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Think Like Google - What You Need to Know About SEO

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The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism hosts this free Webinar, "Think Like Google - What You Need to Know About SEO." Chad Graham and Robin Phillips present best Web practices for search engine optimization.

For more information, please visit http://businessjournalism.org.

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Think Like Google - What You Need to Know About SEO

  1. 1. Googled , Binged and Yahooed How news stories can reach more readers through search engines. Chad Graham and Robin J Phillips Reynolds Center for Business Journalism www. businessjournalism .org
  2. 2. Let’s take the first poll: Of these four choices, what is the best definition of search engine optimization?
  3. 3. Source: Google.com, SEOmoz.org
  4. 4. What is search engine optimization? Techniques to help search engines find online stories, blogs, pictures, video – and even social media messages like Tweets. How do search engines find stories? Google, Bing, Yahoo and others use a mathematical formula to “crawl” billions of web pages and find new content. The bot is looking at title tags, words in URLs, headlines, body copy, labels on photos, etc. And then? When a person searches for a particular phrase or keyword, Google, Bing, Yahoo and others check their stored content. Their mission is to serve up the most relevant info. How does this impact media professionals? Source: Google.com, SEOmoz.org
  5. 5. Online stories, blogs, pictures, video and social media messages that are properly optimized have a better chance of being served up to users of Google, Bing or Yahoo. That means more readers for your content.
  6. 6. Ranking high: Websites don’t just want their content served up when people search. They also want to rank high on the search page. Most online users searching for info click on the first, second or third result. <ul><li>43% of users click on the first item. </li></ul><ul><li>Every link after that decreases by 50%. </li></ul>
  7. 7. F-pattern – reading on the Web
  8. 8. azcentral.com rolled out new SEO training to the newsroom in January. A team of reporters, editors and online producers are optimizing headlines, URL structures and stories. Visitor traffic from search engines is up about 30 percent over 2009.
  9. 9. SEO tip: Be clear in headlines. Don’t tease search engines – they don’t get “funny” or “clever.” “ Just the facts ma’am”
  10. 10. <ul><li>This headline is great for a print centerpiece. But an online headline needs to better spell out the scope of the story. </li></ul><ul><li>A few ways to make “Freedom, jubilation for entombed miners” more SEO friendly: </li></ul><ul><li>Add a geographic locator to the head: “Chile” </li></ul><ul><li>Use words that mimic how people search. Do most people use words like “entombed” and “jubilation?” </li></ul><ul><li>Try to add other details or proper nouns – without making the head unruly. </li></ul><ul><li>Quiz No. 2. What is the best SEO headline? </li></ul>
  11. 11. SEO tip: Add keywords to URLs What are three to four key words to add to the URL about the Chile mine rescue? Use the same technique we used for the headline. Keep it precise and direct. This is a possible solution for azcentral.com: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/10/13/20101013 chile - mine - rescue -ON.html (Make sure to separate keywords with dashes).
  12. 12. SEO tip: When it makes sense, use the inverted pyramid style in the body of a story. “ Who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “why” and “how” are addressed in the first couple of paragraphs. “ I want to write in AP style”
  13. 13. SEO tip: Be specific in URLs, heads and the body of the story . Writing “Metro Phoenix” or “Phoenix area” is stronger SEO than writing “Valley of the Sun” or “the Valley.” “ OMG, like totally”
  14. 14. SEO tip: Avoid formal words or jargon in URLs, heads and the body of a story. Pick “rain” instead of “precipitation” or “city” instead of “community.” “ My movie wasn’t called ‘Purple Precipitation’”
  15. 15. SEO tip: Search is becoming more and more dynamic. Pictures, video, Tweets, etc…are also returned in top results. Suggestions by Google Instant also impact how people search for content. News stories Video Real-time Tweets
  16. 16. Using what we’ve learned today, lets take a test…
  17. 17. <ul><li>Are the following headlines and URL keywords SEO friendly? Answer “y” or “n.” </li></ul><ul><li>Arizona Cardinals debate starting Derek Anderson or Max Hall at quarterback </li></ul><ul><li>Border agents seize $63K in cash </li></ul><ul><li>kids-wait-for-coverage </li></ul><ul><li>true-blood-alexander-skarsgard-profile </li></ul>
  18. 18. Caveat No.1: SEO is part science, part art and part timing. Sometimes the seemingly most SEO-friendly story won’t rise to the top of a search. Do the best you can.
  19. 19. Caveat No.2: Never pack headlines with keywords. Search engines could penalize an organization by making its web content less visible. The goal is to be informative, clear and authoritative.
  20. 20. <ul><li>Great SEO resources: </li></ul><ul><li>Google Webmaster Central Blog: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com </li></ul><ul><li>Matt Cutts, Google: www.mattcutts.com/blog/type/googleseo or on Twitter: @mattcutts </li></ul><ul><li>Brent D. Payne, Tribune Co.’s SEO expert: www.brentdpayne.com or on Twitter: @brentdpayne </li></ul><ul><li>Danny Sullivan, SearchEngineLand editor: www.searchengineland.com or on Twitter: @dannysullivan </li></ul><ul><li>SEOmoz.org: www.seomoz.org/blog </li></ul><ul><li>Arnie Kuenn, President, Vertical Measures: www.verticalmeasures.com or on Twitter: @arniek </li></ul>
  21. 21. Questions?

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