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SEO Audits: Internal Auditing Processes for your Own Search - SMX Melbourne

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"SEO Audits: Internal auditing processes for your own search" provides a simple framework for discovering and solving common SEO issues on your site. Originally presented by Jeff Ferguson, CEO & Lead …

"SEO Audits: Internal auditing processes for your own search" provides a simple framework for discovering and solving common SEO issues on your site. Originally presented by Jeff Ferguson, CEO & Lead Consultant of Fang Digital Marketing (www.FangDigital.com) at SMX Melbourne 2011.

Still need help with SEO audits or SEO in general? Contact Fang Digital Marketing and we'll do the heavy lifting and put you on a path to SEO greatness.


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  • 1. Internal Auditing Processes for your OWN Search Jeff Ferguson CEO, Fang Digital Marketing Board Member, SEMPO LA Writer, DeadTreeMedia.com
  • 2. mobro.co/JeffFerguson
  • 3. A Better Exit Strategy
  • 4. A Better Exit Strategy
  • 5. SEO Isn’t Rocket Science
  • 6. THE END(Not That End… What You’ll End Up With)
  • 7. The End• A framework for a report – The SEO Audit is an outline – Fill it in as you go – Attack it in parts – Assign it to different members of your team (if you have one)• Don’t make SEO changes while you’re performing the audit
  • 8. THE THREE PILLARS OF SEOOr, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (Yet)”
  • 9. 3 Pillars of SEO
  • 10. 3 Pillars of SEO
  • 11. CONTENTThe Real Reason People Search
  • 12. Content• The first rule of content:
  • 13. Content• Content – Keyword Coverage Analysis • Basically, ensure that the keywords you are targeting, are actually found within the content – Keyword Mix – Brand vs. Non-Brand • Pull a keyword list from Analytics or Webmaster Tools, drop it into Excel • Use “Insert Table” to sort the brand terms from non-brand terms • Graph the results as a pie chart to see the split – Word Phrases • Tools such as Webmaster Tools will show the phrases you are being found on during searches, are they what you want to be found for? • Bruce Clay’s Site Tools can analyze a page to show most often found phrases – Linear Keyword Distribution • Where are your most important keywords showing up on the page?
  • 14. Effective Copywriting• In general, you want to match content messaging to frequently used search terms – Be warned, simply populating pages with terms can get your site penalized by search engines and get your site knocked back several pages in ranking• Write for both the consumer and the search engine – Avoid “Caveman Speak” – Create full sentences that are both search term rich and descriptively detailed – What is really relevant to the common consumer? That they have a ballroom or its size? – Don’t forget the easy stuff • Lead with the important information • e.g. you know it’s a hotel, but does the search engine? • What attractions is the hotel close to?
  • 15. SITE ARCHITECTUREAin’t No School Like the Old School SEO
  • 16. Site ArchitectureThe Back of the House
  • 17. Site Architecture• Site Architecture – Page Layout • Navigation (Location, Breadcrumbs, Flash/JavaScript) • Site Depth • Taxonomies • HTML Structure (Flash, Frames, Etc.) • W3C Compliance – Tag Review • TITLE • META Description • META Keyword • Headlines • Bold & Italic • Image ALT • Microformats – Internal Linking • URL Structure (Length, Depth, Content) • Anchor Text • Link Hierarchy • Canonical Issues • Redirect Issues • Broken Links – Page Load Speed – Site History and Domain Age & Expiration – CMS Evaluation – META Robots & Robots.txt
  • 18. Site Architecture• Site Architecture – Page Layout • Navigation – Location, Breadcrumbs, Flash/JavaScript • Site Depth – Shallow sites are best, don’t make the spiders work • Taxonomies – Keyword/Topic grouping • HTML Structure – Flash, Frames, Etc. • W3C Compliance – http://validator.w3.org/
  • 19. Site Architecture• Site Architecture – Tag Review • TITLE • META Description • META Keyword • Headlines • Image ALT • Bold & Italic – Use when appropriate, don’t abuse • Microformats, Rich Snipets, RDF, etc. – Stand out from the crowd if you have appropriate content – Ratings, People, Products, Events, Businessess and Organizations, Video
  • 20. Site ArchitectureThe Back of the House• <TITLE> Tags – Syntax: • <TITLE>How to set up proper meta tags up to 50 characters </TITLE> – Rules: • 50 characters, including spaces and punctuation • Be specific: – BAD: “Hilton San Francisco” – GOOD: “Hilton San Francisco Hotel…”
