Introduction to SEO

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This lengthy (150+ slides), but very comprehensive presentation is designed to help experienced SEOs train those new to the practice over a 2-3 hour, interactive session. It covers the search engine landscape, the SEO process, keyword research, link building and the emergence of social media as a ranking signal.

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Introduction to SEO

  1. Search Engine Optimization:<br />Understanding the Engines & Building Successful Sites<br />Rand Fishkin – August 2010<br />
  2. Content in this Presentation<br /><ul><li>The Search Landscape
  3. How Search Engines Work
  4. Building Accessible Sites
  5. Conducting Keyword Research
  6. Link Building Strategies
  7. Social Media & the Web’s Influencers</li></li></ul><li>The Search Marketing Landscape<br />
  8. 100 Billion Searches<br />Each Month!<br />
  9. Organic vs. Paid Search<br />Paid<br />Organic<br />
  10. Organic vs. Paid Search<br />10% of Clicks<br />90% of Clicks<br />
  11. Click-Through Rates<br />
  12. Vertical Search<br />
  13. Local Results<br />Completely different ranking algorithm than standard search results<br />Probably doesn’t get traffic like most “#1” results<br />
  14. Image Results<br />
  15. Video Results<br />
  16. News & Blog Results<br />
  17. Shopping Results<br />
  18. Instant Answers<br />
  19. Instant Answers<br />
  20. Instant Answers<br />
  21. News Results<br />Instant Answers<br />Real Time Results<br />Local Results<br />Image Results<br />
  22. This Presentation Focuses on:<br />
  23. How Search Engines Work<br />
  24. Crawling & Indexing<br />Without links, the engines might never find this page<br />
  25. Calculating Query-Independent Metrics<br />Via www.opensiteexplorer.org<br />
  26. Many Domains vs. One Domain<br />VS.<br />
  27. Domain Authority<br />
  28. PageRank<br />
  29. The Flow of PageRank<br />
  30. PageRank is Split Evenly Between the<br />Links on a Page<br />
  31. PageRank is an Iterative Algorithm<br />
  32. Technically, Every External Link<br />“Leaks” PageRank<br />
  33. Nofollowing or Removing Links Can<br />Alter the Flow of PageRank<br />
  34. Or, at least it used to...<br />www.seomoz.org/blog/google-says-yes-you-can-still-sculpt-pagerank-no-you-cant-do-it-with-nofollow<br />
  35. Google Says they use PageRank to Crawl<br />
  36. Algorithmic Ranking Factors<br />
  37. Query Deserves Freshness (QDF)<br />QDF<br />Normal Results<br />QDF<br />
  38. Query Deserves Diversity (QDD)<br />
  39. Algorithmic Ranking Factors<br />
  40. Building Accessible Sites<br />
  41. Crawlability / Link Architecture<br />
  42. Duplicate Content & Canonicalization<br />
  43. Duplicate Content & Canonicalization<br />
  44. Canonical URL Tag<br />
  45. 301 Redirects<br />302s<br />
  46. Duplicate Titles & Meta Descriptions<br />
  47. Search Friendly URLs<br />www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/african-elephants<br />Keywords in page name,<br />separated by hyphen<br />Single domain<br />Shallow folder structurewith relevant words<br />
  48. Search UN-Friendly URLs<br />Xyz3.nationalgeographic.com/a/?q=31z&mg=vv7z&sd=8<br />No keywords in the URL string<br />Unnecessary<br />Subdomain<br />Dynamic URLs don’t perform as well as static and engines recommend against more than two parameters<br />
  49. Fixing Broken Links & 404s<br />
  50. Blocking Robots<br />
  51. Blocking Robots<br />
  52. XML Sitemaps<br />www.sitemaps.org/protocol.php<br />
  53. Webmaster Tools (Google)<br />
  54. Webmaster Tools (Bing)<br />
