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The Three Pillars of SEO

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Slides from my lecture at the Belfast Telegraph Digital Marketing Clinic on 15 October 2014.

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The Three Pillars of SEO

  1. 1. Search Engine Optimisation POLEMIC D I G I T A L Barry Adams Polemic Digital 15 October 2014
  2. 2. POLEMIC D I G I T A L About Barry Adams • 17 year veteran of SEO & digital marketing  Winner of 2014 DANI Digital Industries Person of the Year  Shortlisted for two 2014 UK Search Awards  Winner of two 2012 DANI awards, shortlisted for two more  Shortlisted for Best Agency, 2012 EU Search Awards • Founder of expert SEO agency Polemic Digital  Previously Digital Director at The Tomorrow Lab • Editor & blogger for StateOfDigital.com  Winner of Best Blog, 2012 EU Search Awards • Personal SEO blog: PolemicDigital.com/blog  Shortlisted for Best Blog, 2013 UK Search Awards
  3. 3. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Agenda • The Value of SEO • The 3 Pillars of SEO;  Technology  Relevance  Authority • Content Strategy • Linkbuilding • Websites & Blogs to Follow
  4. 4. POLEMIC D I G I T A L The Value of SEO
  5. 5. POLEMIC D I G I T A L UK Online Market • UK internet economy to make up approximately 10% of GDP by 2015 (± £160 billion) • 93% of online purchases start with a search engine query • 81% of consumers will research products online before making a major buying decision
  6. 6. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Search Engine Market • UK Search Engine Market:  Google: 90%  Bing: 6%  Yahoo: 3%  Other: 1% • Google handles 115 billion searches a month  That’s over 44,000 search queries every second
  7. 7. Search Engine User Behaviour 70%+ of clicks on search results are on the organic listings POLEMIC D I G I T A L 5-30% of users click on a Paid listing 70-95% of users click on an organic listing
  8. 8. POLEMIC D I G I T A L SERP* Click Through Rate In Google’s search results, first place matters. Source: http://bada.ms/ctrstudy *SERP = Search Engine Results Page
  9. 9. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Digital Channel Comparison • Organic search is the top converting traffic source, followed by Paid Search, then Email. • Organic search is still the fastest growing acquisition channel. Source: http://bada.ms/dmchannels
  10. 10. The Three Pillars of SEO POLEMIC D I G I T A L
  11. 11. POLEMIC D I G I T A L The Three Pillars of SEO Technology Relevance Authority Relevance Technology Technology
  12. 12. POLEMIC D I G I T A L SEO: Technology • Fully indexable website • Clean HTML code • No content hidden in Flash or JavaScript • XML Sitemaps • Structured Data • HTTP status codes • URL query parameters • Robots meta tags • Canonicals & Pagination • Load speed • .... Technology
  13. 13. POLEMIC D I G I T A L SEO: Relevance • Keyword focus • Title tags & meta description • High quality content • Content structure • Separate pages focused on (sets of ) keywords • Navigation links & internal ‘diagonal’ links • Human-readable URLs • Image ALT attributes • Information Architecture • Panda filter risk factors • .... Relevance
  14. 14. POLEMIC D I G I T A L SEO: Authority • Link profile • Anchor text distribution • Domain metrics • Content Marketing • Social Media integration • Local citations • Brand mentions • Links to broken URLs • Outbound linking • Penguin filter & manual penalty risk factors • .... Authority
  15. 15. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Authority Relevance Technology Overlap
  16. 16. POLEMIC D I G I T A L SEO: Technology
  17. 17. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Site Audits • Site indexing • HTML code quality • Structured Data • HTTP Status Codes • Load Speed Tools:  Google Webmaster Tools  Screaming Frog SEO Spider  Webpagetest.org
  18. 18. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Troubleshooting SEO • Check site index levels  XML sitemaps / GWMT Index Status • Check HTML quality GWMT / SEO crawler • Check HTTP Status Codes GWMT / SEO crawler • Check load speed  GA / Webpagetest.org • Check Structured Data GWMT Structured Data / Rich Snippet Testing Tool
  19. 19. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Google Webmaster Tools
  20. 20. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Screaming Frog SEO Spider
  21. 21. POLEMIC D I G I T A L WebPageTest.org
  22. 22. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Rich Snippets http://bada.ms/richsnippets
  23. 23. POLEMIC D I G I T A L SEO: Relevance
  24. 24. POLEMIC D I G I T A L On-site Optimisation • Keyword Focus • Navigation Structure • Title tags • Meta descriptions • Body content Tools:  Google AdWords Keyword Planner  Google Trends  Google Webmaster Tools  Screaming Frog SEO Spider
  25. 25. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Identifying On-Site Issues • Keyword focus  Find the right keywords  Google Keyword Planner / Google Trends • Navigation Structure  Is it clearly hierarchical? Check sitelinks • Title Tags & Meta Description  SEO crawler • Body content  Does it make sense for people?  Diagonal linking with rich anchor texts
