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Best Practice Guide: Search Engine Optimisation
 

Best Practice Guide: Search Engine Optimisation

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B2B Marketing's Best Practice Guide: Search Engine Optimisation gives you a helping hand to understand not only the theory, but the practical know-how to exploit these new techniques. Without this ...

B2B Marketing's Best Practice Guide: Search Engine Optimisation gives you a helping hand to understand not only the theory, but the practical know-how to exploit these new techniques. Without this knowledge, you could see your website ranking slip down organic search results, which means less traffic, fewer leads and ultimately fewer sales.

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    Best Practice Guide: Search Engine Optimisation Best Practice Guide: Search Engine Optimisation Document Transcript

    • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Order your copy today on 0207 438 1379 www.b2bm.biz/bpgseo June 10 BEST PRACTICE GUIDE SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION Expert advice and guidance on business-to-business search engine optimisation www.b2bm.biz
    • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Order your copy today on 0207 438 1379 www.b2bm.biz/bpgseo www.b2bm.biz Contents SECTION 1 Introduction to SEO ..........................................................................8 1.1 Search engine optimisation ..............................................................................................8 1.2 The UK search engine market ..........................................................................................8 1.3 Why use search engine marketing?....................................................................................9 1.4 SEO’s place in the Internet marketing mix ......................................................................10 1.5 How search engines work ................................................................................................10 SECTION 2 Technical SEO – The foundation of SEO........................................14 2.1 Site architecture ............................................................................................................14 2.2 URL structure ................................................................................................................14 2.3 Canonicalisation ............................................................................................................15 2.4 Sitemap..........................................................................................................................18 2.5 Geotargeting – hosting and domain ................................................................................19 2.6 Technical toolbox............................................................................................................21 SECTION 3 On-page SEO ..................................................................................22 3.1 Keyword and competitor research ..................................................................................22 3.2 Conducting competitor research......................................................................................23 3.3 Organising your research ................................................................................................24 3.4 Keyword research tools ..................................................................................................26 3.5 Writing content with the search engines in mind ..............................................................26 3.6 Keyword mapping ..........................................................................................................26 3.7 Current most important areas for content optimisation ..................................................27 3.8 Anchor text optimisation of internal linking ....................................................................30 Best Practice Guide: Search Engine Optimisation © B2B Marketing 2010 1
    • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Order your copy today on 0207 438 1379 www.b2bm.biz/bpgseo CONTENTS Best practice guide: Retention & Loyalty www.b2bm.biz SECTION 4 Off-page SEO ..................................................................................31 4.1 The PageRank algorithm ................................................................................................31 4.2 TrustRank ......................................................................................................................32 4.3 Future importance of links ............................................................................................32 4.4 Link development ..........................................................................................................33 4.5 Evaluating link equity and carrying out link analysis…....................................................33 4.6 Link generation methods ................................................................................................34 4.7 Online public relations ....................................................................................................34 4.8 Link bating ....................................................................................................................35 4.9 Social media marketing as part of link development ......................................................35 4.10 Link analysis tools ........................................................................................................36 4.11 Why link analysis is important ......................................................................................36 SECTION 5 Universal search ............................................................................38 5.1 Optimising image content for universal search ................................................................38 5.2 Optimising video content for universal search ..................................................................39 SECTION 6 Google Places ................................................................................40 6.1 Creating a local business listing ......................................................................................40 6.2 Optimising your local listing ............................................................................................41 6.3 Data citations ................................................................................................................42 SECTION 7 Web analytics..................................................................................43 7.1 Free and paid platforms ................................................................................................43 7.2 Importance of analytics when doing SEO ......................................................................43 7.3 Setting up Google Analytics ............................................................................................44 7.4 Tracking the right metrics in analytics ............................................................................46 APPENDIX i. Outsourcing SEO services ..............................................................................................47 ii. Unethical SEO practices ................................................................................................48 iii. Future changes in SEO ..................................................................................................49 GLOSSARY Glossary of search terms ......................................................................................................50 Best Practice Guide: Search Engine Optimisation © B2B Marketing 2010 2
    • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Order your copy today on 0207 438 1379 www.b2bm.biz/bpgseo www.b2bm.biz About B2B Marketing 2B Marketing is the comprehensive information resource for business-to-business B marketers. Its mission is to provide practitioners with the information they need to perform better and achieve more, whatever sector of the B2B space they are operating in. Launched in 2004 as B2B Marketing magazine, it has since evolved into a multi-faceted resource, delivering a broad range of content in a variety of different forms and formats. Its key products are: B2B Marketing Online: A huge archive of content focusing on every conceivable aspect of business-to-business marketing, and including various opportunities for online interaction and learning, such as a best practice webcast programme, and an interactive online directory for supplier sourcing. B2B Marketing magazine:The essential monthly guide to business-to-business marketing, with a key focus on best practice guidance, plus monthly features looking at current trends, regular research, profiles etc. The B2B Marketing Awards: The showpiece event for brands and practitioners, attended by over 600 people, and with former winners including a host of top-tier B2B brands, including Barclays, TNT, American Express, HP, Microsoft, JCB, Symantec, DPD, Rackspace, Volkswagen, Stanley, RSA, and many more… B2B Marketing Events: Regular seminars and training sessions aimed at helping marketers hear and learn first hand from the experts in order to hone their skills. For more information on any of these products or services go to www.b2bm.biz or call 020 7438 1373 About Verve Search Verve Search is a small, but highly passionate team dedicated to all aspects of SEO and social media marketing. Verve believes that SEO is not just a technical discipline but a social discipline, understanding people and their behaviour online is key as well as understanding of the technical areas of the search engines algorithm. Its ethos is in educating our clients, not pulling the wool over their eyes. SEO is known as being a bit of a ‘black art’ and Verve Search’s mission is to de-mystify it. Best Practice Guide: Search Engine Optimisation © B2B Marketing 2010 3
    • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Order your copy today on 0207 438 1379 www.b2bm.biz/bpgseo INTRODUCTION Executive summary www.b2bm.biz INTRODUCTION Executive summary Section 1: Introduction to SEO SEO (search engine optimisation) is the process of moderating a website so that it is displayed prominently within a search engine’s free organic listings. In the UK, Google is the overwhelmingly dominant player, with rivals such as Yahoo and Bing holding very small market shares. SEO is a critical marketing channel because of the incredible power and importance that search engines hold in supplier selection, which is growing year-on-year. From a standing start, within 10 years, the Internet has overtaken TV in terms of its importance as a marketing tool, according to figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau. Pay-per-click (PPC) is the paid-for equivalent to SEO, with results appearing in the right -hand column and at the top of search results. Total annual investment in PPC is far greater than SEO, even though SEO has been shown to demonstrate significantly higher return on investment than PPC. Lack of transparency of SEO techniques has led to it being widely regarded as a ‘black art’. Getting your website ranked highly in SERPs (search engine results pages) for specific keywords is obviously vital to ensuring that your company gets found – the majority of searchers only look at the first results page. There are three primary areas of optimisation: technical, on-page and off-page. These are dealt with in detail in the next three sections. Section 