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An Introduction to SEO by PushON

An Introduction to SEO by PushON



An Introduction to SEO presented at The Lowry by PushON.

An Introduction to SEO presented at The Lowry by PushON.



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    An Introduction to SEO by PushON An Introduction to SEO by PushON Presentation Transcript

    • An Introduction to SEO Wednesday, 14 April 2010 at The Lowry
    • Introduction
    • What is SEO?  “Search engine optimisation”  Search engine friendly techniques & practices  Aimed at generating conversions and RoI from search  Not about getting to “number one on the Google”  Not about driving masses of irrelevant traffic to your site
    • Why does it matter?  How much traffic does your website drive from search?  How many of these search visitors are simply searching for you?  How many more people are searching for what you do?
    • How does SEO work?  Better to ask, “How do search engines work?”
    • How do search engines work? Crawl Index Query Rank
    • Now, how does SEO work?  Make your website code more search engine friendly  Target content to reach the right search audiences  Build connections to increase your visibility on search  Focus on conversion
    • How long will it take?  Three answers: 1. It depends... 2. 3-6 months 3. Forever  SEO is a process, not a goal
    • Can you do it yourselves?  What are your strengths?  Web design & development  Copy-writing  Online PR  Online Marketing  Web analysis  SEO works best across the marketing mix  Needs buy-in from decision makers  Terrain is constantly shifting; do you have time to keep up-to-date?
    • 1. Code
    • By the end of this section...  I’m not a web developer  Once this is over, you won’t be one either  But you should be able to  Name some common SEO issues  Identify whether these problems affect your site  Propose high-level solutions  Instruct competent developers
    • Content Management  How easy is it to update the content on your site?  How often do you do it?  Build your site around a user-friendly CMS  Adding content should be easy as breathing  Let your CMS do the heavy SEO lifting  Quality matters, but so do quantity and freshness  Committees make terrible content managers
    • Flash  Designers (and architects) love it. Why?  Pretty  Lets them re-invent standard web interface  Search engines (and Steve Jobs) hate it. Why?  Excludes users with low bandwidth or mobile devices  Buggy, frequent cause of crashes  Makes tracking difficult  Expensive and time-consuming to update
    • Text to code ratios  Google wants websites with the best content to appear at the top of search results  Googlebot has a short attention span  Best practices:  Place inline JavaScript in an external file  Use a Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) to control layout, colours & fonts  If in doubt, pad it out
    • Web standards & accessibility  W3C compliance (validator.w3.org)  World Wide Web Consortium  Sets guidelines as to how websites should be created  SEs find compliant websites easier to read  Accessibility (www.contentquality.com)  Section 508 = US standard  Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) = UK  Ensure compatibility with screen readers & Braille technology
    • Put content in its place  Ensure your design templates provide ample space for written content  Ensure your CMS allows you to edit the following:  URLs  Page titles  Meta descriptions  Headings (<H1>, <H2>, etc.)  Meta keywords
    • Tell search engines where to go  HTML sitemap  XML sitemap  Robots.txt file
    • Load time optimisation  Simple: How long it takes to load a page  Increasingly important factor in ranking  Checking page load times  Webmaster Tools  Pingdom  Improving load times  Cross-over with other aspects of SEO (JavaScript, CSS)  Smushing Images
    • Webmaster Tools  Google & Bing Webmaster Tools  Yahoo Site Explorer  Process 1. Create Account 2. Verify (FTP upload) 3. Monitor crawling and indexation issues 4. Submit sitemaps  Do it this afternoon!
    • 2. Content
    • By the end of this section...  You should understand how to  Select relevant and opportune search terms  Structure your website around target terms  Focus content on your website around keywords  Monitor keyword performance  Theory is no substitute for practice
    • Keyword selection criteria  Content relevance  Brand appropriateness  Search volume  Audience location  Difficulty = Competition  Intensity (best guess)
    • Keyword research process  I’m not going to make this easy for you  Be prepared to compromise  Define your objectives first  Define your keyword research strategy  Short Tail  Long Tail