  • 21. Site ArchitectureThe Back of the House• <META> Tags – Two Types: • “Description” – – Syntax: » <META NAME="description“ CONTENTS=“…“> – Rules: » 233 characters, including spaces and punctuation • “Keywords” – – Syntax: » <META NAME=“keywords“ CONTENTS=“…“> – Rules: » 233 – 250 characters, including spaces and punctuation
  • 22. Site ArchitectureThe Back of the House• Headlines: – <H1>, <H2> tags around what is usually the title of a paragraph or section • e.g. “Welcome to Hilton San Francisco” – Spiders look to information enclosed in these tags as an important source of content for a given page – Syntax • <H1>Headline</H1> or <H2> or <H3> – Rules • Never use an image as a headline, spiders and bots
  • 23. Site Architecture• Site Architecture – Internal Linking • URL Structure – Length, Depth, Content • Anchor Text – Keyword rich • Canonical Issues – Nobody likes an ugly URL • Redirect Issues • Broken Links
  • 24. Site ArchitectureThe Back of the House• Domain, Image, and File Names – Three important types • Domain names – www.hilton.com • Image names – “lobby.gif” • File names – “meetings.html” – Be descriptive, spiders and bots consider these during their calculations of relevancy • GOOD: “hilton_san_francisco_lobby.gif” • BAD: “lobby.gif” • REALLY BAD: “image1.gif” – USE <ALT> tags on image and anchor tags to provide more detail • <IMG SRC=“hilton_san_francisco_lobby.gif " ALT=“Hilton San Francisco Lobby">
  • 25. Site Architecture• Site Architecture – Page Load Speed • Part of the mix, Google hates slow sites • Webmaster Tools provides this information – Site History and Domain Age & Expiration • Older sites appear to have some extra chutzpa – CMS Evaluation • Don’t make your life difficult by using a weird CMS – META Robots & Robots.txt • How to shoot yourself in the foot without trying • The deadly “Disallow: /”
  • 26. Site ArchitectureThe Back of the House • Internal and External Links – Both internal and external links are used by the spiders to rank your pages’ relevancy – The words within the anchor text are used as search terms by the spiders and bots • <A HREF="http://URL">Hilton San Francisco Hotel’s Spa Fusion & Health Club</A>
  • 27. Site ArchitectureThe Back of the House• Other Important Dos and Don’ts – Avoid sites composed entirely of Flash or images • Spiders and bots cannot read or describe their contents – Avoid HTML <FRAMES> • Spiders and bots can get confused and index the wrong page – Avoid common SEO SPAM techniques • Cloaking – dynamic pages just for search engines • META and JAVA refresh – pages that automatically send you somewhere else upon arrival • “Doorway Pages” – over optimized pages that have no use as real, readable content
  • 28. INBOUND LINKSThe Only Time You Enjoy Everybody Pointing At You
  • 29. Inbound Links• External Linking/Off-Page – Link Coverage • Check webmaster tools to discover what sites are linking to your site • Link: colon hasn’t provided an accurate measurement in years, use only if you can’t get into WMT • Are the links spread out across a variety of sites, or just one? – Social Signals • Most social sites are nofollow’d, but still good for discovery – Anchor Text Analysis • Keyword rich • Webmaster Tools can provide great insight
  • 30. Inbound Links • Internal and External Links – Both internal and external links are used by the spiders to rank your pages’ relevancy – The words within the anchor text are used as search terms by the spiders and bots • <A HREF="http://URL">Hilton San Francisco Hotel’s Spa Fusion & Health Club</A>
  • 31. FINAL STEPSHow to Show Off To Your Boss
  • 32. Final Steps• To Do List – Don’t try and use your notes in the outline – Create an actual to do list as you go• Appendices – Hold on to all the data you’ve obtained – Reports, keyword data, etc. – Good for comparison later on
  • 33. Final Steps• Lather, Rinse, & Repeat – Audits are not a one time thing – Revisit the process at least once a year to track progress
  • 34. TOOLS OF THE TRADENo, I Don’t Mean Black Hat SEOs
  • 35. Tools of the Trade• Google Analytics – Keyword data – Page traffic• Google Webmaster Tools – Myriad of info• W3C – http://validator.w3.org/• Page Analyzers – Bruce Clay’s SEO ToolSet – WebSEOAnalytics.com/Free
  • 36. Jeff Fergusonjeff@fangdigital.com | twitter: @countxero. @fangdigital & @dead_tree_mediaTHANK YOU!