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Launching Your SEO Effort

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A presentation targeting startups & individuals wanting to initiate an SEO program. Not intended to be in-depth. Rather it focuses on the initial stages of preparing for an SEO commitment.

A presentation targeting startups & individuals wanting to initiate an SEO program. Not intended to be in-depth. Rather it focuses on the initial stages of preparing for an SEO commitment.

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  • Launched 2009 after 7 years co-founder at another SEM agencyTeam of 6 focused on SEO, PPC, Social & Analytics50+ years of combined online & marketing experience
  • Spiders traverse the web via linksBuilds a profile of sites based on cluesBuilds a weighted indexStores data to access for users
  • Web server sends query to index server which selects pages that match the queryQuery then sent to document server where search results snippets are generatedResults are compiled and sent to user’s browser in less than a second
  • Comment on distribution of clicks80-85% of all clicks occur on first page10-15% of all clicks on second page<5% of clicks on third pageSearch users change behavior to refine query vs. dig deeperOf first page clicks: 70% are on organic listings
  • This is what you’re pursuingSEO is a effort to rank pages, not sitesLogarithmic scale that distills 200+ variables in Google algorithmA comparison of all pages on the web
  • Start with a strong base of accessibility & text contentSelect keywords & integrate into page contentLinks come from content targeting relevant needs of audiencesPromote to audiences via social media marketing
  • There’s no manual for SEOAlgorithms are SE’s secret sauceSEO firms test theories but SE’s always changingGoogle averages more than 1 change per day (most minor)As such there are many uncertainties
  • High value converting traffic is the goal & measure of success
  • Insights to how search engines see your siteNot how site is viewed through a browserSites developed under Americans w/Disabilities Act often do well
  • Have search engines successfully crawled your site?How often, how deep?Use Webmaster Tools to identify where spiders are being blocked – Excessive “nofollow” robot.txt files?
  • Start building your list of keywords
  • Now start refining your list of keywordsEXPLAIN: Keyword Effectiveness IndexHow competitive a keyword isHigher the less effort is likely required
  • Start to organize your keywords Does your site messaging support the keywords your targeting?If not, you’ll have work to do.
  • There is no EXACT way. Experiment with what gets better results.
  • Think of meta page descriptions as ads for your site to generate clicks.
  • Mention a call to action
  • ExplainALT TagsRobot.txt filesSitemap.xml files
  • Don’t let blogs go stale – BIG turn off to visitors
  • Link Building is a topic of it’s ownHigh School analogyQuality of links not quantityNEVER pay for links! Highly frowned upon by engines
  • Another topic that can be 2 hours on it’s ownReal-time search is indexing content (Twitter/Facebook) in real time on certain subjectsStart by lurking in communities that would utilize your product or service. Get a feel for the conversations.
  • How to construct a title tag?Construct a meta descriptionALT tagsShow Google kw tool?
  • Transcript

