Chicago SEO 101 Training for Small Business [PDF] by LinchpinSEO
SEO 101It’s About CompetingFor Value
Training Outline• THE LINCHPIN TEAM• PERSONAS• WHAT IS SEO?• EVOLUTION OF SEO• TLCs OF SEO • TECHNICAL • LINKS • CONTENT • SOCIAL• WHAT TO TRACK• TOOLS OF THE TRADE
ABOUT US INTRODUCING OUR FOUNDERS Linchpin SEO started in Raleigh, NC in 2004 by two guys (Bill & Dan) who believed that small businesses should have the same opportunities as large national brands, without the need of multi-million dollar budgets. We help businesses build websites in easy-to-use content management systems, execute local SEO and social media campaigns, write content, and build a content strategies that include video, traditional content sets, and infographics to drive traﬃc and sales.
Our SEO ValuesWHITE HAT LINK BUILDINGWe don’t participate in link buying, comment or social spam, proﬁle spam, link wheels, link farms, or other unnatural linkbuilding tactics. To us link building is about creating great content and a great experience, and then marketing the contentand experience, through social interaction and relationship building with relevant sites, blogs, and social networks.CONTENT THAT BUILDS WEBSITE VALUEWe believe in creating content that is valuable, compelling, and unique. Content goals include: interaction, education,branding, and driving quality traﬃc and metrics to a website. We don’t participate in scraping content, duplication ofcontent from other sites, or spinning articles.TECHNICAL IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINESWe believe in following the Google Webmaster Guidelines, creating a crawlable site architecture, and following white hatguidelines when building a website.
OUR LINCHPINS Bill Dan Doryan JJ Ahna Co-Founder Co-Founder Lead Designer Lead Designer Social Lead SEO Strategist Developer Illustrator Web Designer Facebook Guru
OUR SERVICES SEO Content Info- Web Campaigns Creation graphics Design Social Link Content SEO Media Building Audits Audits
PersonasFor our purposes, we create personas, orexample users, as tools to represent theneeds, desires, skills and environment of oneor more classes of users.
GoogleBot Persona GOOGLEBOT PERSONA 15 Years Old | Experienced Information Gatherer | Mountain View, CA • Googlebot is a passionate information gatherer. • Over 3 million people come to it each day to get answers to their questions. • It however, has its weaknesses, it can only gather and present the information if it can access the information on a website. • It loves when users give it paths to new content, and tells it what that content is about. • When determining what a website or page should be ranked for, the Googlebot Persona has evolved from using what a website says about itself, to what other personas say in their social channels or on their websites. • It has become very good at determining what users will ﬁnd valuable based on what users have told it over the years. • If a website gives it a lot of bad information or information that is not valuable it will start to ignore the website and not use the information when a user asks for it.
What is SEO?TACTICAL PLANNINGTactical planning of a websites architecture and overall structure to allow internal metrics to ﬂow properly. Technical,content, and structure audits and competitive insights and analysis.CONTENT STRATEGYPlanning content that satisﬁes both the users intent and Googlebot Persona.CREATING AN EXPERIENCECreating an experience that fosters social sharing, link acquisition, brand building, and conversions.http://www.linchpinseo.com/what-seo-is-and-what-seo-is-not
SEO is a business strategy; inclusive of publishing,brand building, marketing, and traﬃc acquisition.
White Hat vs. Black HatWHITE HAT TACTICS (EARNING VALUE) BLACK HAT TACTICS (MANIPULATION AND BUYING VALUE)CREATING VALUABLE CONTENT SPINNING ARTICLESEARNING LINKS COMMENT SPAMCREATING A VALUABLE SITE STRUCTURE FORUM SPAMFOLLOWING GOOGLE GUIDELINES BUYING LINKS HACKING WEBSITES
The Evolution of SEO1999 - 2002 ON-PAGE SEO2003 - 2005 ANCHOR TEXT2006- 2009 AUTHORITY & LINK DIVERSITY2010 - 2011 MAYDAY & SOCIAL INTEGRATION2011 - 2012 PANDA & FRESHNESS UPDATE2012 - 2013 SEARCH PLUS YOUR WORLD & PENGUIN
03-05 Anchor TextWHAT IS ANCHOR TEXT?Is the clickable part of the link and is usually underlined.WHY DOES IT MATTER?The anchor text was one of the primary signals used by Google to determine what the page being linked to was about and thusshould be ranked for.WHAT DID SPAMMERS DO?They went out and bought links with the exact anchor text they wanted to rank for.
06-09 Authority & DiversityWEBSITE AUTHORITYThis deﬁnes how authoritative a website is based on its content sets and what other authoritative sites link to it.Harvard.edu has more authoritative metrics than www.buy-viagra-online-with-porn.comLINK DIVERSITYGetting 1 link from 100 diﬀerent domains holds more value than getting 100 links from 1 domainWHAT DID SPAMMERS DO?1. They reached out to college students and started paying them for links.2. They bought a ton of diﬀerent domains, added tons of low value content, and linked back to their site from each of these domains.
