A Beginner’s Guide to Search    Engine Optimization         Josh Braaten
Who is Josh Braaten?   Online Marketing Manager,                Blogger & Founder                                  Raised ...
SEO is Misunderstood     • “SEO is black magic and/or witch craft.”     • “SEO is a fraud. Everyone knows you just       b...
The Truth About SEO       • Some aspects are technical, but it’s         mostly common sense and/or intuitive       • SEO ...
Objectives•    Learn how search engines operate•    Identify the key factors involved in SEO•    The difference between go...
How Search Engines Work       •    Crawling       •    Indexing       •    Search       •    Relevancy       •    Search R...
Search Engines - Crawling       • Spiders visit websites and         “crawl” content they find       • Spiders note new li...
Search Engines - Indexing       • The Index is a mirrored         copy of the entire web       • Spiders work hard to     ...
Search Engines – Relevancy   • How relevant is each page     for a given search query?   • Links, anchor text, site     sp...
Search Engine Results Page (SERPs)   • SERPs consist of query,     retrieval, rankings & results   • #1 result: ~18% of cl...
How Search Engines Work       •    Crawling       •    Indexing       •    Search       •    Relevancy       •    Search R...
What’s Important in SEO?       •    Architecture       •    On-Page       •    Links       •    Social Media8/16/2011     ...
SEO Architecture   • Organized, “flat” site   • Human-friendly URLs   • Pages that spiders can read     (i.e., not flash, ...
On-Page Keyword Research      • Google AdWords        Keyword Tool standard      • Cast a wide net      • Use the right wo...
On-Page SEO Guidelines       •    Each page should target 1 or 2 keyword phrases       •    Small pages (<400 words): use ...
On-Page SEO Visualized      Source: http://mz.cm/rorHV78/16/2011                           Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010....
Links: Google’s Currency   • Links are the cornerstone     of the Google algorithm   • A link from one site to     another...
Links are Like Flight Patterns8/16/2011           Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential.   18
Links: Google’s Currency   • Authority: Is the linking     page/site authoritative?     (e.g., Wall Street Journal)   • Re...
Social Media and SEO   • Social media increases     reach of content   • Search engines index     much of social media   •...
What’s Important in SEO?       •    Architecture       •    On-Page       •    Links       •    Social Media8/16/2011     ...
SEO Rankings Factors for 2011            2009                                                                             ...
Good and Bad SEO       • Excellent Content                             • Manipulated Links       • Earned Links           ...
SEO through Inbound MarketingInbound Marketing: Earning new customers by gaining attention, trust and permission beforethe...
The Principles of Inbound Marketing8/16/2011           Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential.   25
The Principles of Inbound Marketing            Identify – Find your online audience            Listen – Understand how you...
Identify Your Audience       • Who is your ideal customer?       • Search for resources,         influencers and         c...
Listen to Your Audience       • Be quiet and listen       • Understand what your         customers need8/16/2011          ...
Create Content Your Audience Loves       • Publish to educate, engage         and entertain       • Publish content to bui...
Share Content with Your Audience       • Solving problems through         sharing       • Building relationships         t...
Measure Your Efforts            • Online media is              measurable            • Identify and work              towa...
Inbound Marketing in Action            Search social networks and the web for your audience and their needs            Mon...
Inbound Marketing Visualized                        Your Blog                      Your Website8/16/2011                  ...
The Relative Costs of Marketing                                                                                   Source: ...
Small Business Boosted by Inbound“Social media helped consultantDeborah Dolan, owner of Senior LifeTransitions, more than ...
Additional Resources            Rasmussen.edu/student-life/online-community/                                Facebook.com/R...
Internet Marketing Education8/16/2011          Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential.   37
Small Businesses: The Time is Now8/16/2011                                       38
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A Beginner's Guide to SEO

  1. 1. A Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization Josh Braaten
  2. 2. Who is Josh Braaten? Online Marketing Manager, Blogger & Founder Raised in the Great Rasmussen College BigPictureWeb.com State of Minnesota8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 2
  3. 3. SEO is Misunderstood • “SEO is black magic and/or witch craft.” • “SEO is a fraud. Everyone knows you just buy Google ads and you’ll rank higher.” • “Just take the rel canonical tag and point the page to the permanent URI on your root domain.” • “Get hundreds of links and rank #1 in a week!!!”8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 3
  4. 4. The Truth About SEO • Some aspects are technical, but it’s mostly common sense and/or intuitive • SEO isn’t evil, but it can be used that way • Mastering SEO takes time, resources, and excellent content on your website • Marketing investment, not advertising8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 4
  5. 5. Objectives• Learn how search engines operate• Identify the key factors involved in SEO• The difference between good and evil SEO• A mental framework for using SEO and inbound marketing 58/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential.