    • Keyword research strategy The Long Tail of Search 70,000 115% 60,000 50,000 105% 40,000 95% 30,000 85% % Competition 20,000 75% 10,000 Search Volume 0 65%
    • Keyword research tools  Brains  Website analytics  Google AdWords Keyword Tool  Google search results  Yahoo Site Explorer  Excel  Paid tools & resources
    • Google Keyword Tool
    • Mapping keywords  “One page per topic, one topic per page”  Only 1-3 closely-related keywords or phrases per page  Existing content  New content
    • Keyword focus Brand terms who you are Product Terms what you do Audience Terms what else your audience is searching for
    • Thematic Sitemap Page URL Keywords Home / contemporary art gallery, contemporary art galleries, manchester art galleries Collection /collection contemporary art collection, contemporary art Paintings /collection/paintings contemporary paintings, contemporary artists Lucian Freud /collection/paintings Lucian freud, lucian freud paintings, lucian /lucian-freud freud portraits Girl with a white dog /collection/paintings girl with a white dog, dog paintings (??) /lucian-freud/girl- with-a-white-dog
    • On-page optimisation  Meta Keywords  URL  Page Title  Meta Description  Headings
    • Optimising written content  The first rule of SEO copy-writing is: Don’t write SEO copy  Make content readable and engaging  Keyword density   Content focus 
    • SEO copy-writing sample
    • Optimising other content  Images  Videos  Map  Events  Blog posts  Press releases
    • 3. Connections
    • In this section...  What is a link?  Why do links matter?  What makes a link powerful?  How do you build them?
    • What is a link?  Reference to a web page or other document  Users can follow from  Source page to  Target page
    • Why do links matter?  Query algorithms match search term to content in index  Ranking algorithms determine order of results  Google PageRank  Links are “votes” for content  Not all votes are equal
    • Google PageRank
    • What makes a link powerful?  Relevance of source page to target page  Relevance of anchor text to target page  Authenticity of link  Authority of link source  Google PageRank (prchecker.info)  Authoritative domains (.ac.uk)
    • How to you build links?  Don’t build links, build relationships  These relationships should be  Authentic  Enduring  Mutually beneficial
    • How do you build relationships?  Compile a Relationship Register  Add details of  Professional associations, organisations  Suppliers, clients, funding partners  Traditional media  Websites, blogs, Twitterers...  Talk to your PR team  Keep talking to your PR team
    • Relationship Register  Use Excel  Items to include:  Source website name  Source page URL  Description of source website  Target page URL  Contact details  Priority  Link status
    • Realising benefits  Take it slowly  Be straightforward  Make it easy for them  Don’t be afraid to suggest target pages and anchor text  Monitor link status and chase  Keep chasing (for years, if necessary)
    • Monitoring links  Webmaster Tools  Yahoo Site Explorer  Majestic SEO  Maintain Relationship Register  Absolute numbers don’t matter  Compare your site with competitors’  Monitor change over time  Quality more important than quantity
    • 4. Conversion & Tracking
    • In this section...  Determining your objectives  Tracking visitor behaviour and engagement  Tracking goal conversions  Testing approaches and improving results
    • What are you trying to do?  Build brand awareness  Sell products or services  Share information  Gather information  Engage with and retain customers
    • Understanding  Google Analytics  Where is your traffic coming from?  Search, referring sites, direct...  Paid / non-paid search  Branded / non-branded search  Geography  What are visitors doing on your site?  How effectively is your site converting traffic?
    • Tracking goal conversions  Simplest method: page as goal  Create under GA “profile settings”  Enables you to track & compare:  How various traffic sources convert  How particular search terms convert  Return on Investment from advertising campaigns
    • Testing and Improvement  Map paths toward conversion goals  Track funnels (pages & clicks)  Easy:  A/B split testing of calls to action across site  Monitor keyword conversion through Analytics and re-target  More difficult:  Multivariate testing of content & calls to action (Optimizer)  Optimise page titles & descriptions to improve click-thru from search
    • What next?  Webmaster Tools & Analytics  Website MOT (lunch)  Keyword research, mapping & content updates  Understand your site’s back-link profile  Compile a Relationship Register  Start building relationships (and links)  Start measuring and testing  Get your hands dirty!