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At more than 400 pages long and almost 140,000 words in length, Econsultancy's SEO Best Practice Guide contains everything you need to know about search engine optimization, whether you work for an in-house client team, independently or for an agency.

Built on the foundations of our previous, highly-renowned report, this document will help you understand search marketing like never before.

The SEO Best Practice Guide is invaluable for anybody working in internet marketing, or looking to appoint an SEO agency, or simply trying to secure better search engine rankings.

It has been created with the help of globally-esteemed SEO practitioners, in order to provide front-line insight and give you the edge in your natural search marketing activity.

Make no mistake: this guide contains lots of actionable, real world insight. It will help you immediately start to improve your performance across the search engines.
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Inside the guide, you will find:

Best practice success factors
Key recommendations
SEO tips for success

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    (SAMPLE) EConsultancy: SEO best practice guide 2014 (SAMPLE) EConsultancy: SEO best practice guide 2014 Document Transcript

    • Market Data / Supplier Selection / Event Presentations / User Experience Benchmarking / Best Practice / Template Files/ Trends and Innovation  SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide
    • SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide Published January 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014 Econsultancy London Wells Point 79 Wells Street LondonW1T 3QN United Kingdom Econsultancy New York 350 7th Avenue, Suite 307 New York, NY 10001 United States Telephone: +44 (0)20 7269 1450 Telephone: +1 212 971 0630 http://econsultancy.com help@econsultancy.com
    • Like this sample report? Access over 500 reports with a subscription. The reason subscribers join us - and stay with us Econsultancy’s entire research library is available to our subscribers, providing unlimited and unrivalled access to over 500 reports (and counting). In an environment where market trends are constantly changing, gaining up to the minute insider knowledge and expertise is invaluable. Comprehensive, authoritative and easy to read, our award-winning research offers practical advice to marketers on all aspects of digital marketing and ecommerce. Whatever you need to know, you just found it      Just a few of our reports... Best Practice Our definitive ‘how-to’ guides across key topic areas for digital marketing professionals. Market Data Statistics, facts and figures; great for presentations! Supplier Selection Understand the market, latest trends and find the right supplier for your needs. Template Files Save time on RFPs, web and digital marketing projects. Trends and Innovation What’s happening out there, what’s new, what’s next? • SEO Best Practice Guide • Facebook Pages for Business Best Practice Guide • Online Video Best Practice Guide • Global Internet Statistics Compendium • RTB Buyer’s Guide • Email Marketing Platforms Buyer’s Guide • Digital Marketing Template Files • Innovation Report • Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefings Find out more about research and get access now with a subscription To view our full range of 500+ reports, please visit econsultancy.com/reports If you’re ready to get your hands on our reports and use them for all they’re worth, we recommend becoming an Econsultancy subscriber. For more details, please visit econsultancy.com/subscribe If you have any questions about membership, get in touch by emailing subscriptions@econsultancy.com
    • Contents 1. Introduction to Our Guides ........................................... 14 1.1. How this guide is structured ......................................................14 1.1.1. 1.1.2. 1.2. Features of this guide ................................................................................... 15 Key chapters ................................................................................................. 16 About Econsultancy ...................................................................18 2. Introduction to Search Marketing and SEO.................. 19 2.1. 2.2. 2.3. 2.4. What is search marketing and SEO? ........................................ 20 Why is it important?................................................................... 21 Market context .......................................................................... 24 Getting to grips with the fundamentals .................................... 25 2.4.1. 2.4.2. 2.4.3. 2.4.4. 2.5. Goals, objectives and KPIs ........................................................ 37 2.5.1. 2.5.2. 2.5.3. 2.6. SEO opportunities ....................................................................................... 40 SEO challenges ............................................................................................. 41 What are the risks? ...................................................................................... 41 Integration with other marketing channels ............................. 42 2.7.1. 2.7.2. 2.7.3. 2.7.4. 2.8. The difference between goals and objectives ............................................. 37 Setting SMART objectives ...........................................................................38 The value of KPIs ......................................................................................... 39 Opportunities, challenges and risks ......................................... 40 2.6.1. 2.6.2. 2.6.3. 2.7. Have you heard of the tail of search? .......................................................... 25 Savvier searchers.......................................................................................... 27 Anatomy of a SERPs page............................................................................ 29 The different types of organic search result ............................................... 33 Paid search ................................................................................................... 42 Display advertising ...................................................................................... 42 Affiliate marketing ....................................................................................... 42 Offline marketing ......................................................................................... 43 Regulations ................................................................................ 43 3. Changes in SEO Since the Last Report .......................... 45 3.1. Updates from the search engines.............................................. 45 3.1.1. 3.1.2. 3.1.3. 3.1.4. 3.1.5. 3.2. 3.3. 3.4. Algorithm update: Hummingbird ............................................................... 45 Algorithm update: Panda ............................................................................ 45 Algorithm update: Penguin .........................................................................48 Algorithm update: Venice ............................................................................ 49 Algorithm update: EMD .............................................................................. 49 Interface updates ....................................................................... 50 Transparency and alerts ............................................................ 56 The drive to disavow ................................................................. 56 Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide Page 3 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • 3.5. 3.6. Paid inclusion ............................................................................ 57 Updates from the SEO industry ................................................ 58 3.6.1. 3.6.2. 3.6.3. 3.6.4. 3.7. Content marketing ....................................................................................... 58 Outreach and engagement ........................................................................... 58 Data and analytics ........................................................................................ 58 Click through optimization .......................................................................... 58 Debate around Google+ ............................................................ 58 4. Ranking Factors ............................................................. 60 4.1. 4.2. 4.3. 4.4. 4.5. Focus on the customer to get the rank ......................................61 The science behind rank ........................................................... 62 How search engines are evolving algorithms ........................... 63 How this is expected to change ................................................. 64 Key dos and don'ts .................................................................... 65 5. Planning and Strategy.................................................... 68 5.1. Understanding the darker side of SEO ..................................... 70 5.1.1. 5.1.2. 5.1.3. 5.2. Understanding Google penalties .............................................. 74 5.2.1. 5.2.2. 5.3. Setting a realistic strategy ............................................................................ 78 Balancing SEO and paid search .................................................................. 79 How PPC can help SEO .............................................................................. 80 Audience analysis, search behaviour and keyphrase selection ......................................................................................81 5.4.1. 5.4.2. 5.4.3. 5.4.4. 5.4.5. 5.4.6. 5.5. Manual penalties .......................................................................................... 74 Algorithmic penalties ................................................................................... 75 SEO strategy - the planning process ......................................... 76 5.3.1. 5.3.2. 5.3.3. 5.4. Whitehat SEO ............................................................................................... 70 Greyhat SEO ................................................................................................. 71 Blackhat SEO ................................................................................................ 73 Which search terms should you target? ......................................................82 Understanding search behaviour ................................................................83 Time-related variations in keyphrase use ...................................................84 Understanding different types of keyphrases.............................................86 Grouping and categorising keyphrases ....................................................... 87 Keyphrase identification and selection process .........................................89 Auditing current performance ................................................ 106 5.5.1. 5.5.2. 5.5.3. 5.5.4. 5.5.5. 5.5.6. 5.5.7. 5.5.8. 5.5.9. 5.5.10. Relative performance ................................................................................. 106 Performance benchmarking .......................................................................113 Site inclusion for natural search ................................................................ 117 Link and domain popularity for natural search ....................................... 118 Evaluating alternative SEO approaches ....................................................119 Site speed .................................................................................................... 120 Page metrics vs. key term metrics ..............................................................121 Benchmarking content performance ........................................................ 123 Mobile vs. desktop ..................................................................................... 125 Page performance ...................................................................................... 