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SEO: What's New and What You Need to Do - Fort Wayne

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Penguins, pandas, penalization, and proclamations from all over the online marketing and SEO world: but what does it all mean? What is this newer term, "inbound marketing"? And why are we hearing that SEO is dead ... again? What has really changed, and what should you and your business be doing about it?

What you need to know about the many Google and Bing updates.
Link schemes, keyword stuffing, Google Webmaster alerts, what does it all mean?
What is a penalization and what is a correction?
Is your website optimized for visibility and conversion?
How has social media impact on search changed?

Presented by Kevin Mullett, Director of Product Development Cirrus ABS

Published in: Business, Technology
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  • Fort Wayne:SEO: What’s New and What You Need to Do - Presented by Kevin Mullett for Cirrus ABS on August 14th 2012 at the NIIC in Fort Wayne Indiana.
  • Fort Wayne:SEO: What’s New and What You Need to Do - Presented by Kevin Mullett for Director of Product Development for Cirrus ABS. You can find Kevin: http://www.kevinmullett.com (blog), http://twitter.com/kmullett (twitter), http://www.facebook.com/kevinmullett (facebook), and on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinmullett
  • You either have the time, make the time, pay someone who does have the time, or forgo the opportunity. http://gconsult.us/blog/http:/gconsult.us/blog/cirrus-abs-and-kevin-mullet-thank-you/http://gconsult.us/blog/http:/gconsult.us/blog/seo-and-cirrus-abs-by-shane-grantham/
  • What does SEO even mean?: but what is search engine optimization? What is Search Visibility, which includes both Search Engine Optimization and Marketing. What does that mean? Not everyone agrees, but here has been my go to definition. The process of developing a website utilizing best practices and in such a manor that there are no encumbrances to the search engines ability to crawl a site and properly understand the subject of the site, find the sites pages, links, and documents, so that it might be included in the search engines organic or natural index appropriately.Search engine marketing is an open debate, but I have generally went with the definition that describes it as increasing the search engines awareness of your site and it’s pages to improve their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs). There is little argument that search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and paid search are all part of search engine visibility.
  • SEO won't fix bad content or make it convert, but without it the Google mantra to "just write good content" leaves you reaching less people than you could.Writing good content is crucial to a successful site for many reasons. For starters it gets read because it answers questions and/or entertains. It solves problems for people. Good content gets shared. That said, it doesn’t make sense to place good content on a broken site.
  • SEO prepares a site for good content and enables that content to be discovered and convert. If all developers and agencies did their job, there would be far less reason to hire someone to “do” SEO .
  • Far to often we see people start with website solutions that make it impossible, or at best difficult, to optimize their online presence.
  • Why are people saying SEO is dead?
  • When did the things I've been doing since the late 90's become new and how's come someone who wasn't doing it back then is trying to change what we call it? Marketing.
  • Inbound is about producing content that customers find useful, entertaining, or both, which drives shares, and leads people to your online properties. This is opposite of interruptive , push, or buying attention. Inbound is a fraction of what we do in our NetCentered consulting solutions, but is more than SEO alone. It is also known as earned media, permission marketing, and it is a sibling to content marketing, blah, blah, blah…but you will get a different spin on each depending on who you ask.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inbound_marketinghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_marketing
  • NetCentered extends beyond inbound, SEO, or other silos, and ties all offline and online marketing into a cohesive strategy for achieving business goals.http://www.cirrusabs.com/services.aspx/netcentered-business-strategy
  • Visibility is for the opportunity to convert traffic into leads or sales. As with most forms of advertising you have to be where your ideal demographic can see you, which sometimes means you must be in front of competitors if necessary, but you must obey the rules or have your sign removed. If they see both signs, you need to tell a better story.photo by David Evers: http://flic.kr/p/5XwMZC
  • SEO for Visibility, Action & Conversion: To win against your competitors in the search optimization game requires some knowledge, unless your competition isn’t trying. It’s easy to win if there is no competition. To win requires an understanding of the rules so you don’t get disqualified. You can be the best driver, but if you are stuck in the back of the pack you will not have a chance to show it. Optimization is part of the race regardless if you have the knowledge or not. Of course you need to decide early on how much winning is worth and what your budget is to go after it. And like most things if you don’t have a strategy, well, we all know how that goes.At this very race a competitor was disqualified for getting a bit too creative with the rules. This is analogous to black hat search optimization techniques.
  • Where will you spend your marketing budget: one of the questions those board members and business owners ask is where they should put their marketing budget! How do we spend it wisely?Traditional advertising (off-line; radio, tv, print)Social media (organic)Social media (advertising, facebook, sponsored tweets, etc)Paid searchAll of the above
  • Right now, you need to be going where the traffic is or more pointently, where you can be visible. And while being visible is great, if efforts are put into areas where there is no intent for action, ROI will be low. Just who or what do we want to be visible too? The obvious answer is people who would like to use our product or service. The not so obvious answer is where search bots frequent.
  • No marketing media channel has 100% eyeballs or is 100% effective. We need to prioritize based on goals, resources, and business objectives.
  • In fact, Google still believes direct mail is important and has been sending me these type of mail pieces for years.
  • An award winning site makes you feel warm and fuzzy for a few days. A website that converts business will keep the fire going for years.
