2012 WordCamp Atlanta  - SEO & WordPress Presentation
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2012 WordCamp Atlanta - SEO & WordPress Presentation

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SEO & WordPress: Do this, not that for the small business owner or solopreneur (do-it-yourself techniques that work). For more visit http://www.JennyMunn.com

SEO & WordPress: Do this, not that for the small business owner or solopreneur (do-it-yourself techniques that work). For more visit http://www.JennyMunn.com

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  • SEO is so darn confusing for several reasons…First, SEO is pretty technical in nature; for non-techncial business owners like us, the concepts are difficult to grasp.Next, SEO practioners have gotten a bad rap because of unethical scammy SEO spammers out there who spend a lot of time doing underhanded tactics to get their websites ranked highLastly, Google’s algorithms change frequently to try and stay ahead of the spammy spammers. Certain tactics used to work, but now they don’t, which throws people for a loop. Take a quick poll of the experience level – how many would say they have a pretty advanced knowledge of SEO – backlinking strategy?How many know their keywords mapped out one each page of their site?How many have no idea what I just said?
  • VERY brief introduciton to me – I’m an SEO copywriter by day, which means that I do all sorts of nerdy business writing projects for clients. I work for small clients, large clients, and a lot of agencies, including SEO agencies, where I get a big insider look at the SEO industry. In fact, when I work on large SEO projects, I’m often part of an SEO team. There are a few amazing things I did for myself when I first started my business.
  • When I give DIY SEO talks, I cringe because I know inevitable, half of the audience doesn’t have a Wordpress website or blog. And it’s really hard to make SEO work if you can’t control certain elements of your site. Now, there are of course some technical elements to SEO that we’re not going to cover; permalinks, breadcrumbs, cleaning up your code, page speed, etc. A few slides ago I mentioned that SEO has historically been very techncial in nature. Everything was usually done in the back-end coding. Thanks to WordPress and wonderful plugins, a lot of the technical SEO roadblocks are no longer issues. The thing is, More than ever the SEO playing field has been leveled for small businesses and solopreneurs like us.
  • The good think about SEO is that you can learn it in phases. I’m a big proponent of what I call the Phase1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 strategy. This is what I did when I was creating my website. I had SO much I wanted to put on my website when I created it that I found my launch date kept getting pushed further and further back. So I broke up my planning into phase 1, launch, then phase 2, modify and phase 3. Second part: SEO does not exist in a vacuumHalf of what you do ON your page vsStrictly on links, strictly on social media, strictly on copywriting. ALWAYS a combination of things . what you do OFF your pageThe last time I gave this very similar talk was for Digital Atlanta back in November. Was anyone at that talk? Well, I had 90 minutes, and at the end of 90 minutes I was only halfway done. So most people stayed for an extra 90 minutes, and the talk was 3 hours total. Unfortunately we don’t have that luxury. But, the point with the 3 phases, is that on-page optimization should be your first priority
  • Time and time again I talk with business owners and they tell me their keywords. Just from common sense I know that these are words a searcher would NEVER type into a search engine. They’re WAY too specific about that company or the brand.
  • Many businesses make the mistake of simply listing keywords they think are relevant to their business. They include their company name, company terms and then simply optimize their website with no research.Unless you’re a household name, your company name is not a keyword.
  • Jot down as many words as you can think of in 2 minutes THAT YOU THINK SOMEONE WOULD TYPE INTO GOOGLEStart an excel spreadsheet and put all your keywords in there
  • Start an excel spreadsheet and put all your keywords in there SEO is about DATAYou use a keyword tool to not ONLY verify the words you thought of, but to find additional ones you hadn’t thought of
  • Sort the search results by clicking on “Local Monthly Searches”
  • Look at how many of the top keywords here use the PLURAL
  • NEXT: Once you have some good keywords, you want to look at the competition.The more niche you can get, the better.
  • Jack Morrison example – why would you want that as your keyword? You can ONLY practice law in Massachusetts. You ONLY have an office in Clinton, Massachusetts. Let’s start there.
  • Search engines are like babies. You LITERALLY must spoon feed them. That means you must spoon feed them by using the words that are proven to be searched for. Literally.
  • -once all the REASONABLE, PRACTICAL choices are in Excel, then cull, prioritize, and cutOR – put into Phase 1, 2 and 3-prioritize. For a small business, you really only need between 5-15 terms for your website. That depends on how many pages you have.If you blog, you can expand the list with more specifics.