125 Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide Page 4 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • 5.5.11. Benchmarking correctly ............................................................................ 129 5.6. Site inclusion and reinclusion requests ...................................134 5.6.1. 5.7. 5.8. Filing a reconsideration request................................................................ 138 Setting goals, objectives and KPIs for SEO ............................. 141 Key dos and don’ts for SEO strategy........................................144 6. Measurement and Reporting For SEO ........................ 146 6.1. SEO measurement ....................................................................146 6.1.1. 6.1.2. 6.1.3. 6.1.4. 6.1.5. 6.1.6. 6.1.7. 6.2. SEO reporting ........................................................................... 155 6.2.1. 6.2.2. 6.2.3. 6.2.4. 6.2.5. 6.2.6. 6.3. (not provided) ............................................................................................ 173 iOS search ................................................................................................... 174 Tools of the trade ...................................................................... 175 6.6.1. 6.6.2. 6.6.3. 6.6.4. 6.6.5. 6.6.6. 6.6.7. 6.6.8. 6.7. What can you test? ..................................................................................... 170 Creating a testing plan ................................................................................ 171 Case study .................................................................................................... 171 Known data anomalies for SEO ............................................... 173 6.5.1. 6.5.2. 6.6. Importance of context ................................................................................ 166 Questioning data ........................................................................................ 166 Role of Voice-of-Customer data ................................................................ 167 Multi-channel funnels and attribution analysis ....................................... 167 Universal analytics and SEO ..................................................................... 170 Role of testing and optimization ..............................................170 6.4.1. 6.4.2. 6.4.3. 6.5. Defining requirements ............................................................................... 155 Essential SEO reports ................................................................................ 156 Using segmentation ................................................................................... 158 Role of dashboards ..................................................................................... 159 Custom reports ............................................................................................161 Importance of goals and event tracking ....................................................161 SEO analysis ............................................................................. 165 6.3.1. 6.3.2. 6.3.3. 6.3.4. 6.3.5. 6.4. The role of web analytics ........................................................................... 146 Identifying goals, objectives and KPIs ...................................................... 147 Defining data needs ................................................................................... 148 Ecommerce and non-ecommerce tracking ............................................... 149 Ensuring data is validated ......................................................................... 150 Metrics for SEO .......................................................................................... 152 Using campaign tracking parameters ....................................................... 153 Web analytics platforms ............................................................................ 175 Market analysis tools ................................................................................. 176 SEO performance tools .............................................................................. 176 Browser extensions .................................................................................... 176 Technical performance tools ..................................................................... 177 Voice-of-Customer tools. ........................................................................... 177 Page engagement tools .............................................................................. 177 AB and MVT testing tools .......................................................................... 177 Key dos and don’ts for SEO measurement and reporting ......178 Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide Page 5 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • 7. Technical SEO .............................................................. 179 7.1. 7.2. 7.3. Why technical SEO is important .............................................. 179 Considerations when building a website ................................ 180 Site architecture ...................................................................... 180 7.3.1. 7.3.2. 7.3.3. 7.3.4. 7.3.5. 7.3.6. 7.3.7. 7.3.8. 7.3.9. 7.3.10. 7.3.11. 7.4. Canonicalisation ...................................................................... 204 7.4.1. 7.4.2. 7.5. 7.6. 7.7. Why does canonicalisation cause problems? .......................................... 205 Quick tips for canonicalisation ................................................................. 206 Pagination ................................................................................ 207 Geo-targeting ........................................................................... 208 Crawling, server behaviour and response codes .................... 210 7.7.1. 7.7.2. 7.7.3. 7.7.4. 7.7.5. 7.7.6. 7.7.7. 7.7.8. 7.7.9. 7.7.10. 7.7.11. 7.7.12. 7.8. 7.9. Categorisation ............................................................................................ 181 Use of subdomains ..................................................................................... 181 URL formats ............................................................................................... 182 Using Webmaster Tools ............................................................................. 183 Sitemaps ..................................................................................................... 184 Telling the search engine about your Sitemap ......................................... 187 URL parameter management .................................................................... 189 The “robots” meta tag .................................................................................191 The Robot Exclusion Standard (robots.txt) .............................................. 192 Mod-rewrite and URL Rewrite: ................................................................ 194 URL Rewrite ............................................................................................... 201 Viewing headers ..........................................................................................211 HTTP request headers ............................................................................... 212 User agent ................................................................................................... 212 Accept-Encoding (Compression) .............................................................. 213 Referrer ....................................................................................................... 213 HTTP response headers ............................................................................. 215 Response status codes ............................................................................... 216 HTTP compression .................................................................................... 219 ETag ........................................................................................................... 220 X-Robots-Tag ............................................................................................ 220 Canonical URLs ......................................................................................... 220 Vary HTTP header ..................................................................................... 221 Web crawler detection..............................................................221 URL discovery ......................................................................... 222 7.9.1. 7.9.2. 7.9.3. Links ...........................................................................................................222 Sitemaps .....................................................................................................222 Toolbars and analytics ...............................................................................222 7.10. Web crawling optimization ..................................................... 223 7.10.1. 7.10.2. 7.10.3. 7.10.4. Crawl budgets .............................................................................................223 XML Sitemaps ............................................................................................ 225 Expired/deleted content ............................................................................ 225 Crawl optimization checklist .....................................................................226 7.11. Redirection .............................................................................. 226 7.11.1. Geographic redirection ..............................................................................226 7.11.2. Mobile/device redirection ......................................................................... 227 Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide Page 6 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • 7.12. Site availability and speed ....................................................... 227 7.12.1. Availability .................................................................................................. 227 7.12.2. Site speed ................................................................................................... 228 7.13. Optimising site speed .............................................................. 230 7.13.1. 7.13.2. 7.13.3. 7.13.4. 7.13.5. Server response time................................................................................. 230 HTML size ................................................................................................. 230 Page structure............................................................................................ 230 AJAX / client-side asynchronous technologies ........................................ 231 Site speed checklist .................................................................................... 231 7.14. Vertical technical SEO ............................................................. 232 7.14.1. 7.14.2. 7.14.3. 7.14.4. Image search ..............................................................................................232 News ...........................................................................................................233 Video search ...............................................................................................234 Shopping search ......................................................................................... 235 7.15. HTML markup......................................................................... 235 7.15.1. 7.15.2. 7.15.3. 7.15.4. 7.15.5. 7.15.6. 7.15.7. 7.15.8. Open Graph ................................................................................................ 235 Title and description tags ..........................................................................236 Header tags................................................................................................. 237 Structured data........................................................................................... 237 Breadcrumbs .............................................................................................. 237 Pagination.................................................................................................. 