  55. Search Engine Guidelines<br />www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35769<br />
  56. Important Tags & Signals<br />
  57. Title Tags<br />
  58. Meta Descriptions<br />
  59. Tag Length Recommendations<br />
  60. Anchor Text<br />
  61. Page Copy<br />
  62. Image Alt Attributes<br />Good keyword usage in the alt tag<br />
  63. Not So Important<br />
  64. Meta Keywords Tag<br />
  65. H1, H2, H(x) Tags<br />
  66. Search Engine “Submission”<br />
  67. Keyword Research + Targeting<br />
  68. The Goals of Keyword Research<br />
  69. Determine Relative Volume Levels<br />
  70. Identify High Value Keywords<br />
  71. Predict the Effort Required to Rank Well<br />
  72. Choose the “Best”<br />Words/Phrases to Target<br />
  73. The Keyword Demand Landscape<br />
  74. The Long Tail of Keyword Demand<br />
  75. Tools & Tactics for Brainstorming<br />& Refining Your Seed List<br />
  76. Salespeople & Customers<br />
  77. Google AdWords Tool<br />Be Wary of<br />Match Type<br />https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal<br />
  78. MS AdCenter Excel Plug-In<br />www.seomoz.org/blog/using-the-adcenter-excel-plugin-for-keyphrase-research<br />
  79. Google Trends<br />Sign In for Y-Axis Numbers<br />Not Very Accurate<br />
  80. Internal Site Search Stats<br />
  81. Competitive Keyword Research<br />Restrict query<br />to competitor’s<br />domain<br />
  82. The Keyword Research Process<br />
  83. Start with Your Seed List<br />
  84. Create Spreadsheet w/ these Columns<br />
  85. Get Google Search Demand Numbers<br />
  86. Guesstimate Conversion Rate Numbers<br />
  87. Or Use PPC Campaign Data<br />
  88. Add Keyword Difficulty Data for Top Terms<br />We like using a weighted average of<br />the Page Authority metric<br />
  89. Target High Volume, High Value,<br /> Low Difficulty Terms First<br />
  90. Measuring Keyword<br />Difficulty & Competition<br />
  91. Run Queries for Desired Term + Engine<br />Watch for vertical<br />results, which can skew<br />CTRs & visibility<br />
  92. Conduct a Competitive Analysis of Metrics<br />
  93. Tools Can Help Provide Scores<br />
  94. Tools Can Help Provide Scores<br />www.seomoz.org/mozbar<br />
  95. Link Building Strategies<br />
  96. What Goals Can Link Building<br />Help Us Achieve?<br />
  97. Bolster Individual Rankings<br />
  98. Improve a Domain’s Ability to Rank Pages<br />
  99. Achieve More Complete Indexation<br />
  100. Drive Traffic & Branding Awareness<br />
  101. Send Converting Traffic<br />Image Credit: websiteoptimization.com<br />
  102. The 8 Basic Kinds of Link Building<br />
  103. #1 - Manual Link Submissions/Requests<br />
  104. #2 - Competitive Link Research/Acquisition<br />
  105. #3 - Links via Embedded Content<br />
  106. #4 - Linkbait & Viral Campaigns<br />
  107. #5 - Content, Technology & API Licensing<br />
  108. #6 - Partnerships, Exchanges & Trades<br />
  109. #7 - Paid Links<br />
  110. #8 - Link Reclamation<br />
  111. Matching the Right Link Building Strategies<br />to Your Organization’s SEO Goals<br />
  112. Links for Individual Rankings<br />
  113. Links for Domain “Authority”<br />
  114. Links for Indexation<br />
  115. Links for Traffic & Branding<br />
  116. Links for Conversion<br />
  117. Using Tools & Processes to Ease the<br />Challenges of Link Building <br />
  118. Tools for Competitive Link Research<br /><ul><li> Yahoo! Site Explorer & Link Commands
  119. Open Site Explorer
  120. Top Pages
  121. Google Blog Search</li></li></ul><li>Yahoo! Site Explorer<br />Directionally indicative<br />within ~50%<br />Not necessarily followed & in a somewhat random order<br />
