1. 10 Steps to Effective SEO & Great RankingsA checklist web marketers can use to build a foundation in strong, white-hat SEO and inbound marketing. Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz CEO, March 2011
2. SEOmoz Makes Software! We don’t offer consulting.
3. Why is SEO so Important?
4. In Feb. 2011, Google said they had 2 Billion+ searches/day! Global Search Volume GrowthMillions of Searches (Monthly) http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html Data via Comscore Qsearch: http://www.comscore.com
5. Search Engine Market Share Most of the World (except China, Russia, Korea + Czech Republic) look like thishttp://www.hitwise.com/uk/datacentre/main/dashboard-7323.html http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/2/comScore_Releases_Januar y_2011_U.S._Search_Engine_Rankings http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.impactmedia.co.uk/blog/search-engine-news/google/search-engine-market-share-statistics-%E2%80%93-february-2011-18271/
6. Organic vs. Paid SearchPaidOrganic http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-disconnect-in-ppc-vs-seo-spending
7. Organic vs. Paid Search~20% of Clicks~80% of Clicks http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-disconnect-in-ppc-vs-seo-spending
8. Click-Through Rates Ranking #2, #3 and #4 would send less traffic than just ranking #1 http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlhttp://www.blogstorm.co.uk/google-organic-seo-click-through-rates/
9. How Can My Website Compete?
10. Step 1: Good Isn’t Good Enough; Make Your Content Great.
11. “Good” Content vs. “GREAT” ContentSatisfies the searcher’s basic Surprises and delights the information requirements searcher by being remarkableWritten by a human and not Produced by extraordinary duplicated elsewhere writers/designers/producers Long enough to fulfill basic May leverage video, audio, needs of engines for graphics & photos to convey a depth/uniqueness unique, shareable experienceGrammatically correct; free of Produced by extraordinary spelling/punctuation errors writers/designers/producers
12. OK Cupid Dating Blog http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlhttp://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-looks-and-online-dating/
13. Oyster.com Hotel Reviews http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlhttp://www.oyster.com/new-york-city/hotels/the-gem-hotel-chelsea/
15. Searchers LOVE Great Content & People SHARE Great Content http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlhttp://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-social-networking-sites-dominate-sharing-2009-7
16. A Blog Alone Doesn’t Cut It. http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlhttp://www.wirthmoorerealty.com/real-estate-articles-greater-new-orleans-area
17. You Must Become a Hub for Great Answers on Q+A Content in Your Niche Referenced sites reference by industry its resources Site that offers: blogs • Unique ResearchForum discussions Mentioned in • Informed Opinions link to its pages news • News/Trend Analysis publications • Multimedia ContentLinks are Tweeted People email • Authentic Expert Contributors links to each • Quality Discussion/Interaction otherLiked/Sharedon Facebook Cited at conferences + events Sometimes, a single piece of content or just a few, can yield these results but, more http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html often, it takes dozens to hundreds of attempts to become a resource hub.
18. Step 2: Make that Great ContentAccessible to Search Engines.
19. Substantive, Descriptive, HTML Text Content http://www.hipmunk.com/ is a great site, but there’s no real text content for engines to see! http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://adioso.com doesn’t have a ton more, but there’s at least something for Google/Bing to grab onto.
20. Google’s “Cached Snapshot” is a Great Way to Check http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html Using the “Cached” link on any search result, you can see what Google’s seen.
21. Clean, Crawlable URLsBetter www.adioso.com/seattle/british-airways-flights www.adioso.com/cat61/british www.adioso.com/cat61/174 www.adioso.com/f?ID=174 www.adioso.com/f?cat=61&?ID=174Worse cdn6.fly.adioso.com/f?cat=61&?ID=174&CustID=5afsdf21 http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html More on good URL structures here: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/11-best-practices-for-urls
22. Preferably All on a Single Sub/Root Domain http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.seomoz.org/blog/understanding-root-domains-subdomains-vs-subfolders-microsites
23. Logical, Shallow Information Architecture http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.seomoz.org/blog/diagrams-for-solving-crawl-priority-indexation-issues
24. No Duplicate Content http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlDuplicate content causes problems beyond just rankings – it can hurt your esteem/trust in the engines’eyes: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/duplicate-content-block-redirect-or-canonical
25. Rel Canonical to the Rescue (Sometimes) http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.seomoz.org/blog/canonical-url-tag-the-most-important-advancement-in-seo-practices-since- sitemaps
