prestiva SEO Knowledge

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  • 1. Tutorial just for you Prepared by: Murali Venkatesh http://www.prestiva.com/seo/ http://blog.prestiva.com Search Engine Optimization: Knowledge
  • 2. Project Overview
    • Detail for the WOVG a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy
    • This means increasing the discoverability and ranking of Victorian Govt websites by external search engines, so that the content can be easily found by the wider community.
  • 3. Purpose of report
    • The report contains:
    • state of the Search Engine industry
    • detail of the major players
    • an overview of how to conduct SEO
    • a broad strategy for the 200 plus Victorian Government departments and agency websites including a phased approach to implementation
  • 4. Project dates
    • May/June 2002
    • The industry is rapidly changing
      • content of the report was correct at time of writing
      • report contains many links to ensure longevity of information
  • 5.
    • Low level of optimisation of Vic Govt websites.
    • The main challenges are:
      • Increasing the number & quality of links between Vic Govt sites & relevant 3rd parties.
      • Keyword research – knowing what keywords are appropriate & the projected amount of traffic each keyword can generate.
      • Writing appropriate meta data & knowing which search engines use it.
      • Listings in free search engines.
      • Monitoring & measuring results.
    High Level Findings
  • 6. Key Recommendations
    • All sites
    • Training workshops for key personnel
    • Appoint responsibility for link analysis across all sites
    • Channel / Portal sites
    • Appoint SEO consultants for a fully managed solution
    • Department / Major Agency websites
    • Appoint SEO Consultants to work with staff on a partially managed solution
    • Online support website – SEO Toolkit and checklist
    • Agency sites
    • Online support website – SEO Toolkit and checklist
  • 7. Key Recommendations
  • 8. Detailed summary
      • Directory listings
    • Important to be listed in the three main directories (Yahoo, Looksmart and DMOZ) before the crawlers,
    • Then free inclusion crawlers,
    • Finally the paid crawlers.
  • 9. Detailed summary
    • Multimedia Victoria can:
      • Audit which sites are included in the directories,
      • Contact Yahoo and Looksmart to arrange for bulk submission rates,
      • DMOZ via Cheryl Hardy.
    • Site Managers can:
      • Identify keywords - start with Web Wombat,
      • Conduct a competitive analysis for each of the keywords in each of the directories.
  • 10. Link structure
    • Identify and invite websites to link to Victorian Government websites.
      • Link sites across the WOVG.
      • Invite other local, state and federal government sites to link to the relevant Victorian Government sites.
      • Invite other commercial and non-government relevant sites to link.
  • 11. Measure results and maintenance
    • Measure results
    • Implement standard measurement statistics
    • Calculate the current ROI
    • Maintenance
    • Record of inbound links,
    • Follow up on link invitations
    • Record monthly statistics and look for:
      • New keyword opportunities
      • Performance of the main keywords
    • Optimise and resubmit as required.
  • 12. State of the SEO Industry
    • Search engines (SE) help people to find what they are looking for on the WWW
    • Websites have to be submitted for inclusion in most SE
    • SE compete for market share - do so by having relevant content
    • Purpose of SEO is to identify keywords used by the end user that are most relevant to the content of the website & present it to the SE in a way that meets its criteria. Adds value to all parties - SE, web manager, end user.
  • 13. Major search engines & directories
    • Yahoo - an International directory of websites
    • Google – a crawler based search engine
    • AltaVista - a crawler based search engine
    • MSN - Microsoft’s internet portal
    • AOL – International Internet service provider
    • Anzwers – Australian search engine
    • Web Wombat – Australian search engine
    • Looksmart - Australian owned International directory
    • Go eureka – Part of the Telstra network
    • DMOZ – Open Directory Project – international directory
  • 14. Search engine directories & categories
    • Directories
    • a categorised list of websites compiled by humans not software.
    • an editor will review each site to ensure it meets guidelines then place it in appropriate category.
    • human powered directories are searchable but do not read metadata. They rely solely on the information provided by the person that submits the site and their editors.
  • 15. Search engine directories & categories
    • Crawlers
    • industry name for software powered SE
    • use automated processes to find & index web pages.
    • read content & some metadata fields
    • have the ability to index every page
    • use a unique algorithm to index pages & are constantly updating & refining methods for competitive advantage.
      • submission process varies:
      • some charge a fee & others crawl the web by following hyperlinks to find new content
  • 16. Search engine directories & categories
    • Portals
    • Some portals have a web search engine function eg. MSN network & ISPs such as AOL and Ozemail.
    • Most portals rely on business partnerships with other search engines.