  • Even if you show up well in the SERPs you must pay attention to click ability for overall conversion, an often overlooked part of the success equation. It doesn't matter how much traffic you can drive if it's the wrong traffic (wrong keywords) or if they never take action. Lack of conversion can be caused by things like, poor site usability, design not fitting subject or demographic, lack of calls to action (CTA), etc.
  • The Difficult Truth, it's not about money it is about time, unless you don't have time, then you need to spend money. If you don't have the time, or someone on staff who does, you will need someone you can call to explain it.  Someone who will weed out fad from fact. Even if you engage us to help, we need you to show interest and participate in your marketing success. Another difficult realization is that launching a site is not an item to check off some list. Unless the check says, now it's time to get serious. I've never seen a PERFECT site launch. What's a perfect site launch? One where I was able to do everything I wanted to do. Heck, I didn't even get to do EVERYTHING for our site launch. Projects are always limited by one or more of the following; time, money (which can affect time), effort, resources, knowledge, and buy in (from HIPPOs or you; the client). Any company you deal with will have those same limiting factors.
  • There are technical, onsite (page) and offsite (page) factors that impact your sites search engine result placement and more importantly conversion performance. I could bore you to death, and possibly will anyway, with search history, articles from the past, and crystal ball like predictions, but I won't.  Some articles by top SEOs from last year have been rendered useless due to algorithmic changes. Some of the items I say today will have a limited shelf life. So goes search. There are some advanced concepts we use that are very time consuming and technical in nature. I could not begin to explain them all in this one hour presentation, so I will do my best not to digress into long explanations of such. So let's get to it.
  • SEO for Visibility, Action & Conversion: We simply do not have time today to cover the pitfalls common to poorly performing sites, nor can we go through step by step all the best practices. For the purpose of today I am going to assume you have a functioning website. A website that isn't a lame duck. We will be happy to look at your site and give you a free report on how it fairs. That said, here is a mach 1 flyby.
  • “Because we launched the mobile optimized version at the same time, mobile time on site increased 12.77% percent in May 2012 over the same period last year. Total mobile visits increased 159% over last year. The Bounce Rate for mobile visits dropped 36.31% since launching the mobile optimized site. There’s the proof.”  — NATHAN J. DENNISON, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
  • Search engines change, frequently. Last year was a huge year for search engine changes and this year is likely to be just as big! Google has dozens of blogs, so it is hard to know which product is going to affect businesses today. For example how does personalized search or Search Plus Your World affect you? (you will think you are ranking better then you are!) The scary thought is that this is, so far only considering Google. Forced customized (personalized) search:if you’re logged in you see customized results with social circle included Webmaster console: removed pagerank, added backlink and various wanings along with Labs which includes site performance, fetch as googlebot, and malware detail tools Normal (xml) sitemaps, news sitemaps, video sitemapsWHO WILL BE WATCHING THIS at your company or organization?http://searchengineland.com/figz/wp-content/seloads/2011/09/Eric-Schmidt-Testimony.pdf
  • Google came out and said they will now be looking for over optimization, but what does that mean?http://searchengineland.com/too-much-seo-google%E2%80%99s-working-on-an-%E2%80%9Cover-optimization%E2%80%9D-penalty-for-that-115627
  • When the cable company cuts off your "free" cable that is not a penalization, that is a correction. If they fine, report, or convict you of stealing cable it is a penalty. i.e. you are no longerreceiving credit for that which you should never have been receiving anyway.Backlink buying penalization vs backlink value lossDuplicate content value loss vsDMCA penalization http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2012/08/13/understanding-the-new-google-pirate-penalty/Unnatural backlinksToo many ads above the fold
  • SEO for Visibility, Action & Conversion: While Matt Cutts of Google recently downplayed previous comments about site performance as a potential criteria for ranking, there is no doubt that Google has made recent changes encouraging site performance. Google Caffeine is one of those changes. In short it makes Google’s old index look antiquated in size and speed. A heavy emphasis has been put on continuously updating their global search index.
  • The Google Mayday update, which actually took place between April 28th through May 3rd, was an algorithmic change. Matt Cutts mentions in the video above that a increased emphasis on quality signals were added which hurt some sites that were using long-tail techniques on sites that were not relevant to the long-tail terms. This was not a webspam team change and no human intervention took place.Looking for signals of QUALITYDeep page content crawlingLooking for best sites for long-tailed queries(Huge sites with “thin content” took a bit hit) http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/022293.html
  • Google Panda (aka Farmer, February 23rd 2011)Impacts 12% of search resultsContent farms (unofficial) & article marketingScraper sitesLow quality, high ad content sitesAggregated or duplicate content(google’s looking for “original” content)http://www.seomoz.org/blog/googles-farmer-update-analysis-of-winners-vs-losershttp://searchengineland.com/google-forecloses-on-content-farms-with-farmer-algorithm-update-66071
  • Google Penguin (akawebspam, April 24th 2012)Impacts approximately 3.1% of English queries Over-optimization penalty (a penalty, not a correction)Looks at additional spam factorsLink schemesKeyword stuffing (extreme)http://insidesearch.blogspot.com/2012/04/another-step-to-reward-high-quality.html
  • Are you too focused on Google? Yahoo switched to Bing SERP results. (Started in July, completed Aug 24th)According to nielsen company binghoo is at 26% (Aug 2010)http://www.experian.com/blogs/hitwise/2012/08/10/searchenginesjuly2012/reported Bing search is 30% of share (Mar 2011)http://searchengineland.com/bing-hoo-search-down-4-percent-in-past-year-hitwise-says-130518
  • Business who are still trying to avoid social media or who are being overly selective may not be getting the entire picture. less discussed are the SEO, visibility, and traffic value that social media can provide.