28. Step 3: Delight Your Visitors withPhenomenal Design + Usability.
29. Search Engines Finally Care About Design http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.seobythesea.com/?p=5168
30. Panda/Farmer Update was a First Step Generic design is one of the features highly correlated with lost traffic in Panda/Farmer. http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.seomoz.org/blog/googles-farmer-update-analysis-of-winners-vs-losers
31. Great Design is Surprisingly Easy & Affordable http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html Using the search query “CSS Gallery” will bring up tons of sites like http://www.cssbeauty.com/gallery/
32. Many Usability Basics are Intuitive http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.usability.gov/basics/index.html
33. Buy “Don’t Make Me Think.” Memorize It. http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html A great sample chapter is here: http://www.sensible.com/chapter.html
34. Use Your Analytics to Establish Baselines and Measure Progress http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html Google Analytics is totally free! http://www.google.com/analytics
35. Employ Usability Testing Software to Get Specific http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.uxbooth.com/blog/information-gathering-a-roundup-of-ux-applications/
36. Step 4: Use Words Your Customers Use; Do Keyword Research.
37. The Best Keywords Are: High Volume (many searches/month) Low Competition (weak sites/pages in the top 10) High Value (large % of visitors convert) http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlThe tricky part is finding these terms/phrases
38. Keyword Research Starts w/ the Right Brainstorming Process http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html Graphic via Elliance: http://www.elliance.com/aha/infographics/keyword-research-part-2.aspx?page=1&category=ROI
40. Microsoft AdCenter Keyword Data http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html https://adcenter.microsoft.com
41. Determining Keyword Difficulty Number of results is meaningless We want to know how “strong” these sites/pages are And how our site’s/page’s metrics compare http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html
42. SEOmoz Has a Tool to Help With This http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.seomoz.org/keyword-difficulty
43. Determining a Keyword’s “Value” 1,000 200 Visitors Searched “Usability Visitors Searched “User TestingTesting” and Arrived at the Site Software” and Arrived at the Site 20 40Visitors Took the Product Tour Visitors Took the Product Tour Conversion Rate: 2 0.2% 5% 10 Visitors Bought the Software Visitors Bought the Software http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html Keyword volume is initially appealing, but conversion rate is critical to the evaluation!
44. Buying PPC is a Great Way to Test How do these visitors perform? http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html Just be aware that PPC behavior isn’t always the same as organic click behavior
45. Put the Data Together and Start with Low-Hanging Fruit http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html I like to use heat indices based on estimated value: Excel can do this automatically
46. Step 5: Optimize your Pages Properly; Get Keyword Targeting Right.
47. Title TagsBetter Usability Testing Software | UserTesting.com UserTesting.com | Usability Testing Software Usability Testing Software Usability Testing, Usability Test, User Testing, User Software UserTesting.comWorse NA http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.seomoz.org/learn-seo/title-tag
48. Keywords in the URL Help, TooBetter www.adioso.com/seattle/british-airways-flights www.adioso.com/cat61/british www.adioso.com/cat61/174 www.adioso.com/f?ID=174 www.adioso.com/f?cat=61&?ID=174Worse cdn6.fly.adioso.com/f?cat=61&?ID=174&CustID=5afsdf21 http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html Not only is there direct benefit, but people who link using the URL will pass good anchor text, too
49. Meta Description TITLE: Low Cost Usability Testing - UserTesting.comMETA DESCRIPTION: Usability testing has never been easier.UserTesting.coms online usability testing is the cheapest, fastestway to find out why visitors leave your website. A good meta description acts like ad copy and draws the searcher in: http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.seomoz.org/learn-seo/meta-description
50. Meta Keywords? The search engines don’t use these at all (and haven’t since the early 2000s)http://searchengineland.com/meta-keywords-tag-101-how-to-legally-hide-words-on-your-pages-for- http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlsearch-engines-12099
51. Body Text Keyword UsageNot only do search engines like to see keywords in copy, but visitors will be comforted to see http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlthat you have content that addresses their query, too.