    • 1. Launching An SEO Effort
      What You Need to Know & Getting Started
    • 2. Agenda
      About Confluence Digital
      How Search Engines Work in 2 minutes
      Search Engine Optimization in 2 Slides 
      A Few Myths About SEO
      Before Optimization Starts
      Where to Start?
      Live Optimization
      Resources
    • 3. Confluence Digital Work
    • 4. How Search Engines Work in 2 Minutes (or so)
    • 5. The Basics - Indexing
    • 6. The Basics – Serving Results
    • 7. Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
      The higher the position of your listings, the more click-throughs to your site.
      The number one search result is worth pursuing because # 1 gets:
      4.9 X more clicks than number 3 position
      8.5 X more clicks than number 5 position
      14.1 X more clicks than number 10 position
    • 8. Search Engine Optimization in 2 Slides
    • 9. Google Page Rank
      Elite 8-10
      Above Average 6-7
      Average 3-5
      Below Average 0-2
    • 10. SEO Factors
      Off-site
      On-site
    • 11. A Few Myths About SEO
    • 12. It’s All About the Homepage
      • False. While important, high value internal pages may have a larger role in converting actions. It’s about conversions!
      • 13. View your site as a funnel functioning to move visitors to act on a specific objective.
      Keyword Meta Tag
      No. The Keyword Meta Tag is no longer a consideration in search algorithms.
    • 14. Your Domain Doesn’t Matter
      False. A domain that includes keywords, all else being equal, will out rank a generic domain name. URL is not a primary factor.
      Example: We sell widgets
      Better URL: www.superiorwidgets.com, www.seattlewidgetsinc.com
      Not as strong: www.superiorcorp.com, depth of content can be an equalizer
      All Hosts Are Created Equal
      • False. Geographic location impacts local search results. Hosting in the location of your target audience for a modest SEO boost.
    • Frequent Site Updates Are Needed
      • False. Regular content updates are great but quality of content & relevance is paramount.
      More Visits = SEO Success
      False. Quality traffic trumps quantity. Focus on tailoring your content to your ideal human visitor.
      Paid Ads Help SEO
      • False. Ads may help with visibility but the official word from SE’s is there is no influence.
    • Before Optimization Starts
    • 15. Success Starts with Support
      Company Dynamics
      Executive level support is essential
      Marketing >> drive web strategy &
      positioning
      IT >> recommend SEO friendly
      technologies & solutions
      Finance & Operations >>
      providing adequate resources
      Collaborate or lose.
    • 16. Site Analytics
      Install an analytics solution
      that provides the following:
      Who’s coming?
      What are they doing?
      Where are they coming from?
      When do they act?
      Why do they convert?
      How loyal are they?
      Google & Yahoo Analytics are free powerful tools
      Easy Natural/Organic traffic report set-up
    • 17. Diagnostic Tools from the Engines
      Search Engine Diagnostics & Troubleshooting
      Google http://www.google.com/webmasters/checklist/
      Bing http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmasters
      Set up Accounts and Start Collecting Data
      See Your Site How Engines See It
      Gain Insights into:
      Find queries that drive visits
      Crawler access, stats and errors
      Broken links and barriers to indexation
      Internal and external link reporting
      Direct the engines how you’d like them to interact with your site
    • 18. Baseline The Current State
      For Keywords you think are important now, how do you rank?
      How do your Branded Keywords rank?
      How do you compare to a select group of competitors? Are there new competitors?
      Conduct a competitive SEO audit versus 2 or 3 competitors (template at the end)
    • 19. Put Together Your Team
      Assemble a cross functional team
      Representatives from Corporate, Marketing, Customer Support, IT and outside perspectives
      No “team”? Recruit interested parties who’ll offer unbiased feedback: business advisors, peers, significant others, friends/family, etc.
    • 20. Where to Start?
    • 21. On-site: “Crawl-ability” & Indexation
      Data from the webmaster tools will indicate crawl errors, crawl stats, broken links, top search queries, etc.
      If plans include moving your site, use the Change of Address tool to notify Google.
      Use 301 redirects to permanently tell users and search engines of changes to page locations.
      Compare known page count to amount indexed by search engines. This ratio indicates how you may be impacted by issues.
    • 22. On-site: Keyword Research
      Brainstorm
      • Ask customers & co-workers
      • 23. Visit high ranking competitors
      • 24. Visit industry sites
      Take your Marketer hat off
      • What problem does your company solve?
      • 25. Describe the situation & solution without buzzwords
      Is analytic data available?
      • Review site logs, if not…
      • 26. Google Analytics (free) & collect data (Visitors > Keyword)
    • On-site: Keyword Research
      Use Tools to Find New Words
      • Google Keyword Tool
      • 27. WordTracker
      • 28. KeywordSpy
      Quantify Opportunities
      • Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI)
      • 29. Estimated monthly volumes
      • 30. Strength & volume of competition
      Review the List, Reprioritize
      • Begin to organize the list
      • 31. Do searches to see what results come up. Are they relevant to you?
    • On-site: Keyword Research
      Map Keywords to Strategy
      • Are these the visitors you’re looking for?
      • 32. Do the keywords filter traffic well
      Conduct a Content Gap Analysis
      • Do you have relevant content for targeted keywords?
      Bucket Keywords: Core & Supplementary
      • 3-5 core keywords
      • 33. 5-10 qualifying keywords to further target (i.e. geographic, special function, etc.)
      • 34. End with 10-15 high value phrases
    • On-site: Title Tags
      Title Tag or Page Title
      • Succinctly summarizes the page’s content
      • 35. Appears as the headline in search results
