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An Introduction to SEO by PushON
 

An Introduction to SEO by PushON

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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!