SEO Seminarfor the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
for the sf chamberSEO Seminar• SEO is…• History of Google Search• Lies and Bad Practices• When to Think About SEO• How to Do SEO Yourself• Recommended Resources• Summary
seo is…What is SEO?• Yes, it stands for Search Engine Optimization.• But what is it?
seo is…SEO is not…• Submitting websites to search engines.• Manipulating search engine results to provide a more favorable listing for a specific website.• Getting ranked for certain keywords.
seo is…SEO is……the process of taking a page built by humans and making it easilyconsumable for both other humans and for search engine robots. Definition from SEOmoz
seo is…Motives• The search engine wants to deliver webpages that help the user.• The user is looking for pages that are relevant and useful to them.
seo is…The Human Factor“Even though this guide’s title contains the words “search engine”, we’d liketo say that you should base your optimization decisions first and foremost onwhat’s best for the visitors of your site. They’re the main consumers of yourcontent and are using search engines to find your work.”– Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide. Image from Google
seo is…What Search Engines Do• Crawling and indexing. • For SEO, a focus on findability, or proper code.• Providing answers. • For SEO, a focus on targeted, engaging content. • I wish I was a spider…
seo is…Why SEO?• In February 2011, Google said they had 2 billion+ searches per day.• 80% of searchers click on organic results, while 20% click on paid results. Image from Google
seo is…The SEO Long Tail• 30% of searches are for the most popular terms. That leaves 70%.• Google says that a full 20% of all searches each month have never been performed before. Image from SEOmoz
seo is…SERPs• …stands for Search Engine Results Page.• They mainly show organic results and paid results.• A result consists of; • Title. • Description. • URL. Image from Google
overviewHistory of Google Search
history of google searchBasic Formula• 1999 – 2002. • Keyword density. • Link analysis (PageRank). Image from Wordle
history of google searchFocus on Content• 2003 – 2005. • Website activity over time (how often its updating, staying current). • Anchor text (which also resulted in "Google bombs"). • Domain names. • Topic modeling. Image from Search Engine Land
history of google searchMore Sophistication• 2006 – 2009. • Domain authority. • Diversity of link sources. • Search quality raters. • Webmaster tools. Image from SEOmoz
history of google searchSocial Media• 2009 – 2011. • What people are saying. • …but also whos saying it. • Entity associations (recognizing types of content and anticipating searchers needs).
history of google searchUseful and Trustworthy• Googles Panda update to solve problems; • Shallow-content sites (a.k.a. content farm). • Shady link building practices.• Solution involved asking: • Do you consider this site to be authoritative? • Would you be comfortable giving this site your credit card? Image from HubPages
history of google searchEvolution of SERPs• Old Google SERPs. Image from Google
history of google searchEvolution of SERPs• Google SERPs today. Images from Google
history of google searchEvolution of SERPs• Google SERPs tomorrow. Image from Google
overviewLies and Bad Practices
lies and bad practicesSearch EngineSubmissions• In the late 90s, it used to be part of the optimization process.• Since 2001, its become virtually useless.
lies and bad practicesKeyword Density, Stuffing• It’s not about math; it’s about good, targeted content.• Spammers do this. Do you want Google to think you’re a spammer? Image from Wordle
lies and bad practicesFocusing on Optimization• …instead of what to optimize. • The research is the most important and critical part.• An analogy; • Optimization is like executing on a business plan. • Keyword Research is about coming up with the business plan.
lies and bad practicesMeta Tags• Search engines ignore meta keywords.• Meta descriptions are useful for users, but doesn’t influence rankings.• Meta titles are important, but think of the user. Image from AudioVision
lies and bad practicesManipulative Links• Reciprocal links. • Scheming to link to each other.• Incestuous links. • Creating websites just to build up link juice.• Paid links. • Buying your way to success.
lies and bad practicesCloaking• ...is when you deceive a search engine by showing them different content than what your users see.• But, there are white hat cloaking techniques. • Friendly URLs. • Allowing Google to see content behind logins / paywalls.
lies and bad practicesPaid Search• Has no influence on organic results.• But it is a great research tool. • …and it can complement your organic SEO strategy.