238 Testing ....................................................................................................... 238 HTML 5 elements.......................................................................................239 7.16. Domain migration and site redevelopment............................ 239 7.16.1. Domain migrations ................................................................................... 240 7.16.2. Site redevelopment ....................................................................................242 7.17. Technical auditing for SEO ..................................................... 243 7.18. Technical SEO monitoring ...................................................... 245 7.18.1. Monitoring checklist .................................................................................. 245 7.18.2. Monitoring tools.........................................................................................246 8. On-page Optimization ................................................. 248 8.1. 8.2. 8.3. 8.4. Introduction ............................................................................ 248 The importance of targeting keywords ................................... 249 Selecting keyphrases for optimization .................................... 250 Page markup factors ................................................................ 252 8.4.1. 8.4.2. 8.4.3. 8.4.4. 8.4.5. 8.4.6. 8.4.7. 8.4.8. 8.5. Page <titles> ............................................................................................... 252 Content headings ....................................................................................... 254 Body content............................................................................................... 255 Meta description ........................................................................................ 256 Image optimization .................................................................................... 257 Authorship .................................................................................................. 259 Rich snippets .............................................................................................. 261 Social sharing .............................................................................................262 Document level factors ............................................................ 265 8.5.1. Keyphrase(s) within domain name ........................................................... 265 Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide Page 7 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • 8.5.2. 8.5.3. 8.6. 8.7. Keywords in URLs......................................................................................266 Non-HTML document types .................................................................... 268 Internal linking ........................................................................ 269 User-generated content............................................................ 271 9. Landing Page Optimization ......................................... 273 9.1. 9.2. Setting objectives for your landing pages ............................... 273 Conversion strategy ................................................................. 274 9.2.1. 9.2.2. 9.2.3. 9.3. Measuring effectiveness ...........................................................277 9.3.1. 9.3.2. 9.4. 9.5. Landing page as part of the existing structure .........................................285 Specific campaign landing pages ..............................................................285 Microsite (different domain) .................................................................... 286 Continuous improvement – testing landing pages ................ 286 9.6.1. 9.6.2. 9.7. Success factors ........................................................................................... 279 A careful consideration for product specific obstacles ........................... 282 Conversion considerations when copywriting for SEO ......... 283 Different types of SEO landing pages ..................................... 285 9.5.1. 9.5.2. 9.5.3. 9.6. Macro conversions ..................................................................................... 276 Micro conversions ...................................................................................... 276 B2B or B2C ................................................................................................. 276 Tools............................................................................................................ 287 Evaluate results on all levels ..................................................................... 287 Key dos and don’ts .................................................................. 288 9.7.1. 9.7.2. 9.7.3. 9.7.4. 9.7.5. 9.7.6. 9.7.7. Remember non-responders ...................................................................... 288 Ensure your company image matches perceived impression................. 288 Don’t use corporate terms and language ................................................. 288 Break content down into readable format ............................................... 288 Introduce urgency ..................................................................................... 289 Ensure your CTA has an enticing value proposition ............................... 289 Don’t ask for unnecessary information .................................................... 290 10. Link Building ............................................................... 291 10.1. Introduction: Why links are so important...............................291 10.1.1. 10.1.2. 10.1.3. 10.1.4. History ........................................................................................................ 291 Link based algorithms: how Google changed web search .......................293 Evolution of link based algorithms and the growth of link spam ...........293 Link networks .............................................................................................296 10.2. Link building today: marketing your site to attract links ...... 296 10.2.1. What makes a good link? ...........................................................................296 10.2.2. Earning links ..............................................................................................299 10.2.3. Creating unique and valuable content ..................................................... 303 10.3. Active link building ................................................................. 308 10.3.1. 10.3.2. 10.3.3. 10.3.4. Blogger outreach ....................................................................................... 308 Guest blogging ............................................................................................ 312 Directories .................................................................................................. 315 Business partnerships ................................................................................ 315 Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide Page 8 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • 10.4. Other marketing channels and link treatment ........................316 10.4.1. Affiliate marketing ..................................................................................... 316 10.4.2. Advertorial .................................................................................................. 316 10.5. Manipulated links: identifying, cleaning and avoiding........... 317 10.5.1. 10.5.2. 10.5.3. 10.5.4. 10.5.5. Why are manipulated links problematic? ................................................. 317 How to identify unnatural links ................................................................ 318 Link tools to help with analysis ................................................................. 321 Cleaning a backlink profile: link removal or disavowal? .........................322 Future-proofing your link building strategy.............................................324 11. Social and Online PR and their Influence on Search .. 325 11.1. Changes in algorithms and their impact on the role of social and PR ..................................................................................... 325 11.1.1. February 23, 2011 - Google Panda update ................................................ 325 11.1.2. April 24, 2012 - Google Penguin update ...................................................326 11.1.3. July 26, 2013 - Link schemes document update (Google’s Webmaster Tool) ............................................................................................................ 327 11.2. Online PR................................................................................. 327 11.2.1. 11.2.2. 11.2.3. 11.2.4. The role of the influencer ......................................................................... 328 Online PR distribution services.................................................................329 Understanding the motivations of journalists and writers ..................... 330 Key PR skills that support SEO .................................................................332 11.3. Social media and SEO ............................................................. 332 11.3.1. 11.3.2. 11.3.3. 11.3.4. 11.3.5. 11.3.6. Why is social media relevant to SEO?.......................................................332 What does this mean for SEO? .................................................................. 335 Social leads to links .................................................................................... 335 Social leading to richer search results listings ......................................... 337 Social content ranks in its own right ........................................................ 338 On-page social signals .............................................................................. 340 12. Mobile SEO .................................................................. 344 12.1. Why do mobile SEO?............................................................... 345 12.2. Development for mobile SEO ................................................. 346 12.2.1. Responsive web design .............................................................................. 347 12.2.2. Mobile optimised site.................................................................................349 12.2.3. Technical considerations ........................................................................... 352 12.3. Mobile indexation ................................................................... 354 12.3.1. 12.3.2. 12.3.3. 12.3.4. 12.3.5. robots.txt: ................................................................................................... 354 META robots tag ........................................................................................ 354 link rel=”alternate” .................................................................................... 354 Mobile XML Sitemap ................................................................................. 355 Canonicalisation ......................................................................................... 355 12.4. Mobile content......................................................................... 356 12.4.1. Viewport meta tag ...................................................................................... 356 12.4.2. Display/hide content per viewport ........................................................... 356 12.4.3. Responsive images: .................................................................................... 357 12.5. Mobile performance ................................................................ 357 Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide Page 9 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • 12.5.1. 12.5.2. 12.5.3. 12.5.4. 12.5.5. 12.5.6. Page speed ..................................................................................................358 CDN (content delivery networks) .............................................................358 Dynamic (or “lazy”) loading ...................................................................... 