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simple guide to search engine optimization.

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  1. 1. WEB DESIGN APPLICATIONS Ahsan uddin Shan School of Film & Media Studies Ngee Ann Polytechnic Week 7: SEO Search engine optimization
  2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>What is a Search Engine? </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of popular Search Engines </li></ul><ul><li>Why is Search Engine marketing important? </li></ul><ul><li>What is a SEO/SEM? </li></ul><ul><li>SEO strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Ranking factors </li></ul>
  3. 3. What’s an SEO? <ul><li>Refers to the process of “optimizing” both the on-page and off-page ranking factors in order to achieve high search engine </li></ul><ul><ul><li>what you see on the web page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>complete URL, the domain name, the page name, the page name extension </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SEO is t he act of modifying a website to increase its ranking in organic (vs paid), crawler-based listings of search engines </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Optimization generally refers to the work you can do for Search Engines </li></ul><ul><li>Directories, like Yahoo operate under very different guidelines </li></ul>What’s an SEO?
  5. 5. What is search engine marketing ( SEM )? <ul><li>SEM is t he act of marketing a website via search engines by purchasing paid listings </li></ul><ul><li>Paid lisitng [google > ipl] </li></ul>
  6. 6. What are paid listings? <ul><li>These are listings that search engines sell to advertisers, usually through paid placement </li></ul><ul><li>In contrast, organic listings are not sold </li></ul><ul><li>Paid placement allows you to pay for special placement </li></ul><ul><li>Recommended: Yahoo Sponsored Link, Google AdWords </li></ul>
  7. 7. Search Engine Marketing? <ul><li>Includes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Engine Optimization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Search engine optimization (SEO) - no cost per click </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paid Inclusion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pay Per Click (PPC) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. SEO vs. SEM & PPC
  9. 9. SEO vs. SEM & PPC SEO SEM/PPC Pros <ul><li>Free (not including resources) </li></ul><ul><li>Searchers click on organic search results more often than paid PPC links </li></ul><ul><li>Excellent at creating awareness quickly </li></ul><ul><li>quick search </li></ul>Cons <ul><li>Time consuming </li></ul><ul><li>Takes longer to see results </li></ul><ul><li>Can be pricey ($25-$100,000 a month) </li></ul><ul><li>Must be managed constantly (daily/weekly) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Why SEO is important? <ul><li>Drive customers to your website </li></ul><ul><li>Increase sales leads from customers looking for their products and services </li></ul><ul><li>Build your brand online </li></ul><ul><li>Increase profile against your competitors </li></ul><ul><li>Target a global audience via international search engines </li></ul>
  11. 11. How do organic search listings work? <ul><li>A spider or crawler which is a component of a SE gathers listings by automatically &quot;crawling&quot; the web </li></ul><ul><li>The spider follows links to web pages, makes copies of the pages and stores them in the SE’s index </li></ul><ul><li>Based on this data, the SE then indexes the pages and ranks the websites </li></ul><ul><li>Major SEs that index pages using spiders: Google, Altavista, Msn, Aol, lycos </li></ul>
  12. 12. SEO strategies/techniques
  13. 13. SEO strategies/techniques: Domain name strategies <ul><li>Choose a domain name that will increase your search engine ranking. How? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple, short, no hyphens, no numbers </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>How to increase links: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>good content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>good outbound/inbound links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>target a list of sites from which you can request inbound links </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The link’s anchor text is very important </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Should contain relevant keywords </li></ul></ul>SEO strategies/techniques: links
  15. 15. SEO strategies/techniques: Use the Description Glacier Bay Highlights - Alaskan Glacier Bay Cruise Save up to $300 per cabin - ends 3/31/08! This Alaskan Glacier Bay cruise itinerary is a perfect shorter getaway cruise in the beautiful remote wilderness of Alaska's ... GlacierBay Highlights.asp - 32k - Cached - Similar pages <title>Glacier Bay Highlights - Alaskan Glacier Bay Cruise</title> <meta name=&quot;description&quot; content=&quot;Save up to $300 per cabin - ends 3/31/08! This Alaskan Glacier Bay cruise itinerary is a perfect shorter getaway cruise in the beautiful remote wilderness of Alaska's Inside Passage. Experience the true meaning of wonder in the soaring sanctuary of Glacier Bay National Park.&quot;> =
  16. 16. SEO strategies/techniques: Content / Body Text
  17. 17. SEO strategies/techniques: HTML Headings <h#> <ul><li>Include primary or supporting keywords in your highest heading tag (<h1>) </li></ul><ul><li>Place supporting keywords in these heading tags </li></ul><ul><ul><li><h2> … <h6> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use CSS to format the look of standard HTML headings </li></ul>
  18. 18. SEO strategies/techniques: Emphasizing Keywords <ul><li>Emphasize text & keywords to show search engines & users that “this is important” to the theme of the page. </li></ul><ul><li>Use <strong> for bold </li></ul><ul><li>Use <em> for emphasize </li></ul><ul><li>Do not use <b> or <i> (outdated/obsolete) </li></ul><ul><li>Only emphasize short segments of words (1-4 words) </li></ul>
  19. 19. SEO strategies/techniques: Images <ul><li>Give your images descriptive filename </li></ul><ul><li>Use the alt attribute to provide information about the image </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Short description of image </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include keywords where it makes sense </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>keywords are words that appear the most in a page used by searchers to find information </li></ul><ul><li>Best don’t use comma to separate </li></ul><ul><li>at least 100 words </li></ul>SEO strategies/techniques: Key words
