Today we’ll cover… Search engine basics SEO in the real world Measuring your success And a broad overview of pay per click
Spiders crawl sites looking for links and text, then explore the links in the same fashion. All the information is stored in an index for easier retrieval. A search algorithm then ranks sites based on specific information and page relevance. The reason you see different search results in different search engines is because the spider, algorithm and index is different in each search engine.
So this is what Schipul.com looks like on the front end to people
And this is what it looks like to search engines. Search engines only read code.
A spider will go through the code and follow the links and then crawls those pages.
And this is what your search results look like.
Sooo which search engines should you worry about? Actually search engines like Ask and AOL feed their results from the major players like Google so you don’t need to worry so much about them. This graph is from Bruce Clay, the godfather of SEO.
This slide shows the difference in search engines when using the same term This is Google’s results versus Yahoo’s…you’ll notice the difference in algorithms
There are 11 types of content you can search for in Google. This shows up on the left hand side of your search results so you can click on whatever you want to filter the results.
This slide shows how Google uses its algorithm to gauge the importance of a website’s content based on a specific search. On the left you have houston optometry and on the right optometrist houston. So just by switching the search phrase up slightly you’ll get different results.
In certain searches, like this one for example, “coffee shop” Google can detect you are looking for a place so it will show you Google Places results. In this example we didn’t type in Houston but it can also detect your location.
This is a search for Cajun spice which is an example of blended search results. Your content can show up in search results in lots of different ways and you don’t necessarily get to pick how it shows up.
Google Places listings are huge part of local search. If Google knows about you then there is listing out there for your business regardless of any action on your part. The one thing you should take away from this webinar is go claim your Google places listing. This example shows that it’s owner verified already. If it’s not, it will say “Business owner? Claim this listing”
This is what the reporting looks like in Google Places. You can see what zip code people come from when requesting driving directions and the keywords they typed in to find your listing.
SEM vs. SEO. Basically SEO is organic results while PPC is paid listings. They both fall under the umbrella term Search Engine Marketing. PPC you can get started quickly but once you stop paying, your ads go away. SEO takes time, but the results last longer.
What do search engines look for? This is the SEO hierarchy of needs created by Bruce Clay who I mentioned earlier. It’s similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs that says that at the bottom of the pyramid is food and shelter and at the top is self actualization. So you have to begin with the basics such as keywords and content before you tackle the other things like link development. You need to look at your site navigation and make sure it’s user friendly. If a person can easily navigate through your site then a search engine can too. Also, be sure to have good call to actions. Link development is at the top and it’s very important, but you have to have the other elements in place first.
Content is king. Update your content consistently, keep it relevant and be creative. Last week Google announced they’re putting even more precedence on fresh content so it’s more important now than ever before.
So this is a mini online marketing plan: You need to research your target market Select your top 3 keyword phrases Set up Google analytics Optimize your homepage, site map and interior pages Submit your site to search engines and directories Research link back opportunities And again, add fresh content
This will be an example client we’ll look at. Austin-Weston Center for Cosmetic Surgery. We use them as an example because plastic surgery is a competitive industry for SEO.
When researching your target market you need to brainstorm the ways your target market searches for you. What specific terms they use which are usually non technical terms…it’s also important to think about geography
When conducting keyword research use the keyword phrases you brainstormed and Google will also give you ideas for other terms. You’re basically looking for words that balance demand and competition. In the Google Keyword Tool there are 3 columns, competition, global monthly searches and local monthly searches. The competition refers more to PPC and how competitive that term is to bid on while local monthly searches is the approximate 12 month average number of user searches in the U.S. for a specific term and global monthly searches is the same thing, but not specific to the U.S.
Long-tail keywords are strings of words used in searches. For example, someone looking for specific information on changing a battery on an iPod might use the phrase “how to change a battery on an iPod” rather than just words like “iPod” or “iPod battery.” This can be very useful for those starting new websites because it allows newer smaller sites to compete with large established sites that have lots of content and traffic. So optimizing for long tail keyword phrases and using those phrases as the anchor text in links will allow you to have a good chance at outranking more established sites.
It’s recommended that you pick 3 terms for each page to focus your efforts. These are the 3 terms for the Austin-Weston homepage. You’ll want each page to have slightly different focused keywords.
So once you have picked your words it’s time to incorporate them into your website. Update your title tags and meta tags. If you’re using Tendenci it will look like this. For Schipul clients, whether you’re using Tendenci, Drupal or Wordpress we have made it so you can update the meta.
Make sure every image has an alt tag filled out with keywords. If you have a Tendenci site it will look like this and if you hover over the image you will see the alt text
This is a keyword density tool which allows you to plug in any URL and it will show you the most frequently used phrases. Don’t worry about the single word phrases. This is a report we ran for Schipul and you will see that search engine marketing was number one on 3 word phrases and our CEO didn’t like this because the bulk of our work is web design and development and not Search engine marketing. You can use Schipul’s free keyword density tool at schipul.com/sem-tools.
Also, submit your sites to search engines. Focus on Google, Yahoo and Bing
To keep your website’s content fresh we have provided some ideas for new content. This includes videos, photo galleries, events, articles and more.
Next, you need to set up hosted analytics We recommend Google analytics. It’s free. If you’re a schipul client its already done for you. We have a webinar for this as well and will probably do it next month.
If you install Google Analytics you will be able to look at visits, what keywords are bringing traffic with focus on phrases that don’t include your company name and also look at conversions….so if people are calling you, filling out contact forms, or whatever your conversion goals are.
Okay let’s review before we move onto PPC. Content is king, optimize your current content using your keyword research, keep your content fresh, try to get link backs and track your efforts.
It’s important to remember SEO is always evolving. Things change frequently.
Also, don’t do shady black hat SEO.
So now I’m going to briefly talk about Pay per click advertising
Again, PPC will get you quick results but it will cost you. And once you stop paying your ads go away.
This is where PPC ads appear in search results. 80% of people click organic results but that 20% is still a big opportunity. PPC is good for new products and new sites or if you’re targeting a specific geography.
Google had most of the PPC market share but there are other options like Bing and Facebook ads. Bing PPC ads will feed into Yahoo and their target market is millenials and baby boomers and is generally less expensive than Google PPC. Facebook ads are more like a billboard. They are better for marketing an upcoming event. With that said, your click through rate will be lower, but it allows you to do more more creative targeting.
That’s all I have and if you’re interested in learning more about search engine marketing you can check out our blog, thesemblog.com
Do any of you have any questions for me?
Jennie Lane Search Engine Marketing Team Schipul – The Web Marketing Company Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/fontfont/4243500031/
Suggested search engines: Google http://www.google.com/addurl/ Yahoo http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html Bing https :// ssl.bing.com/webmaster/SubmitSitePage.aspx Suggested directories: www.dmoz.org (open directory) Google Local & Bing Local Other local & relevant directories