  • What are Google +1’s?Announcement:http://www.google.com/+1/button/Video how to trick it: http://www.youtube.com/cirrusabs#p/a/u/0/ztYjWXwr6ikLink to Google Experimental Search: http://www.google.com/experimental/
  • Google+ and Google+ Pages for brands and businessesGoogle+ is a social network (June 28th, 2011)It opened to public (September 20th, 2011)Google+ pages (for brands and businesses) released (Nov 7th, 2011)Public google+ posts, profiles & pages show in search resultsIt is Google’s new direction.Announcement:http://www.google.com/+1/button/
  • Google is forcing the issue Google Places is now Google+ Local GSPYW (Google Search Plus Your World)Youtube Android devices
  • Google Places now Google+ LocalThe new Google+ Local - https://plus.google.com/localManaging via the old Google Places tool - http://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter?pli=1Moving Google Places content into Google+ Local - http://support.google.com/plus/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2622993Viewing your Google Places reviews without signing up for Google+ - http://support.google.com/plus/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2622938
  • Let’s pause to once again ask, what kind of content can you produce that solves problems, answers questions, and is of high enough quality to warrant reading, sharing, AND indexing?
  • Take any of the 200 plus criteria and start by first comparing that to your competition. Let's say for example that your competition has a page (browser) title like this example (company name + service + location + stop words + other service + stop words) ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL you could likely win with (service + location | company name). Why include the company name? Branding and credibility which MAY lead to higher click through rate (CTR) from the SERP (search engine results page). Now if your competition has kept it to (service + location) and everything else was equal then you would want to match that method.
  • This seminar is all about having you leave today with actionable items. Care has been given to provide easy to implement SEO techniques that can have measurable impact on your websites performance. Knowing what your competition is doing allows you to extend efforts to the areas of highest return. And if all this seems too daunting, then it is time to call in reinforcements. 1.877.817.4442 // info@cirrusabs.com // http://www.cirrusabs.comLet’s use Majestic SEO, although there are many others, to check to see how many backlinks we have. Hey while we are at it, let’s pull out that competitor list from earlier and see how they fare. Keep in mind it is not simply quantity of backlinks but also quality of backlinks that is considered. SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer: http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/
  • Localization is still climbing and if you are not a national brand, localization matters. If you are a national brand, grabbing local listings is still a good idea. If you think of your own searching habits, you are very likely to have used localized search yourself. We see local search as a high confidence indicator which can lead to higher CTR for no local listings lower on the SERP. And of course lets not forget about all our early adopter friends who are using location aware social applications Foursquare, Sonar, Urbanspoon, Google+ Local,
  • It’s free and easy to do. Go grab your local listings. Use http://www.getlisted.org to help with the process. Don’t forget to review your friends businesses, those service providers you appreciate, and ask clients to review yours. Use a consistent name, address, and telephone number whenever possible.
  • It’s free and easy to do. Go grab your local listings, and set a reminder to go look at the Google places (formerly local business center) analytics. The Google places analytics is a separate service from the Google analytics on your website.
  • Google Webmastershttps://www.google.com/webmasters
  • Bing Webmaster Toolsbing.com/toolbox/webmaster/
  • Bing’s business portal: Even if you had filled out this information before, go review your information as search engines like bing often change what you can add to your profile. The new bing business portal beta allows you to add facebook pages and twitter profiles for your business and even provides a QR code. Highly customizable with mobile and qr codes Fields for Facebook pages and Twitter profiles bingbusinessportal.com
  • Let’s have a little reality check here. Who doesn’t want to be number one? When dealing with SEO we need to have reasonable expectations for KW (keyword) and KWP (keyword phrase) SERPs. We also need to understand that the higher the competition for KW/KWP terms the longer it is likely to take to move up unless more effort is brought to bear. The thing we need to understand is that all keywords and phrases are not equally valued. That is why we need to know volumes of traffic. More ROI may be available by scoring better for less competitive terms (long tail), until you build authority and correct issues.
  • We need to put an increased emphasis on leads that convert into business and continue to move away from kw/kwp SERP rankings as the measurement criteria.
  • We've taken clients to number one on Google based on kw they insisted had to be there, only to find out that a slight derivation would have yielded exponential traffic. It can be the difference between the terms you use in the industry and what clients actually ask for, or much worse developing an entire website for the wrong profit center or term. What we need is the right keywords, for the right demographics, that fit the budget and effort that will be used.
  • We need to continue to go after a wider range of long tail key terms, that likely have the root terms in them, so we can convert more business.
  • The quandary many are left with is how to find the right SEO terms to optimize your site for. Let’s start with understanding who your clients are. After that let’s clarify what products or services return the most value to you, and how they fit with your online marketing efforts. Be specific about what you really do, who you really are as an organization, and who you compete with. Now put in keywords and keyword phrases from those exercises, and ones we will do later, into Google’s Keyword selector tool. Knowing the volume of the keywords and keyword phrases you wish to rank for affords you the opportunity to place emphasis on those that will yield the highest return, and you are most likely to be able to place for.
