SEO – HIGH TRAFFIC ROUTING Global Information Internship Program from BUDNET www.budnetdesign.com
Today’s Agenda What is SEO? The Seven Steps to Higher Rankings Get Your Site Fully Indexed Get Your Pages Visible Build Links & PageRank Leverage Your PageRank Encourage Clickthrough Track the Right Metrics Avoid Worst Practices
Search Engine Optimization 6 times more effective than a banner ad Delivers qualified leads 80% of Internet user sessions begin at the search engines (Source: Internetstats.com) 55% of online purchases are made on sites found through search engine listings (Source: Internetstats.com)
SEO is NOT Paid Advertising SEO – “Search Engine Optimization” – seeks to influence rankings in the “natural” (a.k.a. “organic”, a.k.a. “algorithmic”) search results PPC – paid search advertising on a pay-per-click basis. The more you pay, the higher your placement. Stop paying = stop receiving traffic. SEM – encompasses both SEO and PPC
Google Listings – Your VirtualSales Force making 6-7 figures a month from Savvy retailers natural listings Savvy MFA (Made for AdSense) site owners making 5-6 figures per month Most sites are not SE-friendly Google friendliness = friendly to other engines First calculate your missed opportunities
Not doing SEO? You’re Leaving Money on the Table Calculate the missed opportunity cost of not ranking well for products and services that you offer?# of people engine share expected click- average averagesearching for (Google = through rate conversion rate transactionyour keywords x 60%) x x x amount E.g.10,000/day x 60% x 10% x 5% x $100 = $3,000/day
Most Important SearchEngines Google (also powers AOL Search, Netscape.com, iWon, etc.) – 60.29% market share (Source: Hitwise) Yahoo! (also powers Alltheweb, AltaVista, Hotbot, Lycos, CNN, A9 ) – 22.58% Live Search (formerly MSN Search) – 11.56% Ask – 3.63%
What Are Searchers LookingFor? Keyword Research “Target the wrong keywords and all your efforts will be in vain.” The “right” keywords are… relevant to your business popular with searchers
Keyword Research Tools to check popularity of keyword searches WordTracker.com Trellian’s KeywordDiscovery.com Google’s Keyword Tool Google Trends Google Suggest
WordTracker.com Pros Based on last 60 days worth of searches Singular vs plural, misspellings, verb tenses all separated out Advanced functionality: keyword “projects”, import data into Excel, synonyms, … Cons Requires subscription fee ($260/year) Data is from a small sample of Internet searches (from the minor search engines Dogpile and MetaCrawler) Contains bogus data from automated searches No historical archives
Trellian’sKeywordDiscovery.com Pros Full year of historical archives Data is from a large sample of Internet searches (9 billion searches compiled from 37 engines) Singular vs plural, misspellings, verb tenses all separated out Can segment by country Advanced functionality: keyword “projects”, import data into Excel, synonyms, … Cons Access to the historical data requires subscription fee (~$30/month) Contains bogus data from automated searches
Google AdWords Keyword Tool Pros Free! (Must have an AdWords account though) Data is from a large sample of Internet searches (from Google) Singular vs plural, misspellings, verb tenses all separated out Can segment by country Synonyms Cons No hard numbers Augment this tool with other free Google tools: Google Suggest (labs.google.com/suggest) Google Trends (www.google.com/trends)
Keyword Popularity –According to Google AdWordsKeyword Tool
Keyword Popularity –According to Google AdWordsKeyword Tool
Keyword Popularity – According toGoogle Trends
Keyword Research Competition for that keyword should also be considered Calculate KEI Score (Keyword Effectiveness Indicator) = ratio of searches over number of pages in search results The higher the KEI Score, the more attractive the keyword is to target (assuming it’s relevant to your business)
SEO. A Moving Target. A lot is changing… Personalization & customization Vertical search services (Images, Video, News, Maps, etc.) “Blended Search” – aka “Universal Search” Fortunately, the tried-and-true tactics still work… Topically relevant links from important sites Anchor text Keyword-rich title tags Keyword-rich content Internal hierarchical linking structure The whole is greater than the sum of the parts
The Search Engines Are YourFriend Sitemaps.org Webmaster tools (e.g. Google Webmaster Central, Live Search Webmaster Center, Yahoo Site Explorer) Rel=“nofollow” tag Meta NOODP tag Speaking at search engine conferences Publishing blogs dedicated to helping webmasters Participating on SEO forums “Weather reports”
SEO Can Dramatically ImproveTraffic/Sales Non-optimal site with Optimized site with many few pages indexed pages indexed =$Few visits/sales per day Many visits/sales per day!
Begin The 7 Steps1) Get Your Site Fully Indexed2) Get Your Pages Visible3) Build Links & PageRank4) Leverage Your PageRank4) Encourage Clickthrough6) Track the Right Metrics7) Avoid Worst Practices
1) Get Your Site Fully Indexed(cont’d) Page # estimates are wildly inaccurate, and include non-indexed pages (e.g. ones with no title or snippet) Misconfigurations (in robots.txt, in the type of redirects used, requiring cookies, etc.) can kill indexation Keep your error pages out of the index by returning 404 status code Keep duplicate pages out of the index by standardizing your URLs, eliminating unnecessary variables, using 301 redirects when needed
Example of Non-Optimal Site Design:PR 8 site has META refresh redirect on homepage – spiders notredirected to destination page:Also, indexed “shell” page doesn’t contain any text content!