lies and bad practicesGuarantees• No one knows the exact algorithm for search engines.• It’s like Coke, but even more complex and secretive.
overviewWhen to Think About SEO
when to think about seoWhen to do SEO?• Before you build a website.• In fact, before you even think about your website.
when to think about seoIf you do SEO after youbuild your website…• …it’s like trying to rethink the concept of your home after you’ve done a complete renovation. Image from Lineal Inc.
when to think about seoWhy do SEO so early on? • Research messaging. • How "The 4-Hour Workweek" came to be. • Keyword research. • What is viable (competition). • What serves your business goals. • All of which informs site strcture (site map) and purpose (UX workflows).Ultimately, it’s about having a strategy, or targeted purpose, for your content. Image from Pinar Tarhan
when to think about seoAll the Time• On an ongoing basis, test and improve. • No, you cant just build your website and forget about it.• Your website is your digital storefront. • Would you ever keep your physical storefront the same for months? Images from Frances Blue, Lovely Ugly Design, Smudgtikka
overviewHow to Do SEO Yourself
how to do seo yourselfBe Exceptional• Good isn’t good enough; make your content great. Image from SEOmoz
how to do seo yourselfDon’t “Look” Like aContent Farm• Delight your visitors with phenomenal design and usability. Images from HubPages, WiseGeek
how to do seo yourselfDont Keep Em Guessing• For any given page, make sure its clear to the visitor what the page is about, and what theyre supposed to do on the page. Images from HubPages, Tennessee
how to do seo yourselfKeyword Research• Research. • Look at competitors and utilize Googles auto-suggestions.• Test. • Run Adwords to find what works & to estimate traffic volume.• Analyze. • Keyword data for balance of competitiveness versus search volume.• Strategize. • Which keywords to target for which pages of your site.
how to do seo yourselfCode Optimization• Watch out for “classic” SEO tactics. • Such as those mentioned in the "Lies and Bad Practices" section.• Let search engines see what your users see. • Use SEO Browser.• Make search engine tools and protocols work for you. • Analytics, Webmaster Tools, http://loads.in, http://wasitup.com.
how to do seo yourselfImages from SEO Browser, Elative
how to do seo yourselfThe Power of Links• Take advantage of new opportunities.• Embrace all of inbound marketing.
how to do seo yourselfWork in Progress• The web is not static; test and improve!• Get analytics set up right; track what matters.• Constantly review, experiment, and tweak.• Remember, this is your storefront. Images from Frances Blue, Lovely Ugly Design, Smudgtikka
recommended resourcesGoogle• Straight from the horses mouth!• However, they tend to be conservative and coy to protect against people trying to game the system. • http://www.google.com/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization- starter-guide.pdf • http://www.google.com/webmasters/edu/quickstartguide/index.html • http://www.google.com/intl/en/websiteoptimizer • http://www.google.com/adwords/pdf/hc/growing_adwords_en.pdf • http://adwords.google.com
recommended resourcesSEO Browser• See what a search engine robot sees when they visit your website. • http://seo-browser.com Image from SEO Browser
recommended resourcesSEOmoz• Lots of great information, research, and insights updated constantly.• They also have an SEO software tool. • http://www.seomoz.org/learn-seo • http://www.seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-seo • http://www.seomoz.org/blog Image from SEOmoz
recommended resourcesRaven• An SEO software tool, competitor to SEOmoz. • http://raventools.com Image from Raven
recommended resourcesDont Make Me Think • A book by Steve Krug on usability. Image from mfinley.com
summaryDefinition• SEO is the process of taking a page built by humans and making it easily consumable for both other humans and for search engine robots. Definition from SEOmoz
summaryContent• SEO is about creating great, purposeful content for people. Image from New York Times
summaryUser Experience• SEO depends upon great design and usability. Delight your visitors. Image from Dunnellon Historical Society
summaryInvestment• SEO takes a lot of time, thought and care, especially for keyword research and building/joining communities.• There are no shortcuts.
summaryOngoing• SEO, and your website in general, should be a work in progress. Constantly test and improve.• Nothing is final or good enough to leave alone for a few months.• Remember, its your storefront. Images from Frances Blue, Lovely Ugly Design, Smudgtikka