Search engines & eCommerce - Ravensbourne lecture - How Search Engines work & Foundations of SEO

  • 1,030 views
Uploaded on

After being invited two years in a row to guest lecture to Web Design students at Ravensbourne College in London this is the material presented. As their coursework was to design a website I was asked …

After being invited two years in a row to guest lecture to Web Design students at Ravensbourne College in London this is the material presented. As their coursework was to design a website I was asked to help them gain a better understanding of how Search Engines (Google Yahoo, Bing and even Yandex & Biadu) work so they could apply search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques to their work. Hope you can gain from this presentation on the basics of how a search engine works and the foundations of SEO. Although arguably a bit dated the basics still apply and can help in onsite optimisation

More in: Marketing , Technology , Design
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
1,030
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0

Actions

Shares
Downloads
6
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide
  • http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2085970/Why-Marketers-Must-Care-About-Site-Speed
  • http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml-rdfa-primer/http://schema.org/docs/gs.htmlhttp://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/05/04/microformats-what-they-are-and-how-to-use-themhttp://www.commontag.org/QuickStartGuidehttp://wiki.dbpedia.org/interlinkinghttp://www.webmonkey.com/2010/09/microdata-html5s-best-kept-secrethttp://check.rdfa.info/
  • http://www.blindfiveyearold.com/how-to-implement-rel-authorhttp://yoast.com/wordpress-rel-author-rel-me/http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1408986http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/authorship-markup-and-web-search.htmlhttp://searchengineland.com/how-to-use-rich-snippets-structured-markup-for-high-powered-seo-99081
  • http://www.blindfiveyearold.com/how-to-implement-rel-authorhttp://yoast.com/wordpress-rel-author-rel-me/http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1408986http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/authorship-markup-and-web-search.htmlhttp://searchengineland.com/how-to-use-rich-snippets-structured-markup-for-high-powered-seo-99081
  • http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2096246/Successful-SEO-Tactics-Keyword-Selection
  • http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2096246/Successful-SEO-Tactics-Keyword-Selection
  • Google Dan Theis keyword research and read his stuff – the seotrainingdojo and seofaststart are good resourceshttp://searchenginewatch.com/article/2096246/Successful-SEO-Tactics-Keyword-Selection
  • http://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=6100http://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=6324http://searchengineland.com/understanding-keyword-match-types-42789http://www.wordstream.com/keyword-match-typeshttp://www.ppchero.com/keyword-match-types-the-what-and-why/
  • http://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=6100http://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=6324http://searchengineland.com/understanding-keyword-match-types-42789http://www.wordstream.com/keyword-match-typeshttp://www.ppchero.com/keyword-match-types-the-what-and-why/

Transcript

  • 1. SEARCH ENGINES & ECOMMERCE Getting people to your website
  • 2. Lecture 1  The Search Results – Then, Now and the Future  How search engines work  Indexing  Algorithm  Onsite Optimisation  Key Onpage elements  Meta tags, titles, description, KWs, images  Internal linking  RDFA and rel=author Lecture 2 Offsite link building “Trust, authority” The Currency model  KW Strategy  KWR - determining the competition  Modern Tools of the Trade Market Samurai, Majestic SEO, Get me listed  Match types & Long tail KWs  Phrase, exact & broad match  Helping coins gain traction  Metrics for eCommerce  Conversions, Time on vs Depth of  Setting up a store for Users & SEO  Nike layered example  Breadcrumbs  Javascript/iframes 2
  • 3. HOW SEARCH ENGINES WORK
  • 4. SEO VS PPC – UNDERSTANDING YOUR OPTIONS  The Search Results – Then, Now and the Future Universal results Are you ready for this? The 1st relevant results 4
  • 5. HOW SEARCH ENGINES WORK They search the Internet -- or select pieces of the Internet -- based on important words (keywords)  They keep an index of the words they find, and where they find them.  They allow users to look for words or combinations of words found in that index.  Before a search engine can tell you where a file or document is, it must be found.  Spiders, build lists of the words found on Web sites. When a spider is building its lists, the process is called Web crawling  5
