SEO and the Startup: What is SEO and why should you care?
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization ( SEO ) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results. As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and for what people search.
What is SEM?
Search engine marketing ( SEM) is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote Web sites by increasing their visibility in search-engine result pages (SERPs) through the use of paid placement, contextual advertising, paid links and paid inclusion.
Paid vs. Organic Search
Why care about SEO?
US Internet users spend an average of 17 hours per week online.
65% of Internet users look for information about various products and services on the Internet and buy online
22% of users have a specific search engine dedicated as their home page.
66% of Internet users make purchases online.
52% of Internet users do not click on online ads.
2009 study by the University of South Carolina’s Center for the Digital Future
“ I will see results immediately.”
Truth: SEO is no guarantee, and it takes time.
Age is power
“ I can buy my way to the top”
Truth: Pay Per Click (PPC) is not SEO
Way to drive new traffic
Way to consistently feed new visitors to your site
The parameters for search rankings are always in flux, so you need to constantly be working on SEO.
“ It’s all about keywords.”
Truth: SEO is a multi-tiered strategy that is always in flux.
PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important".
Google ranks on 0-10 scale
Number of inbound links + Page Rank of inbound linked pages
Relevance of search words on page and actual page visits
Search Ranking = Relevance * PageRank
0-3: New sites or sites with very minimal links
4-5: Popular sites with a fair amount of inbound links
6: Very popular sites that have hundreds of links, many of them quality links
7-10: Usually media brands (NYTimes.com), big companies or A-list bloggers.
Source: Hub Spot
Bookmarking Sites + Listings
Google Local Business Center
Yahoo! Local Features
How to acquire hits?
Blog: Have a Web site news page and post to it regularly – no less than once per month.
Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube etc. to link people to your site
Participate in industry-related blogs establishing your expertise and linking back to articles you’ve already written
Bookmark articles and make “list” stories that people will also want to index
Build your database and send regular email blasts with relevant information to your clients
Use sophisticated email marketing software that allows segmenting
Track results and analyze data
In the Land of Code
Header Tags – not images
Flash Elements – use sparingly
Submit Site Maps
Add Google Analytics – it’s free!
Small File Sizes – increase speed
Title & Description Tags
Unique title tags for each page – 70< characters
Unique , relevant content description for each page – 150< characters
Selecting an SEO Team
The Keyword Confusion Red Flag: An SEO company provides you with keywords.
The Minimum Red Flag: SEO firm is more than optimizing a few pages of your site…every page should be treated as a homepage.
The No References Red Flag
The Guarantee Red Flag: If your SEO firm guarantees that your web site will have high search engine rankings or a high number of leads, they’re lying.
The Opaque Red Flag: Hidden practices are a tip-off.
The “Get ‘er Done” Red Flag: Beware of firms claiming SEO is a “one-time thing.”
Source: Finding The Company That Gets You Found On The Web by JoAnna Dettmann and Kaysha Kalkofen, tSunela