10-11 What was MayDay?WHAT HAPPENEDThis evolution seemed to have primarily impacted large sites with item or product pages that:• Didn’t have many individual links into them• Might be several clicks from the home page• May not have substantial unique and value-added content on them.
11-12 The Panda Update?WHAT HAPPENED UPDATES TO PANDA Panda 3.6 on April 27th• Google segmented content sets into buckets based on Panda 3.5 on April 19th user feedback and data. Panda 3.4 on March 23rd• Focused on devaluing low value, thin, duplicated content. Panda 3.3 on about February 26th Panda 3.2 on about January 15th• Primary targets were content farms. Panda 3.1 on November 18th Panda 2.5.3 on October 19/20th Panda 2.5.2 on October 13th Panda 2.5.1 on October 9th Panda 2.5 on September 28th Panda 2.4 in August Panda 2.3 on around July 22nd. Panda 2.2 on June 18th or so. Panda 2.1 on May 9th or so. Panda 2.0 on April 11th or so. Panda 1.0 on February 24th
11-12 Freshness Update?WHAT HAPPENEDThis evolution was the update by Google to help surface more timely information• Events• Sports• Reviews
12+ The Penguin UpdateWHAT HAPPENEDAfter weeks of speculation about an "Over-optimization penalty", Google ﬁnally rolled out the "Webspam Update",which was soon after dubbed "Penguin." Penguin adjusted a number of spam factors, including keyword stuﬃng and lowquality inbound links.
The SEO Pyramid SOCIAL MEDIA Build communities through interaction. INBOUND LINKS Create valuable experiences then market them for links. CONTENT Create valuable content for your target personas. TECHNICAL Build a strong base that focuses metrics in an optimal way.
TechnicalTECHNICAL CRAWL301 vs. 302URL STRUCTURESITE STRUCTURE
Technical CrawlWHY DO A TECHNICAL CRAWL?To ensure that there is a strong base to build your other content creation and link building campaigns upon it isimportant to do a technical crawl of your website. 301 (Permanent) Redirect Analysis Meta Refresh Analysis 302 (Temporary) Redirect Analysis Pages Where the Title Element is Too Short 404 (Client Error) Errors Pages Where the Title Element is Too Long (> 70 Characters) 500 (Server Error) Errors Pages Containing Too Many On-Page Links Pages Where The Title is Missing or Empty Missing Meta Description Tag Analysis Duplicate Page Content Analysis Robots.txt Analysis Duplicate Page Title Analysis Meta-robots Nofollow Analysis Pages That have Long URLs (> 115 characters) Meta-robots Analysis Overly-Dynamic URL Analysis Canonical Tags Analysis
302 vs. 301 RedirectWHY USE REDIRECTSWhen a page on your site has been deleted or has a new URL, a redirect should be put in place to direct the searchengines and users to the new page.302 REDIRECTTemporary redirect: This tells the search engines that that page being redirected to will not be up long, and to keep theoriginal page in their search results. This is not a redirect that should be used in 99.9% of the cases.301 REDIRECTPermanent redirect: This tells the search engines that the page is permanently moved and they should rank the newpage and remove the old page from their index. This redirect should be used 99.9% of the time.
URL StructureKEYWORDS IN THE URLTactical planning of a websites architecture and overall structure to allow internal metrics to ﬂow properly. Technical,content, and structure audits and competitive insights and analysis.URL RULESAll lower case“-” for spacesRemove stop wordsNo more than 2 levels deepNo more than 40 characters longKeyword focused (but not overly)Remove dynamic characters
Site StructureIMPORTANCESite structure is of vital importance.• Products or services that are your highest value should be spotlighted on high value pages such as the home page of your website.• Understanding how your customers, users, and personas utilize your website is key to helping them down the path in which results in a conversion for your website.
Content• TYPES OF CONTENT• WHAT IS THE VALUE OF CONTENT?• EVOLUTION OF CONTENT• WHERE TO ADD KEYWORDS?• KEYWORD DENSITY?• WHAT MAKES VALUABLE CONTENT?• CONTENT CREATION TIPS
Content Types MARKETING The marketing content consists of your oﬀerings; products, services, etc.. These pages are all about the conversion, and in most cases lack informational value INFORMATIONAL above and beyond what other websites. BRANDING This is content sets that talk about your company and what you can oﬀer. These pages usually consist of the “about us” and “contact us” page and sometimes the “home page”. BRANDING MARKETING INFORAMTIONAL This is the content set that holds the most value for driving incremental traﬃc, positioning your brand as a thought leader, and earning your site the title of being a resource within your vertical.