  • 6. HOW SEARCH ENGINES WORK There are 3 key processes in delivering search results:      Crawling – Do search engines know about your site? Can they find it? Indexing – Is your site indexable? Serving – Does the site have useful content that is highly relevant to user search queries? Each search engine uses an algorithmic process to determine which sites to crawl, how often, and how many pages to fetch from each site As a web spider visits each of these websites it detects links on each page and adds them to its list of pages to crawl 6
  • 7. HOW SEARCH ENGINES WORK 7
  • 8. HOW SEARCH ENGINES WORK Something to keep in mind  Search engines can process most, but not all, content types.  They cannot process the content of some rich media files or dynamic pages. Typically, search engines have trouble with things like Flash or JavaScript-based pages. Thus the reason that SEO people dislike Flash websites 8
  • 9. HOW SEARCH ENGINES WORK Location, Location, Location...and Frequency  An algorithm determines how a search engine decides what to return in the pages results.   How Google and others “rank” their results is a constantly evolving mix One of the main rules in a ranking algorithm involves the location and frequency of keywords on a web page. Call it the location/frequency method, for short. 9 The easy days of keyword spamming no longer exist. Now you really have to work
  • 10. HOW SEARCH ENGINES WORK Location, Location, Location...and Frequency  Think of the process as similar to a librarian   They need to find books to match your request of "travel," so it makes sense that they first look at books with travel in the title. Search engines operate the same way. Pages with the search terms appearing in the HTML title tag are often assumed to be more relevant than others to the topic. 10
  • 11. ONSITE OPTIMISATION telling search engines and searchers what each page on your website is about
  • 12. ONSITE OPTIMISATION Seeing what the Librarian sees  Knowing what Search Engines “read” and how they “think” is what the game is all about  Structure your website to meet basic needs of both bots and visitors 12
  • 13. ONSITE OPTIMISATION – REAL SEO IN 4 AREAS 13
  • 14. ONSITE OPTIMISATION – PLANNING  Optimize toward the end user   Plan holistically   Never forget who you’re trying to attract to your website. An algorithm isn’t going to convert, a human being will. Never lose sight of this. Don’t think of your sitemap, title tag, description tag, H1, breadcrumb, ATL tag, etc., as separate attributes used in the process of optimizing a page. These attributes must work together at page level to be successful. Match up URLs and keywords  From the beginning take those URLs, and make sure that the keyword(s) you are targeting for that page are leveraging as many on-site attributes as possible. 14
  • 15. ONSITE OPTIMISATION – BREAKING IT DOWN 15
  • 16. ONSITE OPTIMISATION – CONTENT  Content for eCommerce can be tough    Most products don’t have a lot of KW oriented content. Think of how to connect users to other sections of the site that allow you to capture the long tail AND highlight your wares. Remember sales are made on price, trust and appeal (design of site & UX) Recommended tactic  Try placing a small amount of keyword-focused content above the product table near the top of the page, and adding several short paragraphs of content below the product table near the bottom of the page. This usually satisfies the business, the end user, and the engine. 16
  • 17. ONSITE OPTIMISATION – QUALITY  Content for eCommerce can be tough   Since late February 2011, Google has publicly turned more focus to the importance of unique quality content though multiple algorithmic updates referred to as Panda. In short, Panda is an effort to devalue websites that are leveraging poor quality content in an effort to boost their rankings. Recommended tactic  Don’t just use manufacturers’ content as given – think how it can be improved for your target audiences. What else can you produce for them specifically? 17
  • 18. ONSITE OPTIMISATION – DIRECT RESPONSE  Content for eCommerce can be tough   Title and meta tags provide a great opportunity to optimize a page for a given keyword(s) while compelling searchers to click your listing on the SERP. Recommended tactic        When writing your titles and descriptions, consider using these attributes to achieve above-average CTRs: Price points Percentage off 100% guarantee Free shipping Order now Ends soon 18