2: Technical SEO Technical optimisation relates to the areas of your website that allow pages to be noticed and indexed by the search engines. This can be categorised into a number of key areas: • Site architecture: Aligning your site around a coherent and structured plan. • URL structure: Making sure URLs are search engine friendly. • Canonlocalisation: Identification of a preferred URL where there are several ways to access the same page. • Sitemaps: This aids the search engines’ understanding of your site and their ability to access and index all of the content. • Geotargeting: Allowing your content to be found by the most relevant audience. Section 3: On-page SEO “SEO is a critical marketing On-page optimisation is what can be done to the pages of a website to maximise its channel because of the performance in search engines for target keywords related to the on-page content. incredible power and Effective on-page optimisation requires keyword research and development of a keyword strategy for your entire website. Keyword research is a complex process that is critical to importance that search the effectiveness of your website. engines hold in supplier Competitor research should be carried out in conjunction with keyword research, as it can help inform the latter. selection” Best Practice Guide: Search Engine Optimisation © B2B Marketing 2010 4
    • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Order your copy today on 0207 438 1379 www.b2bm.biz/bpgseo INTRODUCTION Executive summary www.b2bm.biz Content is key to on-page SEO, as is finding the correct keyword density within your copy. “When creating content, However, when creating content SEO must be considered, but you must always remember that the primary purpose is for it to be read by people. SEO must be considered, The main areas of content that require optimisation are: title tags, meta descriptions, but you must always location of primary keywords, keyword usage variation, use of keyword in URL and new content. remember that the primary Internal linking is when you link from one internal page to another; the anchor text you use purpose is for it to be read for this is a crucial part of internal linking optimisation. Just as links coming from other sites by people” work as a ‘vote’ to your website, internal linking to pages within your site is also given weight by search engines. Keyword mapping is a vital part of developing your keyword strategy – it is particularly important if you’re developing a new website. Section 4: Off-page SEO Off-page optimisation addresses strategic issues that are carried out to generate links. Whilst it can appear simple, it is generally very complex and time-consuming. It is widely believed that external links from respected third party sources are critical for off-page SEO, however there are other factors that can impact on this objective. Google’s PageRank algorithm has less impact on the value of a link compared to when first introduced. Factors such as relevancy, the value of the domain and the anchor text of the link are more valuable in today’s environment. Other search engines have their own versions.TrustRank is an alternative link analysis technique, designed to help separate useful pages from spam. There has been, and will continue to be, debate about the relative importance of on and off- page optimisation elements. However, search engines have become more and more dependant on link metrics to an entire domain, rather than just an individual page. Link building is the practice of creating quality inbound links from authoritative websites, blogs and portals, thus boosting the value of that page to Google for a targeted keyword. It can also be used to generate additional traffic. When assessing sites for link building, a number of factors should be considered: The age of the domain; trust of the domain/page; authority of the domain; the number of outbound links from that page; relevancy of content and anchor text. There are two types of link that can be built: one way links or reciprocal links. The former is judged as better by search engines. Online PR can be used to syndicate rich content containing links. Link baiting is a means of generating links through the creation of popular content that sites want to link to, e.g. humorous content. Social media is increasingly being recognised as having a role to play in terms of SEO. The ultimate objective should be to generate a clearer insight into the positive and negative attitudes to your brand and act on the results uncovered in terms of content creation. Link analysis can help you to understand which links your competitors are using to drive traffic, and help you understand which areas of your website need improvement. There are various link analysis tools that will help you do this. Best Practice Guide: Search Engine Optimisation © B2B Marketing 2010 5
    • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Order your copy today on 0207 438 1379 www.b2bm.biz/bpgseo INTRODUCTION Executive summary www.b2bm.biz Section 5: Universal search “Without analytics, web Universal search is the merging of listings from different information silos; including news, traffic cannot be tracked, video, images, local, shopping and book listings. This has opened up new avenues for marketers by enabling them to optimise new channels. measured or defined, To take advantage of universal search for images, there are a number of key steps that you therefore sites cannot be need to take.These include using keywords in your image file names; using the ‘alt’ attribute; improved and ROI cannot be captions; putting keywords in the image title tag; creating an image sitemap. To optimise video content, there are also a number of steps: Use keywords in the title; create calculated” keyword rich filenames; incorporate