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SEO: Optimizing Sites for People (and search engines)
 

SEO: Optimizing Sites for People (and search engines)

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SEO has an ugly side and a useful side. The useful side is about best practices, great content, and semantic HTML. This presentation was developed for the PMC's Beast Bloggers Camp 2 in Oakland, ...

SEO has an ugly side and a useful side. The useful side is about best practices, great content, and semantic HTML. This presentation was developed for the PMC's Beast Bloggers Camp 2 in Oakland, October 2009.

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  • Test <br />
  • The average number of words people type into the search field is 3.1 <br />
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  • SEO does not put lipstick on a pig. If your site was made with MS FrontPage in 1998 and is a steaming pile behind the scenes, you can&apos;t buy your way to the top of SERPs with an SEO consultant. You need to re-build your site. <br />
  • SEO does not put lipstick on a pig. If your site was made with MS FrontPage in 1998 and is a steaming pile behind the scenes, you can&apos;t buy your way to the top of SERPs with an SEO consultant. You need to re-build your site. <br />
  • Duct tape analogy. There are people out there doing good work in the SEO field and thats&apos; what they&apos;re teaching. Unfortunately they get lumped in with the bad guys. <br />
  • Google&apos;s own documentation: Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation. People who &#x201C;employ botnets, third-world labor, and zombie computers to blanket the web with link spam <br />
  • Don&apos;t even think about trying to get onto the first page unless your content rocks. <br />
  • Don&apos;t even think about trying to get onto the first page unless your content rocks. <br />
  • The problem with SEO is that the good advice is obvious, the rest doesn&#x2019;t work, and it&#x2019;s poisoning the web. Best practices. Powazek: Blogger, HotWired, Technorati <br />
  • Don&apos;t even think about trying to get onto the first page unless your content rocks. <br />
  • Cover what no one else is covering <br /> Update your content frequently <br /> Develop good links from credible related sites. <br /> Be connected to the community... <br /> <br />
  • Cover what no one else is covering <br /> Update your content frequently <br /> Develop good links from credible related sites. <br /> Be connected to the community... <br /> <br />
  • Cover what no one else is covering <br /> Update your content frequently <br /> Develop good links from credible related sites. <br /> Be connected to the community... <br /> <br />
  • Cover what no one else is covering <br /> Update your content frequently <br /> Develop good links from credible related sites. <br /> Be connected to the community... <br /> <br />
  • When you search on something, you want those first few links to be the most useful, not things that are there because some webmaster wants more traffic. What you want is what everyone wants - good, organically useful content. The exact formula for displaying search results is Google&apos;s "Secret Sauce" and is not published <br />
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  • Demo KDMC titles <br />
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  • Google is the internet&#x2019;s largest blind user. When we build accessible sites we&#x2019;re adamant about this kind of thing. &#x201C;What should we call it when I counsel someone to use an h2 tag instead of bold text?&#x201D; I call that making good websites. That&#x2019;s why pro web devs are worth their price tag. <br />
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  • Headline totally lacking informational content for a search engine <br />
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  • The average number of words people type into the search field is 3.1 <br />
  • The average number of words people type into the search field is 3.1 <br />
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  • adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal <br /> google.com/insights/search <br />
  • adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal <br /> google.com/insights/search <br />
  • adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal <br /> google.com/insights/search <br />
  • adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal <br /> google.com/insights/search <br />
  • Each link to a page on your site from another site adds to your site&apos;s PageRank. <br />
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  • Sitemaps do not directly impact your place in search results. Sitemaps put information about how to search your site and what has changed on your site in one place. <br />
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  • Google has a 404 widget you can drop into place. <br />
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  • Google&apos;s own documentation: Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation. People who &#x201C;employ botnets, third-world labor, and zombie computers to blanket the web with link spam <br />
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SEO: Optimizing Sites for People (and search engines) SEO: Optimizing Sites for People (and search engines) Presentation Transcript

