SEO 101 Overview


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This goal of this deck is to introduce a beginner-level audience to the field of search engine optimization (SEO). Topics covered include "What is SEO?", "Understanding Search Engines" and a framework for measuring a successful SEO program - "Indexation, Ranking, Traffic, Actions".

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SEO 101 Overview

  1. 1. 10.01.2012 SEO 101 Overview[Company Logo]
  2. 2. Understanding Search Engines• Search engines are trying to return the “best” set of documents for a given query• How do search engines measure “best”? – Relevance • Presence of machine-readable text containing keywords related to the user’s query • Having that text appear in “important” places on the page • Using complex machine learning to rank content quality (Panda) – Authority • Evaluating the web’s link graph, social mentions, author and entity data as “votes” for documents2
  3. 3. What is SEO?• SEO is about aligning: – Business goals with audience needs – Web development best practices (On-page SEO) – External marketing efforts (Off-page SEO)• On-page SEO is concerned with presenting site content in ways that are understandable to search engines, and convey “importance” – Providing the correct signals to search engines is critical to earning organic search traffic3
  4. 4. Measuring a Successful SEO Program• I.R.T.A. – Indexation, Ranking, Traffic, Actions – A waterfall where issues at a level higher up the chain cause will reduce ability to realize value further down the chain• A Successful SEO Program: – Drives and continually grows non-branded keyword traffic (visits) – Draws traffic that is relevant to your business and highly engaged with your content / assets (PVPV, TOS, Bounce, etc) – Measures and delivers incremental increases in the key business goals of the website (data capture, RFPs, sales leads, etc)4
  5. 5. I.R.T.A. - Indexation• Indexation – Indexation involves extracting the text from a page and putting it in a searchable database • Linearization – stripping machine-readable text out of the page • Tokenization – removing punctuation • Filtration – removing stop words (e.g. the, of, an) • Stemming – removing suffixes • Weighting – determining how “important” a word is in the document – Crawling does not equal indexing – engines crawl far more pages (discovery) than they index – Engines look for signals indicating a URL is important enough to keep in their index, as indexation has real overhead costs5
  6. 6. I.R.T.A. – Indexation (cont.)• Indexation – Goal is to get as many of your site’s valid, valuable URLs into the index as possible • E.g. if your site can render 10,000 valid URLs, and you have 9,000 of them in Google’s index, that’s very good • High Indexation numbers are good because organic search is like fishing with a drag net, where the size of your net is how many pages you have in the index – bigger nets get more fish – Indexation levels often closely tied to good Information Architecture6
  7. 7. I.R.T.A. - Ranking• Ranking – Providing correct signals to search engines (through On-page & Off-page SEO) influences where your site ranks for any given keyword • Ranking on page 1 of SERPs is important – 70% of searchers don’t click beyond page 1 – Ranking reports are becoming less useful with personalization, and are much less useful for enterprise sites (100K+ visits) • Long-tail search (4+ keywords per query) are 70% of total search volume is7
  8. 8. I.R.T.A. - Traffic• Traffic – Good SEO should drive increasing levels of non-branded search traffic YoY – Traffic is not dictated by ranking alone • Good use of SERP marketing real estate – Compelling titles, descriptions, and clean URLs drive click through rate – User eye-path: 40% of time spent on title, 30% on description, 20% on URL – New signals and algorithm changes influence traffic • Personalization • Universal Search brings in diverse asset types (videos increase CTR)8 • New technologies (microformats showing ratings, authorship)
  9. 9. I.R.T.A. - Actions• Actions – Getting traffic is not a good goal in and of itself, you need traffic that is specifically relevant to the goal a user is trying to accomplish, and the solution your business offers • Make sure the right pages are ranking for the right queries • Make sure that the keywords you rank for are the ones your audience uses when speaking about your services – 7 Second Rule : Ensure pages are designed to help users determine • Where am I? • What can I do here?9 • Why should I do it here as opposed to at a competitors’ site?