  • Rule of thumb: if you don’t talk about it on your site, do NOT choose it as a keyword
  • You can get stuck in the research phase FOREVER and it will stall your SEO efforts
  • -Main navigation are primary pages-Don’t be creepy or spammy with your keywords. We’ll go over some really bad examples of using yorur keyword on your pages and also some best practices in just a bit.
  • Let’s do another Oprah check here and talk about your website. You can bring 1,000 visitors to your site with clever SEO/SEM but they'll all lose interest if the content doesn't deliver. I’ve been to networking events before….people quickly start making excuses about their website. Oh, it’s old, or it’s out of date, or because they know I’m a writer, they start making excuses about typos and grammatical errors. Your website HAS to be trustworthy. If it’s not, that’s just not acceptable if you want to get anywhere with SEO. Remember, you could get all the traffic in the world with SEO, but if your website stinks and people bounce off, you’ve wasted all that precious time and effort. SEO does NOT guarantee sales.
  • When you leave here today, I imagine the laundry list of takeaways and action items for your website and business is going to be pretty long, right? If you do NOTHING ELSE – I want you to optimize your title tags. This is the most important element for you right now.
  • You have a new best friend in town. And that best friend is called Title TagsIf you do NOTHING ELSE – I want you to optimize your title tags. This is the most important element for you right now.
  • -if a website homepage ONLY says “HOME,” then it’s not optimized -your top keywords for EACH page will go in your title tag-just like each of your web pages has its own keywords, you want each page to have its own title tag
  • Description tags don’t affect page rank, but they are bolded, so look more attractive and more readily entice a reader to click on your link. Important to put your keywords and keyphrases here.
  • Make sure to give me your card and I’ll send this SEO worksheet Draft titles and descriptions for EVERY page in a word documentThis is a great place to do competitive research: put in your keywords, see who is ranking in the top 1-2 pages. Click on their websites, the specific pages and get ideas of what they wantI do NOT endorse copying from your competition. But SEO is not about creativity. It’s about using your keywords
  • On-page optimization is about using your keywords in different areasThink of using your keywords like sprinkles. You want to sprinkle in your keyword and other similar sounding words throughout your copy in a way that makes sense.
  • Can
  • SEO Tools I use
  • How to make anchor text
  • Need image here
  • Rule of thumb – always write for the reader. It’s not a search engine who’s going to whip out a credit card and buy what you’re selling. Plus – google looks at statistics like the bounce rate, time on page, and how many pages are visited. So the longer you can keep someone on your site, the better.
  • -ultimately, you’ll know if your SEO was working if you get more sales. -the thing about SEO is that it takes time; once you optimize your page, you have to wait around for Google to come back and index your site -and just because you optimize your site, you’re not guaranteed to go up in rankings. It depends on WHO is ahead of you – what (that’s why your keywords are so important). If you choose extremely competitive, 1-2 word phrases you’re never going to beat Wikipedia and other really big sites with millions of dollars thrown at SEO out there.-you won’t know if SEO is working until you try it. For me, it has been more than worth it as I get numerous opportunities that come my way because people find my website that way.
  • Google Analytics
  • If SEO is an important tactic for you, then you must understand that companies with a blog (or an e-newsletter) or BOTH do significantly better in search and overall traffic. you must add frequent content to your site. Not just any content, but good content where you discuss subjects (keywords) that your niche (and yes it is important to have a niche) is interested in. You need to develop relationships on social media sites and share your content and ideas with people. And you need to find groups of people online and in real life that may need your expertise and lead them back to your website, where they will find everything they need to know about working with you, which then converts them into a loyal client.3. Fresh content-keep your content fresh. Write a blog, revise some content, make updates so that the engines come back to your page. Track your stats to see where you need to tweak and what is making clients come or better yet stay on your site.
  • Let’s talk linkbuilding. First though, I’m going to run through a few scenarios.What’s more credible?
  • Let’s talk linkbuilding. First though, I’m going to run through a few scenarios.What’s more credible?
  • That’s essentially all “linkbuilding” isGoogle places a HUGE emphasis on linksLinkbuilding is difficult – and that’s why many SEO companies can justify charging $4,000 a month – it’s an ongoing practiceBut it’s also advanced.But do NOT let that get you down. This is definitely a more advanced SEO practice. That’s why it’s important to look at your competition. If you’re using the same keywords as them, what If your competitor has a bunch of links from authoritative, influential sources, they’re going to beat you every timeNow, let’s look at some examples…
  • Linkbuilding – Practice Safe Site link out and picture. Now, I could write a blog and say, my colleague Erik Wolf posted this fun report really great website – read it. But, Erik would probably like me MUCH better if I said, Erik Wolf, who owns an Atlanta small business website design agency wrote this report about how to choose an atlanta website design agency. And link to his report. That’s why there’s so much hoopla about “content is king,” and “write great content.” b/c if his report was poorly written and fully of typos, I’d never be recommending it on my twitter accoutn or on my blog. That would just make me look bad. But because it is good, it makes me look good for recommenidng such a great resource to my readers.