52. Keyword Density vs. TF*IDF vs. Topic Modeling http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.seomoz.org/blog/lda-and-googles-rankings-well-correlated
53. Images & Alt AttributesKeywords in alt attributes are surprisingly well correlated with higher rankings http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html
54. H1, H2, H3 Headlines Keywords in H(x) tags are not particularly well correlated with high rankings, but may provide some, minor value. http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlhttp://www.htmlcodetutorial.com/_H35n.html
55. The Trouble with Domain Names http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlhttp://www.seomoz.org/blog/exact-match-domains-are-far-too-powerful-is-their-time-limited
56. Rel=Canonical on Every Page? http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlhttp://www.seomoz.org/blog/dispelling-a-persistent-rel-canonical-myth
57. Step 6:Make Search Engine Tools & Protocols Work for You.
58. XML Sitemaps http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlThis program can help - http://gsitecrawler.com/
59. HTML Sitemaps http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlThe Sitemap Page from http://nymag.com/sitemap/
60. RSS Feeds http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlFeedburner - http://feedburner.google.com – is a great tool for setting up and monitoring feeds
61. Google Webmaster ToolsIt’shttp:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html Free! Available at http://google.com/webmasters
62. Crawl Errors & Error Sources http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlMost of the time, you’ll want to fix these up.
63. SEOmoz Does a Good Job of This, Too http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html Via the PRO Web App: http://pro.seomoz.org
66. From 1999 – 2008, What Page Ranked #1 for the Queries “Exit” and “Leave”? http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://searchengineland.com/google-kills-bushs-miserable-failure-search-other-google-bombs-10363
67. From 1999 – 2008, What Page Ranked #1 for the Queries “Exit” and “Leave”? http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://searchengineland.com/google-kills-bushs-miserable-failure-search-other-google-bombs-10363
68. Ahh… The Power of Links http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlhttp://www.seomoz.org/blog/google-vs-bing-correlation-analysis-of-ranking-elements
69. What Makes a Great Link? Editorially given From a trusted source Uses descriptive anchor text Points to the right page http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlhttp://www.seomoz.org/blog/10-illustrations-on-search-engines-valuation-of-links
70. Google + Bing Now Counting Facebook & TwitterDanny Sullivan: If an article is retweeted or referenced much inTwitter, do you count that as a signal outside of finding any non-nofollowed links that may naturally result from it?Google: Yes, we do use it as a signal. It is used as a signal in ourorganic and news rankings. We also use it to enhance our newsuniversal by marking how many people shared an article http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://searchengineland.com/what-social-signals-do-google-bing-really-count-55389
71. SEO Properties of Classic HTML Links URL Rel=“Nofollow” (the link target) (a tag that indicates search engines shouldn’t trust/count this link) <p><a href=http://www.seomoz.org rel=“nofollow”> SEOmoz’s Website </a> is a good resource for those seeking to learn more about search engine optimization.</p> Anchor text Surrounding Text (tells the engine what (may provide context on this link is about) the link’s relevance) http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html Text goes here
72. SEO Properties of Tweets Tweeter URL (the authority/importance of (the link target) the tweeting person matters) Retweets (possible signal that a link/ tweet is more important) Surrounding Text (in tweets, this sometimes seems used like anchor text) http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlhttp://www.seomoz.org/blog/tweets-effect-rankings-unexpected-case-study
73. SEO Properties of Facebook Shares URL (the link target) Shares (how many users have shared the link) http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html Shares, Likes + Updates must be PUBLIC or Google/Bing can’t “see” them.
74. Why Do People Link/Tweet/Share? Many of these blogs will use the badge and link to the list, because it makes them look good! http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-emotions-that-make-us-link
75. Link Building & Social Sharing Resources • Beginner’s Guide: Chapter 7 – Growing Links & Popularity • Link Building Blog Posts on SEOmoz • Webinar on Link Building Strategies • 101 Ways to Build Links from SEOBook • Link Building Presentations on Slideshare • The Science of Retweets from Dan Zarrella http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html These should help you get started!