  • It is time to start blogging about the products you carry or services you offer.
  • We want to at least think about how we will create our internal website linking structure. The term “click here” returns 4 billion results. Do you really want to fight for relevance with that many other links? In our example we use keyword anchor text to send people to the page on our site that has the most relevant information. The search engines match what is in the link, with the subject on the page.example: click here for our Search Engine Optimization Services.
  • Thoughts on efficiently blogging for products. Convert product question response emails into posts Get guest bloggers Have them share via social Use video reviews & stories Link to that category or specific product(s) in the shopping cart
  • If I have heard it once, I have heard it a hundred times; I’ve nothing to write about. We are back to the truism, if you don’t have the time or the expertise you will need to engage someone who does. This simply is too important to your online marketing efforts to avoid. There is no magic pill to make it all better. You need to have fresh content, significant site depth, and individual pages with keywords and keyword phrases, to draw both human and search engine bot traffic.
  • Google gives you the cluesLet Google give you the clues on long tail subjects.Google InstantMore search tools (left)Searches related to (bottom)Related searches (top) doesn’t always appear
  • // CDPI - Summer Leadership Institute #CDPISLI – A CLICK IS NOT A BLOOD OATH Facebook events are easy and cheap, but you sacrifice real thoughtful signups, info gathering, and at times a commitment to come. What about people who are not on Facebook?
  • Keep your traffic, visibility, and SEOEmbed signup capability via services like eventbriteClients often talk about how hard it is to find things to blog or post news about when in reality they are letting things they are already doing go un-optimized. Don’t give away traffic, search engine optimization and brand visibility to third party sites.
  • “Cirrus took the difficult world of web and made it understandable and manageable. Before we started working with Cirrus, our site looked pretty good but had very little ROI. Now we have a site that looks good and generating a significant profit.” — Carrie S., Marketing Sanco Industries, Inc.
  • If you copy and paste manufacturers supplied descriptions you are competing with the big boys and it will boil down to other search signals that you likely won’t win for. Don’t just use the manufacturers supplied information which is duplicated many times.
  • Help the search bots know the subjecturl - [site.com/store/brand-name-product-1138]page title - [Brand Name Product in Red Model 1138 Type Style Descriptor | site name]description – [Looking for a red product 1138 made by brand name? We have them in red and other colors as well. Come check out our deals on other brand name models and service.]H1 – [Brand Name Product in Red Model 1138 for User Type Descriptor]First Paragraph – [Brand Name Product in Red Model 1138 is perfect for frolicking on summer days with…]
  • // CDPI - Summer Leadership Institute #CDPISLI – GET COMFY ON CAMERA Get comfortable in front of a camera because video is playing an ever increasing role.Video may give that extra oomph you need! differentiate from your competition easy and inexpensive increased visibilityFor our type of business? Will it blend, razor commercial and bubble wrap vs press.
  • SEO for Visibility, Action & Conversion: Due to the limited time we have today, I will leave you with some simple technical techniques and generalities. When creating titles and meta descriptions, think of how you want it to appear on the SERP as well as what keywords need to be included. Pay particular attention to what words you want to be bolded in the SERP for each page, white paper, pdf, or article on your site. And of course do not sacrifice readability, CTA, and general conversion methods just to get traffic. The traffic is almost completely for naught if you can’t get them to convert. Almost.
  • SEO for Visibility, Action & Conversion: Due to the limited time we have today, I will leave you with some simple technical techniques and generalities. When creating titles and meta descriptions, think of how you want it to appear on the SERP as well as what keywords need to be included. Pay particular attention to what words you want to be bolded in the SERP for each page, white paper, pdf, or article on your site. And of course do not sacrifice readability, CTA, and general conversion methods just to get traffic. The traffic is almost completely for naught if you can’t get them to convert. Almost.
  • Make sure that your website designer/developer has used appropriate header tags. You don’t need to use h1-h6, but you should at least have an h1 tag on the page and it should have the subject or keywords used in it. A commonly missed SEO item is picture or image alt text. Make sure to insert a descriptive alternate text representation of the pictures. Keep it short with a few keywords if applicable. Avoid mentioning that it is a picture or image as the search engines are already aware of that.
  • Technical considerations: Name your images.
  • DISPLAY AND CONNECTBadges -https://developers.google.com/+/plugins/badge/Authorship - https://plus.google.com/authorship or http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1408986Test it - http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets
  • Repeat after me; I will not fret over meta keywords…I will not. Sure go ahead and include meta keywords, but do not treat them as a focus. Instead, review pages on your site where the search engines may not be clear on the subject or purpose. Change title tags and your meta descriptions as you create and alter content first. They are of high value and have a way of clarifying your thinking with regard to the subject of the page. See also SEOmoz: http://www.seomoz.org/labs/lda -Latent Dirichlet AllocationShows relevance of a document to a query based on topics. (requires registration)Keep in mind that what ever KW/KWP’s appear in your title tag must be in the content of the page. Do not “stuff” either. It is always helpful to start with keywords and keyword phrases that you already have placement on the search engines for, rather then starting for terms that you have never ranked for. Do make sure though that the words are the correct words. The ones we validated earlier.
