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  • 1. SEO – HIGH TRAFFIC ROUTING Global Information Internship Program from BUDNET
  • 2. 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
  • 3. Part 1: What Is SEO?
  • 4. EverythingRevolvesAround Search
  • 5. 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: 55% of online purchases are made on sites found through search engine listings (Source:
  • 6. 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
  • 7. PaidNatural Paid
  • 8. 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
  • 9. 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
  • 10. Most Important SearchEngines Google (also powers AOL Search,, 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%
  • 11. People Are Googling… Are YouThere?
  • 12. 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
  • 13. Keyword Research Tools to check popularity of keyword searches   Trellian’s  Google’s Keyword Tool  Google Trends  Google Suggest
  • 14. 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
  • 15. KeywordPopularity –According toWordTracker
  • 16. Trellian’ 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 (~$30/month)  Contains bogus data from automated searches
  • 17. Keyword Popularity–According toKeywordDiscovery
  • 18. Google AdWords Keyword Tool Pros  Free! (Must have an AdWords account though)  Data is from a large sample of Internet searches (from Google)  Singular vs plural, misspellings, verb tenses all separated out  Can segment by country  Synonyms Cons  No hard numbers Augment this tool with other free Google tools:  Google Suggest (  Google Trends (
  • 19. Keyword Popularity –According to Google AdWordsKeyword Tool
  • 20. Keyword Popularity –According to Google AdWordsKeyword Tool
  • 21. Keyword Popularity – According toGoogle Trends
  • 22. KeywordPopularity –According toGoogleSuggest
  • 23. Keyword Research Competition for that keyword should also be considered  Calculate KEI Score (Keyword Effectiveness Indicator) = ratio of searches over number of pages in search results  The higher the KEI Score, the more attractive the keyword is to target (assuming it’s relevant to your business)
  • 24. SEO. A Moving Target.  A lot is changing…  Personalization & customization  Vertical search services (Images, Video, News, Maps, etc.)  “Blended Search” – aka “Universal Search”  Fortunately, the tried-and-true tactics still work…  Topically relevant links from important sites  Anchor text  Keyword-rich title tags  Keyword-rich content  Internal hierarchical linking structure  The whole is greater than the sum of the parts
  • 25. The Search Engines Are YourFriend Webmaster tools (e.g. Google Webmaster Central, Live Search Webmaster Center, Yahoo Site Explorer) Rel=“nofollow” tag Meta NOODP tag Speaking at search engine conferences Publishing blogs dedicated to helping webmasters Participating on SEO forums “Weather reports”
  • 26. SEO Can Dramatically ImproveTraffic/Sales Non-optimal site with Optimized site with many few pages indexed pages indexed =$Few visits/sales per day Many visits/sales per day!
  • 27. Part 2: Seven Steps to High Rankings
  • 28. 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
  • 29. 1) Get Your Site Fully Indexed Search engines are wary of “dynamic” pages - they fear “spider traps” Avoid stop characters (?, &, =) ‘cgi-bin’, session IDs and unnecessary variables in your URLs; frames; redirects; pop-ups; navigation in Flash/Java/Javascript/pulldown boxes  If not feasible due to platform constraints, can be easily handled through proxy technology (e.g. GravityStream) The better your PageRank, the deeper and more often your site will be spidered
  • 30. Common Barriers to Spidering: !  Lack of links down into all content pages; navigation; Non-textlink sitewide • Search-form-only; • Javascript/Java-only (ie: dynamic menus); • Flash apps / Splash pages; Non-optimal URL formats of pages; URL Framed Content
  • 31. 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
  • 32. Results in“Supplemental Hell”
  • 33. 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!
  • 34. Not Spider-Friendly GET --> 302 Moved Temporarily GET --> 302 Moved Temporarily GET .do&CookieSet=Set --> 302 Moved Temporarily GET --> 200 OK
  • 35. 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
  • 36. Pretty good title
  • 37. Not so good title –where’s the phrase“credit card”?
  • 38. Dynamic Site Leaves Session IDs inURLs: Titles not specific to page (“jewelry”) Main text on page just nav labels – Little text/keyword content
  • 39. Good link textand body copy
  • 40. Good link textand body copy
  • 41. No link text orbody copy
  • 42. No link text orbody copy
  • 43. Take a peekunder thehood
  • 44. The “meta tags”
  • 45. Unnecessarilybloated HTML
  • 46. 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 (  Google Directory ( category pages  3rd party tools like’s “PageRank Lookup” & “PageRank Search” Scores range from 0-10 on a logarithmic scale Live Search and Yahoo have similar measures to PageRank™
  • 47. Google’s Toolbar –with handy PageRankMeter
  • 48. GoogleDirectory –listings areorganized byPageRank
  • 49. Conduct anyGoogle queryand get resultsorganized byPageRank
  • 50. 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”
  • 51. 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.
  • 52. 4) Leverage Your PageRank Avoid PageRank dilution  Canonicalization ( vs.  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 web/
  • 53. Duplicatepages
  • 54. Googlebot gotcaught in a“spider trap”
  • 55. Search enginespiders turntheir noses upat such URLs
  • 56. Thus, importantcontent doesn’tmake it into thesearch engineindices
  • 57. 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
  • 58. Where dosearcherslook?(Enquiro, Did-it,Eyetools Study)
  • 59. Searchlistings – 1 good,1 lousy
  • 60. 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
  • 61. Indexation tool –
  • 62. Link popularity tool –
  • 63. 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
  • 64. 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
  • 65. 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)
  • 66. BMW.dehosted many “doorway pages” like this one
  • 67. “Sneakyredirect” sent searchers to this page
  • 68. 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
  • 69. 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”?
  • 70. Review Errors/Messages in Webmaster Tools
  • 71. Content Opt Opportunities via WebmasterTools
  • 72. Check Robots.txt Exclusions in WebmasterTools
  • 73. Case Study: 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
  • 74. Case Study: 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
  • 75. 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
  • 76. Further Reading
  • 77. 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