76. Step 8: Don’t Go it Alone;Help Your Community Help You.
77. Encourage & Reward Community on Your Site http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html At Moz, we’ve made community central to our site: http://www.seomoz.org/community
78. Spread Your Message Across the Web News/Media/PR SEO Email Blogs + Blogging Research/White Papers InfographicsComment Marketing Social Networks Online Video INBOUND MARKETING! Webinars Forums (Find Your Audience Organically on the Web) Document SharingSocial Bookmarking Word of Mouth Direct/Referring Links Podcasting http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html Type-In Traffic Q+A Sites
79. Blogs & Blog Commentshttp:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html
81. Social Profiles & InteractionFacebook Company Page Google Profile SlideShare Profile Twitter Profile Crunchbase Page Reddit AccountLinkedIn Company Page Quora Profile StumbleUpon Account YouTube Account About.me Page StackExchange Account Crunchbase Page Scribd Profile Wikipedia Profile http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html This is my top list of social sites to register with, but there’s likely more that are relevant to your niche.
82. Answer Questions on Q+A Sites http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.quora.com/Rand-Fishkin/answers
83. Syndicate Your Content Dozens of sites syndicate SEOmoz’s blog helping to send links and traffic back to the site http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlhttp://www.seomoz.org/blog/whiteboard-friday-leveraging-syndicated-content-effectively
84. Find Unique Ways to Engage & Reward UrbanSpoon’s Blogger Outreach Program Sparked Thousands of Links + Great Awareness in Each City: http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.urbanspoon.com
85. Step 9: Get Analytics Set Up Right; Track What Matters.
86. Basic Google Analytics Installation http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?answer=66983
87. Key SEO Metric #1: Visits / Search Engine These ones here! http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlThis tells you how many searches resulted in a click on your site in the results
88. Key SEO Metric #2:Keywords Sending 1+ Visits / Search Engine This One! http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html Track this over time to see if you’re ranking for more unique keyphrases
89. Key SEO Metric #3:# of Pages Receiving Traffic from Each Engine This One! http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://www.seomoz.org/blog/indexation-for-seo-real-numbers-in-5-easy-steps
90. SEOmoz PRO Can Help Here Too http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmlTraffic tab of http://pro.seomoz.org
92. Critical: Set Up “Goals” / “Conversions” http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html http://analytics.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-to-setup-goals-in-google-analytics.html
93. Understand Your Website’s Conversion Funnel Home Page List of Cheeses Hours + Directions 15% 10% Hopefully, this means a customer is going to come buy some cheese! This is the weakest form of a funnel – applying actions to things like forms, emails, http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html “buy” buttons, checkout pages, etc. is a better way to go.
94. Step 10: The Web is Not Static; Test & Improve
95. More Traffic Home Page List of Cheeses Hours + Directions 15% 10%More visits to the home page means more people will decide to visit It’s http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html a lot of hard work to get more visits, though, and we don’t know if they’ll be the kind who love cheese!
96. A Better FunnelHome Page List of Cheeses Hours + Directions 25% 20%A better “conversion rate” means more peoplewho already visit the site will come to the store! http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html Woo hoo! Now for every 1,000 people that visit the site, 25 are potential cheese buyers!
97. A/B Split Testing Resources:http://visualwebsiteoptimizer.com/ - Awesome tool – easyto use, popular, good pluginshttp://www.optimizely.com/ - Another great option withexcellent visuals http://unbounce.com/ - Hosted, so no dev required! Very easy to use and well made http://www.google.com/websiteoptimizer - Free, but sometimes complex/confusing http://www.sitespect.com/ - Don’t personally have experience with this one http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html
98. Test Content Types Blog Videos Photos Email Newsletters Embeddable Content Webinars Slideshows Questions + Answers Infographics Research/White Papers Web Apps Community ForumSome of these may resonate with you and your audience, others may not. You’ll never know http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.htmluntil you experiment!
99. Test Marketing Channels Step #1: Discover Find inbound marketing paths that look promising and make a list. Step #2:TestInvest a few days/hours building authentic value in that niche/sector. Step #3: Measure Use your web analytics to track primary + second-order impact Step #4: Repeat Throw out low ROI projects; repeat high ROI ones.
100. Ranking Well is Not Enough
101. We Must DESERVE to Rank in Order to Win in the Long Run
102. Q+ARand Fishkin, CEO & Co-Founder, SEOmoz• Twitter: @randfish You can now try SEOmoz PRO Free!• Blog: www.seomoz.org/blog http://www.seomoz.org/freetrial• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org