  • Offsite SEO: Someone told you that hundreds or thousands of backlinks were the key to SEO nirvana right? Well to be sure, backlinks are important, as it was one of the founding factors Google was based on. And yet we have the knowledge that there are over 200 criteria that Google uses to determine rank. Furthermore I have seen sites that have been active for years with tens of thousands backlinks still not rank well because they do not sufficiently cover other ranking factors. Which leads us squarely back to that all things being equal statement I keep saying.
  • Create awesome content that solves peoples problems, or entertains them, and share it with the World!Now lets look for ways to bolster our backlink strategy. Ask your suppliers to provide backlinks, but have them do so on relevant pages. Encourage customers and suppliers to have individual pages that make sense to be linking too and from. A giant page of links might be ok, but a page that is about XYZ uses our materials like this, is far better. Get into social media and tell the world about your new articles. A common mistake is linking to your home page, and while that is desirable in many instances, don’t forget to send people to inside pages that are more relevant.
  • Now lets shoot for some social visibility. This concepts takes content you post via your website, twitter, facebook, linkedin, delicious and posts it on other services where others are spending time and where the search engines are crawling. Each unique URL on each service is a page that Google could choose to serve up in a SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
  • SMO // action 8: Use a service like namechk.com to go grab your brands social id’s. I think it is wise for both branding reasons, and for online marketing presence to grab them. If you have an intern, this would be a great task to set them out on. Which ones are important? Which ones don’t you want a competitor or squatter to have? While the backlink value for many is not high, the fact that search engines are constantly crawling these networks is worth noting. This is especially important while the crawl rate on your website is low.Posting links to some of these networks, like ning.com or mybloglog.com where the search engines already spend a significant amount of time, can lead to pages being indexed in under an hour and subsequently lead to radical improvement in new pages being indexed on your site.
  • What about online reputation monitoring? Caught being reactive instead of proactive! Not a good position to be in because it can take time to correct depending on when you catch it. Own your brand spots and push competitors off or down. setting up alerts is crucial to being aware of what is happening with your brand even if that brand is you.socialmention (sentiment, rss,csv), google alerts (email & rss),topsy (email & rss), samepoint (sentiment & rss), tweetdeck (twitter search), tweetalarm (email), tweetbeep (email), kurrently (rss), etc Other paid solutions: Lithium (ScoutLabs), radian6, sysomos, netbase, trackur, AuthorityLabs, etc
  • We want to get people back to your site after the event if possible so that if they want to share slides, pictures and other information it is happening on the channel you want to promote. You don’t think they do or will? The good news I release you from any worry about if they will or won’t. Let them decide.Recent study shows up to seven times the mentions as a result of sharing buttons. http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008586Read more about the Facebook Open Graph protocol. (http://developers.facebook.com/docs/opengraph)Get the twitter button > http://twitter.com/about/resources/tweetbuttonUse http://www.addthis.com/Usehttp://sharethis.com/
  • A long time ago a client mentioned that they seen an abnormal spike in traffic in their analytics client. When asked what happen on that day, the client mentioned they had a story about them in the newspaper. Clearly the abnormal traffic was due to abnormal promotion. We want to look for successes so we can repeat them and failures so we can correct or avoid them. While it sounds geeky to discuss Google A/B or multivariate testing, this will not lead to conclusive results for clients with low traffic volume. It certainly may not provide enough measurable change to warrant the cost of creating those changes. This in no way means we should not constantly be testing for improvement. We can as an alternative look to landing page effectiveness, conversion funnels, bounce rates, time on site, and many other types of clues in order to fine tune ROI. We can also use the new Google Analytics annotation feature so you can look back and recall what caused a spike in traffic.
  • SEO // action 11: This would be a great time to input keywords you have selected based on validation efforts earlier into a tool like Rank Checker, a Firefox add-on, to establish a baseline for both your site, and that of your competitors. It is FAR from perfect but you can watch trends!When checking rankings use: IE = “InPrivate Browsing”, Firefox =“start private browsing “ , Chrome =“incognito”, Opera = “new private tab”, to avoid personalized results.You will also want to express the need for everyone in the company to be committed to monitoring contacts, calls, and lead sources for clues on what is working so you can do it again.