  122. Yahoo! Link Commands<br />Less “accurate” than Site Explorer<br />Lots of cool, useful modifiers available<br />
  123. Yahoo! Link Commands<br />Full list available in PRO Guide to Advanced Search Operators:<br />www.seomoz.org/article/the-professionals-guide-to-advanced-search-operators <br />
  124. Open Site Explorer<br />
  125. Open Site Explorer<br />Highly Correlation w/ Rankings<br />Data updates monthly from the Linkscape web index (approx. 60% the size of Yahoo!/Google/Bing)<br />
  126. Open Site Explorer<br />Poor Anchor Text Spells Opportunity<br />
  127. Link Intersect<br />Link Intersect uses the same principle – sites w/ links in common that don’t point to you.<br />
  128. Top Pages<br />Find which pages are earning links (your own & competitors)<br />404s? Reclaim them!<br />
  129. Metrics for Evaluating a Link’s Value<br /><ul><li> Numeric (Objective) Metrics
  130. Subjective Metrics
  131. Attainability and Effort</li></li></ul><li>Numeric Metrics for Link Valuation<br /><ul><li> # of Linking Root Domains to URL
  132. # of Linking Root Domains to Domain
  133. Homepage PageRank vs. Domain mozRank
  134. URL PageRank vs. URL mozRank
  135. # of Links to the Page (Yahoo!, GG Blogsearch, Linkscape)
  136. Twitter mentions (Backtweets.com)</li></li></ul><li>Numeric Metrics (Backtweets)<br />Results count(in a weird location)<br />
  137. Subjective Metrics for Link Valuation<br /><ul><li> Brand name reach/recognition
  138. Quality of other links on page/site (Bing - Linkfromdomain)
  139. Attainability and Effort</li></ul>Jumping through Hoops (via WKA on Flickr)<br />
  140. Scalable Link Acquisition Processes<br /><ul><li> Written Process + Checklist
  141. Tools + Metrics for Quick Analysis
  142. Training & Incenting Link Builders
  143. Building & Refining a Link Acquisition Funnel </li></li></ul><li>Written Process/Checklist<br /><ul><li> Run through the link building process yourself
  144. Document every step thoroughly
  145. Pass it on to others (w/ some training time)</li></ul>Checklist (via adesigna on Flickr)<br />
  146. Tools for Quick Analysis<br />Get usable metrics quickly as you surf<br />
  147. Tools for Quick Analysis<br />
  148. Training & Incenting Link Builders<br /><ul><li> Do link building together
  149. Create consistent metrics
  150. Reward like a sales team
  151. Record reasons why links didn’t happen (like objections to sales) and work on these (things like design quality, affiliations, language, etc. will come up)</li></ul>Training Camp (via Gil Searcy on Flickr)<br />
  152. Building a Link Acquisition Funnel<br />Visit Link-Targeted Content<br />Grab Link Code<br />Link to the Site<br />
  153. Social Media & the Web’s Influencers<br />
  154. Influencers on the Web<br />
  155. The Power of the “Linkerati”<br />
  156. Content that Appeals to Influencers<br />
  157. Making Content Easy to Share<br />
  158. Making Content Easy to Share<br />
  159. Incenting/Rewarding Link Behaviors<br />
  160. Cannibalization of the Link Graph<br />MMM… LINK GRAPHS ARE DELICIOUS!<br />
  161. The Rise of the Social Graph<br />
  162. You have to do these right, before you can do these right<br />Algorithmic Ranking Factors<br />
  163. Learn More w/ the Free Beginner’s Guide:<br />http://guides.seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-search-engine-optimization<br />Feel free to distribute this presentation for educational use. We love to help SEOs learn!<br />
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