  • 17. Categories & the major players  AltaVista sponsored links  Google adwords  Looksmart  Overture (mainly US)  ninemsn  AOL  OPTUS  Google  AltaVista  Inktomi  Web Wombat  Yahoo  Looksmart / Zeal  Open directory project (DMOZ) Pay Per Click (PPC) Portals Crawlers Directories
  • 18. example
  • 19. Search engine networks & partnerships
  • 20. Free inclusion option SE Web Wombat Zeal (Looksmart owned - non commercial content) Inktomi Open Directory Project (DMOZ) AltaVista Yahoo Australia Google Directories Crawlers
  • 21. Crawlers
    • AltaVista
    • option of AltaVista.com or AltaVista.com.au
    • Express Submit
      • up to 500 URLs, useful for a small number of pages
      • fee per URL for 6 months inclusion
      • revisit each URL every 7 days
    • Trusted Feed
      • 500+ unique URLs, useful for sites that want to list every page
      • XML data feed
      • charged at a cost per click
  • 22. Crawlers
    • Inktomi
    • supplies Aust SEs that use Looksmart - if a match is not found in Looksmart
    • Search Submit
      • up to 1,000 URLs, useful for a small number of pages
      • A fee per URL is charged for 12 months inclusion
      • revisit each URL every 48 hours
    • Index Connect
      • 1000+ unique URLs, useful for sites that want to list every page
      • XML data feed
      • charged at a cost per click
  • 23. Crawlers
    • Web Wombat
    • an Australian search engine that has the ability to filter government and education websites.
      • Paid express submission
      • Websites pay a fee per URL and the site is guaranteed to be included within two weeks.
    • Note: All Victorian Government sites are listed in Web Wombat.
  • 24. Directories
    • Yahoo
    • one listing per website
    • can submit to international category but may lose local listing
    • some regions (inc Aust) offer a free submission as well as a paid express submission option.
    • annual fee in US Dollars for international category
    • Yahoo Express
      • site reviewed in 7 days
      • annually reoccurring fee but will allow website managers to modify the listing each year
  • 25. Directories
    • Looksmart
    • Looksmart’s Looklistings are currently offered as an annual fee or cost per click. Non commercial content can be submitted through Zeal.
      • Looklistings - For Small Business
      • submit up to 3 URL’s per domain
      • recurring annual fee
      • useful to target competitive keywords
      • Looklistings - For Medium to Large Business
      • unlimited number of URL’s but sold on a cost per click basis
      • minimum monthly spend applies
  • 26. Indexing and listing methods
    • Crawlers
    • visit websites and add URLs to their index
    • read metadata & rank according to location and frequency of keywords
    • only metadata read: title, keyword and description
    • crawlers may use directories to find new web pages
    • Directories
    • manual editors
    • do not read metadata
  • 27. Listing methods
    • Yahoo
    • keyword driven - ranks sites according to how many times the keyword appears in the title, description and category - info provided by the site but reviewed by Yahoo editors.
    • Yahoo reads
    • Title most important
    • titles that are ‘keyword rich’ will rank higher, title must be either the official name of the site or the business name.
    • Description keywords in descriptions influences the ranking.
    • Category
    • Keywords in category add weight to the keyword count.
  • 28. Example search results for ‘online marketing’
  • 29. Listing methods
    • Looksmart
    • When examining best done on main distributor - ninemsn
    • Title and description provided by website but reviewed by editors
      • Looksmart reads
        • Title This is the most important element, titles that are keyword rich will rank higher in the search listings. The title must reflect the content of the URL submitted.
        • Description Keywords that appear in the description influences the ranking but will have more impact if they are closer to the beginning.
  • 30. Example search results for ‘pay bills online’
  • 31. Listing methods
    • Google
    • over 2 billion pages listed in its index
    • ability to index & crawl HTML, PDF, ASP, JSP, CFM, and PHP
    • Metadata
      • Title tag – Very important. This is one of the key elements for Google.
      • Keywords and description not supported
    • Google analyses the location and frequency in which search terms appear on a web page.
    • Keywords in the headings, bold or italics, hyperlinks and URL will boost relevancy.
    • Google also uses link analysis to determine the importance of a page.
  • 32. Listing methods
    • AltaVista
    • 550 million pages in their index
    • location and frequency of the keyword is important
    • prefer keywords in the Title as well as the start of the document.
    • uses link analysis to determine the importance of a page
      • Metadata
      • Title tag – Very Important, include keyword.
      • Keywords – AltaVista supports keywords but considers a repetition of more that 3 times spam.
