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What You Need to Know about SEO
 

What You Need to Know about SEO

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Presenter: Daren Worcester

Presenter: Daren Worcester

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    What You Need to Know about SEO What You Need to Know about SEO Presentation Transcript

    • What is SEO? Presented by Daren Worcester
    • Why is SEO important? Ranking on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) drops significantly with each position. SEO best practices are also key to building an organization’s online brand presence. Source: Source: http://connect.relevance.com/a-tale-of-two-studies-establishing-google-bing-click_through-rates
    • Source: http://www.webpagefx.com/united-states-of-search/ “Every month, roughly 117 million searches are made for “Google” in Bing. ...4 million searches are made for ‘Bing’ in Google.” — Slingshot SEO
    • 1990 - “Archie,” short for Archives, was the first search engine created by a McGill University student 1993 - started using analysis of word relationships to improve results 1994 - Wandex, the first search engine to crawl a catalog of indexed sites, was created 1995 1996 1997 Source: http://www.thehistoryofseo.com/The-Industry/Short_History_of_Early_Search_Engines.aspx A Brief History of SEO
    • Source: http://mozcast.com/ Google makes 300 - 400 algorithm changes a year! The Mozcast
    • Influential SEO Factors
    • Source: https://adwords.google.com Step 1: Determine the keywords you want to optimize. Google Adwords is a good (free) resource for pinpointing the best terms. Most people find schools on SERPs via “branded” or “longtail” searches. On Site: Content
    • Content Keywords within Google Webmaster Tools is a good resource for understanding how Google views your site’s content. Source: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home?hl=en On Site: Content
    • Search Queries in Google’s Webmaster Tools is an important resource for identifying the right keywords to target. Source: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home?hl=en On Site: Content
    • Reviewing Search Queries data with that of Adwords helps prioritize your school’s content optimization efforts. Here, trying to get better results for “onMessage” is an easy win because it’s just off the main page. “School software” will take more work, but considering the search numbers, it’s probably worth the effort. Source: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home?hl=en On Site: Content
    • Step 2: Create unique, authentic, engaging content and sprinkle the content with keywords. Ideally variations of keywords appear in page titles; URLs; headers; body text; internal links; media titles, alt tags and captions. Source: Rand Fishkin, http://moz.com/blog/perfecting-keyword-targeting-on-page-optimization On Site: Content/Technical
    • In addition to the actual page content, don’t forget to populate the meta description, which is what typically displays on the SERP. The meta description has no direct impact on search standings; however, a well written description can affect the click-through rate. Meta keywords aren’t necessary. On Site: Technical
    • Try to get keywords into page titles as often as possible, especially since onMessage uses the titles to create the page URLs. The recommended max is the real character number to stay under for meta descriptions and keywords. On Site: Technical
    • Page load time can have a significant impact on SEO. One easy way webmasters can help the cause here is by saving photos for Web. The image quality difference is barely noticeable. On Site: Technical
    • Google looks at navigation from the top down, assuming the most important pages are at the beginning. As webmasters we should approach the navigation in the same way. Duplicate content should be avoided whenever possible. On Site: Structural
    • A good, clean navigation structure is also key to page URLs. Avoid “stuffing” URLs with repetitive keywords. Also, try to keep navigation to 4 levels or less — ideally no more than 3. On Site: Structural
    • On Site: Structural Links in body text are known to help site optimization. The closer to the top of the page the links appear, the better. Moreover, the text, and the links, should be written in a way to enhance the user experience.
    • On Site: User Metrics Google is looking for engagement. How long are visitors on the site? What do they click on? And do they come back? “Bounce Rate” is good to look at but it can be misleading. Factor in “Avg. Time on Page” for the full picture.
    • On Site: User Metrics Under Audience > Behavior > Frequency & Recency, Google Analytics has a variety of reports to track user engagement. The report here shows the amount of days between visits. This can be customized to specific pages such as those in the admissions section during application season.
    • On Site: User Metrics Another helpful engagement report, Page Depth shows the average amount of pages viewed per visit.
    • Off Site: Links Google highly values inbound links as they are seen as votes of approval for a site.
    • Off Site: Links Google created a link analysis algorithm called Page Rank to assign a numerical weight to the authority of a site. Page Rank works on a scale of 1-10. When one site links to another, the linking site transfers some of its Page Rank value (commonly referred to as “link juice”) to the linked site.
    • Off Site: Links The SEO goal of link building is to get as many quality links as possible. Start by reviewing the existing sites linking to your site—are there sites similar to those shown that could link to yours? What about organizations the school belongs to? Link building can be tedious and time consuming work. It’s important to create a strategy for naturally cultivating links. For example, in media relations, ask for a “citation” linking back to the school’s site.
    • Off Site: Links Reviewing the site content that receives the most links will help you determine what content to create more of to garner the most links.
    • Off Site: Links It’s also important to protect existing links by putting in a redirect whenever you delete or move a popular page.
    • Off Site: Social Social Media shares, followers, likes, pins, RTs, etc., all bear weight on SEO. Similar to link building, it’s important to develop a strategy and engage in activity and content population that fosters social media growth.
    • Off Site: Social Make sure your school’s site has links leading to its various social profiles, and conversely there are links leading from the profiles to the school site. This helps Google establish authorship.
    • Off Site: Social Don’t forget Google+!!! Widely dismissed as a failure upon its release, Google’s methodological business strategy has turned Google+ into one of the fastest growing social media networks today. What’s more, Google+ has staying power, leading some to predict it will overtake Facebook. Source: http://blog.searchmetrics.com/us/2013/06/20/social-media-growth-forecast-google-to-overtake-facebook/
    • Off Site: Local Google takes user location into account when returning search results. To ensure your school is appearing in localized searches, display the address in plain text on the site, and make sure its listing is correct in directories such as Yelp and Google Local.
    • Off Site: Brand Recognition Brand recognition, or trust, is highly influential on SERP listings, which is to say there’s still a place for good, old-fashioned advertising and marketing in your Web site’s strategic planning. Brand recognition can be measured for search by the site’s direct traffic and “branded” search results.
    • So...what is SEO?
    • SEO is part of everything you do.
    • Additional Resources Google: How Search Works http://www.google.com/insidesearch/howsearchworks/thestory/index.html Google: Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/www.google.com/en/us/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization- starter-guide.pdf Moz: The Beginners Guide to SEO http://www.seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-seo Search Engine Land: The Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors http://searchengineland.com/ The Short Cutts http://www.theshortcutts.com/