Not Spider-Friendly GET http://www.bananarepublic.com --> 302 Moved Temporarily GET http://www.bananarepublic.com/browse/home.do --> 302 Moved Temporarily GET http://www.bananarepublic.com/browse/home.do?targetURL=h ttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.bananarepublic.com%2Fbrowse%2Fhome .do&CookieSet=Set --> 302 Moved Temporarily GET http://www.bananarepublic.com/cookieFailure.do --> 200 OK
2) Get Your Pages Visible 100+ “signals” that influence ranking “Title tag” is the most important copy on the page Home page is the most important page of a site Every page of your site has a “song” (keyword theme) Incorporate keywords into title tags, hyperlink text, headings (H1 & H2 tags), alt tags, and high up in the page (where they’re given more “weight”) Eliminate extraneous HTML code “Meta tags” are not a magic bullet Have text for navigation, not graphics
3) Build Links and PageRank “Link popularity” affects search engine rankings PageRank™ - Links from “important” sites have more impact on your Google rankings (weighted link popularity) Google offers a window into your PageRank PageRank meter in the Google Toolbar (toolbar.google.com) Google Directory (directory.google.com) category pages 3rd party tools like SEOChat.com’s “PageRank Lookup” & “PageRank Search” Scores range from 0-10 on a logarithmic scale Live Search and Yahoo have similar measures to PageRank™
Conduct anyGoogle queryand get resultsorganized byPageRank
4) Leverage Your PageRank Your home page’s PageRank gets distributed to your deep pages by virtue of your hierarchical internal linking structure (e.g. breadcrumb nav) Pay attention to the text used within the hyperlink (“Google bombing”) Don’t hoard your PageRank Don’t link to “bad neighborhoods”
Ideal internal site linkinghierarchies: Homepages often will be Good link trees inform highest-ranking site search engines about pages since they which site pages are typically have most most important. inbound links.*Sitemaps can also be used to tell SEs about pages, & to definerelative priority.
4) Leverage Your PageRank Avoid PageRank dilution Canonicalization (www.domain.com vs. domain.com) Duplicate pages: (session IDs, tracking codes, superfluous parameters) In general, search engines are cautious of dynamic URLs (with ?, &, and = characters) because of “spider traps” Rewrite your URLs (using a server module/plug-in) or use a hosted proxy service (e.g. GravityStream) See http://catalogagemag.com/mag/marketing_right_page_ web/
Search enginespiders turntheir noses upat such URLs
Thus, importantcontent doesn’tmake it into thesearch engineindices
5) Encourage Clickthrough Zipf’s Law applies - you need to be at the top of page 1 of the search results. It’s an implied endorsement. Synergistic effect of being at the top of the natural results & paid results Entice the user with a compelling call-to-action and value proposition in your descriptions Your title tag is critical Snippet gets built automatically, but you CAN influence what’s displayed here
Where dosearcherslook?(Enquiro, Did-it,Eyetools Study)
6) Track the Right Metrics Indexation: # of pages indexed, % of site indexed, % of product inventory indexed, # of “fresh pages” Link popularity: # of links, PageRank score (0 - 10) Rankings: by keyword, “filtered” (penalized) rankings Keyword popularity: # of searches, competition, KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Indicator) scores Cost/ROI: sales by keyword & by engine, cost per lead
Link popularity tool –www.netconcepts.com/linkcheck
Avoid Worst Practices Target relevant keywords Don’t stuff keywords or replicate pages Create deep, useful content Dont conceal, manipulate, or over-optimize content Links should be relevant (no scheming!) Observe copyright/trademark law & Google’s guidelines
Spamming in Its Many Forms… Hidden or small text Keyword stuffing Targeted to obviously irrelevant keywords Automated submitting, resubmitting, deep submitting Competitor names in meta tags Duplicate pages with minimal or no changes Spamglish Machine generated content
Spamming in Its Many Forms… Pagejacking Doorway pages Cloaking Submitting to FFA (“Free For All”) sites & link farms Buying up expired domains with high PageRanks Scraping Splogging (spam blogging)
BMW.dehosted many “doorway pages” like this one
Not Spam, But Bad forRankings content-less home page, Flash intros Splash pages, Title tags the same across the site Error pages in the search results (eg “Session expired”) "Click here" links Superfluous text like “Welcome to” at beginning of titles Spreading site across multiple domains (usually for load balancing) Content too many levels deep
What Next? Conduct an SEOAudit! Is your site fully indexed? Are your pages fully optimized? Could you be acquiring more PageRank? Are you spending your PageRank wisely? Are you maximizing your clickthrough rates? Are you measuring the right things? Are you applying “best practices” in SEO and avoiding all the “worst practices”?
Case Study: Homestead.com What worked Comprehensive SEO & usability audit Intensive on-site training sessions with their IT and marketing teams 6 months of support What didn’t work No significant changes to the look of the home page were allowed for political reasons, significantly reducing the options available
Case Study: Homestead.com Results Within 8 weeks of launch of some preliminary optimization work, on page 1 for “website hosting” in Google With our audit as a blueprint, later that year launched an internally built site redesign which landed them the #1 Google position for “website hosting” Consistently held #1 position for 2 years
In Summary Focus on the right keywords Have great keyword-rich content Build links, and thus your PageRank™ Spend that PageRank™ wisely within your site Measure the right things Continually monitor and benchmark
Q&A! Special White Papers Available: Image Search Optimization Local Search Optimization Tactics New Link Building Paradigms Online Marketing Tips for Universities Tips & Tricks for Local Search Ads
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.