      • 36. The <title> tag should be placed within the <head> tag of the HTML document.
      • 37. Example: <title> Primary keyword + supplemental keyword w/call to action or brand</title>
      Best Practices
      • Create a unique title for every page
      • 38. Include a keyword or two, no more
      • 39. Describe the page contents
      • 40. Avoid vague titles (i.e. Home Page, Products)
      • 41. Recommended 50-60 characters, up to 64-66 displayed
    • Title Tags Example
    • 42. On-site: Meta Description
      Meta Page Description
      • Summarizes the page with more detail
      • 43. Appears as text below Hyperlinked Title Tag on search engine results page
      • 44. Support the headline & work in 1-3 keywords
      • 45. Google may supply a description for you if you don’t
      Best Practices
      • Craft unique descriptions designed to drive click throughs
      • 46. Support concepts in Page Title Tag
      • 47. <meta name="description" content=“A keyword rich description of products available on this page. Write it like an ad and include a call to action." />
      • 48. Recommended 150 -170 characters
      • 49. DO NOT use keywords excessively
    • Meta Description Example
    • 50. On-site: Other Low Hanging Fruit
      Include Keywords in URL/directory structure
      Add Keywords to image ALT tags
      Create Sitemap.xml file & submit to engines
      Include robot.txt files with a pathway to the sitemap.xml
      Introduce text-based Keyword rich navigation links
      Use Flash wisely. Accentuate and highlight content vs. using as a vehicle for content
    • 51. On-Site: Content is King
      Your website must be relevant to your audience
      Content should be regularly updated within reason
      Create and maintain a copy blog
      Ideas for content
      • Develop a list of frequently asked questions
      • 52. Tips & Tricks for issues faced by the market
      • 53. Create case studies and publish tutorials/help files
      • 54. Ask peers to write guest articles/blog posts
      Too busy to develop content?
      • Online freelance communities: Elance, oDesk, many others
      • 55. Hire a grad student researcher in your field with solid writing skills
      Buy “Content Strategy for the Web” by K. Halvorson
    • 56. Off-site: Link Building
      Link Building is…
      • Acquiring in-bound link from reputable sites which are relevant to your target audience.
      • 57. Strategies & tactics which entice others to link to your site.
      Why is Linking Important?
      • Engines like links. Links drive traffic. Links improve visibility.
      • 58. Engines puts heavy emphasis on qualityand diversity of inbound links.
      Create & Distribute Quality Content
      • Avoid distributing to content farms.
      • 59. Seek sites that are authority sites within your domain of expertise.
      Pursuing High Value Link Partners
      • Treat as you would a business development opportunity.
      • 60. Create a relationship for the long term.
      NEVER PAY FOR LINKS
    • 61. Off-site: Social Media
      A growing influence on SEO likely to a key factor.
      Engines are indexing & serving social media sites and content in their results pages.
      Establish company accounts for Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter.
      Use to distribute notification of company news, content updates, items of interest to your audience.
      Once you start, do not stop. Experiment, Test & Measure.
      Start here: What is Social Media Marketing?
    • 62. Ongoing Activities
      Benchmark efforts against initial baselines and target objectives.
      Research keywords for new opportunities quarterly or monthly.
      Tweak and add content to fill gaps.
      Link building is continuous. Track efforts.
      Social media updates & connecting with others.
      Watch your analytics: if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
    • 63. Live Mini SEO Reviews?
    • 64. Resources
    • 65. Tools & Resources
      Free SEO Tools
      • Google Keyword Tool – free https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
      • 66. RankChecker from SEOBook
      http://tools.seobook.com/firefox/rank-checker/
      • SEOMoz - http://www.seomoz.org/tools
      • 67. Live Search (MSN) http://adlab.msn.com/Keyword-Forecast/default.aspx
      • 68. SpyFu – http://www.spyfu.com
      • 69. KeywordSpy - http://www.keywordspy.com/
      • 70. WebCEO free version - http://www.webceo.com
      • 71. The Google Guide - http://www.googleguide.com/
      There are hundreds available. Find the one that suites your style.
      SEO News
      • http://searchengineland.com/
      • 72. http://searchenginewatch.com/
      • 73. http://www.imediaconnection.com/seo/index.asp
      • 74. http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769
      Key Blogs / Forums
      Matt Cutts: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/
      Rand Fishkin: http://www.seomoz.org/blog
      Aaron Wall: http://www.seobook.com/
      John Battelle: http://battellemedia.com/
      DigitalPoint: http://forums.digitalpoint.com/
      SEMPO.org: http://www.sempo.org/home
      Confluence Digital: http://confluencedigital.com
    • 75. Competitive Comparison Template
    • 76. About Confluence Digital
      What We Do
      Digital Brand Enhancement
      • Search Engine Optimization
      • 77. Paid Search
      • 78. Social Media Marketing
      • 79. Display/Banner Programs
      • 80. Digital Video/Image Distribution
      Program Optimization
      • Digital Marketing Program Management
      • 81. Landing Page/Conversion Path Optimization
      • 82. User Experience Analytics
      • 83. Consulting, Training & Education
      • 84. 3rd Party Program Audits & Vendor Selection
      Dave Pektas Search Marketing Specialist
      Jason Gritten Search Marketing Specialist
      Alonso Chehade Social Media Associate
      Eric Layland Client Strategy
      Dorota Umeno SEM & Brand Advisor
      Margery Spears SEO & Social Specialist
      Complemented by an extensive network
    • 85. Got A Question?
      Confluence Digital
      711 Sixth Avenue North
      Seattle WA 98109
      www.ConfluenceDigital.com
      Phone: 206-852-7102
      eric@confluencedigital.com

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