15 Simple SEO Techniques


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15 techniques developed internally at Intuit Canada and including tips written of in iMedia Connection in early July 2008. Please contact/comment if you have any questions about this presentation or issues to report. Thanks to Brian Kleisner of Intuit Inc. for his insights.

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15 Simple SEO Techniques

  1. 1. SEO: 15 simple techniques for better traffic Creative Services 2008 Based on internal best practices, an iMedia Connection article by Andrew Hazen (July 9, 2008) and the input of Brian Kleisner (Intuit Inc.).
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Employ best SEO practices (organic), including: </li></ul><ul><li>The proper use of metadata </li></ul><ul><li>Site structure </li></ul><ul><li>Link building </li></ul><ul><li>URL naming conventions </li></ul><ul><li>Web copywriting techniques </li></ul>
  3. 3. Outcomes <ul><li>Increase visibility, deliver better qualified traffic, lower customer acquisition costs – and make our Web sites user-friendly with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective navigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clear visual design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proper search functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hyperlinks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Page titles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clear headings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All of this equals increased quality traffic – both first time and returning traffic. </li></ul>
  4. 4. TECHNIQUES: Writing for the Web
  5. 5. 1: The right messages <ul><li>Create a unique selling proposition that sets your product/service apart from the competition, and highlight that proposition on the landing page. </li></ul><ul><li>Speak to real problems our users are trying to solve – even if it means admitting that, yes, there may be problems </li></ul>
  6. 6. 2: Better keyword writing <ul><li>Optimize unique individualized page titles with targeted keyword phrases that generate more monthly searches. </li></ul><ul><li>Use no more than two keywords per page </li></ul><ul><li>Keywords should be non-branded phrases </li></ul><ul><li>Titles should contain the non-branded phrases first, followed by the brand </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. &quot;Accounting Software - QuickBooks&quot; </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. The importance of page titles Does this search result inspire your confidence that this website will meet your needs? Compare this result to this one. Which one better meets your request as a searcher? This is how the page title appears in the search results.
  8. 8. 3: Optimize home <ul><li>Enhance the home page by increasing relevant copy and internal linking. </li></ul><ul><li>For every “Learn more” button on the home page (and throughout the site), include at least one text link to compensate </li></ul><ul><li>Add an alt tag to every button (+images, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Include anchor text (build the keyword phrase into the copy and link out accordingly) </li></ul>
  9. 9. TECHNIQUES: Content Strategy
  10. 10. 4: Alt tags for images <ul><li>Create alt-tags for all images on the site (and in emails!). Include non-branded primary keyword phrases in unlikely locations, such as image file names, like the name of the logo. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure these alt-tags are SEO-friendly with searchable terms. </li></ul><ul><li>Tip: This is also a best practice for Web accessibility (for the vision impaired). </li></ul>
  11. 11. 5: H1s & H2s <ul><li>Revise H1 tags to target the primary chosen keywords for each page. Update pages to include H2 tags for each article represented. </li></ul><ul><li>How many times to use the keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Jury’s out! Depends which camp you fall into. </li></ul><ul><li>Use keywords only once on each page – in strategic places, such as the H1, H2 or text link </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat keywords, striving for a density of 3-5% of the copy (a US practice) </li></ul>
  12. 12. 6: Keyword maps/flows <ul><li>Develop keyword-rich optimized content to further improve consistency among: </li></ul><ul><li>Page title </li></ul><ul><li>Meta-descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Meta-keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Header tags (H1, H2) </li></ul>
  13. 13. 7: Use useful resources <ul><li>Post helpful informational documents on the home page. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><li>5 things you must know before purchasing accounting software </li></ul><ul><li>Top 10 tips for entrepreneurs </li></ul><ul><li>Top 5 considerations for online software </li></ul>
  14. 14. 8: Handshake between FAQs and home page <ul><li>Add a link from the FAQ section of the site to the home page. </li></ul><ul><li>Answering FAQs educates visitors and improves their chances of doing business with us (add-ons, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Lessens the risk of them leaving the site </li></ul>
  15. 15. TECHNIQUES: Interaction Design
  16. 16. 9: Get more out of ‘contact’ <ul><li>Move the Contact Us link (which performs very well) to the header on every page to increase accessibility, creating a better experience for customer. </li></ul>
  17. 17. 10: 301s <ul><li>Implement a canonical 301 redirect so that all traffic points to http://www.quickbooks.intuit.ca to avoid penalties from search engines for duplicate content. </li></ul>
  18. 18. 11: Keyword-rich URLs <ul><li>Name URLs so they all contain primary keyword phrases (where possible). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improved search engine visibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User readability </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use hyphens to separate individual words in multi-word keyword phrases. </li></ul>
  19. 19. 12: Text-based where possible <ul><li>Convert navigation bars from JavaScript (not read by search engines) to keyword-rich text-based navigation (read by search engines.) </li></ul><ul><li>OR </li></ul><ul><li>Use JavaScript… and then submit a non-JavaScript version of the navigation to the search bots. </li></ul>
  20. 20. 13: In-site search <ul><li>Implement an internal search bar. </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance visitors’ overall experience with the Web site </li></ul><ul><li>Enable users to quickly locate sought-after info </li></ul><ul><li>Provide Intuit with analytics by tracking keywords searched </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If a keyword is searched frequently, it may warrant a landing page, which then further drives qualified traffic and increases organic search results </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. 14: XML sitemap <ul><li>Generate an XML sitemap. </li></ul><ul><li>Sitemaps provide a way for sites to specify what pages within the site should be indexed and what new content has been added </li></ul><ul><li>XML sitemap allows administrators to include additional information about each URL, which lets search engines crawl the site more intelligently: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When the page was last updated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How often the content changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How important it is in relation to other URLs on the site </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Additional techniques
  23. 23. 15: Update flash <ul><li>If we use flash, update it on a regular basis to improve Web site credibility. </li></ul>