synopses; use a video sitemap; enable ratings; syndicate. Section 6: Google Places Google Places was introduced to help users find businesses and services located in the local area, using IP and geotargeting to deliver the most relevant results. Local listings therefore give you a second opportunity to be ranked and convert browsers to visitors. To create a Google Places listing you must first create a Google account. Local listings use a different algorithm to the organic search results, with weighting towards local information. The following factors should be considered when optimising a local listing: titles, addresses, categories, descriptions, hours and payment and photos. Data citations – online references made to your company – are central to ranking on Google Places.These differ because they are not always ‘links’ in the conventional sense – references from major data providers such as your business service or address, give more credibility in Google’s eyes to the authenticity of your listing. Section 7:Web analytics There are two types of web analytics platforms available: Free or paid. Free platforms such as Google Analytics are great for organisations who are taking their first steps in the online world, and are limited in terms of time and budget in how much they can invest in analytics. Paid platforms such as WebTrends or Omniture provide additional functionality enabling deeper visitor insight. Without analytics, web traffic cannot be tracked, measured or defined, therefore sites cannot be improved and ROI cannot be calculated. Typical key performance indicators for analytics are: Conversion rate, search engine visitors, keywords via search engines and bounce rates. Additional information i. Outsourcing SEO services ii. Unethical SEO practices iii. Future changes in SEO Best Practice Guide: Search Engine Optimisation © B2B Marketing 2010 6
    • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Order your copy today on 0207 438 1379 www.b2bm.biz/bpgseo www.b2bm.biz INTRODUCTION Contributors’ biographies Lisa Myers, CEO and owner, Verve Search Ltd Lisa Myers is CEO and owner of SEO & social media agency Verve Search. She has 10 years' experience in marketing of which five years are in search. Lisa is heavily involved in the global search community and respected by peers and search engines alike. Lisa is a regular speaker at industry events worldwide, including: Search Engine Strategies (SES), Search Marketing Expo (SMX), Internet World, SEM Konferansen (Norway), IAB, Search Marketing World, Chinwag and B2B Marketing search events. She has authored a chapter on search techniques in the book B2B Marketing Experts (published in 2007), written a chapter on SEO in B2B Marketing’s Best Practice Search Marketing Report (2008), and wrote a regular search column for B2B Marketing Magazine in 2008. Lisa is also an active blogger in the SEO and social media community and founder of the international SEO blog: SEO-Chicks.com. She is also co-founder of the European search blog Stateofsearch.com. In addition, Lisa contributes to publications on and offline regularly. Lisa won the ‘B2B Newcomer of the Year’ award at the B2B Marketing Awards 2007. In May 2008 she won ‘Best Use of Technology by Under 30 Year Old Woman’ at the Blackberry Women & Technology Awards. In 2009, Lisa made the prestigious ‘35 Women Under 35’ high achievers list in Management Today co-published by The Times. lisa@vervesearch.com Tel: 020 8439 1521 Twitter: @lisadmyers Sam Murray, search manager, Verve Search Ltd Sam is a search manager of Verve Search, working on several brands on a day-to-day basis. He is in his third year of search marketing and endeavours to continuously progress, due to his thirst for knowledge and enthusiasm about learning new techniques. He graduated from University with a BA (Hons) in Marketing in 2007 and showed his early passion for search marketing by writing his 10,000 word dissertation on ‘How the growth of search engines has affected online advertising and marketing’. Sam has previously co-authored a chapter on search techniques in the 2007 book B2B Marketing Experts. Sam is an active blogger in the SEO and social media community, contributing to the Verve Search blog and is a regular blogger on the European search blog stateofsearch.com. sam@vervesearch.com Tel: 020 8439 1521 Twitter: @sammurray Best Practice Guide: Search Engine Optimisation © B2B Marketing 2010 7
    • FAX-BACK ON 020 7438 1377 Best Practice Guide series Comprehensive in their approach, our definitive 'how to' guides are designed to help you: ■ Deliver an effective marketing strategy for your business so you can meet your objectives ■ Maximise ROI from the relevant channel ■ Improve your knowledge of the subject so you can deliver a successful marketing plan Order your copy today: Yes, I would like to order the following Best Practice Guides: GUIDES No of Copies Sub Total Social Media Marketing (£150 per guide) Retention & Loyalty Marketing (£150 per guide) Search Marketing (£150 per guide) Email Marketing (£150 per guide) Lead Nurturing (price: £150 per guide) SEO (pre-publication price: £130 per guide - normal price: £150) Total £ PAYMENT Invoice Please tick box to indicate your preferred option: Cheque Credit/Debit card: Visa Mastercard Switch/Maestro Please complete your details below as follows: Card number: Valid from: D D MM Y Y Y Y Expiry date: D D MM Y Y Y Y Issue number (Switch only): (Please make all cheques payable to Silver Bullet Publishing Ltd.) Security number: DETAILS Please complete the following section with your details: Your name: Address: Job title: Company: Tel: Email: PLEASE FAX COMPLETED FORM TO: 020 7438 1377 OR CALL DOMINIC ROOKE-ALLDEN ON: 020 7438 1379 OR POST IT TO: B2B MARKETING, COLONIAL BUILDINGS, 59-61 HATTON GARDEN, LONDON EC1N 8LS