  21. 21. Keyword Discovery <ul><li>Known keywords </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask the client </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask the customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check the current server logs or analytics tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check the site search logs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Competitor’s keywords </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Look at the words in the <title> tag / browser bar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>View source to view their META keywords </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Keyword Discovery & Analysis <ul><li>Always include variations of keywords </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plurals (widgets, churches) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Synonyms (cruise, sail, journey, tour) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stems (fish, fishing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>International spelling differences (Harbor /Harbour) </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Keyword Discovery & Analysis <ul><li>Online Tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Created for PPC, used for SEO as well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Google Adwords Keywords Tool </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trellian (free trial) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>WordTracker (free trial) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SEOBook SEOTool Keyword Suggestion Tool </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use multiple tools to cross-check & validate findings in other tools </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>The first thing that a search engine displays on a search return </li></ul><ul><li>Every single web page should have its own title tag - you can use up to 65 characters eg Ebay </li></ul>SEO strategies/techniques: title page
  25. 25. <ul><li>Code example: </li></ul><ul><li><title> Rubber Widgets – Largest Selection of Rubber Widgets </title> </li></ul><ul><li>Dreamweaver : </li></ul>SEO strategies/techniques: title
  26. 26. <ul><li>Meta tags placed in <head> portion of page </li></ul><ul><li>Meta description tags </li></ul>SEO strategies/techniques: meta tags <ul><li>Variations: </li></ul><ul><li><meta name=“robots&quot; content=“index,follow&quot; /> </li></ul><ul><li><meta name=“robots&quot; content=“noindex,nofollow&quot; /> </li></ul><ul><li><meta name=“robots&quot; content=“noindex,follow&quot; /> </li></ul><ul><li><meta name=“robots&quot; content=“index,nofollow&quot; /> </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>A short description </li></ul><ul><li>Include keywords in your alt tags </li></ul>SEO strategies/techniques: alt tag
  28. 28. Submission <ul><li>Submit your website to SEs for indexing </li></ul><ul><li>S ubmit your site to search engine directories, directory sites and portal sites </li></ul><ul><li>indexing takes 1 wk to 3 months </li></ul>
  29. 29. Major SEs to submit to: <ul><li>Altavista (Search engines that also use this database - Looksmart) </li></ul><ul><li>The Open Directory Project (DMOZ) (Search engines that also use this database - Ask Jeeves, Lycos, Netscape ) </li></ul><ul><li>Fast (Search engines that also use this database - Lycos) </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>Google (Search engines that also use this database - Yahoo) </li></ul><ul><li>Inktomi (Search engines that also use this database - AOL, Excite, MSN, Overture) </li></ul><ul><li>MSN </li></ul><ul><li>Yahoo </li></ul>Major SEs to submit to:
  31. 31. SEO - what is NOT recommended <ul><li>Flash and shockwave - spiders do not pick up these files </li></ul><ul><li>Image only sites - spiders do not pick up images </li></ul><ul><li>Image maps - s piders cannot read image maps. </li></ul>
  32. 32. SEO - what is NOT recommended <ul><li>Frames - only one page can be titled (titling is critical in search rankings) </li></ul><ul><li>If the spider cannot read the complete page (because of the frames), it will not be indexed properly. </li></ul><ul><li>Some spiders may not even read a frames web site </li></ul><ul><li>Password protected pages – spiders cannot enter password protected pages </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>PDF files - can be problematic for spiders. </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic pages - s piders cannot index some content on pages using ASP, CGI or other dynamic languages. </li></ul><ul><li>Drop down menus – spiders cannot read them </li></ul>SEO - what is NOT recommended
  34. 34. Resources <ul><li>Search Engine Relationships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bruce Clay’s Search Engine Relationship Chart </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keyword Tools (online) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google AdWords: Keyword Tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trellian Keyword Discovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wordtracker </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEOBook SEOTools Keyword Suggestion Tool </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keyword Tools (client-based) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web CEO </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Resources <ul><li>Analytics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Analytics (Web-based - Free) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stat Counter (Web-based - Free) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mint (Web-based - Fee) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Omniture (Web-based - Fee) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Webtrends (Web-based – Fee) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Monitoring </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web CEO (Client-based – Trial/Fee) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEO Tool Rank Checker (Web-based – Free/Fee) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEO for Firefox (Browser-based) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Toolbar (Browser-based) </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Resources <ul><li>Books </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Engine Marketing – Mike Moran & Bill Hunt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Engine Optimization for Dummies – Peter Kent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Building Findable Websites – Aaron Walter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Marketing Strategies – James Colborn </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web Analytics Demystified – Eric Peterson </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web Metrics – Jim Sterne </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Online Copywriter’s Handbook – Robert Bly </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. Resources <ul><li>Web Sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Engine Land </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEOmoz </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web Engine Watch </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Podcasts (search for these in iTunes or Google) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Daily SearchCast </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEO 101 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Online Courses </li></ul><ul><li> – Search Engine Optimization </li></ul>