Value of ContentFORMS OF CONTENT SEO VALUEVideos Driving TraﬃcInfographics Positioning Your Business as a LeaderArticles Earning Links to Help with RankingsWhite Papers Giving You Assets to Utilize ForImages Inﬂuencer Outreach
“Design in the absence of content is not design, it’sdecoration” – Jeﬀrey Zeldman
Evolution of ContentUNIQUE CONTENTWhen the search engines said they started “penalizing or ﬁltering sites” for having duplicate content SEOs started focusing on themethodology of “unique content”. Trying to understand what percent of a piece of content had to be unique in order for a ﬁlter or penaltynot to be given. This spawned an era of article spinners that churned out content that was unique to a certain percentage, but was nothigh quality.QUALITY CONTENTThe next evolution was about creating quality content. This included grammatical ﬁxes, content structure, keywords, and a general senseof overall trust that the content was accurate.VALUABLE CONTENTThis is where content came back into its own. Along with being unique and having a high quality rating, content also has to be valuable. Ina world where earned media drives the highest conversions, ignoring the “value methodology” will inhibit building a strong inboundmarketing campaign or social community.
We don’t talk about “keyword density” andneither should you. Or as Stephen Spencerput it, “Keyword density is da bomb. Ok, no one says “da bomb” anymore, but you getthe drift. Monitoring keyword density values is pure folly.”
Where to Add Keywords 1 4 1. Title Tag 2. Content 3. H1 tag3 4. URL 5. Alt text on images 5 6. Image name 2 6
Creating Content Value1. Would you trust the information presented? 7. Are there excessive adverts on this page?2. Was this article written by an expert? 8. Would you expect to see this available in3. Does this article have obvious errors? print?4. Does the article provide original content or 9. Would you give this site your credit card information? details?5. Does this articles contain insightful 10. Would you trust “x-type” info from this analysis? site?6. Would you consider bookmarking this 11. Would you recognize this site as an page? authority?
Content Tips• UNDERSTAND VALUE• KEYWORD RESEARCH• UTILIZE TOOLS• SATISFY PERSONAS• MAKING LINK WORTHY CONTENT
Understand ValueUNDERSTAND WHAT IS VALUABLE• Study your competition• Look at their content, ﬁnd out which has the most shares, tweets, or links then take what they have done and add more value to it.• Create at least 3 additional value props.
Keyword ResearchHIGH VALUE KEYWORDS ARE ALL YOU NEED • Conversion Value • Search Volume • Matches User Intent • Matches Brand Focus
Satisfy Needs Of UsersSATISFY YOUR WEBSITE PERSONAS• What would your user ﬁnd valuable to help them make a purchase or position you as an expert?
Link-worthy ContentWHAT MAKES CONTENT LINK-WORTHY• By adding visual content, like lists and images, can increase the number of websites linking to it.• Posts with videos included will attract almost 3 times more websites linking to it than a plain text post.• Posts with all three media types (videos, images, and lists) will attract almost 6 times more websites linking to it than a plain text post.• Contrary to common beliefs, large posts seem to attract more links than posts with 900 words or less.• Posts with between 1800 and 3000 words will attract more than 15 times more websites linking to it than a post with less than 600 words.
LinksWHAT DO LINKS HAVE TO DO WITH IT?WHAT MAKES A LINK VALUABLE?LINK DIVERSITY
Reasons we need linksYOUR LINK PROFILELinks tell the search engines a lot about your website.• How authoritative your website is.• What your website should be ranked for.• How trustworthy your website is.• How valuable your content is
MYTH OR FACT? Links from educational websitesthat have a .edu domain are always valuable?
Valuable Links1. LINKS FROM HIGHLY TRUSTED WEBSITES2. LINKS FROM WEBSITES THAT ARE HIGHLY RELEVANT TO YOURS3. LOCAL LINKS FROM BLOGS OR MEDIA OUTLETS4. YAHOO DIRECTORY, DMOZ, BUSINESS.COM, BOTW.ORG
Links That Aren’t Valuable1. 99% OF DIRECTORY LINKS2. ARTICLE DIRECTORIES3. LINKS FROM BLOG NETWORKS4. COMMENT OR FORUM SPAM5. OLD FASHION LINK TRADES
Link DiversityGETTING 1 LINK FROM 100 DIFFERENT HIGHVALUE DOMAINS IS BETTER THAN GETTING 100 LINKS FROM 1 DOMAIN.
SEO and SocialCOMMUNITY BUILDING• Social media marketing at its core is about building communities around your brand or products.RELATIONSHIP BUILDING• Build relationships, don’t just spam or auto post.DON’T BE A SALES PERSON• Be genuine and help people out.DISTRIBUTION OF CONTENT AND EXPERIENCES• Utilize the community to distribute great experiences and content.OUTREACH PROFRAMS FOR LINK BUILDING• Interact a minimum of 5 times with someone before asking them to share something or tweet it.
What to Track?1. ORGANIC CONVERSIONS2. ORGANIC TRAFFIC3. TOTAL KEYWORDS SENDING TRAFFIC4. REFERRAL TRAFFIC5. TOTAL URLS RECEIVING TRAFFIC6. RANKINGS
SEO Tools1. SEOMOZ2. SCREAMING FROG SEO SPIDER3. GOOGLE KEYWORD TOOL4. GOOGLE WEBMASTER TOOLS5. UBERSUGGEST.ORG