro Hero3 Camera” •Rich Description referring to “GoPro” and “Hero3 Camera” •Customer reviews content marked up as Rich Snippets
  • E-Commerce SEO 20 SEO Execution Guidelines DO DON’T Create rich, differentiated product content with natural keyword references. Artificially “stuff” a desired keyword into content repeatedly. Work with partners and associations to build up in-bound links from industry authorities. Purchase in-bound links or take part in generic “link circles”. Regularly review site analytics & reports to check results of efforts; adjust accordingly. Set minimum search engine optimization in place and move on (set & forget). Establish and nurture profiles and a social presence to increase visibility of your site and products. Try to fool the search engines by adding hidden content or presenting other content to Spiders only (“cloaking”).
  • E-Commerce SEO 21 Advanced SEO Elements How Rich Snippets / Microdata Google Shopping Product Feeds Page Load Speed Rich Snippet (Review, Author) Rich Snippet (Rating, Price, Av ailability)
  • SEO Tools 22 SEO Tools Tool Use URL SEO Quake Browser plugin to review key on-page SEO stats SEM Rush Keyword and link analysis tool for competitive and self- analysis Google AdWords Planner Keyword search volume and competition analysis tool Google Trends Keyword trend analysis tool Google Analytics Free website analytics Google Webmaster Tools Website index and Google search trends analysis tool Lynx Web Browser Text-based web browser – useful for viewing site content as seen by a spider
  • SEO References 23 Additional SEO Reading & References • Search Engine Land SEO Guide • Web Developer SEO Cheat Sheet • SEOMoz Blog