  • Fort Wayne:SEO: What’s New and What You Need to Do - Presented by Kevin Mullett for Director of Product Development for Cirrus ABS. You can find Kevin: http://www.kevinmullett.com (blog), http://twitter.com/kmullett (twitter), http://www.facebook.com/kevinmullett (facebook), and on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinmullett
  • Transcript of "SEO: What's New and What You Need to Do - Fort Wayne"

    1. 1. SEO: What’s New and What You Need to Do // Kevin Mullett cirrusabs.com twitter.com/cirrusabs facebook.com/cirrusabs youtube.com/user/cirrusabs linkedin.com/companies/cirrus-abs @kmullett // #SEOFW
    2. 2. SEO: What’s New and What You Need to Do // Kevin Mullett kevinmullett.com twitter.com/kmullett facebook.com/kevinmullett linkedin.com/in/kevinmullett just google “kevin mullett” director of product development @kmullett // #SEOFW
    3. 3. We never “have” the time You either have the time, make the time, pay someone who does have the time, or forgo the opportunity. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    4. 4. What does SEO even mean?Search engine optimization is*:Developing a website utilizing best practices and in such a manor that there are no encumbrances to the search engines ability to crawl a site and properly understand the subject of the site, find the sites pages, links, and documents, so that it might be included in the search engines organic or natural index appropriately.*It depends on who you ask andsearch engine marketing is an open debate.Paid search vs organic, etc. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    5. 5. SEO won’t fix bad content SEO wont fix bad content or make it convert, but without it the Google mantra to "just write good content" leaves you reaching less people than you could. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    6. 6. SEO prepares a site for good content What’s missing is what’s important. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    7. 7. SEO is the rock solid foundation Far to often we see people start with website solutions that make it impossible, or at best difficult, to optimize their online presence. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    8. 8. Why are people saying SEO is dead? • Link bait & controversy to stir up clicks, shares, and conversation. • Allows them to lump all other SEOs into a pool that they are magically excluded from. • Inherently positions themselves as knowing or providing something greater than others. • Marketing @kmullett // #SEOFW
    9. 9. Inbound marketing is marketing speak When did the things Ive been doing since the late 90s become new and hows come someone who wasnt doing it back then is trying to change what we call it? Marketing. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    10. 10. What is inbound marketing? Inbound is about producing content that customers find useful, entertaining, or both, which drives shares, and leads people to your online properties. This is opposite of interruptive , push, or buying attention. Aka earned media, permission marketing, a sibling to content marketing, blah, blah, blah… @kmullett // #SEOFW
    11. 11. What is NetCentered marketing? NetCentered extends beyond inbound, SEO, or other silos, and ties all offline and online marketing into a cohesive strategy for achieving business goals. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    12. 12. Visibility for the opportunity to convert • Be where your ideal demographic can see you • Obey the rules or have your sign removed • Tell a better storyphoto by David Evers: http://flic.kr/p/5XwMZC @kmullett // #SEOFW
    13. 13. Winning requires knowledge • What are the rules • How can I optimize within the rules • Which races can I win while staying within my budget • Am I dedicated to the winning strategy • How much is winning worth @kmullett // #SEOFW
    14. 14. Marketing $’s are tight Where shall we spend our marketing budget? • Traditional advertising (off-line; radio, tv, print, listings) • Social media (organic) • Social media (advertising, Facebook, sponsored tweets, etc) • Paid search • All of the above @kmullett // #SEOFW
    15. 15. Is SEO the intent winner? TV DM (direct mail) Radio Newspaper Print (brochures/ads) Email Marketing Social Media SEO Search Marketing Tradeshows Sponsorship (NASCAR etc.) Yellow Pages (not shown) @kmullett // #SEOFW
    16. 16. There are no 100% solutions No marketing media channel has 100% eyeballs or is 100% effective. We need to prioritize based on goals, resources, and business objectives. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    17. 17. Google still believes… Direct mail to reach the right audience @kmullett // #SEOFW
    18. 18. The reward should be ROI An award winning site makes you feel warm and fuzzy for a few days. A website that converts business will keep the fire going for years. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    19. 19. Visibility is online currency • No visibility = no clicks • Unattractive or spammy titles & descriptions (snippets) = no clicks • Clicks for incorrect terms = no conversion • Poorly planned landing pages with no CTA = no conversion @kmullett // #SEOFW
    20. 20. SEO // the three types of search Navigational – I know the name, but not the address. Transactional – I want to buy a red wagon. Informational – How do I… @kmullett // #SEOFW
    21. 21. Architecture matters • I’ve never seen a perfect launch, i.e. one where I got to do everything I wanted. • Projects are always limited by: time, money, effort, resources, knowledge, buy in. (from HIPPOs or clients) @kmullett // #SEOFW
    22. 22. Technical, onsite & offsite factors There are technical, onsite (page), & offsite (page) factors that impact your sites SERP and conversion performance. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    23. 23. Are you in trouble? If your site… • Is trapped in flash • Award winning but un-findable • Can’t be changed by you • Not mobile friendly • Doesn’t allow changing page titles and meta descriptions you’re in trouble. ask for a free lame duck site evaluation @kmullett // #SEOFW
    24. 24. Why go mobile? What about Responsive? “Because we launched the mobile optimized version at the same time, mobile time on site increased 12.77% percent in May 2012 over the same period last year. Total mobile visits increased 159% over last year. The Bounce Rate for mobile visits dropped 36.31% since launching the mobile optimized site. There’s the proof.” — NATHAN J. DENNISON, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum @kmullett // #SEOFW