  26. 26. Google AdWords Keyword Planner POLEMIC D I G I T A L
  27. 27. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Google Trends
  28. 28. POLEMIC D I G I T A L The Long Tail
  29. 29. POLEMIC D I G I T A L SEO: Authority
  30. 30. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Link Analysis • Number of links & linking domains • Quality of links • Anchor texts • Competitive Analysis Tools:  Google Webmaster Tools  Majestic
  31. 31. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Analysing link profiles • Check amount & quality of links  Majestic • Check anchor texts GWMT / Majestic • Check link relevance  Majestic • Link warnings?  Google Webmaster Tools
  32. 32. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Majestic ?
  33. 33. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Competitive Analysis
  34. 34. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Content Strategy
  35. 35. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Content Strategy “A content strategy for a website is a plan for the creation, publication, distribution, and management of content in various formats – text, video, images, interactive – that helps establish the online brand as a leader in its industry.”
  36. 36. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Content Strategy for SEO • Optimised content will contain the right keywords in the right places, thus increasing the website’s relevance. • Engaging content will be shared and linked to, thus increasing the website’s authority.
  37. 37. Aspects of a Content Strategy POLEMIC D I G I T A L 1. Set Objectives 2. Define Your Audience 3. Create a Content Calendar 4. Plan Your Content Promotion 5. Engage With Your Readers 6. Measure & Refine
  38. 38. Align your content with SERPs • Universal Search: Google including different types of search elements in its SERPs, such as... POLEMIC D I G I T A L  Images  Videos News  Local businesses  In-depth articles  Knowledge Graph  ...
  39. 39. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Universal Search Knowledge Graph Informational result News results Informational result Image results
  40. 40. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Linkbuilding
  41. 41. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Linkbuilding • Content alone is not enough to build authority. • Approximately 50%-60% of Google’s ranking algorithms are link-based.
  42. 42. POLEMIC D I G I T A L But… Google doesn’t like linkbuilding “Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site's ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.” Source: http://bada.ms/googleguidelines
  43. 43. POLEMIC D I G I T A L So what’s a SEO to do? • We have to tread carefully and ensure that we acquire only ‘natural’ links. • That means we have to earn them. • Earned links are (or appear to be) entirely valid recommendations from one website to another.
  44. 44. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Linkbait Content published on your own site that…  … is informative;  … is entertaining;  … is inspiring;  … has viral potential; …so that it naturally attracts links.
  45. 45. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Linkbait types • Definitive guides / resources • Top 10 lists • Infographics • Controversy • Quirky angles on old topics
  46. 46. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Outreach Linkbuilding ‘Outreach’ is basically PR for SEO purposes; 1. Research link prospects 2. Approach them with a personalised message 3. Offer to write guest content for their website/blog 4. Include a link in that guest article It’s a lot of manual effort – exactly what Google intends.
  47. 47. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Competitive Linkbuilding • Analyse & monitor your competitors’ links What are they doing and can you replicate? • Steal competitor links  Find links to competitor sites that give a 404  Contact linking website and propose alternative • Give stuff away for free  Ask for a link in return • Newsjacking  Write about hot/controversial topics
  48. 48. SEO Resources to follow POLEMIC D I G I T A L
  49. 49. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Top SEO blogs • SearchEngineLand.com • StateofDigital.com • Moz.com • BlindFiveYearOld.com • GoogleWebmasterCentral.blogspot.com • PolemicDigital.com/blog
  50. 50. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Top SEO Twitterers • Danny Sullivan: https://twitter.com/dannysullivan • Matt Cutts: https://twitter.com/mattcutts • Moz: https://twitter.com/moz • Google Webmaster: https://twitter.com/googlewmc • Lee Odden: https://twitter.com/leeodden • Barry Adams: https://twitter.com/badams
  51. 51. POLEMIC D I G I T A L Questions? barry@polemicdigital.com www.polemicdigital.com twitter.com/polemicdigital
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Slides from my lecture at the Belfast Telegraph Digital Marketing Clinic on 15 October 2014.

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