The Wonderful Wide World of Seo

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A look into the wonderful, and sometimes daunting, world of SEO. In this presentation, I cover why you need SEO, what it takes to rank in search engines, what actually goes into it, considerations for …

A look into the wonderful, and sometimes daunting, world of SEO. In this presentation, I cover why you need SEO, what it takes to rank in search engines, what actually goes into it, considerations for a CMS platform, how to determine success and some key takeaways for success.

Be it that I presented this at the Melbourne Travel Massive event to a beginner level audience and within a limited time frame, I had to make the scope relatively broad, but you can find a much more in-depth version of this presentation over at:
http://www.slideshare.net/holidaypointau/the-se-os-guide-to-making-a-website-michael-jones

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment box below, email me at info@holidaypoint.com.au, or if you live in Melbourne, come to the dedicated SEO Meetup at http://www.meetup.com/Melbourne-SEO/

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  • http://www.universityoffarmers.com/
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Transcript

  • 1. Michael Jones - Holidaypoint.com.au
  • 2. About Me
  • 3. 13 years of search engine marketing experience, worked with many large organisations in Australia (both in-house and agency side), in a broad range of industries including: shopping, classifieds and service websites. Specialising in SEO, but have experience in: - SEM - Analytics - Social - Local - Reputation Management - Email Marketing A network of 9 travel websites; managing everything from: - Search Engine Optimisation - Social Media Marketing - Video & Image Creation - Content Editing - Web Programming - Website Building - Affiliate Marketing - AdSense - Web Analytics - Keyword Research Now: Senior SEO Account Manager Soon: Web Search Strategist
  • 4. What I will Cover Why SEO? So how does one rank So What do I need to do • Define Your Goals • Do your research! What You Need • Web Hosting • Content Management Systems • Themes Bringing it all together… • Basic SEO • SEO Functionality / Plugins Bringing it all together… • Basic SEO • SEO Functionality / Plugins Content Marketing / Distribution Determining Success • How to Track • What to look at Maintenance Tasks Considerations / Take Aways
  • 5. Why SEO?
  • 6. Why SEO? Website Revenue Organic Search vs Total Website Traffic SEO is perhaps the most cost-effective form of marketing, often returning the highest ROI of any advertising channel. Unlike paid advertising sources, SEO traffic doesn’t cease to exist if you reduce budgets and runs 24/7.
  • 7. So how does one rank?
  • 8. Ranking in Search Engines Technical Eliminating any roadblocks and opportunities to SEO success (Duplicate content, redirection issues, schema markup, broken links) Offpage (The quality and quantity of links to your website – on both a domain and page level) Onpage (Website content, tags, internal linking, etc.)
  • 9. Ranking in Search Engines Approximately 40% Link Authority Based
  • 10. So What do I need to do?
  • 11. Define Your Goals
  • 12. Define Objectives / Requirements 1. What are your goals? Sales, leads, signups, social followers, traffic, UBs 2. How will you achieve this via your website? Quoting Engine, Shopping Cart, AdSense, Signup Form, Content 3. Where will you source traffic? Organic search traffic, SEM, social media, referral traffic, email 4. What is your target audience (demographic). B2C? B2B? State, Age, occupation? 5. Research your competition and their websites Check to see how they acquire leads and what contain they have on their website
  • 13. Do your research!
  • 14. Content Research When it comes to content for your website, it should fit usually into 3 categories: - Content to attract organic traffic - Engaging content that attracts social sharing / discussion - Pages necessary for website UX Content that has a demonstrated search demand Content that is likely to attract social shares Content that is important for users
  • 15. Content - Keyword Research Content that has a demonstrated demand in search engines Use the Google Keyword Planner and the Auto-Suggest box to research possible content ideas – all with actual search data!
  • 16. Content – With / Without Keyword Research An example of what a piece of content can do with proper research and planning… Content with little search demand Content that was researched and ranks highly in search engines
  • 17. Content – Research Past Performance Content that is likely to attract social shares If you are lost of where to start, look at your website analytics on past performance and also seek inspiration from your competition.
  • 18. Content – Analyse Past Performance Review your past content in your website analytics and analyse average time on site and bounce rate metrics, as well as look at social media shares and post engagement.