      • Description – Supported. This is what shows up on a search result.
  • 33. Listing methods
    • Inktomi
    • 500 million pages
    • distributors inc ninemsn and Go eureka.
    • Inktomi results generally show up in the Australian market secondary to Looksmart directory results
    • better suited to non-competitive keyword phrases
      • Metadata
      • Title tag – Very Important, include keyword.
      • Keywords – Supports keywords but considers a repetition of more that 3 times spam.
      • Description – Supported. This is what shows up on a search result.
  • 34. Link Analysis
    • The greater the number of inbound links pointing to a site from related (or similar) sites, the higher the site will rank.
    • Link analysis is the final screening process a search engine uses to determine which webpage deserves the highest position.
    • Search engines examine the words in and around the link as well as the content of the site that contains the link and score it for relevancy.
  • 35. Spam
    • Anything that attempts to fool the SE to increase ranking:
    • Keyword stuffing (same colour text)
      • when keywords are inserted into body text or source code in the same colour (eg white text on white background)
    • Tiny text
      • Text in very small font that is illegible under normal conditions.
    • Redirect pages
      • Pages that have no purpose but to rank highly for a particular search term and then redirect to another page as soon as a user clicks through.
  • 36. Spam cont.
    • Cloaking
      • Some search engines do not approve. Cloaking is a method where a search engine sees one page, where a visitor sees another page.
    • Link farming
      • Producing large number of links pointing to a site for the sole purpose of boosting link popularity.
  • 37. Identifying the right keywords
    • Identifying the right keywords is paramount to the SEO process.
    • Keywords should be:
      • Relevant to websites' content, products or services.
      • Used by potential customers in search engines.
      • Convert to sales or enquiries, provide relevant information, downloads etc. for your services.
  • 38. Keyword generation
    • Brainstorm / workshop
      • A way to develop keywords eg.
      • workshop to develop phrases that describe the unit’s / agency’s offerings
      • review all off-line promotional material
      • review and analyse the existing content of the Web site
      • use website’s search function to capture and record each search
      • analyse the log file / statistics to see which keywords people have used
  • 39. Keyword research
    • Once keywords have been developed
      • need to determine how popular they are with users
      • and how many websites are competing on these keywords.
    • There are keyword research tools: wordtracker.com wordspot.com goodkeywords.com A source for Australian Government searches is Web Wombat
      • http://www.webwombat.com.au/aus?ix
  • 40. Content quality is important
    • Search engines are seeking quality content
    • A well-written, content rich web page can out-rank a poorly written and graphic heavy page with highly tuned metadata.
  • 41. Doorway pages
    • A doorway (or gateway) page is a keyword rich html page that acts as an entry point to a site
    • The purpose of a doorway page is to target a specific keyword phrase in the crawler search engines
  • 42. Structure of a web page that influences ranking
    • Frames
    • Many Victorian Government websites utilize a Content Management System / Distributed Authoring product in managing their online content.
      • Common for these software products to use frames to display the web pages.
    • Can cause problems:
      • Framed sites have pages that are stand-alone and have poor link popularity.
      • Also may not include important navigational information.
  • 43. Structure of a web page that influences ranking
    • HTML
    • The html should not contain any unnecessary source code or tags as it will dilute the keyword density of a page. This includes:
          • Comment tags
          • Unnecessary Meta tags. Eg: revisit tags – few external search support.
          • JavaScript should be placed in an external (JS) file
  • 44. Submission process
    • Each search engine (crawlers and directories) has different submission (and removal) processes.
    • The links are detailed in the report.
  • 45. Analysing statistics
    • Referring search engines
      • Provides a break up of which search engines delivered the traffic. This is useful when measuring the return on investment on the paid inclusion programs.
    • Referring keywords
      • This information provides two important pieces of information.
        • 1. The performance of existing targeted keyword phrases. How much actual traffic they delivered.
        • 2. Identifying new keyword opportunities. Look for new keywords phrases that relate to the sites offerings and manually check the positioning in the major search engines.
  • 46. Analysing statistics
    • Unique monthly visits
      • The purpose of SEO is to increase the number of unique monthly visitors. It is good practice to monitor this on a monthly basis and measure it against the number of search engine referrals. This gives an overall picture on the Return on Investment.
    • Site Paths (Entry and Exit Pages)
      • This shows how many users entered a site per page and how many left per page. This is useful to check the effectiveness of high ranking webpages.
  • 47. Maintenance
    • Search engines are dynamic, they are constantly refreshing information.
    • They constantly tune their algorithm to keep their results fresh.