  • Optimizing for People (and search engines)
  • 80% of users click on one of the first three results.
  • SEO is the process of getting your content to appear at or near the top of search results.
  • SEO = good content + good structure
  • SEO != black magic, secrets, rocket science
  • who’s responsible?
  • YOU
  • With good writers and good web skills, SEO techniques are “obvious.” POWAZEK.COM/POSTS/2101
  • SEO is only useful if you have good content... Useless if you don’t.
  • Content
  • Content Unique + Focused
  • Content Unique + Focused Fresh + Detailed
  • Content Unique + Focused Fresh + Detailed Organized + Scannable
  • Content Unique + Focused Fresh + Detailed Organized + Scannable Connected + Valued
  • Organic methods are rewarded. ATTEMPTS TO GAME THE SYSTEM ARE PUNISHED.
  • “Organic” techniques HIGH-QUALITY incoming links Write for readers, not search engines Well-structured, semantic HTML Good metadata Clear, specific page titles Great keywords Meta descriptions Clean URLs
  • Write content for readers... ...not search engines ✦ Cover what no one else is covering ✦ Shorter paragraphs, clearly marked sections ✦ Get to the point quickly ✦ The web rewards specifics and related information ✦ Don’t stuff keywords ✦ Don’t hide content
  • <title>Kick-Ass Title Tags</title> • An HTML tag that appears in the <head> container • Most important piece of metadata in your document • Name by which page appears in user bookmarks and SERPs • Unique on every page of site • No more than 70 characters • Include site name, section name (?), content title • Put site name LAST in title, keyworded phrase up front
  • Well-structured HTML “Semantic” HTML: Use markup as intended
  • Semantic HTML <h1>, <h2>, <h3> <strong> <em> <blockquote> <p>
  • Doing META right METADATA INCLUDES GOOD TITLE AND DESCRIPTION. NO MORE THAN 155 CHARACTERS.
  • What’s wrong with this picture?
  • Much better
  • Much better HEADLINE INCLUDES KEYWORDS
  • Much better HEADLINE INCLUDES KEYWORDS
  • Keywords in Copy
  • Keywords in Copy Headlines
  • Keywords in Copy Headlines Sub-heds
  • Keywords in Copy Headlines Sub-heds Body
  • 3.1 WORDS
  • Keywords and Images
  • Keywords and Images filename
  • Keywords and Images filename alt tag
  • Keywords and Images filename alt tag caption
  • Keywords and Images filename alt tag caption photo credit
  • Keyword Tools
  • Keyword Tools Google Adwords
  • Keyword Tools Google Adwords Community Sites
  • Keyword Tools Google Adwords Community Sites Google Insights
  • Keyword Tools Google Adwords Community Sites Google Insights
  • Incoming links 200+ ingredients in Google’s “secret sauce,” but links are #1 -- votes of confidence. Use social networks OK to ask for links, but be real about it Links from comment sections of blogs are ignored Build reputation (with good content) Be liberal with outbound links (but don’t overdo it)
  • Be a the resource
  • Be a the resource Link to competitors.
  • Be a the resource Link to competitors. Link to people who have related content.
  • Be a the resource Link to competitors. Link to people who have related content. Quote, spotlight and praise people in your topic niche that publish good content.
  • Clean URLs • URLs should be human-readable • Won’t break when forwarded in email • Can be read over the phone • Provide a form of “breadcrumbs” • Meaningful to search engines • If you change URL structures, redirect!
  • Clean URLs COMPARE: HTTP://NEWS.CNET.COM/8301-17938_105-10381325-1.HTML?TAG=TOCMORESTORIES.0 HTTP://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/2009/10/19/ARTS/MUSIC/19ARTS-PUERTORICOCA_BRF.HTML?REF=MUSIC HTTP://WWW.BERKELEYSIDE.COM/2009/10/22/TOO-GOOD-TO-BE-TRUE-BERKELEY-HOUSES-FOR-1/ HTTP://MULTIMEDIA.JOURNALISM.BERKELEY.EDU/2009/OCT/14/BLOGGING-EXPERTS/ PARAMETERIZED URLS: NO MORE THAN 2 HTTP://WWW.MYSITE.COM/BRANDS.PHP?OBJECT=1&TYPE=2&KIND=3&NODE=5&ARG=6 HTTP://WWW.MYSITE.COM/BRANDS.PHP?NIKE