359 Structured data........................................................................................... 359 Click-to-call links ....................................................................................... 359 Option to view the full site ........................................................................ 360 12.6. Mobile SEO marketing .............................................................361 12.6.1. The factors driving mobile marketing growth ..........................................362 12.6.2. What are people doing? .............................................................................364 12.7. Understanding mobile search behaviour ............................... 365 12.8. Mobile keyword research ........................................................ 369 12.9. Understanding the mobile SEO algorithm .............................. 371 12.10. Link building for mobile .......................................................... 371 12.10.1. Reciprocity.................................................................................................. 372 12.11. Mobile landing pages .............................................................. 374 12.12. Key dos and don’ts for mobile SEO ........................................ 376 12.13. Useful resources for technical mobile SEO .............................377 13. Local SEO ..................................................................... 378 13.1. How local SEO has evolved: .................................................... 380 13.1.1. 13.1.2. 13.1.3. 13.1.4. The Google Venice update: ....................................................................... 380 Personalisation .......................................................................................... 382 Google Places pages and Google+ Local pages ........................................ 382 Zagat reviews ............................................................................................. 384 13.2. Local SEO ranking factors....................................................... 385 13.2.1. 13.2.2. 13.2.3. 13.2.4. 13.2.5. Place page factors ....................................................................................... 387 On-page factors .......................................................................................... 387 NAP listings and citations ........................................................................ 390 Link signals................................................................................................. 391 Review signals ............................................................................................ 391 13.3. Social and local SEO .................................................................391 13.4. The most impactful signals ......................................................391 13.5. Key dos and don’ts .................................................................. 392 14. International SEO ........................................................ 393 14.1. The global search engine market ............................................ 393 14.2. Defining an international SEO project ................................... 394 14.2.1. 14.2.2. 14.2.3. 14.2.4. Auditing current international organic search status ..............................394 Auditing current international search activity .........................................396 Approach to translation: automated vs. native support ......................... 398 Targeting your international audience .................................................... 400 14.3. Your international SEO goals and targets .............................. 402 14.4. Developing an internationally optimised web presence ........ 403 14.4.1. Organising your international URL structure ......................................... 403 14.4.2. Country targeted website URL structure ................................................. 404 Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide Page 10 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • 14.4.3. URL Structure for language targeted websites .........................................407 14.5. Translating or localising.......................................................... 408 14.6. Language and country targeting for web content ...................412 14.6.1. Hreflang annotations ................................................................................. 412 14.6.2. Content language meta tag ........................................................................ 416 14.6.3. Search engine webmaster tools ................................................................. 417 14.7. Growing your international web popularity ............................ 417 14.7.1. Defining an international link building campaign ................................... 417 14.7.2. Executing an international link building campaign ................................. 418 14.8. Measuring international SEO success .....................................419 14.8.1. Following up your international search activity ...................................... 420 15. Appendix 1: Acknowledgements .................................. 421 15.1. Lead author ..............................................................................421 15.2. Expert contributors ..................................................................421 16. Appendix 2: SEO Performance Audit .......................... 430 16.1. Technical Performance ........................................................... 430 16.1.1. 16.1.2. 16.1.3. 16.1.4. 16.1.5. 16.1.6. 16.1.7. 16.1.8. 1.1.1.1 Page load speed ......................................................................................... 430 Page size......................................................................................................432 HTML validation ........................................................................................433 HTTP status ................................................................................................433 Site crawl errors .........................................................................................433 Volume of webpages being indexed ..........................................................434 What content is being indexed? ................................................................ 435 Cross browser rendering............................................................................ 435 What checks to make ................................................................................. 435 16.2. On-page Optimisation ............................................................. 436 16.2.1. 1.1.1.2 16.2.2. 1.1.1.3 16.2.3. 1.1.1.4 16.2.4. 1.1.1.5 16.2.5. 1.1.1.6 16.2.6. 1.1.1.7 Page titles ...................................................................................................436 What checks to make .................................................................................436 Meta descriptions ....................................................................................... 437 What checks to make ................................................................................. 437 Internal links .............................................................................................. 437 What checks to make ................................................................................ 438 Content ...................................................................................................... 438 What checks to make: ................................................................................439 Keyword density .........................................................................................439 What checks to make .................................................................................439 Mark-up and rich snippets ........................................................................439 What checks to make ................................................................................ 440 16.3. Keyword Coverage ....................................................................441 16.3.1. What checks to make: ................................................................................442 16.4. Link Portfolio........................................................................... 444 16.4.1. What checks to make: ................................................................................444 16.5. Social Media Coverage ............................................................ 446 16.5.1. What checks to make: ................................................................................446 Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide Page 11 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • 16.6. Competitor Strengths and Weaknesses .................................. 447 16.6.1. What checks to make ................................................................................. 447 16.7. SEO Audit Checklist ................................................................ 448 Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide Page 12 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Dedicated to Jaamit Durrani Jaamit was a popular, well-respected and highly active member of the SEO community, whose life was cut short in a tragic accident towards the end of 2010. The two posts he contributed to Econsultancy remain invaluable advice and are testament to his skills and ability to share practical insight to help SEOs work smarter, rather than harder. Nine common SEO campaign mistakes http://econsultancy.com/blog/5530-nine-common-seo-campaign-mistakes Seven sensational SEO tips for ecommerce sites http://econsultancy.com/blog/5131-7-seo-tips-for-ecommerce-sites Jaamit is remembered with great fondness by all who worked with him and our best wishes, as always, are with his family and friends. He will always be remembered. Rest in peace Jaamit. SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • 1. Introduction to Our Guides Econsultancy’s Best Practice Guides help organizations improve their results from digital marketing through improved planning and execution. They have been developed to be the definitive source for best practice on a range of online marketing topics and aim to explain best practice for successfully implementing established digital marketing techniques across organizations of all sizes – from micro-businesses to enterprises. When writing these guides, we work with respected industry thought leaders and seasoned practitioners to contribute cutting edge content and the latest learning. These are the people who live and breathe the subject and are genuinely passionate about sharing their experience and knowledge. You will find a list of the authors in the appendices as well as in the intro to each chapter. In particular, the reports are developed to aid the following people:  Digital marketing professionals. Individuals in digital marketing teams who are actively involved in improving results from online marketing activities.  Specialists. Those involved with specific digital channels such as search engine marketing who need to understand more about integration with other digital marketing activities.  Managers of digital marketing. Those in a team responsible for planning and controlling digital marketing.  Marketing managers and team members. Anyone responsible for traditional marketing who wants to understand the issues involved with successful planning, implementation and integration of digital marketing activities. Key features of our guides:  Comprehensive. They cover all aspects needed for success in one place as well as referencing other in-depth sources across different portals, forums, blogs, whitepapers and books.  Accessible. Content is segmented to help readers navigate and assimilate relevant content.  In-depth. Topics are covered in sufficient depth to successfully implement suggestions.  Practical. They explain how to implement techniques and provide key success factors that can be applied straightaway.  Improvement-focused. Our guides explain current strategies, tell you how to refine them and will then help you implement an improved approach.  