  • The truth is, SEO is NOT right for everyone.Now, before you go to all this effort, you have to ask yourself:-if you’re working on SEO, is it REALLY worth your effort?-you have to do a little common sense introspection
  • SEO Tools I use
  • Resources: If you want something that’s going to deliver a faster ROI, turn to PPC or Social Media to drive traffic.Understand your chances of ranking – look at how competitive your keywords are. You don’t know until you try. Just when you start to rank high, you have to MAINTAIN that positionDrop me a line and let me know the hardest part of execution. Time commitment? Lack of knowedge? not being confident in your writing… you have to be confident in your website if you’re trying to drive ppltoit. I’ve met people at networkign events and asked them their website URL so I could visit it. They always say, “oh, it’s really outdated, I wrote it myself, it’s not that good, the design is awful,”…. That just won’t cut it. If YOU don’t like your website, how are you supposed to convince the reader who lands on it to like you and your business?
  • Again, don’t try and do all this at once. It will stall your efforts. Break your SEO understanding and implementation up into phases.
  • Drop me a line and let me know the hardest part of execution. Time commitment? Lack of knowedge? not being confident in your writing… you have to be confident in your website if you’re trying to drive ppltoit. I’ve met people at networkign events and asked them their website URL so I could visit it. They always say, “oh, it’s really outdated, I wrote it myself, it’s not that good, the design is awful,”…. That just won’t cut it. If YOU don’t like your website, how are you supposed to convince the reader who lands on it to like you and your business?

2012 WordCamp Atlanta  - SEO & WordPress Presentation 2012 WordCamp Atlanta - SEO & WordPress Presentation Presentation Transcript

  • SEO & WordPress: Do this, not that(for the small business owner or solopreneur) By: Jenny Munn | www.JennyMunn.com | Jenny@JennyMunn.com | @JennyMunn
  • SEO & WordPress: Do this, not that for the small business owner or solopreneur SEO: A Necessary Evil? Source: SEOmoz
  • Why SEO Is So Darn Confusing Canonical Tags… HUH?!?! “rel=”nofollow”“Canonical tags (todistinguish a canonical url) Meta Tagscan also be used on a pagelevel in the meta tags of a Geo-Targetingwebsite to create a preferredlanding page.” Robots.txt XML Sitemaps <head> tag Panda Update
  • SEO & WordPress: Do this, not that for the small business owner or solopreneur
  • SEO & WordPress: Do this, not that for the small business owner or solopreneurWho Am I?
  • SEO & WordPress: Do this, not that for the small business owner or solopreneur
  • SEO & WordPress: Do this, not that for the small business owner or solopreneur DIY SEO + WordPress = LOVE• Levels the SEO playingfield• Empowers us as businessowners• Plugins, Plugins, Plugins
  • • SEO & WordPress: Do this, not that for the small business owner or solopreneurPhases of SEO Phase 3 Phase 2 Create PHASE 1 On-page Content  Don’t be Optimization intimidated Pages by SEO Understand Linkbuilding  Keyword Anchor Text Advanced Research Get Google Social Media  Competitive Analytics Up Strategy & Research Strongly Execution  Create Title consider Community Tags and Blogging Descriptions building
  • SEO & WordPress: Do this, not that for the small business owner or solopreneur Session BreakdownSession 1: Session 2:1.Keyword 1. Titles tags and descriptions research 2. On-page optimization 3. Google Analytics2.Competitive 4. Blogging research 5. Off-page tactics/Linkbuilding
  • Understanding Keywords Ex. #1: Marketing Magician When I say “I’ll make your profits appear out “keyword,” I of think air.” REALLY mean “keyphrase.” Ex. #2: “I want to be known for Blogification {or insert made up word here}. Can that be my keyword?”
  • Understanding KeywordsKeywords have nothing to do withyour brand, your creativity, or what YOU want to be known for. Period. The End.
  • Step 1: Keyword BrainstormStep #1: Develop a List of Keyword Prospects• Yourself: 2-minute exercise• Brainstorm with others: ask others what they would type into Google if they were looking for your services• Think about your customers: what words do they use to describe you/your business?• Competition Keywords: •Content maven? •Freelance Copywriter? •E-marketing specialist? •Marketing consultant? •Business Writer?
