Search Engine Optimization A Speed of Light Enterprises Presentation High search rankings free web traffic higher profits 2011 Speed of Light Enterprises, some rights reserved. This document is licensed and protected by Creative Commons . It may be freely distributed with proper attribution for non-commercial uses only.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM): the entire set of techniques and strategies used to direct more visitors from search engines to marketing web sites, including all of the tactics and strategies defined below.
Paid Placement: Text ads targeted to keyword search results on search engines, through programs such as Google AdWords and Yahoo Search "Precision Match," also sometimes referred to as "Paid Placement," "Pay-per-Click" (PPC) advertising and Cost-per-Click (CPC) advertising.
Search Engine Optimization (Organic): The practice of using a range of techniques, including augmenting HTML code, web page copy editing, site navigation, linking campaigns and more, in order to improve how well a site or page gets listed in search engines for particular search topics.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Service Provider: Agencies or individuals who assist companies with the various search engine marketing practices described above.
Search Engine Optimization SEO is the practice of using a range of techniques, including augmenting HTML code, web page copy editing, site navigation, linking campaigns and more, in order to improve how well a site or page ranks on the search results pages of search engines for particular search topics.
SEO Trends 2004 vs 2009 2004 80% of advertisers ran SEO campaigns $492 million spent on SEO 52% managed SEO in-house 2009 90% of advertisers ran SEO campaigns $1.4 billion spent on SEO 87% managed SEO in-house Source: Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization surveys of SEM agencies and advertisers, 2004 & 2009
How Search Engines Work Each search engine sends automated programs called “spiders” to crawl the web by following links looking for pages Every page they find, they index by caching a copy of the page, and evaluating it according to algorithmic formulae (usually proprietary) Every link they find, they follow (unless specifically asked not to)
How Search Engines Rank Every search engine has its own proprietary algorithmic formula(s) Google’s search algorithm is believed to contain over 200 elements Each element is “weighted” and the relative weights are regularly fine-tuned
Some Google Ranking Elements In no particular order and of unknown weight: Age of domain Page load time Semantic hierarchy of keyword Text emphasis of keyword Frequency of keyword Keyword in link text Page Rank of originating link
Google PageRank PageRank (PR) is a registered trade mark of Google, Inc. It refers to the calculated ranking score of any given page and is kept secret PR that can be detected is a highly simplified and untrustworthy variation of the PageRank score PR can be used as a rough estimate of a web page’s Google score
Three Main SEO Strategies ON PAGE ELEMENTS SITE STRUCTURE ELEMENTS OFF PAGE ELEMENTS
Site Structure Elements Content Spiderability 3 click rule < 100 links per page Load time and code placement URLs parsed by text readers
On Page Elements Titles Meta tags Meta description Alt tags Keywords meta tag Semantic markup Link text Topic focus
Off Page Elements Links Paid links Reciprocal links Natural links Social media Link bait
Most Important Element Keywords ON PAGE ELEMENTS SITE STRUCTURE ELEMENTS OFF PAGE ELEMENTS
Keywords Every SEO Tactic Begins with a Keyword Targeting the right keyword is absolutely vital.
Keyword Relevance Good keywords describe the page content accurately and unambiguously Great keywords describe the page content in exactly the same way that a typical searcher would
Keyword Relevance Which scenario is most likely to result in conversion to sale? 10,000,000 people searching for “free mp3” are directed to a website that sells leather laptop shoulder bags 30 people searching for “leather laptop shoulder bag” are sent to the same page
The Art of Keywording Every “useful” page should have one primary keywordand 3-5 secondary keywords Primary keyword should be the single most descriptive term describing the page content that is also most likely to drive valuable traffic Keywording is a five step process
5 Steps to Keywording Success View the page as a potential customer would and choose the single term you think they would use to find that page Expand the keyword into as many variations as possible Test the keyword set for traffic potential Test the keyword set for competitiveness Rinse and repeat
Keywording, Step 1 Try to step outside yourself and think like a customer. Research your traffic logs to see what real people are using to find your site Research competitors to see what their customers are using Pick the one you think is best and write it down
Keywording, Step 2 Next to the term you have already written, make a list of all the variations you can think of, but be sure they are all relevant to the page Use a tool like Google AdWords Keyword Tool to expand the list Remove any terms that are irrelevant, ambiguous, or too general
Keywording, Step 3 If you used Google AdWords Keyword Tool in Step 2, note the traffic data they supplied next to each keyword Remove any keywords that have no or very little real traffic Choose the top traffic generators for Step 4
Keywording, Step 4 (part 1) Run a search on each of the highest-traffic keywords in Google This number tells you how many other pages on the web are using your keyword. If there are millions, it may be a hard battle for top placement
Keywording, Step 4 (part 2) Look at the top 10 search results. Do all or most of them sell the same thing you do? Also look at the paid AdWords. Are there lots of ads and do they sell the same thing you do? If so, you have a very competitive keyword.
Keywording, Step 5 Using the first 4 steps, continue working with your keyword list until you have refined it down to one “great” keyword for every page. Note: Your home page will likely be your best shot at branding. Product pages will probably work best with product names as keywords
Zero In Match the type of keyword to the page level Branding keyword for the home page: Laptop Bags to Go Product group keywords for category pages: Leather shoulder bags Product name keyword for product pages: Bessie & Sons 14” leather shoulder bag (Brown)
Using Your Keywords (where) Now you have keywords, where to put them? Page title Semantic markup (<h1>, <h2>, etc) URLs Meta tags Within content In alt tags In internal link text In external link text
Using Your Keywords (Do!) Do use the exact keyword as your page title Create awesome content around keywords Do use slight variations as you salt keywords into semantic markup and page content Do use simplified keywords in URL, either as page file name, or folder name Do make your sites accessible to spiders Do use sitemaps
Using Your Keywords (Don’t!) Don’t buy links. Google really hates it. Don’t use hidden text or hidden links. Don’t use “cloaking” or anything sneaky. Don’t steal content. Not just a bad idea, but illegal, too. Don’t overdo it. No matter how well you rank, your customers are human beings, not spiders!
The only real trick to SEO is this: A search engine is really just another demographic. Understand what that market segment needs, and provide it and your web business will prosper.
SEO = Google Rank Every one of the top ten Google results for “leather shoulder bag” show compelling evidence of having been search optimized. Where would your shoulder bag page rank?
And Bob’s Yer Uncle So there you have it: SEO in a nutshell. You know you need it, so just go ahead and get started. If you haven’t got the time or inclination, hire a reputable SEO firm and let them do it. Here’s one you might like: http://www.speedoflightenterprises.com