Cutting edge. The latest best-practice advice is incorporated and potential areas of focus for the future are highlighted. Econsultancy’s Best Practice Guides are updated on a regular basis, so the information contained within is recent and valid at the time of publication. Send any questions or comments to editor@econsultancy.com 1.1. How this guide is structured The guide is divided into 13 main chapters. Each one is written to act as a standalone mini-report, as well as being part of the main report, and has its own introduction to set the scene and explain what it’s about. You will also find a ‘Key dos and don’ts’ throughout the guide, acting as a helpful checklist for the most important points that have been made. SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • This structure is designed to help you regardless of your current level of SEO experience and knowledge. If you’re new to SEO and need to skill up across all areas, then you can use the entire guide as a reference manual. If you’re a seasoned SEO professional who needs to enhance knowledge in a specialist area like international, due to a change in job role or personal interest, then you can jump to the relevant section to find the most useful content and advice. Throughout the guide you will find comments from experienced SEOs, sharing their knowledge and insight gained over years of implementing SEO strategies. We hope you find this helpful as it represents the voice of the SEO community, which is a vibrant and collaborative place that welcomes new members with open arms. Please note that we most commonly refer to Google when discussing search engines. We are fully aware that Google isn’t the be all and end all of search engine marketing and that there is regional variation where Google isn’t the market leader or its dominance is reduced (e.g. Baidu in China, Yandex in Russia). However, Google is still the dominant search engine in most markets and search marketers invest the majority of their time and budget into optimising websites for Google. If you’re interested in seeing up-to-date stats for global search engine market share, we recommend bookmarking Statcounter1. At the time of writing this report, Google’s global search market share was approximately 90%, with dominance in key markets like the UK (90%) and US (79%). 1.1.1. Features of this guide We have incorporated a range of features to help make this guide an effective learning tool. You will find many of these highlighted in pull-out boxes: 1. Key recommendations - guidance on all the issues an organisation should pay attention to in its SEO strategy. 2. Tips - practical recommendations to improve results. 3. Market data – stats and facts that summarise research that supports a success factor. 4. Resources - links to tools, articles and portals found within the body text, footnotes and in the resources section at the end of the guide. 5. Screenshots – helping to visualise the tools and web pages that are being discussed. 6. Quotes – comments from respected voices from the SEO industry, helping you learn from the experts. Where pull-out boxes are used, these have been designed to be consulted at a glance to understand good practice without reading too much text. Each section of the guide provides much more depth on each SEO component, including examples, several best practice guidelines and issues to watch for. In Section 4 you will find information about ranking factors. Here we give you an overview of the different types of factor that influence the relative position of web pages and content in SERPs (search engine results pages). The actual importance of the factors will vary for different search engines, markets and audiences. It also depends on previous SEO efforts. That is why we don’t make any claims for which factors are the ‘most important’ because, in our experience, this can vary significantly and even amongst experienced SEOs there is often heated debate and disagreement! 1 http://gs.statcounter.com/ SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • There are several studies available for further reading on this topic and we recommend using them to help you understand what influences rank, in addition to learning from your own SEO activity, rather than using them as de facto guides. A good example is Searchmetrics’ “SEO Ranking Factors – Rank Correlation 2013” available on Slideshare 2. 1.1.2. Key chapters We have divided the guide into 13 chapters, which represent the most important elements of SEO at the time of writing. These chapters are: 2. Introduction to Search Marketing And SEO Setting the scene for what SEO means to the modern marketer and why it’s as important and relevant as ever. Written by James Gurd, Owner and Lead Consultant at Digital Juggler. 3. Changes In SEO Since The Last Report SEO changes fast and this part of the guide looks at updates to algorithms and changes in how SEO professionals approach their jobs. Written by Andrew Girdwood, Media Innovations Director at DigitasLBi. 4. Ranking Factors A review of the types of factor that can influence rank, an important foundation for SEO. Written by Stefan Hull, Insight Director at Propellernet. 5. Planning and strategy Help and guidance on how to approach SEO strategy selection and key components that should be part of any SEO plan. Written by Lee Colbran, SEO Director and Founding Partner, and Dr David Sewell, Consultant, at Fresh Egg and Rishi Lakhani, Independent Online Marketing Consultant. 6. Measurement and Reporting An essential component of an SEO strategy, this chapter discusses how you can audit performance along with useful ways to measure the impact of SEO and report results. Written by James Gurd, Owner and Lead Consultant at Digital Juggler and contributed to by Will Critchlow and the team at Distilled. 7. Technical SEO The nuts and bolts behind the scenes, discussing what you need to think about to ensure a website is configured to support SEO and doesn’t create indexation issues. Written by Lisa Myers, CEO at Verve Search (with contributions from Sohaib Siddique, SEO Consultant, and Suhail Abood, Web Developer) and Chris Evans, Director at SEMetrical. 2 http://www.slideshare.net/joaocaetano/ranking-factor-sstudy2013 SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • 8. On-page Optimization Looking at the essential techniques for optimising on-page content to support SEO targets, including page markup factors. Written by Joe Friedlein, Founder at Browser Media. 9. Landing Page Optimization Explaining the relevance and importance of landing pages for SEO and the success factors that need to be understood. Written by Michael Hope, Analytics and Conversion Manager at Search Laboratory. 10. Link Building Looking at how link building has evolved in recent years and the impact of key algorithm updates like Google’s Penguin. Written by Nichola Stott, Owner and Director at theMediaFlow. 11. Social and Online PR and Their Influence On Search Introducing the context of why PR and social media play important roles in SEO and the tools of the trade. Written by Kelvin Newman, Strategy Director at SiteVisibility. 12. Mobile SEO A dive into the key considerations when deciding the architecture of a mobile site plus tips and techniques for mobile SEO including mobile search and link building. Written by Alex Moss, Director at FireCask and James Lowery, Digital Strategy Consultant at Latitude Digital Marketing. 13. Local SEO Discussing the evolution and importance of local search, including the rise of Google+. Written by Paul Rogers, SEO Manager at Buyagift.com. 14. International SEO Increasingly important for many businesses, this reviews how you can manage international SEO projects as well as tips for growing search popularity across multiple markets. Written by Aleyda Solis, Head of Digital Strategy at WooRank. SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • 1.2. About Econsultancy Econsultancy’s mission is to help its customers achieve excellence in digital business, marketing and ecommerce through research, training and events. Founded in 1999, Econsultancy has over 250,000 subscribers, is used by more than 500,000 professionals every month, and has offices in New York, London and Singapore. Econsultancy subscribers get access to research, market data, best practice guides, case studies and elearning – all focused on helping individuals and enterprises get better at digital. The subscription is supported by digital transformation services including digital capability programs, training courses, skills assessments and audits. We train and develop thousands of professionals each year as well as running events and networking that bring the Econsultancy community together around the world. Join Econsultancy today to learn what’s happening in digital marketing – and what works.
Call us to find out more on +44 (0)20 7269 1450 (London) or +1 212 971 0630 (New York). You can also contact us online. Further reading SEMPO State of Search Engine Marketing Report http://econsultancy.com/reports/sempo-state-of-search Global Search Marketing Statistics http://econsultancy.com/reports/global-search-marketing-statistics UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report http://econsultancy.com/reports/uk-search-engine-marketing-benchmark-report SEO Agencies Buyer’s Guide http://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-agencies-buyers-guide SEO Request for Proposal (RFP) Template http://econsultancy.com/reports/sem-seo-request-for-proposal-rfp Search Engine Marketing: SEO – Digital Marketing Template Files http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-engine-marketing-seo-digital-marketing-template-files Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Business Case http://econsultancy.com/reports/sem-search-engine-optimization-seo-business-case SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • 2. Introduction to Search Marketing and SEO Contributor The following chapter has been written by James Gurd, Owner at Digital Juggler. Search marketing, sometimes referred to as search engine marketing (SEM), remains one of the key supporting pillars of online marketing, which is unsurprising given the continued growth in the popularity of search engines amongst users to research products, services and organisations. Google has even entered the popular dictionary as a verb indicating the search for information; the phrase “Google it” is ever popular: verb [with object] search for information about (someone or something) on the Internet using the search engine Google: on Sunday she googled an ex-boyfriend