  • Clean URLs COMPARE: HTTP://NEWS.CNET.COM/8301-17938_105-10381325-1.HTML?TAG=TOCMORESTORIES.0 HTTP://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/2009/10/19/ARTS/MUSIC/19ARTS-PUERTORICOCA_BRF.HTML?REF=MUSIC HTTP://WWW.BERKELEYSIDE.COM/2009/10/22/TOO-GOOD-TO-BE-TRUE-BERKELEY-HOUSES-FOR-1/ HTTP://MULTIMEDIA.JOURNALISM.BERKELEY.EDU/2009/OCT/14/BLOGGING-EXPERTS/ LIMIT URL DEPTH TO 4 LEVELS PARAMETERIZED URLS: NO MORE THAN 2 HTTP://WWW.MYSITE.COM/BRANDS.PHP?OBJECT=1&TYPE=2&KIND=3&NODE=5&ARG=6 HTTP://WWW.MYSITE.COM/BRANDS.PHP?NIKE
  • Clean URLs COMPARE: HTTP://NEWS.CNET.COM/8301-17938_105-10381325-1.HTML?TAG=TOCMORESTORIES.0 HTTP://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/2009/10/19/ARTS/MUSIC/19ARTS-PUERTORICOCA_BRF.HTML?REF=MUSIC HTTP://WWW.BERKELEYSIDE.COM/2009/10/22/TOO-GOOD-TO-BE-TRUE-BERKELEY-HOUSES-FOR-1/ HTTP://MULTIMEDIA.JOURNALISM.BERKELEY.EDU/2009/OCT/14/BLOGGING-EXPERTS/ LIMIT URL DEPTH TO 4 LEVELS PARAMETERIZED URLS: NO MORE THAN 2 HTTP://WWW.MYSITE.COM/BRANDS.PHP?OBJECT=1&TYPE=2&KIND=3&NODE=5&ARG=6 HTTP://WWW.MYSITE.COM/BRANDS.PHP?NIKE
  • Clean URLs in WordPress COMPARING-WIDESCREEN-TVS-OUR-TESTERS-TRIED-SAMSUNG-SONY-PIONEER SEE ALSO: WORDPRESS.ORG/EXTEND/PLUGINS/SEO-SLUGS
  • Canonical Homepage URL BAD HTTP://WWW.MYSITE.COM HTTP://MYSITE.COM HTTP://WWW.MYSITE.COM/INDEX.HTML HTTP://MYSITE.COM/INDEX.HTML GOOD HTTP://MYSITE.COM/
  • Build a sitemap! Eliminates the guesswork Provides hints Machine-readable Human-readable A good CMS or framework can generate one for you
  • Sitemaps make life easy for search engines WORDPRESS.ORG/EXTEND/PLUGINS/GOOGLE-SITEMAP-GENERATOR
  • SEO tips Keep your site focused on a topic More pages on a topic = more cred Min. 200 words to a page Keep it fresh! Google rewards new content Spend extra effort sharpening homepage SEO Use text links for nav, not images
  • More SEO tips Don’t use Javascript-driven menus Don’t link to index.html (don’t split links) Frames, Flash, Ajax: Can’t deep link to content When link building, quality over quantity Keyword links + descriptive adjancent text Registering a domain? Don’t take privacy option
  • Still more SEO tips Don’t use graphics for navigation Make sure images have alt=”foo” tags (Google is the net’s largest blind user!) Create an HTML sitemap as well as XML Make sure you have a good “About” page Don’t use “click here” links Clean up 404s & add search to your 404 pages Don’t obsess: “What is the googlebot hungry for now?”
  • Yet more SEO tips Give link love, get link love Links from .edu domains have more weight Optimize RSS feeds too! (description, title) Use captions with images and videos Make a separate video sitemap Broaden your range (podcasts, social, etc.) Avoid duplicate content (See Google Webmaster Tools)
  • “Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings.” - Google Webmaster Guidelines
  • Gaming the system Break search engine rules Present content differently to search engine than to user Link farms, link exchanges Keyword stuffing False doorways Submission ‘bots User experience suffers
  • Blog about…
  • Blog about… • Plans • Staff • Wireframes • UGC • Design • Testing • <more>
  • Don’t pay for SEO "LOOK UNDER THE HOOD OF ANY SEO PLAN AND YOU’LL FIND ADVICE LIKE THIS: MAKE SURE TO USE KEYWORDS IN THE HEADLINE, USE PROPER FORMATTING, PROVIDE SUMMARIES OF THE CONTENT, INCLUDE LINKS TO RELEVANT INFORMATION. ALL OF THIS IS A GOOD IDEA, AND NONE OF IT IS A SECRET. IT’S SO OBVIOUS, ANYONE WHO PAYS FOR IT IS A FOOL." -POWAZEK
  • The One True Way WHICH BRINGS US, FINALLY, TO THE ONE TRUE WAY TO GET A LOT OF TRAFFIC ON THE WEB. IT’S PRETTY SIMPLE, AND I’M GOING TO GIVE IT TO YOU HERE, FOR FREE: MAKE SOMETHING GREAT. TELL PEOPLE ABOUT IT. DO IT AGAIN. IT’LL TAKE TIME. A LOT OF TIME. BUT IT WORKS. AND IT’S THE ONLY THING THAT DOES.