  • 19. Content – Analyse Competitor Performance Another idea for content generation ideas is to study the content that was success for them. Simply crawl their website in Screaming Frog to harvest a list of blog post URLs.
  • 20. Content – Analyse Competitor Performance Once you have the URL list, use something like “SEO Tools For Excel” to scrape the total amount of social shares for the main 3 social media platforms.
  • 21. What You Need?
  • 22. Web Hosting There are infinite options when picking a company, so do your research and make sure it has all the features you need. I have found that a decent web host can save you a lot further the line; especially when it comes features that improve your SEO and maintenance (e.g. caching, 1-click backups, staging environments)
  • 23. Content Management Systems According to W3Techs, the three most popular content management systems are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal and collectively own 74% of the CMS market (with WordPress accounting for over 60%) When choosing a CMS, refer back to your original Objectives and Requirements, as many of these CMS may already have the solutions right out of the box (reducing development costs)
  • 24. Themes If you go down the Wordpress route (or another CMS that uses themes), check out premium theme websites and try to find an already created theme that has the main layouts and functionalities that your website needs. This will help you save time and money on the finished product and will offer support and free upgrades in the future. Try to stay away from free themes or torrenting a paid theme – there might be hidden links in the templates or security issues.
  • 25. Bringing it all together…
  • 26. Basic SEO You need to go from page to page and implement the following on page tweaks: Page URLs: Make sure the site's URLs are clean, and try to utilise the keywords that the page is trying to target within the file name. Use hyphens as separators and don’t keyword stuff – more than1-2 keywords will start looking spammy. Page Titles: Write a unique title tag for each page, using a combination of the target keywords you’ve assigned to that page. Make sure the tag reads well, entices customers to click on it and try to include your business name at the end. Try to keep the entire title tag under 69 characters. Descriptions: Write a unique meta description tag for each webpage, trying to keep the tag under 155 characters. Because meta descriptions are commonly used on search engine result pages (SERPs) to display preview snippets for a given page, it is recommended that you try include your chosen keywords, whilst creating 1-2 sentences that is attractive for a user to want to click on. Title Description http://www.wotif.com/hotels/landmarks/australia/warner-bros-movie-world-hotels.html
  • 27. SEO Functionality / Plugins Without going into a fully detailed technical audit checklist, I’d suggest that you ensure that the following is built into your website CMS: - SEO Functionality: Control over every pages title, description and H1 tags, canonical tags, noindex tags, etc - XML Sitemap: Automatic updates based on content updates - HTML Sitemap: Automatic updates based on pages changes - Security: Blocks malicious activity – Login attempts, comment spam, etc - Broken Link Checker: Scans for website for outdated links - Social Bookmarking: Allow users to easily share your content - Open Graph / Twitter Cards: Ensure that your pages look attractive when shared on social media - Compression / Minify / Caching: On the fly changes to reduce page weight / improve your page loading times
  • 28. Content Marketing / Distribution
  • 29. Content Distribution With the way search engines are heading (i.e. looking to move away from using link metric data and start looking at social signals), it is imperative that you have a social media presence. The following are an absolute must: Social media is a whole discipline in itself, but the thing to remember is you need to give users a reason to want to follow you and you also need to share content that they find engaging and want to share with others (i.e. not just your own, share other people’s content). Also make sure that you respond to users comments in a timely manner and I encourage you to engage with other people and companies (you’ll be surprised what you can get out of it).
  • 30. Content Marketing Because links have and will always be an important part of Google’s ranking Algorithm, it is important that you seek to build links towards your website. These days it isn’t a numbers game, so the focus should always be on quality over quantity, and also seek to get links from relevant websites. This again is a whole different area in itself, but some ideas of how you can obtain links and not get hit manually or algorithmically by the search engines are (there is a lot of info to sift through): • Content marketing • Online profiles (make sure you claim them) • Fix broken links • Brand / logo / asset reclamation • Competitor research • Run a competition • Run specials / promo codes • Infographic creation • Interviews • Product reviews • Surveys • Sponsorship