  • 19. ONSITE OPTIMISATION – TECHNICAL PERFORMANCE  404 Errors are terrible UX   The larger the site the more opportunity for errors. Use tools like Google Webmaster Tools, Screaming Frog and Xenu to find broken links. Recommended tactic Become proficient with GWT and other tools  Consider a more engaging 404 error page and make certain to offer options for users to return to important sections in your website.  Get to know Smashing Magazine – a great resource for design, UX and more     http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2012/02/24/a-fun-approach-to-creatingmore-successful-websites/ http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/01/29/404-error-pages-one-more-time/ http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2012/02/15/smashing-book-3preorder/?pk_campaign=vvk 19
  • 20. ONSITE OPTIMISATION – TECHNICAL PERFORMANCE  Speed is crucial in Search Engines’ eyes    For your prospects the first exposure to your brand is your website. It is the first time a user is able to interact with you and if your website is slow, your prospect begins building the impression that it may not be easy to buy from, or interact with, your company. Google’s announcement in April 2010 that website speed is part of the ranking algorithm is well known. Google wants to make sure the links in the SERPs are going to pages that open quickly so that users have a good experience. Recommended tactic  Again GWT provides site performance data that will be helpful in monitoring and addressing these concerns. Check out the Labs > Site performance section in GWT to get started. 20
  • 21. ONSITE OPTIMISATION – SITE STRUCTURE  Think ahead! Site structure is KEY!!   Site structure and the engine’s ability to crawl the pages of your site will have a big impact on its ability to rank for a vast amount of keywords. One of the reasons working with retail sites is so rewarding is the large number of pages that one has to work with. Recommended tactic  Remember the Nike layered structure and how this can be applied and mapped to your Internal linking to help highlight pages that you want to make more important to visitors/search engines. 21
  • 22. ONSITE OPTIMISATION – SITE STRUCTURE 22
  • 23. ONSITE OPTIMISATION – SITE STRUCTURE  Use your skills & technology & logic   Manually changing 1000’s title, description, H1, etc., tags is daunting and inefficient. Here’s where a little automation can go a long way in leveraging the power of a large site Recommended tactic One common approach is to take your URL, title, description, H1 and breadcrumb and create a schema that automatically populates these attributes with relevant fields from within the database.  These schemas should be created for each template page and it’s important to think through the logic of how the schema will read once populated with the data. An example title tag schema for a category page might look something like this:    Schema: {brand name} Ink Cartridges and Toner - {brand name} Printer Ink Populated: Canon Ink Cartridges and Toner – Canon Printer Ink 23
  • 24. ONSITE OPTIMISATION – INTERNAL LINKING  Point to your most important pages   Knowing your margins and best sellers can help sell more of what you want. Use your internal links to connect visitors and search engines to what you want them to see. Recommended tactic   Review your log files and Analytics to see which pages get crawled/visited most often. Check where these are in the SERPs and consider how else you can help them on and off-site. Are your top pages linked to or can they link be used to link to your more important revenue producers? 24
  • 25. ONSITE OPTIMISATION – RDFA  Point to your most important pages RDFa is a specification for attributes to express structured data in any markup language  The current Web is primarily made up of an enormous number of documents that have been created using HTML. These documents contain significant amounts of structured data, which is largely unavailable to tools and applications.  When publishers can express this data more completely, and when tools can read it, a new world of user functionality becomes available, letting users transfer structured data between applications and web sites, and allowing browsing applications to improve the user experience: an event on a web page can be directly imported into a user's desktop calendar; a license on a document can be detected so that users can be informed of their rights automatically; a photo's creator, camera setting information, resolution, location and topic can be published as easily as the original photo itself, enabling structured search and sharing.   Recommended tactic  Read and get a good coder 25
  • 26. ONSITE OPTIMISATION – REL=AUTHOR  Help get a visual boost in the SERPs    Due to the high number of poor content (noise vs. signal) Google and others are pushing rel=author. This is a method to help confirm legitimate content and can also help show who published something first. Recommended tactic  Read and claim your Google+ profile. 26