    25. 25. Search engines change, frequently! Google alone uses over 200 criteria/signals for ranking site pages, performs over 6000 tests and subsequently changes over 400 algorithms per year. Who’s on watch? Google CEO Eric Schmidt to Congress – 516 updates and over 13’000 tests in 2010. (pdf) @kmullett // #SEOFW
    26. 26. Over-optimization Google came out and said they will now be looking for over- optimization or overly SEO’ed sites, but what does that mean? “…or whatever they are doing to sort of go beyond what a normal person would expect in a particular area” ~ Matt Cutts (In March 2012, audio can be heard here) @kmullett // #SEOFW
    27. 27. Penalization vs corrections When the cable company cuts off your "free" cable that is not a penalization, that is a correction. If they fine, report, or convict you of stealing cable it is a penalty. • Backlink buying penalization vs backlink value loss • Duplicate content value loss vs DMCA penalization @kmullett // #SEOFW
    28. 28. Caffeine super charges data centers Google Caffeine (June 8 th 2010) • 50% fresher results over previous index • Over 100 million gig of storage • Emphasis on indexing speed • Emphasis on freshness and frequency • Continuous updating globally @kmullett // #SEOFW
    29. 29. Mayday: Notice, we want quality Google Mayday (April 28 th – May 3rd 2010) • Looking for signals of QUALITY • Deep page content crawling • Looking for best sites for long-tailed queries (Huge sites with “thin content” took a bit hit) @kmullett // #SEOFW
    30. 30. Panda starts feeding on sites Google Panda (aka Farmer, February 23 rd 2011) • Impacts 12% of search results • Content farms (unofficial) & article marketing • Scraper sites (scrapes content from other sites) • Low quality, high ad content sites • Aggregated or duplicate content (Google’s looking for “original” content) Are we seeing a trend yet? @kmullett // #SEOFW
    31. 31. And then a Penguin waddles in Google Penguin (aka webspam, April 24 th 2012) • Impacts approximately 3.1% of English queries • Over-optimization penalty (a penalty, not a correction) • Looks at additional spam/quality factors • Link schemes • Keyword stuffing (extreme) @kmullett // #SEOFW
    32. 32. Bing + Yahoo = Binghoo Are you too focused on Google? Yahoo switched to Bing SERP results. (Started in July, completed Aug 24th) Experian hitwise reported Bing search is 27% as of July 2012. This has fallen from 30% of share March 2011. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    33. 33. Think you can ignore social media? Business who are still trying to avoid social media or who are being overly selective may not be getting the entire picture. less discussed are the SEO, visibility, and traffic value that social media can provide. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    34. 34. What is Google +1? Google +1 (march 2011) • Will be used as “A” signal for Google search to fight web spam • May be visible in search results, ads, images • On sites ala “like” button +1’s for G+ posts only show on posts. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    35. 35. Google+ and Google+ Pages Google+ is a social network (June 28th, 2011) • It opened to the public (September 20th, 2011) • Google+ Pages opened (Nov 7th, 2011) It is Google’s new direction@kmullett @kmullett // #SEOFW
    36. 36. Google is forcing the issue • Google Places is now Google+ Local • GSPYW (Google Search Plus Your World) • Youtube • Android devices Social Media Summit - #SMSFW
    37. 37. Google places, is now Google+ Local Scoring is based on individual user ratings. Social Media Summit - #SMSFW Google+ Local scores
    38. 38. Wait! What do THEY want again? Let’s pause to once again ask, what kind of content can you produce that solves problems, answers questions, and is of high enough quality to warrant reading, sharing, AND indexing? @kmullett // #SEOFW
    39. 39. It’s an all things being equal deal There are over 200 criteria so you must do competitive analysis to maximize your return on efforts. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    40. 40. Why is your competition winning? • Create a list of competitors sites • Run competitive analysis with majestic SEO: majesticseo.com/bulk-backlink-checker.php • Develop a plan to win or call in reinforcements @kmullett // #SEOFW
    41. 41. Localization still climbing • 20% of Google searches are local • 40% of Google mobile device searches have local intent • Local search instills high confidence with searchers • Social applications like Foursquare, Urbanspoon, etc @kmullett // #SEOFW
    42. 42. You don’t need us to do it, but … Grab your local listings: getlisted.org Use consistent citation: name, address, phone number @kmullett // #SEOFW
    43. 43. Use the information available Review your local analytics google.com/places @kmullett // #SEOFW
    44. 44. Google Webmaster Tools google.com/webmasters @kmullett // #SEOFW
    45. 45. Bing Webmaster Tools bing.com/toolbox/webmaster/ @kmullett // #SEOFW
    46. 46. The Bing Business Portal • Highly customizable with mobile and qr codes • Fields for Facebook pages and Twitter profiles • bingbusinessportal.com @kmullett // #SEOFW
    47. 47. We all want to be #1 when dealing with SEO we need to have reasonable expectations for KW (keyword) and KWP (keyword phrases). We also need to understand that the higher the competition for KW/KWP terms the longer it is likely to take to move up unless more effort is brought to bear. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    48. 48. Count conversions, not positions We need to put an increased emphasis on leads that convert into business and continue to move away from kw/kwp SERP rankings as the measurement criteria. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    49. 49. Select the right keywords, not just high volume Weve taken clients to number one on Google based on keywords they insisted had to be there, only to find out that a slight derivation would have yielded exponential results. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    50. 50. Longer tail terms convert We need to continue to go after a wider range of long tail key terms, that likely have the root terms in them, so we can convert more business. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    51. 51. Who are you trying to reach? • What are you customer personas? • What do you really do? • Who are you competing against? • Verify keywords & keyword adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal • Low/no volume terms may still be valuable @kmullett // #SEOFW
