What is SEO? Open question…Essentially – cheating...Google doesn’t like you for itIn short – it’s a way of pushing your site up Google’s rankings, at the expense of others – it involves keeping your site above others despite changes to Google’s algorithm (the equation they use to calculate why a site is important) – it’s a way of gaining more exposure for your website – it’s a way of finding more relevant readers / customers
The algorithm: what is it? Why do we care? It is the equation that it uses to work out why one site is number one and another is number one hundred...Can anyone work it out? Nup – and don’t believe anyone who says they know... They don’t.In short – we worship at the altar of Google (maybe Yahoo and Bing)...What is in the algorithm? Inbound links, internal links, keywords, place of keywords, anchor text of internal / inbound links, keywords in domain name, age of site
There are two theories to SEO. Bad people do bad things and get away with it (sometimes) – good people follow the unwritten rules…Black hat – white hatOpen question: what might constitute a ‘black hat’ strategy? Any ideas? White hat?
Owning a website is like owning a house (with a name), on a rented plot of land.Except that first of all, you have to think about the name of the house, before you design it. A mad, mad world.So – imagine you don’t have anything. Just a concept. Where do you start?
Keywords in domain name can be a good thing – unless you want to promote a strong brand... (if so, prepare to do extra link building)e.g. If you are selling power tools, a site called www.bobspowertools.com has an advantage over www.bob.comResearch your competitors!!! Site structure – navigation – is there something common to the industry / sector?So – get your domain (www.godaddy.com), choose your extension (.com for global - .co.uk to rank in UK, .net if you’re a tecchie site, .org if you are a charity)Host it: many choices, but remember UK is best for UK sites... You’ll probably pay between £1 and £4 per monthSo – you have a name, a place to put your site, and now – you need the ‘bare bones’ of your site... Wordpress is the best (Google loves it and easily adapted)
Not just your first point of research, but every point of research is about keywords… nothing more important.What do people search for?How do people search?Open discussion – how do you book a holiday? How does your search behaviour change? Ideas on a flipchart…- Cheap holidays, last minute holidays, holidays in country, cheap holidays in country, flights to city, cheap flights to city, package holidays in city, hotels in city, tripadvisor, things to do in city, day trips in city, has anyone stayed in this hotel?, what is the time in country…Now do you see the difficulty for an SEO? To be present in all of these – and to make the site clear enough to cover all of these bases AND convert to a sale…How do you make your site a) relevant for visitors and b) relevant for Google?
Pick your battles... Google adwords keyword research tool is free and tells you how much competition there is...Pick the right keywords – test with paid searchFor example: a corrugated iron manufacturer in Stoke wanted to be number one in google for “corrugated iron manufacturer in stoke”... Easy. Job done. No sales.Google Analytics is free – easy to insert into your site – and can tell you which keywords work (how long do people stay on your site, how many pages do they look at, etc.)So look at what the competition is doing – those that rank well... Why are they ranking well? What keywords are most common?
SEO – actually – is all about authority. If you want to ask someone a question on the universe, who do you ask? Open question: Stephen Hawking or Cheryl Cole? Why? Because – in offline terms – Stephen Hawking has more recommendations than Cheryl Cole when it comes to the universe. Online, a recommendation is an inbound link.
Two inbound links – different values – which one is better?If you can get inbound links WITH keywords as the “anchor text”, then great stuff...Quick question: if you google “click here”, who comes first?
SEO for beginners<br />Search Engine Optimisation from scratch<br />For the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Essex<br />Gareth Cartman<br />
What is SEO?<br />What kind of SEO are you?<br />All about... Domains Keywords Content Authority Links Traffic Continuous improvement<br />What not to do<br />Break-out strategy groups<br />Agenda<br />
Consider the following:What are you doing?Why are you doing it?Who else is doing it, and how?Remember the algorithm...<br />Go to godaddy.com (for example)<br />Find a domain name (a unique one)<br />Take care with your extension (.com?)<br />Find a place to put, or host, it (be careful)<br />Find a CMS (ideally, Wordpress)<br />Host your CMS (ideally, locally)<br />All about... domains<br />
What is a CMS?<br />Wordpress simple for beginners & flexible enough for advanced<br />1000s of free themes<br />SEO “plugins” (pings, sitemaps, etc.)<br />... And it’s free<br />All about... CMS<br />
Write regularly<br />Include keywords here:in the extended URLin the headers (headline, sub-headline)in the copy (first and last paragraphs at least)in the page title<br />Include ‘latent’ keywords here:in the copy (all over)<br />Yes, steal ideas, but never steal word for word (google will find you)<br />All about... content<br />
Write ‘news’ and submit your site to news sites (google news, newsnow.co.uk), etc.<br />Blog and syndicate (RSS feeds)<br />Write press releases + syndicate<br />(Slightly black hat) Self-syndicate articles<br />(Potentially black hat) Comment on other blogs<br />All about... content<br />
Most of SEO is link-building<br />Boring<br />What is a good link?<br />What is a bad link?<br />How do I get links?<br />Yahoo site explorer<br />More links = more authority = higher rankings<br />More links using keywords as anchor text = even more authority on that subject = even higher rankings on those keywords<br />All about… links<br />