  6. 6. How Search Engines Work • Crawling • Indexing • Search • Relevancy • Search Results Crawl Index Search Relevance Results8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 6
  7. 7. Search Engines - Crawling • Spiders visit websites and “crawl” content they find • Spiders note new links found and crawl them too • Spiders report all content back to the index Crawl Index Search Relevance Results8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 7
  8. 8. Search Engines - Indexing • The Index is a mirrored copy of the entire web • Spiders work hard to keep the index fresh • Low quality & duplicate content don’t make it into the index. Crawl Index Search Relevance Results8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 8
  9. 9. Search Engines – Relevancy • How relevant is each page for a given search query? • Links, anchor text, site speed, keyword prominence & users drive algorithm • 200+ factors, 600+ tweaks to the main algorithm in 2009 Crawl Index Search Relevance Results8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 9
  10. 10. Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) • SERPs consist of query, retrieval, rankings & results • #1 result: ~18% of clicks • #2 result: ~10% of clicks • #3 results: ~7% of clicks • <1% on page two Crawl Index Search Relevance Results Source: http://bit.ly/ql10f18/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 10
  11. 11. How Search Engines Work • Crawling • Indexing • Search • Relevancy • Search Results Crawl Index Search Relevance Results8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 11
  12. 12. What’s Important in SEO? • Architecture • On-Page • Links • Social Media8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 12
  13. 13. SEO Architecture • Organized, “flat” site • Human-friendly URLs • Pages that spiders can read (i.e., not flash, iframes) • Build on your own domain8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 13
  14. 14. On-Page Keyword Research • Google AdWords Keyword Tool standard • Cast a wide net • Use the right words • Balance volume and competition • Keyword mapping8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 14
  15. 15. On-Page SEO Guidelines • Each page should target 1 or 2 keyword phrases • Small pages (<400 words): use keyword(s) 2-3x • Large pages (>400 words): use keyword(s) 4-6x • Page Titles should not exceed 65 characters • Keywords should be used first and last 100 words • Images, videos, and audio should be optimized, too • Keyword synonyms, partials and deviations are good8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 15
  16. 16. On-Page SEO Visualized Source: http://mz.cm/rorHV78/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 16
  17. 17. Links: Google’s Currency • Links are the cornerstone of the Google algorithm • A link from one site to another is a vote in the eyes of Google • Not all links are created equal8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 17
  18. 18. Links are Like Flight Patterns8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 18
  19. 19. Links: Google’s Currency • Authority: Is the linking page/site authoritative? (e.g., Wall Street Journal) • Relevant: Is the linking page/site relevant? (e.g., Regional/Industry sites) • Trust: .gov/.edu sites8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 19
  20. 20. Social Media and SEO • Social media increases reach of content • Search engines index much of social media • Social media also has relevance and authority • Soon: Likes and Links8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 20
  21. 21. What’s Important in SEO? • Architecture • On-Page • Links • Social Media8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 21
  22. 22. SEO Rankings Factors for 2011 2009 2011 Links decreased in importance by ~50% but still remain most important signal. On-page factors still very important as well. 2011 introduced more factors than ever before.8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 22
  23. 23. Good and Bad SEO • Excellent Content • Manipulated Links • Earned Links • “Spammy” Content • Earned Social Media • Purchased links is a gray area8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 23
  24. 24. SEO through Inbound MarketingInbound Marketing: Earning new customers by gaining attention, trust and permission beforethe sale through the creation and sharing of engaging, entertaining and/or educational content. Graphic Source: SEOmoz - http://bit.ly/gM7OGb 24 8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential.
  25. 25. The Principles of Inbound Marketing8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 25
  26. 26. The Principles of Inbound Marketing Identify – Find your online audience Listen – Understand how you can help Create – Publish what you know Share – Share content to solve problems Measure – Fine tune your progress 268/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential.
  27. 27. Identify Your Audience • Who is your ideal customer? • Search for resources, influencers and communities where your customers gather8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 27
  28. 28. Listen to Your Audience • Be quiet and listen • Understand what your customers need8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 28
  29. 29. Create Content Your Audience Loves • Publish to educate, engage and entertain • Publish content to build inbound equity8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 29
  30. 30. Share Content with Your Audience • Solving problems through sharing • Building relationships through solving problems8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 30
  31. 31. Measure Your Efforts • Online media is measurable • Identify and work towards goals8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 31
  32. 32. Inbound Marketing in Action Search social networks and the web for your audience and their needs Monitor social conversations to determine content needs of your audience Create optimized text, images, audio and video to solve problems Share content with audience & influencers via blog and social networks Measure impact of social media and blog content on business goals 328/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential.
  33. 33. Inbound Marketing Visualized Your Blog Your Website8/16/2011 33
  34. 34. The Relative Costs of Marketing Source: Hubspot – http://bit.ly/fxzOLd8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 34
  35. 35. Small Business Boosted by Inbound“Social media helped consultantDeborah Dolan, owner of Senior LifeTransitions, more than double herbusiness last year.The key was using social media toestablish herself as a credibleresource -- a social authority -- onaging issues, through a blog, a newAdvocate on Aging podcast andother social and search marketingefforts.”Source: Star Tribune -http://bit.ly/dR09bP 35
  36. 36. Additional Resources Rasmussen.edu/student-life/online-community/ Facebook.com/RasmussenOcala BigPictureWeb.com @JLBraaten8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 36
  37. 37. Internet Marketing Education8/16/2011 Copyright Rasmussen, Inc. 2010. Proprietary and Confidential. 37
  38. 38. Small Businesses: The Time is Now8/16/2011 38
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