  • 27. REL=AUTHOR = EFFECTIVE WAY TO STAND OUT 27
  • 28. OFFSITE LINK BUILDING
  • 29. OFFSITE LINK BUILDING  Link building is never easy and is probably the most frustrating task an SEO has to undertake.   There are many different tools and techniques designed to help you be a more effective link builder, however if you use them without a plan or in isolation of each other you’ll soon find that it just doesn’t work. Whenever you start a link building campaign you have to seriously consider the signals you are presenting to Google, including velocity, anchor text, sources and content.  What kind of link patterns would you associate with a natural profile? How would these links be developed and where would they come from? 29
  • 30. OFFSITE LINK BUILDING - TRUST  Link building is never easy and is probably the most frustrating task an SEO has to undertake.   There are many different tools and techniques designed to help you be a more effective link builder, however if you use them without a plan or in isolation of each other you’ll soon find that it just doesn’t work. Whenever you start a link building campaign you have to seriously consider the signals you are presenting to Google, including velocity, anchor text, sources and content.  What kind of link patterns would you associate with a natural profile? How would these links be developed and where would they come from? 30
  • 31. OFFSITE LINK BUILDING - TRUST  The main purpose of Trust is to identify and separate useful web pages from spam   Most spam pages are created with an intention to mislead the search engine and generate a higher page rank than actually deserved. Best practice for Trust link building is emphasise the content and relevancy of the landing page.  Link baiting is an example of good link building, also, submitting websites to trusted directories like DMOZ and generating links from pages in the .edu and .gov domains is highly recommended. A smart strategy is to take more care to build a few high quality links than just plenty of low quality links 31
  • 32. OFFSITE LINK BUILDING - TRUST  A neighbourhood of good links is what builds trust in search engine eyes  Quality Content is what builds trust and authority in visitors minds  The main purpose of Trust is to identify and separate useful web pages from spam  Most spam pages are created with an intention to mislead the search engine and generate a higher page rank than actually deserved. Remember ALWAYS you need to keep search engines in mind, but build your site and content to attract & keep your audiences 32
  • 33. OFFSITE LINK BUILDING - TRUST  Social Media and seeding your content to help it get shared is now the most common strategy used for link building  You don’t need to appear in every Social space but it does help to know which best fit you and your content  Consider: Blogs / Forums  Social Networks  Video portals  Know where your audiences hang out and what niche content they may want to read 33
  • 34. KEYWORD STRATEGY
  • 35. KEYWORD STRATEGY  Recall that you need to do your market AND keyword research in order to build the best opportunities for success   And don’t forget that market research involves both your audience niches and your competitors Search volume is an important factor in determining the keywords you’ll consider but don’t be swayed to go always for high volume KWs. Lower volume terms can often have less competition, be further down the purchase funne and be easier to win customers & rankings.  Revenue can be generated from a set of low volume, long tail terms that individually only receive a handful of conversions each month, but collectively make up more than 70 percent of all non-brand revenue. 35
  • 36. KEYWORD STRATEGY  Without relevance, you’re dead in the water. Forget about ranking for a keyword that doesn’t appear on your site. It’s that simple.  User intent can be thought of in many ways. Is a user who searches for “Delta” looking for airline tickets or a faucet? Understanding and researching multiple meanings for individual search terms is important.  More important is the mindset of the consumers in their decision-making process, and the impact this has on conversion. 36
  • 37. KEYWORD STRATEGY  Measure Incremental Non-Brand Lift  Take note on a regular schedule the variety of KWs that drive traffic to your site and the % that are not brand terms  Look year-over-year at keyword-level data to isolate precisely where increases and decreases in the program occurred. Then develop strategies around these keywords – and derivatives of these keywords.  Always, always review your data and if using PPC utilise the SQR (search query reports) to uncover new avenues to explore. Some people obsess over keywords, others make money from them...let’s go make money! 37