[no object]: I googled for a cheap hotel/flight deal. [Source: Oxford Dictionaries Online] Despite misleading claims that the relevance of SEO is waning (in fact this became a popular thread for lazy debate and Google Instant for “SEO is” still indicates a proclamation of doom – see below), search engine usage shows no sign of abatement and the SEO industry is more vibrant than ever, partly driven by an increased understanding of how SEO impacts and integrates with other areas of the business like PR and social media. Figure 1 – Screenshot of Google Instant suggestions for “SEO is” What’s fascinating for the digital industry is the rapid and continuous evolution of search engine algorithms, how they adapt their rules for the indexation and surfacing of information to online searchers and the ways in which digital marketers use SEO to support their business goals. The two are inter-twined, with SEO specialists adapting their strategies to respond to search engine updates and the big search engines working more closely than ever with search marketers. This report tackles the weighty challenge of translating years of learning and insight into a practical guide to SEO that can be used by beginners and advanced digital marketers alike. SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • 2.1. What is search marketing and SEO? Let’s start at the beginning. Search marketing is about connecting searchers looking for information with the most relevant information available online. It is about making yourself visible within the search engines, in order to attract new and returning visitors to your site, which requires the discipline of marketing your products, services and content via search engines like Google and Bing, through both paid and natural search. If you’re looking for expert advice on Paid Search, please refer to our sister guide, the Paid Search Marketing (PPC) Best Practice Guide 3. Search marketing helps site owners meet their various online marketing objectives such as generating leads, sales or simply building awareness and delivering the right message to their audience. For many marketers it’s highly effective and highly measurable. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimising your website and its content to ensure it can be easily indexed by search engines for the most relevant search queries and surfaced as organic (also referred to as ‘natural’) search results. From a commercial perspective, organic search is defined as ‘free’ because there is no direct media cost for the clicks, unlike paid search where you pay for each click. That’s not to say you don’t need a budget for SEO, far from it. A comprehensive SEO plan will need investment in areas like content marketing and link building. A good example is paying a copywriter to write tailored content for your website which is optimised for SEO. SEO: a helpful definition “Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website on organic ("natural" or unpaid) search engine result pages (SERPs), by incorporating search engine friendly elements into a website. A successful search engine optimization campaign will have, as part of the improvements, carefully selected, relevant, keywords which the on-page optimization will be designed to make prominent for search engine algorithms. Search engine optimization is broken down into two basic areas: on-page, and off-page optimization. On-page optimization refers to website elements which comprise a web page, such as HTML code, textual content, and images. Off-page optimization refers, predominantly, to backlinks (links pointing to the site which is being optimised, from other relevant websites).” Source: Whatisseo.com The ways in which SEOs build and deliver SEO plans have evolved quite considerably, largely due to an increased appreciation of how SEO impacts other areas of the business, especially digital marketing disciplines like social and online PR. SEO is a changing beast. It’s still a relatively new industry and constantly evolving thanks to changes from the search engines themselves. It’s estimated that Google updates its algorithm on a daily basis, so the underlying rules change 365 times each year (366 in a leap year!). The big updates like Panda and Penguin have a pronounced impact on SERPs and create major ranking fluctuations. The most important recent changes are covered by Andrew Girdwood in this guide and you can bookmark the SEOMoz Google Algorithm Change History landing page for regular updates4. SEO is also a sophisticated industry that relies on data and analysis to underpin creative intelligence. There has been a gradual, and some would say too slow, evolution from a focus on quantity to quality, especially in regards to link building (see the chapter written by Nichola Stott, Founder of theMediaFlow). Measurement and reporting is also covered by Cheri Percy from Distilled in the relevant chapter. 3 4 http://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide http://moz.com/google-algorithm-change SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • John Weber has written a useful blog for Search Engine Journal on Why SEO Isn’t Taught in College (And Why It Shouldn’t Be)5, which provides a useful take on what SEO is and how you can master the core skills. 2.2. Why is it important? Web users love to search. They do this to find only one thing: information that’s relevant to them. There are approximately 175bn searches performed every month worldwide by 1.5bn individual searchers. It’s estimated that more than 90% of online experiences start with a search engine. What sort of information are they looking for? Clearly this depends on the individual. They might be looking for entertainment news, hunting for product recommendations, trying to compare vendors and services, seeking their soulmate or buying a second-hand car. All these goals can start with a simple search query. Modern search engines are generally great at delivering relevant results to users and relevance, or relevancy, is the mantra of all search engine engineers. The use of keywords or keyphrases (combining several keywords) helps users find exactly what they want and understanding keyphrases enables marketers to target users showing intent or interest in their products. Notice that we say ‘keyphrase’ (short for ‘keyword phrase’) rather than ‘keyword’. This is because search engines such as Google attribute more relevance when there is an exact phrase match on a web page (a phrase that matches the user’s search term). Search engines also assess other occurrences of the keywords and synonyms on the page, and also other websites/pages linking to a page. This, plus much more, is covered in the guide. Being visible is key to success; research shows that click through rate for organic search results decreases the further down the page you appear, so position #1 has a significant commercial impact. For branded search, UK searchers are far more likely to click on the first three results. http://www.searchenginejournal.com/why-seo-isnt-taught-in-college-and-why-it-shouldntbe/65845/ 5 SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Figure 2 – Click through rate curve for organic search results [Source: Slingshot SEO, referenced in the Econsultancy.com Search Marketing Statistics Compendium, August 2013] The rapid rise in usage of mobile devices has added another feather to SEO’s bow. From Q4 2011 to Q4 2012, the percentage of website traffic from mobile devices nearly doubled from 12.6% to 23.1% according to an L2 Intelligence Report on mobile6. Mobile search is growing and this raises the bar for organic search competition; smartphones display 2-3 search results before scrolling, so achieving #1 position is even more important for mobile search. Mobile SEO is covered in more detail later in this guide. 6 http://www.l2thinktank.com/research/mobile-2013 SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Figure 3 – Average Google search results returned by device type [Source: L2, January 2013] There is a keen interaction between search and offline media consumption. Research demonstrates that consumers use online search in conjunction with TV advertising and there are examples of brands creating customised search hooks that lead to campaign landing pages in organic search results. One of the earliest examples of this is the Aviva Insurance Limited campaign for “Quote me happy” which used TV ads with a clear call to action (CTA) to search for “Quote me happy”. If you search, you’ll still see the Quotemehappy.com domain in #1 position in Google, a successful lead generation tool for home and car insurance. The phrase “quote me happy” is now widely recognised in the UK and is part of the lexicon. SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Figure 4 – Organic search result for TV led search activity Online search also influences offline behaviour, which is especially true for products with a long purchase cycle like cars and furniture. For example, a customer researching a new sofa may start with a Google search for “leather sofas” and then visit local retailers to try out the products they like before committing to a purchase. The final purchase is most likely to be made offline, though it may also occur online. This is evidenced by retailers’ web analytics data showing visits from organic search queries flowing through to store locator web pages. When surveyed for the Marketing Budgets Report by Econsultancy/Experian, around two-thirds of companies said that they were planning to increase budgets for SEO. Interestingly, SEO investment is diversifying; less is being spent on traditional link building and more on content and community initiatives such as blogger outreach that aim to build high quality links through quality content. 2.3. Market context In all countries, there are around three to five core search engines that you should focus your efforts on. Often, there is one dominant search engine, and a few smaller ones. Google is still the global market leader and SEO tends to be focused on optimising websites for inclusion in Google’s index. In the Western world, the ‘big three’ search engines are Google, Bing and Yahoo (also powered by Bing’s algorithm). In most countries, such as the UK and US, the search engine of choice is Google, as this is where the vast proportion of user search queries occurs. Consequently, our best practice recommendations within this report are squarely primarily focused at generating high visibility on Google. However, the market share of each search engine varies from region to region, something that SEO practitioners need to be aware of, especially when engaging in international markets. In some markets Google is not the leading search engine, so it’s really important to understand these SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • nuances. For example, in China, Baidu has approximately 75% share of searches and shows no sign of weakening its grip. Search patterns are constantly evolving but what we do know for certain is that the total search volume is increasing. For example, in the US in the last 12 months the number of search queries grew by 8%. That might not seem much but, considering total monthly searches hits the 19bn mark, it’s actually quite a significant number. 2.4. Getting to grips with the fundamentals Where do you begin to identify what users are searching for and how do you begin to understand this in relation to your own search campaigns? Completing keyphrase and demand analysis is an essential planning activity for search engine marketing and will help answer these key questions. There are some great tools available, such as Google Trends, which can help you find out the relative importance of different keyphrases in different countries, at different times of the year. More about the tools you need is detailed throughout this document. In terms of clicks and click through rate, the proportion of clicks against search phrases is greater the more niche the keyword, due to increased visibility and a lesser ratio of competition. This is especially true for brand terms and product specific keyphrases. For example, River Island is likely to experience a higher click through rate for the search term “river island mens jeans” than for “mens jeans”. 2.4.1. Have you heard of the tail of search? Keyphrase analysis is important since it reflects search behaviour – the sequence of phases known as ‘the search journey’. There are broad search terms (e.g. “mens clothing”) that are used when people are starting their search journey and these terms attract a large volume of searches. As people refine their needs and shape requirements during the search journey, searches become increasingly specific, often with longer keyphrases, and the volume of search activity reduces. This is because there will be a much wider range of keyphrase searches at this stage, so the total search volume is shared across all of these options, diluting the volume for each keyphrase. This is commonly called the tail of search and refers to the fact that as the search query becomes more specific (as search intent moves from browsing to completing), the volume decreases. In other words, there are fewer people searching for “river island mens jeans” than “mens jeans”. Consider if you were searching for a car to rent, you will likely start with a relatively short, generic phrase such as ‘car hire’ and then gradually refine it as shown in the image below. SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Figure 5 – Variation in searcher intent through the buying process ‘ Define requirements ‘What’s out there?’ ‘Inspire me’ Assess supplier capabilities Undirected, Exploratory Select supplier (enquire) Destination purchase (buy) Directed, goal-oriented You will see from the figure above that as we refine our search we are likely to use more specific words and often use longer phrases. As searchers make their searches more specific through the buying process, the number of people using these search terms naturally decreases. This summarises the essential challenge of search engine marketing. Highly-refined phrases indicate intent to purchase, yet the search volume on these phrases is much lower, so that if we only targeted these phrases to gain visibility in the search engines, we will often not get the volume of sales we are seeking. The search behaviour we have described where we have a large number of searchers searching on generic terms and a smaller number searching for more specific niche terms is described by the Long Tail concept7. The long tail is simply a form of frequency distribution such as that in the chart below which tends to be followed when consumers have choice from a range of items. Chris Anderson described it in the popularity of retail items for a retailer such as Amazon, but evidence from services such as Hitwise shows it is also followed within a given business sector. The Long Tail concept was defined by Chris Anderson while editor of Wired Magazine and is described in his book and blog (www.thelongtail.com). 7 SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Figure 6– Chart showing typical pattern of decline in relative keyphrase popularity 2.4.2. Savvier searchers As more users become familiar with online searching there has been a trend towards using longer three+ keyword phrases. The way that internet users are searching is becoming more complex and sophisticated. Interestingly, there has also been an increase in the volume of searches using more than six keywords! Now, you need to add some context. Some of those six+ keyword queries will be people not knowing what they want and adding and running vague searches but others indicate a highly qualified search requirement. An example of this is the keyphrase “solid wood 2seater swing chair with canopy” that was driving traffic to a retail website. Remember also that many of the one and two word searches are for relatively short brand names, so for product specific searches, longer phrases are likely. It’s no secret: users generally refine and narrow their searches using longer phrases like ‘free online banking’ instead of single-word queries. The more tailored and targeted your keyphrases, the more successful you are likely to be at search engine optimization. Because of the range of keyphrases used by searchers (which form a long tail distribution) a key aspect of search engine marketing is deciding which phrases are used to promote a company. Once you have a list of keywords and phrases, the next goal is to try to achieve favourable listings within the search engine results pages, widely referred to across the industry as SERPs. Remember that small variations in the search query entered by the user can deliver completely different listings on the SERPs. The example below is a comparison of Google page one for “mens jeans” vs. “mens skinny jeans”. SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Figure 7 – Google.co.uk comparison of results for “mens jeans” and “mens skinny jeans” SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • 2.4.3. Anatomy of a SERPs page It’s essential to understand how a search results page is constructed and just exactly what is organic vs. paid inclusion. Within search marketing, there are three main opportunities for organisations to get their message across, to gain visibility and to direct visitors to their sites. The first two opportunities are via the SERPs and the last is on third-party sites. 1. The natural or organic listings. The part of the page’s listing results from a search engine query which are displayed in a sequence according to relevance of the match between the keyword phrase typed into a search engine and a web page according to a ranking algorithm used by the search engine. The method for achieving placement in this part of the page is called search engine optimization (SEO) and is the focus of this best practice guide. A popular question often asked within the SEO community is how to get links below a site to appear in the SERPs. For example: SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Figure 8 – Google.co.uk SERPs showing site links for ASOS It is difficult to control this, since Google has a completely automated algorithm to produce what it calls ‘sitelinks’8. Google has not officially explained the algorithm, but we give advice to maximise your chance of sitelinks in the report. The only control you currently have access to is via Webmaster Tools where you can demote a sitelink if you don’t think it is relevant to appear in organic search results. 2. The paid or sponsored listings. A relevant advertisement (typically text-based) with a link to a destination page is displayed when the user of a search engine types in a specific phrase. A fee is charged for every click of each link, with the amount bid for the click the main factor determining its position9. The method for achieving placement in this part of the page is called paid search (aka pay per click or PPC). Econsultancy publishes a dedicated best practice guide to paid-search marketing to help you plan, launch and optimise PPC campaigns. 8 9 http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=47334 Google Adwords also uses a Quality Score based on ad click through rate and engagement with site SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Figure 9 – Google.co.uk SERPs showing organic and paid results 3. Content-network listings. These ads are displayed on third party sites that have an AdSense relationship with Google, or which display Yahoo listings on their website. These actually account for a sizeable proportion of Google revenue but tend to have much lower click through rates. For each organic listing, there are three primary data types that SEOs can control and are used to help optimise web pages: 1. Page Title 2. URL 3. Meta description If you use the ‘View Source’ option in the web browser, you can easily see which HTML tags relate to these data types (a great way to quickly check if your source code is showing what you think it should). SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Figure 10 – Google SERPs for “econsultancy” Page title This is arguably the most important on-page factor for SEO. As a rule of thumb, you have a maximum of 70 characters (including spaces, hyphens etc.) for the page title, though it’s advisable to optimise to 65 characters as sometimes we’ve seen words cutoff even when at the 70-character limit. Given the character limit, it’s essential to think carefully about which keywords are the most relevant to your web page and ensure they’re included in the page title. Figure 11 – Source code in Chrome to see page title in the HTML URL This is also really important for SEO as the URL needs to be relevant to the web page, avoiding system generated parameters wherever possible. For example, an SEO friendly URL for the Women’s Dresses category on DomainX.com would be www.domainX.com/women’s-dresses not www.domainX.com/cat123 where “cat123” is a system-generated category ID. You’ll probably have heard the term “SEO friendly URL” before and it’s important to understand what it means and why it’s important. Please refer to the chapter on Technical SEO written by Lisa Myers of Verve Search for more information on URL architecture. SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Meta description Although the meta description is no longer a key ranking factor (though this could always change again, so keep an eye on the latest news!), it’s still essential for SEO because the copy can be used to influence the click behaviour of searchers. SEOs test variations in the meta description to determine which approach helps drive the best click through rate. As a rule of thumb, you have a maximum of 160 characters (including spaces, hyphens etc.) for the meta description, though it’s advisable to optimise to 156 characters. Figure 12 – Source code in Chrome to see meta description in the HTML 2.4.4. The different types of organic search result The major search engines have increased the variety of content formats that can be surfaced on SERPs, so you need to think of SEO in the wider context than just key URLs. You will notice at the top of the search results page there are various tabs that allow searchers to refine the results. These cover content formats including images, videos and shopping. The key content formats are: 1. Web pages The vast majority of links in SERPs are URLs for standard HTML web pages. Provided you have made your site available to index and there are no technical issues blocking the crawling of your site, your web pages will appear in search engine results. 2. Images Currently Google can index BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP and SVG image files. It looks at the written copy on the page where the image is found as well as the page’s title and body text and also considers the anchor text of the image link, the image’s filename and its alt text. For some publishers, images are a key part of their website content and they submit a separate XML Sitemap for images10. Eric Layland wrote a helpful summary of optimising images for Google on the Confluence Digital blog11. https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/178636?hl=en http://info.confluencedigital.com/blog/bid/171471/How-to-Optimize-Images-So-Google-CanIndex-Them-in-Search-Part-1 10 11 SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Figure 13 – Image search results for “maxi dresses” on Google UK 3. News This is for content that has been specified as news and Google has an algorithm which crawls news sites and allows you to submit a Google News Sitemap through Webmaster Tools. Articles are displayed in SERPs with the date they were published and the author, provided the require markup has been used. It’s important to understand what is classified as a news article vs. a general web page and to ensure that your news articles are hosted on the same domain as your main site. We recommend digesting Google’s advice on getting into the Google News index 12, as well as reading our advice in the chapter on Technical SEO. 12 https://support.google.com/news/publisher/answer/40787?hl=en-GB#general SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Figure 14 – News search results for “mobile wallet” on Google UK 4. Blogs If you write a blog, you can get your blog content included in the blog search results. This can help with people searching specifically for blog content. Figure 15 – Blog search results for “maxi dresses” on Google.co.uk SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Google recently announced a new category that may sometimes be shown in a search results page, called ‘In-depth articles’13. These "in-depth" results are meant to help people find relevant in-depth articles in the main search results. There isn’t a clear indication yet of the criteria used to define ‘indepth’ but it’s likely to index only long form content, perhaps articles with >1,000 words. This feature is available initially only on Google.com but is likely to be rolled-out across other Google domains. 13 http://insidesearch.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/discover-great-in-depth-articles-on.html SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • 3. 3.1. Appendix 1: Acknowledgements Lead author James Gurd, Owner and Lead Consultant, Digital Juggler The lead author and reviewer for our SEO guide is James Gurd. He has written the chapters on Introduction to SEO and on Measurement and reporting as well as contributing to and editing all other sections. James is an experienced ecommerce consultant and owner of Digital Juggler, an ecommerce and digital marketing consultancy. He has more than 12 years B2C and B2B experience client and agency side, providing ecommerce advice and support. He works with a wide range of ecommerce clients, including multi-channel retailers like House of Fraser and Selfridges, helping digital teams to create, implement and evolve digital strategy, of which team management is a core component. James is a guest blogger at Econsultancy and can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. He is also co-host of #EcomChat, a weekly industry chat on all things ecommerce every Monday on Twitter. He’s partial to red wine and blue cheese. 3.2. Expert contributors Econsultancy wishes to extend sincere thanks to the following respected ecommerce and business strategy professionals and agencies. Between them, they have carefully contributed to and in some cases entirely written the section content, adding current front-line best-practice tips and insight derived from their experience in delivering and helping other teams to manage search marketing strategies. SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Andrew Girdwood, Media Innovations Director, DigitasLBi Chapter written: Changes in SEO since the Last Report A blogger and a self-confessed digital marketing geek, Andrew dedicates his time to understanding What’s Next in digital marketing and sharing that knowledge with clients and colleagues. With a strong digital media background, acquired after a decade at the forefront of the industry, Andrew’s knowledge and interest ranges from search and display to affiliates, social media, ad exchanges and demand-side platforms. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @andrewgirdwood or via LinkedIn. Stefan Hull, Insight Director, Propellernet Chapter written: Ranking Factors Stefan Hull is an experienced marketer with more than 15 years’ experience client and agency side. He spends most of his time researching and delivering insight for clients and he works across Propellernet’s portfolio of clients. He is a regular speaker at industry events ranging from small seminars for CEOs to large conferences for SEO professionals. He is also particularly interested in the principles of democratic business and health and wellbeing. Propellernet is one of just 51 businesses worldwide certified as democratic by WorldBlu and was recently selected as the best small business workplace in the UK by Great Place To Work. He can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter. SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Rishi Lakhani, Independent Online Marketing Consultant Chapter contributed to: Planning and Strategy Rishi Lakhani is an experienced digital Marketing Consultant, and founder of Link Pool, a link building platform for SEOs. He has more than 12 years’ experience in the field supporting well-known brands, small businesses and marketing and digital agencies in the UK and worldwide. He works with a wide range of agencies and clients to help structure and grow their digital efforts, and is fully versed in SEO, PPC, Social Media, Email Marketing, Lead Generation and Content Development. Rishi is also a guest blogger at Econsultancy and is often called up to provide “expert opinion” in the field of SEO. He can also be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and often covers his ideas on his blog, Explicitly.me. Lee Colbran, SEO Director and Founding Partner and Dr David Sewell, Consultant at Fresh Egg Chapter contributed to: Planning and Strategy Lee is one of the founding directors of Fresh Egg and a firm believer that SEO ideas have to be both creative and effective and should be integrated with an understanding of a client’s business needs so that constantly updated SEO expertise can be translated into continuing success online. You can find Lee on LinkedIn or connect with him on Twitter @leecolbran. SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • David is a technical, creative thinker and accomplished digital marketing consultant. David has a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, a BSc. in Cognitive Science and lives with his family in Brighton. With all-round experience across multiple channels and vertical sectors, David has excellent knowledge to build integrated digital marketing campaigns: from developing oil and gas software to running his own internet travel company, defining IA for pan-European sites for Astra Zeneca and advising digital strategy for wellknown and successful businesses such as FindaProperty.com and Primelocation.com. David has also managed major brands and celebrities with their on-line reputation. You can reach him through LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @seoeditors. Other contributors from Fresh Egg: Dara Fitzgerald, Head of Insight and Sarah Harvey, Client Services Director. Lisa Myers, CEO and Owner, Verve Search Chapter contributed to: Technical SEO Lisa Myers is the CEO and Owner of Award Winning SEO and Content Marketing Agency, Verve Search Ltd. Lisa has over eight years’ experience in the SEO industry, and over 12 years’ in Marketing. She is a regular speaker at SEO and Content Marketing conferences worldwide. In 2011 Lisa won “Search Personality of the Year” at the UK Search Awards. Her agency specialises in international SEO and Content Marketing campaigns for medium and large businesses, currently servicing clients in 7 different countries. You can find out more about Lisa and her agency here: www.vervesearch.com Or follow Lisa on twitter @LisaDMyers Other contributors from Verve Search: Suhail Abood, Developer and Sohaib Siddqiue, SEO Consultant. SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • SEmetrical Section contributed to: Technical SEO Semetrical is a London based consultancy offering high-end search and digital marketing products and services to some of the UK's largest online brands. They have significant expertise in search marketing, product development, digital marketing and online sales in a range of digital industries and combine these skills with a passion for detail and excellence to provide uniquely detailed products and services including keyword research, site audits, site re-development projects and domain migrations. Their flagship product DeepCrawl is regarded as the most advanced site architecture tool on the market and licensed to a range of leading digital agencies and directly to larger companies with in-house SEO teams. Joe Friedlein, Founding Director, Browser Media Section written: On Page Optimisation Joe is a digital veteran who has a passion for online marketing. With a curious mix of backgrounds (RAF scholar, French degree and chartered accountant), Joe was attracted to the digital world when it was still known as ‘new’ media. Having worked with some of the greatest online brands, Joe founded Browser Media in 2005 after becoming frustrated with the poor quality of search marketing consultancy that appeared to be the norm. Browser Media has grown into a highly respected inbound marketing agency that helps its clients increase their visibility online. You can find Joe at http://www.linkedin.com/in/joefriedlein or follow Browser Media at @browser_media SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Nichola Stott, Owner and Director, theMediaFlow Section written: Link building Nichola is founder and managing director of theMediaFlow; an award-winning digital agency specialising in search and social media marketing. Nichola has over fifteen years experience in online communications including ten years in search, with expertise ranging from technical SEO for multimarket enterprise-level sites to creative content strategies. As well as regularly speaking at industry conferences Nichola is co-contributor to a number of digital marketing books and online media. At theMediaFlow Nichola leads a team of talented specialists who provide bleedingedge solutions to clients in a range of sectors including holidays, finance, technology, sport, retail and B2B. You can find Nichola on Twitter @nicholastott or LinkedIn. Kelvin Newman, Strategy Director, Site Visibility Section written: Online PR and Social Media Kelvin is the Strategy Director at Site Visibility and Founder of BrightonSEO, one of the biggest search events in Europe. At Site Visibility he makes sure the agency is up-to-speed with the rest of the search industry and makes sure the rest of the search industry is aware of the great work carried out by the agency. That takes the form of blogging in places like Econsultancy, speaking at events like SMX, Internet World and TFM&A and presenting one of the most popular business podcasts in the world. You can find Kelvin on LinkedIn or connect with him on Twitter @kelvinnewman. SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Michael Hope, Analytics and Conversion Manager, Search Laboratory Section written: Landing page optimisation Michael heads up Search Laboratory’s analytics and conversion department, working with some of the biggest names in retail and B2B to maximise conversion rates. As well as managing the delivery of analytics support to a wide range of clients Michael also oversees the agency’s landing page design offering. With a background in usability and human computer interaction his expertise lies in creating great user experiences, balancing these with an understanding of business objectives to achieve an increase in ROI. Search Laboratory is a global leader in search engine marketing and landing page optimisation, with over 250 clients, in 18 countries, specialising in English and multilingual SEO, PPC, conversion optimisation, landing page design and development and analytics. Read more about Search Laboratory online at www.searchlaboratory.com or follow them on Twitter @searchlabs. Other contributors from Search Laboratory: Paul Shearing, Head of Product Development and Arron Brown, SEO Account Manager. Alex Moss, Director, FireCask Section contributed to: Mobile SEO Alex is a Director at FireCask, an online marketing agency specialising in digital consultancy, creative content production and WordPress development. Firecask has worked with many big brands including 123Reg, Expedia EAN, The Amy Winehouse Foundation and Visit Blackpool. Alex also blogs regularly on many publications including Econsultancy, 123Reg, Moz, State of Digital, Search Engine Watch, Huffington Post, The Guardian and more. As well as his involvement in the SEO industry, Alex develops WordPress themes and plugins. He is the co-founder of Peadig and his WordPress plugins have amassed over 500,000 downloads. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ or connecting with him on Linkedin. SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • James Lowery, Digital Strategy Consultant, Latitude Digital Marketing Section contributed to: Mobile SEO James is the Digital Strategy Consultant at Latitude Digital Marketing. James has been involved in the SEO industry for the last 10 years and Head of SEO at Latitude before moving into a broader cross channel role. He’s a regular speaker at conferences across Europe including SAScon and iGaming and has contributed to a number of marketing publications. You can find out more about James’ work and ideas by visiting http://www.latitudegroup.com/, his blog http://quumf.com or following him on Twitter @yrewol Paul Rogers, SEO Manager, Buyagift.com Section written: Local SEO Paul currently works as SEO Manager for Buyagift.com, where he oversees all SEO and content marketing activity. Prior to this, Paul worked as Head of Digital Marketing for a boutique, London-based ecommerce agency called GPMD. Paul also regularly helps ecommerce businesses with digital marketing and also writes for a range of digital marketing websites and publications, such as Econsultancy and Smart Insights. You can follow him on Twitter @paulnrogers or find him on LinkedIn. SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014
    • Aleyda Solis, Head of Digital Strategy, WooRank Section written: International SEO Aleyda Solis is an experienced technical search marketer, with a strong SEO background, specialized in multilingual, multi-country and mobile SEO projects. Head of Digital Strategy at WooRank also collaborates as a Moz Associate and blogs for State of Digital. Fluent in English and French, besides her native Spanish, she has spoken at International Online Marketing conferences such as MozCon, SearchLove London, SMX London and Munich, BrightonSEO, OmCap Berlin, International Search Summit, among others. You can find Aleyda at http://www.aleydasolis.com/ or follow her at @aleyda. SAMPLE: Search Engine Optimization A Best Practice Guide All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2014