    • New sites are submitted daily, new search engines enter the market and keyword search patterns change.
    • The maintenance process is simply an ongoing search engine optimisation process.
    • Analysing and recording the website statistics will provide the knowledge required to maintain and improve existing levels of traffic.
  • 48. Maintenance
    • Improving positioning
        • Inbound Links
          • Keep an accurate record of inbound links
          • Increase inbound links - from internal and external sources
          • Google has a link tool
        • Competitor Checks
        • Keyword Density
        • Meta Tags
  • 49. SEO Tools
    • Keyword tools
    • Keyword Density Analyzer
      • Measures the density of your sites’ pages and compares them to competitors
    • Keyword Count
      • Free web-based service
    • Keyword Density Analyzer
      • Web based keyword density and word depth calculator
  • 50. SEO Tools
    • Submission software
    • SubmitWolf Pro
      • A submission tool that also incorporates some of the paid inclusion engines. It is country specific.
    • WebPosition
      • Submits to the major search engines (mainly US specific). Optimisation tips and ranking.
    • Dynamic Submission 2000
      • Submission tool with optimization tips and ranking – it also allows submission to different countries.
  • 51. SEO Tools
    • Ranking software
      • WebRank This is an online-based ranking service
      • AgentWebRanking
      • This ranks a variety of major US and European and Australian search engines.
  • 52. SEO Tools
    • Link analysis software
      • Optilink
      • This will analyse the current links pointing to a website and suggest changes.
      • Maxametric
  • 53. Current status of Vic Gov Websites
    • Majority have identified keywords
      • but will accept guidance, smaller sites will require assistance
    • Most websites can be entered from any page
    • Most websites have implemented metadata in-line with policy
    • Many websites have submitted in the past, most manually, some using software.
    • All larger sites have statistics package that track traffic - a range of suppliers are used.
    • Most have access to adequate statistics but assistance in what to measure & track is required.
  • 54. Current status of Vic Gov Websites
    • Inbound links low
    • Opportunity for many more internal links across WOVG
    • Metadata policy has been enacted however directories now do not read metadata - therefore not as important for SEO.
  • 55. Charges by search engines
  • 56. Key Recommendations
  • 57. Detailed summary
      • Directory listings
    • Important to be listed in the three main directories (Yahoo, Looksmart and DMOZ) before the crawlers,
    • Then free inclusion crawlers,
    • Finally the paid crawlers.
  • 58. Detailed summary
    • Multimedia Victoria can:
    • Audit which sites are included in the directories,
    • Contact Yahoo and Looksmart to arrange for bulk submission rates,
    • DMOZ via Cheryl Hardy.
    • Site Managers can:
    • Identify keywords - start with Web Wombat,
    • Conduct a competitive analysis for each of the keywords in each of the directories.
  • 59. Link structure
    • Identify and invite websites to link to Victorian Government websites.
      • Link sites across the WOVG.
      • Invite other local, state and federal government sites to link to the relevant Victorian Government sites.
      • Invite other commercial and non-government relevant sites to link.
  • 60. Measure results and maintenance
    • Measure results
    • Implement standard measurement statistics
    • Calculate the current ROI
    • Maintenance
    • Record of inbound links,
    • Follow up on link invitations
    • Record monthly statistics and look for:
      • New keyword opportunities
      • Performance of the main keywords
    • Optimise and resubmit as required.
  • 61. Estimated effort (cost)
    • Next Steps – All Sites WOVG
    • Link analysis
    • Estimated effort for 200 sites: 45 days
    • Training workshops in SEO procedure.
    • Three workshops – 2 monthly (July, Sept, Nov)
      • July - Keywords
      • Sept – Optimisation and Submission
      • Nov – Reporting, measuring ROI and maintenance
    • Estimated effort: 2 Days per workshop
  • 62. Estimated effort (cost)
    • Extra Steps – Channels / Portals
    • Optimisation
    • Identify and categorise keywords for each Channel / Portal site.
    • Insert title, description and meta tags on each unique web page.
    • Identify other Government sites and non commercial sites to exchange links with.
    • Estimated effort for 20 sites: 65 Days
    • Paid Submission
    • Yahoo and Looksmart to target medium level competitive keywords.
    • Approximate Cost: $20,000.00
    • Consider Pay Per Click for Highly competitive keywords
  • 63. Estimated effort (cost)
    • Extra Steps – Department sites
    • Submission
    • Submit each site to DMOZ
    • Submit to Zeal
    • Estimated effort for 9 sites: 4 Days
  • 64. Questions? Contact : http://blog.prestiva.com http://www.prestiva.com/seo/