  • 38. MATCH TYPES & LONG TAIL KWS
  • 39. MATCH TYPES & LONG TAIL KWS  There are three different match types in Google Adwords. UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE  Broad match - keywords that will get you the most impressions. Important to note that Google uses this as your default keyword variation.   Blue shoes could match to: I like your blue shoes, blue overalls, one left shoe... “Phrase” match - your keyword or keywords will trigger ads if the search query uses the exact order in which your keywords are in. Important to note is that if the search query has additional terms in it, but the keywords are in the order you designate, your ads can still be triggered.  “Blue Shoes” could match to: I like your blue shoes, did you see that his blue toe poked out of his shoes... 39
  • 40. MATCH TYPES & LONG TAIL KWS  There are three different match types in Google Adwords. UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE  [Exact] match - if the search query doesn’t match the keyword exactly, then ads will not be triggered. If you want only relevant traffic and a high conversion rate, this match type is for you.  The majority of your Paid traffic should come from Phrase and Exact match. Use Broad to discover new opportunities  You may want to consider putting Broad match into it’s own campaign/ad groups to test & learn 40
  • 41. MATCH TYPES & LONG TAIL KWS  Think of the traditional Bell curve and the theory that the long tail is actually housing a vastly greater amount than the fat portion of the graph  Review the competition for your long tail KW targets, not just for the amount of competition, but the quality of the content that is available. Can you produce better stuff?  There’s gold in the long tail but you may have to do a lot of panning to uncover the right vein. This is where PPC is best used. 41
  • 42. HELPING COINS GAIN TRACTION  Recall that keywords with more words (“coins”) have less competition and less content targeting them. Can you build a flood for 3-6 coin terms?     Blue shoes Nike running blue shoes Nike running blue shoes for women Nike air atari plus 4 ladies blue running shoes 42
  • 43. METRICS FOR ECOMMERCE
  • 44. METRICS FOR ECOMMERCE  Your store needs traffic but that is not what you need to focus on when reviewing your Analytics  Know the difference between Visits and Unique Visitors  Look at your Visitor Flow and what it may be telling you about your site  Review your Traffic Sources – are you happy with this mix? Does it match your investment & business goals?  Review your In-Page Analytics and see what it may be telling you.   Can you infer where visitors are going and what can be done to lead them down the path you want? Always track & review your Top Pages – do these change and if so are the changes connected to your marketing?  If not what could this be telling you about your audience or site? 44
  • 45. METRICS FOR ECOMMERCE  While Time on Site and Avg. Pageviews is important Depth of Visit is my favourite      Knowing how deep people are exploring your site and “following” their path is how you best serve your audience. What are they looking for? What content is missing to meet their desires/needs? What content is getting engaged with? Where are they dropping off and why do we think? Understanding your USP and how people engage with it on your site leads to the most consistent conversions 45
  • 46. SETTING UP A STORE FOR USERS & SEO
  • 47. ONSITE OPTIMISATION – SITE STRUCTURE 47 Can you list the why and benefits of this structure?
  • 48. SETTING UP A STORE – JAVASCRIPT/IFRAMES  iFrames are a tactic that can backfire     While it may a site look clean and organised, iFrames have been frowned upon by search engines (especially Google) for many years. iFrames can have hidden malicious components and thus search engines tend to avoid reading them An iFrame calls another page to load and could take more load time for your visitors Javascript can help make less calls to the server, thus increasing site speed and improve user experience  Plus it’s search engine friendly if coded correctly 48
  • 49. WW http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2029536/seo-65-percent-commerce-sites-missing-boat http://kaiserthesage.com/seo-strategies-for-ecommerce-websites-2/ http://www.slideshare.net/patrickaltoft/advanced-seo-for-ecommerce-sites http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/01/22/35-beautiful-and-effective-ecommerce-websites/ IMITATION, THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY