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An introduction to basic SEO concepts and methods

An introduction to basic SEO concepts and methods

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Basic SEO Lecture Presentation Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Introduction to Search Engine Optimization Lecturette Speaker: Marie Claire Bretaña Training and Development Officer · Eversun Software Philippines Corporation
  • 2. Search Engine Optimization
    • SEO is part of Search Engine Marketing which is a form of marketing that uses the Internet as a channel.
    • Businesses earn money from clicks, sales leads, and ad space.
  • 3. Basic SEO Terms
    • Page Rank
    • Measures the popularity of a website with other sites
    • Signifies a vote of trust for the linked to site
    • A percentage is shared through linking with each other
    • PR is from 0 to 10. The highest is 10.
    • Alexa Rank
    • Measures the popularity of the site with web users
    • The ranking is measured through the Alexa toolbar
    • The lesser the number, the higher the ranking
    • Those in the upper 100,000 ranks are the most often visited
  • 4. Basic SEO Terms
    • SERPs
    • Acronym for Search Engine Result Pages
    • 10 links/URLs per page
    • The first 3 pages are the most critical
    • First 10 pages are so-so
    • If you're not in the top 100, you should be alarmed
    • Keyword Research
    • Keywords are the building units of any SEO campaign
    • Sites are ranked based on keyword prominency, topical relevancy, and link text
    • Advertisers bid for each keyword for PPC ads
  • 5. Search Engine Optimization: Organic and Natural vs Black Hat SEO
    • SEO affects organic search results, not sponsored search
    • SEO has three schools of practice: Black Hat, White Hat and Grey Hat
    • Black Hat uses spamming and malicious tricks to deceive the search engines and users
    • White Hat uses organic, natural methods for increasing search engine visibility
    • Grey Hats straddle the fence between Black and White
    • Natural and organic SEO is the ideal way for getting long-term results
  • 6. Search Engine Optimization
    • SEO's end goal is to drive targeted traffic to the site through certain methods.
    • SEO activities include link building and website optimization. It has two types: on-page and off-page optimization.
  • 7. On Page Optimization Set of tasks done to improve your site's accessibility, usability, navigation, and content for users and search engines
  • 8. On-Page Optimization: Meta Data, Tags, Content, Keywords
    • On-page or On-site optimization requires basic knowledge of HTML and CSS
      • Optimizing the Title element, META tags, ALT and TITLE tags
    • Optimizing the content: keyword prominence, anchor text in links
      • Link Baiting: contests, trivia, downloads, viral videos, polls, writing how-to articles, top ten lists, tips and breaking news
  • 9. The Title Element
    • The Title element is found within the HEAD section
    • It's the one SEs use as title of links in Search Engine Result Pages
    • Use a unique title for each page. Make sure it's descriptive but brief. It must accurately describe the page's content.
  • 10. What Meta Data Looks Like
  • 11. Meta Data Optimization
    • A page's description meta tag is often used as a SE snippet.
    • If not found the SE will pull the most prominent block of text with the keyword being searched for
    • Other Meta Tags are supplementary, but not necessary
    • The keyword meta tag is basically useless and often misused
    • Black Hat SEOs tend to stuff keywords into it
    • Accurately summarize the page's content. Keep it brief; about two sentences or less. Use a unique one for each page.
  • 12. Website Content Optimization
    • Content optimization simply means creating valuable information for users while making sure target keywords are prominent enough on your site's pages for search engines to find
    • Ideal keywords are those with the most number of searches on average but with a lesser number of competing pages
    • Make sure ALT tags for images and TITLE tags for links are found. Be descriptive but brief. Use your keywords as much as possible.
  • 13. Link Baiting Methods
    • Create top 10 lists, best lists, worst lists
    • Write how to articles with diagrams or screenshots
    • Post links to videos, images, podcasts, PDFs
    • Hold contests, quizzes, polls
    • Offer something free: software, ebooks, membership, newsletter, etc.
    • Be controversial. Mention something unknown yet. You have to be unique.
  • 14. On-Page Optimization: Site Architecture and Design
    • 1. Site Accessibility
      • The site is accessible to all Users and Search Engines regardless of browser used, OS or Internet speed.
    • 2. Usability
      • Indicates the level of user comfort and experience while spending time on the site.
    • 3. Navigation
      • Ease of movement for both users and search engines.
  • 15. Site Accessibility
    • Site design works across the major browsers: IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome.
    • Major factors include reliability, broken links, valid markup, file size, forms and applications, file formats, orphan pages, search engine friendly URLs, 404 pages, and redirections
  • 16. Factors in Site Accessibility
    • Reliability – Site must be online 24/7. Minimize server downtime as much as possible.
    • Broken links – Prevents users and SEs from reaching relevant content. Site can be penalized with lower ranking.
    • Valid markup – Validate using W3C standards (http://validator.w3.org/)
  • 17. Factors in Site Accessibility
    • File size – Keep under 150K for reduced index size and for all text and images to be crawled.
    • Forms and applications – If you have Search Engine worthy data reachable only after user input in forms, also have it on a different page accessible via a link. Googlebot and DeepBot can only crawl data from GET forms.
  • 18. Factors in Site Accessibility
    • Indexable file formats:
    • Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF), MS Excel (XLS), MS PowerPoint (PPT), MS Word (DOC), Rich Text Format (RTF), Shockwave Flash (SWF), Text (TXT), Portable Network Graphics (PNG), Graphics Interchange Format (GIF), Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG)
  • 19. Factors in Site Accessibility
    • Non-Indexable File Formats due to their large file sizes: EXE, ZIP, DLL, etc can not be crawled or indexed
    • Orphan Pages – Pages from a site that are not linked from or to any other page in the site.
      • Delete those pages which have lost significance and are not logically connected with the site.
  • 20. Factors in Site Accessibility: Search Engine Friendly URLs
    • How To Create A Search Engine Friendly URL Structure:
    • Avoid dynamic and complex URLs.
    • Avoid session Ids. Use cookies instead.
    • Use static and simple logical URLs instead.
  • 21. Factors in Site Accessibility: Redirects and Notifications
    • Use 301 Redirects for permanent changes in URL structure to:
    • Preserve Page Rank
    • Increase accessibility
    • Avoid content duplication
    • When to use 301 Redirects:
    • Changes in domain name
    • Moving pages to another domain
    • Merging two websites
    Methods for 301 Redirection http://www.askapache.com/htaccess/list-of-methods-to-redirect-users-to-different-page.html
    • When to use 301 Redirects:
    • Changes in domain name
    • Moving pages to another domain
    • Merging two websites
  • 22. Factors in Site Accessibility: Redirects and Notifications
    • Use 302 Redirects for temporary changes in URL structure when:
    • Temporarily moving a page
    • Redirecting the homepage
    • During special promotions and special circumstances
  • 23. Factors in Site Accessibility: Redirects and Notifications
    • What is a 404 page?
    • Indicates a page not found and does not say whether it's temporary or permanent.
    • Why customize 404 pages:
    • To suggest other ways to find the info users are looking for
    • For better understanding of the error
    • Including a sitemap will help crawlers and users
    • For easy website maintenance
  • 24. Site Usability Factors
    • Consistent design, ample use of white space
    • Easy website maintenance and administration
    • Functions across browsers (Firefox, IE, Safari, Opera) and OS (Windows / Linux / Mac)
    • Unambiguous layout – e.g. Menu at top or left, Content in the middle, breadcrumb navigation
    • Ample FAQ and Self-help options
    • Space for customer feedback
    • Dedicated sections for ad space, site search
  • 25. Site Navigation
    • Use a sitemap to help users find the pages they are looking for and guide crawlers to internal pages located deep into the site (See Sitemap Protocol)
    • Use breadcrumb navigation to help users find their way back or tell them where they are inside the site
    • Information funnel should be from broad to specific
    • Keep the number of links on a page at 100 or less for better crawling and ease of user navigation
    • Maintain a flat site architecture: no important page should be more than 2 or 3 clicks away from the homepage
  • 26. Off-Page Optimization Set of tasks to make your site more accessible and popular to users and search engines by spreading links and promoting your site to target users.
  • 27. Off-Page Optimization
    • Basic understanding of how search engines work
    • Link Building is the most basic and most popular process
    • 5 Basic Methods: Directory Submission, Article Submission, Social Bookmarking, Forum Posting and Blog Commenting
    • New Methods: Social Media Marketing, Content Sharing, Community Involvement
  • 28. Types of Search Engines
    • Three Types of Search Engines and Directories:
    • Crawler-based search engines like Yahoo!, Google, MSN Live Search, Ask.com
    • Human-edited Search Engines – Mahalo, ChaCha, LinkCentral
    • Hybrid and Specialized Search Engines – Meta-crawlers, Social Search, Knowledge Databases
  • 29. How Search Engines Work
    • Crawlers or Spiders are search engine bots that read all the pages they find on the web. They crawl through links.
    • Different crawlers work for different purposes
    • They harvest data and store them in the search engine database (Index)
  • 30. Types of Google Crawlers
    • Google Bot – collects web pages with two assistants
      • Freshbot – collects updated data more frequently
      • Deepbot – follows every link that it finds
    • ImageBot – crawls for Image search
    • MediaBot – used to analyze Adsense pages
    • AdsBot – crawls Adwords landing pages for quality
    • Feedfetcher Google – RSS reader fetcher
    • GSA-Crawler – used by Google Search Appliance
    • Googlebot-Mobile - crawls mobile pages
  • 31. The Sitemap Protocol
    • Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling.
    • In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.
    • Read more about the Sitemap Protocol:
      • http://www.sitemaps.org/protocol.php
  • 32. Guiding Crawlers
    • Crawlers can be guided through your site using the robots.txt file or the .htaccess file
      • Bots are told which web document or directory can or can not be crawled and indexed
    • Crawlers can also be instructed through the use of meta tags
      • Bots are told whether to crawl and index a page, follow all links or to completely ignore the page and not store a cache snapshot of it
      • Terms include nofollow, noindex, noarchive
  • 33. Basic Link Building Methods
    • URL Submissions
      • Submitting your site's domain or its individual pages to human-edited directories
    • Social Bookmarking
      • Submitting your site's domain or its individual pages to social bookmarking sites
    • Blog commenting
      • Commenting in blogs using your site's domain as URL for linking back or for permalinks
  • 34. Basic Link Building Methods
    • Forum Posting
      • Participating in forums that serve a niche or specific community of people with the same interests as yours
      • Making sure you have a signature link for each of your posts
    • Article Submissions
      • Submitting articles with links to free article directories
  • 35. Off-Page Optimization: Other Methods
    • Knowledge sharing
      • participation in wikis such as Mahalo and Wikipedia, content sharing sites such as Knol, Squidoo, Gather and Hubpages
    • Social Media Optimization
      • Online reputation management and branding
      • Interlinking social media profiles and sharing feeds
      • Social networking and building partnerships
  • 36. Off-Page Optimization: Linking Strategies
    • Reciprocal Linking
      • Searching for topically relevant sites/blogs and asking for links from the webmasters or bloggers
    • Three-way Linking
      • A linking strategy involving three sites with site A linking to Site B which in turn links to Site C that links back to Site A
    • One-way Linking
      • A site links to another without expecting a link back
  • 37. Measuring Effectiveness
    • With all these methods applied, how does one measure their effectiveness?
    • Through analyzing the website statistics, e.g. no. of visits, referrers, bounce rate, ave. time one site, pages visited, keywords used
    • Through tracking the number of backlinks, the increases in Page Rank for your internal pages, and increase in Alexa ranking
  • 38. Site Analytics Concepts
    • Bounce Rate – the percentage of visits that end with the user leaving the site
    • Referrers – Sites or pages from which the user came from to reach your site
    • Landing pages – the pages from your site on which users arrived first. This can be any page.
    • Goals - pages where we want the user to go (e.g. payments page)
    • Unique visits – number of unique users (both humans and bots) based on IP or user-agent ID
    • Ave. Time on Site – indicates the amount of interest your site's content generates
  • 39. End Goal of SEO is Conversion
    • Conversions are desired events happening at a website such as:
    • Impressions – no. of times a document or file such as a banner ad is requested/downloaded
    • Clicks – a user clicks on a link or ad image
    • Leads – possible customers/clients which might lead to a sale
    • Sales – an event is a sale when the client/customer has finished the payment process
    • Each conversion earns the site owner a profit.