    52. 52. Now let’s start writing about it It is time to start blogging about the products you carry or services you offer!Blog posts Product landing page F.A.Q’s @kmullett // #SEOFW
    53. 53. Internal linking; don’t “click here” Formulate an internal linking structure • Keyword use where it makes sense (NO STUFFING) • Link to deeper pages Example: click here for our Search Engine Optimization Services. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    54. 54. What should we write about? Thoughts on efficiently blogging. • Convert product question response emails into posts • Get guest bloggers • Use video reviews & stories • Link to that category or yoursite.com/blog specific product(s) in the vs shopping cart blog.othersite.com @kmullett // #SEOFW
    55. 55. I’ve nothing to write A common complaint is not knowing what to write & what keywords to target. • Fresh content is crucial • Newest articles win (all else being equal) • Increases site depth • Increases crawl rate (though this isn’t a big issue anymore) @kmullett // #SEOFW
    56. 56. Google gives you the clues Let Google give you ideas on which long tail subjects to write about. • Google Instant • More search tools (left) • Searches related to (bottom) • Related searches (top) [doesn’t always appear] @kmullett // #SEOFW
    57. 57. A click is not a blood oathFacebook events• No formal signup• No info gathering• No commitment• Not for everyone @kmullett // #SEOFW
    58. 58. Keep your traffic, visibility, & SEO CDPI - Summer Leadership Institute #CDPISLI Embed signup capability via services like eventbrite @kmullett // #SEOFW
    59. 59. Results “Cirrus took the difficult world of web and made it understandable and manageable. Before we started working with Cirrus, our site looked pretty good but had very little ROI. Now we have a site that looks good and generating a significant profit.” — Carrie S., Marketing Sanco Industries, Inc. — A 100.57% increase in website traffic — A sales increase of somewhere around 300% — More control of their branding and marketing message across their entire retailer network @kmullett // #SEOFW
    60. 60. Ecomm’s, don’t just copy and paste! If you copy and paste, it will boil down to other search signals that you likely won’t win for. Manufacturers supplied information duplicated your store many times @kmullett // #SEOFW
    61. 61. Help the search bots, don’t game them • URL - [site.com/store/brand-name-product-1138] • Page title - [Brand Name Product in Red Model 1138 Type Style Descriptor | site name] • Description – [Looking for a red product 1138 made by brand name? We have them in red and other colors as well. Come check out our deals on other brand name models and service.] • H1 – [Brand Name Product in Red Model 1138 for User Type Descriptor] • First Paragraph – [Brand Name Product in Red Model 1138 is perfect for frolicking on summer days with…] @kmullett // #SEOFW
    62. 62. Get comfy in front of a camera Video may give that extra visibility you need! • Differentiate from your competition • Easy and inexpensive to embed from Youtube • Increased visibility & no plug-in CDPI - Summer Leadership Institute #CDPISLI @kmullett // #SEOFW
    63. 63. Technical considerations: Titles When writing page titles • Keep the title to 70 characters when possible (now based on width) • Use localization and kw/kwp in the title • Think about attractiveness + bolded words (will it get clicked?) @kmullett // #SEOFW
    64. 64. Technical considerations: Descriptions Meta descriptions usually become snippets • Keep the description to 156 characters when possible • Think about attractiveness + bolded words Consider the impact on your CTR and visibility words included in your titles and descriptions should also appear on the page. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    65. 65. Missed or skipped technical tasks Header tags: H1-H6 Alt tags are often missed (dont say picture or image of, Google already knows its an image) @kmullett // #SEOFW
    66. 66. Technical considerations: Name your images seo-is-like-nascar-001.jpg @kmullett // #SEOFW
    67. 67. Display and connect Badges Authorship or here Test it You are probably going to need a geek for this.@kmullett @kmullett // #SEOFW
    68. 68. Time to start the cleanup • Change title tags & descriptions first because they are valuable & clarify thinking • Start with keywords & keyword phrases you already rank for (see via Google Webmasters or Bing Webmasters) • Make sure there is a call to action on EVERY PAGE @kmullett // #SEOFW
    69. 69. Why do we want backlinks? • Offsite visibility • Traffic generation / linkbait (to internal pages or primary domain) • To encourage page/article indexing • Increase page rank / authority • Because someone said they are magic DO NOT buy backlinks! Ever. @kmullett // #SEOFW
    70. 70. How do I get good backlinks? Create awesome content that solves peoples problems, entertains them, or both, and share it with the World! @kmullett // #SEOFW
    71. 71. Place content where helpful Article awareness via communities, social, RSS Tell potential visitors and the search engines you have new content @kmullett // #SEOFW
    72. 72. Protecting your brand Grab your brand • mass id check with namechk.com @kmullett // #SEOFW
    73. 73. Online reputation management Own your brand • Clog the SERPs • Push competition off • Proactive not reactive • Sentiment aware • Alerts/lists are crucial @kmullett // #SEOFW
    74. 74. Let people spread the word • Bring folks back again • Sharing happens here @kmullett // #SEOFW
    75. 75. Did it work? Do it again • Check Google analytics or server logs for: (bounce rates, time on site, pages visited, conversion pages, confirmation pages. Setup advanced filters & funnels.) • Monitor contacts, calls, lead sources • Google Webmasters @kmullett // #SEOFW
    76. 76. Check leads, then check rank Get: Rank Checker a Firefox browser add-on • Measure baseline • Measure changes • Measure competition • Check in private browsing @kmullett // #SEOFW
    77. 77. SEO: What’s New and What You Need to Do // Kevin Mullett kevinmullett.com cirrusabs.com twitter.com/kmullett twitter.com/cirrusabs facebook.com/kevinmullett facebook.com/cirrusabs linkedin.com/in/kevinmullett youtube.com/user/cirrusabs just google “kevin mullett” linkedin.com/companies/cirrus-abs director of product development
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