Basic Search Engine Optimisation


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This is a beginners guide to search engine optimisation (SEO) it covers the basic terms like keywords, content and meta data. It will be useful for anyone who is just getting started in SEO and wanting to learn the basics

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Basic Search Engine Optimisation

  1. 1. (c) 1 Basic Search Engine Optimisation Blue Parsley – July 2013
  2. 2. (c) 2 Search Engine Optimisation • Keywords • Title tag and meta description • Headings • Content • URL • Links • Reporting
  3. 3. (c) 3 Search Engine Results Only organic results are affected by SEO
  4. 4. (c) 4 Search Engine Optimisation • SEO or just search marketing • A broad range of activities performed to drive targeted traffic to a website. – Better results in search engines – higher ranking – People who will convert! • SEO takes time – and needs to be done constantly.
  5. 5. (c) 5 Search Engine Optimisation Factors affecting SEO • Keywords • Title tag • Quality content • Heading tags • URL - structure • Links – To and from websites – Navigation – Anchor text • Images - descriptions
  6. 6. (c) 6 SEO - Keywords • Terms that users type into search engines • Keywords appear in title & description tags, page content, urls and links • Keyword research – Practice of finding the actual search terms that users enter into search engines. • Keyword research is critical to the process of SEO & getting visitors to your site. • Done badly = efforts wasted = poor ranking
  7. 7. (c) 7 Keywords – the long tail • Popular search terms account for approx 30% of overall daily searches– the remaining 70% is known as ‘the long tail’ • Longer search terms that generally include the target keyword or are more specific • The tail contains hundreds of millions of unique searches that might be conducted a few times in any given day (or even only once, ever!), • Make up the majority of terms searched for.
  8. 8. (c) 8 Keyword research The process of keyword research involves several phases: • Brainstorming – what are customers/potential visitors likely to type in to find your site. • Competitors websites – especially if the are ranking well- check page titles, headings and urls to get an idea of words used. • Customers – Understand the customer - what terms do they use in their communication? - possibly gives an idea of what’s likely to get good traffic and produce best conversion rates. • Keyword research tools – make suggestions and find search volume. • Site analytics and Webmaster tools – find actual terms site appeared for • Term selection – Create a list of terms you believe are valuable and compare traffic and the potential for each to convert. • Refine – Use analytics to measure traffic and conversions and refine selection further.
  9. 9. (c) 9 Keyword research tools Keyword research tools Google – Keyword planner- free - makes suggestions & search volume for local and global search – Google traffic only Word Tracker – subscription – Uses own database of many different search engines over a longer period (approx 1000 days)
  10. 10. (c) 10 Title tag • Title shows in search results, keywords appear in bold (fig 1) • If user clicks the search result and visits page, the title appears at the top of the browser (fig 2) Fig 1 Fig 2
  11. 11. (c) 11 Title tag • One of most important SEO components • Unique and accurate for each page • Accurately describes each pages content • 65-75 characters • Keyword ideally at beginning – don’t repeat keyword more than twice – keyword stuffing • Avoid using title that has no relation to page content or uses a default like “untitled” or “New Page 1”
  12. 12. (c) 12 Description tag Description meta tag used as the snippet, appears as a result – keywords appear in bold. Summary of what page is about. Encourage searcher to click through to read more
  13. 13. (c) 13 Description tag • A good description of what the page is about • A sentence or two or short paragraph. • Approx 150 characters seems average • Google “might” use to create snippets of the page – depending on search query – Google may also use page text • Adding a description tag is good practice in case Google can’t find good text to use as a snippet • Words in the snippet appear in bold when they are in users query – gives user clue to whether content matches what they are looking for
  14. 14. (c) 14 Content • Content is king! It’s what drives people to your site. • Good quality content that provides value to the reader • Think about the keywords you will use • Must be readable and not just stuffed with keywords • Well formatted – short paragraphs & lists work well! • Use relevant language – think about words user might search for to find your content • Add new content frequently – keep visitors coming back • More content = search engines finding more content to index + more sites wanting to link to it and share it.
  15. 15. (c) 15 Headings • Heading tags are used by some search engines to identify words which are more important than the rest of the page text. • H1 to H6 - H1 most important, used once per page, mainly for headline of each page • Ideally contain keyword or phrase • H2 >H6 onwards used for sub heading • All headings should use heading tags
  16. 16. (c) 16 URL • Creating descriptive names for urls can lead to better crawling from search engines. • URL that contains keyword or phrase provides users and search engines with more information about the page. • Keywords in URL appear in bold in search results • Makes it easier to link to content
  17. 17. (c) 17 URL Example of badly structured url – difficult for user and search engines to decide what page is about Example of well formatted url containing keyword
  18. 18. (c) 18 Links and link building • Search engines and especially Google use links to determine a sites reputation. • Links from one site to another act as a ‘vote’ which helps improve this reputation. – More links = bigger reputation • Both the quantity and, more importantly, the quality of links count towards this reputation. • Link Building... Process of getting other websites to link to you. •
  19. 19. (c) 19 Measurement and Reporting • Google Analytics – Free to install and use – Can measure lots of different information • Total number of visits • Returning visits • Keywords • Traffic sources • Time on site • Pages viewed – Run monthly reports to measure SEO • Other reports – Check inbound links – Analyse competitors sites – Compare your site against competitors sites – Edit and optimise pages – Check pages for errors – broken links, grammar etc