  • 31. Determining Success
  • 32. Success - How to Track • Implement Google Analytics on every page of your website (made easy by copying the code into your header file. Remember to define goals and use event tracking so you can easily track conversions / your main website KPIs. • Set up and implement Google & Bing Webmaster Tools. These give you a window into how the search engines view your website, as well as being able to apply different settings and resulting in a more efficient website crawl.
  • 33. Success – What to look at You need to ensure that you keep an eye on things to make sure nothing breaks and things keep going in the right direction. Analytics: In order to determine how your website is performing and measuring how they are getting there, you need to regularly check your website analytics. Things to check are your conversions, event tracking, acquisition sources, user behaviour, etc. Ranking Reports: Additional to the above, I recommend you keep an eye on how your website is ranking within search engines for your targeted keyword list. This will usually show movement before you see anything major in your analytics, you can track your competitors success, as well as being able to establish traffic fluctuations. Webmaster Tools: Make sure you check your webmaster tools accounts for such things as broken links, duplicate tag issues, links pointing towards your website, crawl stats, security issues and search queries you are showing for. Link Check: Additional to checking the above, I recommend that you check all of the links on your website with either a stand-alone tool or a plugin. You’ll find that other websites may have changed their URLs, resulting in 404 errors.
  • 34. Success – Most Importantly
  • 35. Maintenance Tasks
  • 36. Maintenance Tasks Testing Functions – To ensure that nothing is broken and you aren’t losing money, be sure to check if your contact forms & shopping carts are working. From time to time there might be issues with old plugins or coding issues. Software / Plugin Updates – Be sure to update your core CMS and plugin files when they become available. A lot of the time these newer versions fix bugs & security issues, but they also come with new functions / technology. Backing Up Your Website – To make sure you don’t risk losing any part of your website if something happens to your web host or if your website is hacked, I highly recommend backing up your files and database to a cloud based storage solution (e.g. Dropbox). Monitor Website Outages – Use one of the many website monitoring services (Pingdom) to keep an eye on the uptime of your website. A lot of the time you’ll get an email if things go down, and you can promptly follow up with your hosting company.
  • 37. Maintenance Tasks Website Speed – Use Webpagetest.org, the various browser extensions and Google Analytics to monitor just how long different pages of your website are taking to load. The longer a page takes to load, the higher chance you have of losing customers – check the recommendations and try make your site load as quickly as possible. Moderate comments – If you have a blog, you need to moderate comments; responding and engaging with genuine comments from users… and filtering all that spam! Never set your website to auto-approve comments! Website Content – In order to forever grow the keyword scope of your website and to give existing customers a reason to come back, you need to create fresh content. Now don’t be creating content blindly: Either create it based on keyword research so it ranks in Google, or create content that is engaging and will likely attraction a lot of social media love. Reputation Management – Not really a SEO thing, but setup Google Alerts and randomly do some searches on Google for your branded terms to see how the internet community views your brand. A lot of the time you can deal directly with your customers and put out any fires before they spread (people love complaining online)
  • 38. Considerations / Take Aways
  • 39. Considerations / Take Aways • SEO is usually the most cost-effective form of marketing • Ranking in Search Engines is more complex than ever and there is no simple recipe for success • Define your objectives and requirements in advance • Research your content before you start writing • Make sure you don’t scrimp on hosting or a theme – it can save you $$$ in the long run • Try to ensure that your CMS has the most important SEO functionality built-in or available as a plugin / module • You can’t just create links anymore • Know what success looks like and how to track it • Don’t let your website gather cob webs
  • 40. Thank You – Any Questions?
  • 41. Follow Me • https://www.facebook.com/HolidayPointAU • https://twitter.com/HolidayPointAU • https://plus.google.com/+HolidaypointAu • http://www.flickr.com/photos/holidaypointau/ • http://pinterest.com/holidaypointau/ • http://www.youtube.com/user/HolidayPoint/ http://www.holidaypoint.com.au/