  • Phase 1: Keywords Step #2: Verify Keywords(aka go to Free Google Keywords Tool)
  • Competitive Research
  • Why CompetitiveResearch Matters -Large companies have the benefit of an SEO team
  • Is Location Important To Your Business?• Example #1: Bankruptcy • Example #2: Copywriter vs. Lawyer Atlanta Copywriter – “I want to rank for ‘Help I’m in Debt’
  • Keyword Research Tips • Put in lots of combinations of words into your research tool • Look for the hidden gems (LOW Competition, HIGH Search Count)• Transfer all the reasonable keyword choices to an excel spreadsheet • Prioritize your list->assign keywords to specific website pages
  • Keyword Research Mistakes• Trying to rank for 100 strategic keywords (pick between 5-15)• Selecting 5 keywords per page (only 2-3 keywords)• Not knowing your competition (keyword competition)• Choosing a keyword that has no relevance to your site
  • Danger - Important Tip The most important thing is to get started. A half decent keyword is better than NO keyword
  • Next Steps: Easy as 1,2,3…#1: Write down all • #2: Pick 1-2 keywords for the website pages EACH page (depends on you have (or the how much copy is on the pages you are page) going to optimize for) #3: Map out your pages/keyword strategy You don’t optimize a WEBSITE. You optimize PAGES. Each page is its own entity.
  • Phase 1:Title Tags &Description Tags
  • Phase 1:Title Tags & Description Tags
  • Phase 1: Title TagsMake TitleTags Your New BFF
  • SEO Tip #1:How to find the title tagof a website you’re on… SEO Tip #2: Remember – SEO is NOT about you or your brand. Put your company name last You only have 60-70 visible characters in the Title Tag
  • Meta Description Tag
  • Title Tags & Description Tags Track your titles and descriptions in a worksheet
  • Phase 2:Understand andApply On-Page Optimization
  • SEO On Page Optimization Gone Wild If you need career counseling, look for a professional counselor. Career counselingcan help you in many ways. The first benefitof career counseling is finding a job quickly. Career counseling can also help you avoidmaking interviewing mistakes that cost you the job. When you need career counseling services, don’t hesitate to call the best career counselor in Atlanta.
  • On-PageOptimization Photo courtesy of SEOmoz
  • WordPress SEO Plugins
  • On-Page Optimization – Body Copy
  • On-Page Optimization: Anchor Text
  • On-Page Optimization: Anchor Text
  • On-Page Optimization: ALT-tags
  • On-Page Optimization Rule: Always write for the reader! NO exceptions
  • How Do I Know If My SEO Is Working? Enter Google Analytics
  • Google Analytics
  • I HEART Blogging on WordPress (and SEO hearts blogging too)
  • Phase 3:Off-page Tactics(aka the dreaded Linkbuilding) Have I lost you yet?
  • I’m Hungry…(Let’s Talk Linkbuilding) What’s more credible: • No reviews? • A review that’s been paid for? • 2 restaurants who agree to give each other good reviews? • A fellow Atlanta foodie? • A review from USA Today?
  • Linkbuilding 101• Search engines WANT to return credible results that will be helpful• Google takes into account reviews links to your website and web pages when determining rankings• Just like reviews, not all links are created equal• To get a link, you must do (or write) something link-worthy
  • Linkbuilding Examples Example #1: Practice SafeSite Example #2: Yours Truly
  • Is SEO Right For You?Are your customers the type that would turn to search engines to find you? – Fiction Writer? – Corporate Marketing Agency? – Massachusetts Bankruptcy Lawyer? – Atlanta Copywriter? If there are no fish in the pond, no amount of bait in the world is going to catch you a fish.
  • SEO Tools for the SMB• Google Analytics• WordPress• Google Adwords Keyword Tool (free)• Blogs
  • SEO (and getting on the firstNext Steps page of Google) is not about bragging rights. It’s about driving leads and ultimately increasing profits 1. Get familiar with the keywords you want to compete for 2. Know what your competition (for those keywords) is doing 3. Get Google Analytics up on your site and regularly check it out
  • Phases of SEO Phase 3 Phase 2 Create PHASE 1 On-page Content  Don’t be Optimization intimidated Pages by SEO Understand Linkbuilding  Keyword Anchor Text Advanced Research Get Google Social Media  Competitive Analytics Up Strategy & Research Strongly Execution  Create Title consider Community Tags and Blogging Descriptions building
  • Questions?Jenny Munn, Freelance SEO Copywriter Website: www.JennyMunn.com Blog: www.JennyMunn.com/blog Email: Jenny@JennyMunn.com Twitter: @jennymunn LinkedIn:http://www.linkedin.com/in/jennymunn