Rise to the top: SEO Basics for Landscape Design Professionals

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This presentation was originally presented as a LIVE webinar to members of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) in 2011.

The presentations focus is on the basics of search engine optimization.

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Rise to the top: SEO Basics for Landscape Design Professionals

  1. 1. Rise to the Top SEO Basics for Landscape Design ProfessionalsChris Heilerlandscape industry writer, speaker& social media consultantwww.LandscapeLeadership.com
  2. 2. There has been more innovation the last 3 years than in the previous 30
  3. 3. We also have more roles to play in our businesses
  4. 4. How do we know what is most important?
  5. 5. How much SEO expertise do you really need to have?
  6. 6. We’re going to focus on what’s practical and actionable1. An overview of search engine optimization basics2. The top 7 SEO tasks and practices to focus on
  7. 7. The (very) basics of SEO Website Design Content Link Building
  8. 8. The top 7 SEO tasks and practices to focus on1. Updating your website regularly2. Updating your domain name registration3. Determining your most important geo-specific keyword phrases4. Claiming your business listing in the most important online directories5. Optimizing your website for speed6. Link building within your website7. Social networking and content creation
  9. 9. Task 1: Updating your website regularlyKEY POINTS: Update your website at least once each month. The best way to keep your website fresh is by blogging on a regular basis.
  10. 10. Task 1: Updating your website regularlyWhat you can do right now: Create a calendar listing the various updates you can make to your website on an annual basis. Check out Posterous.com—the easiest way to start blogging—then write 5 blog posts in 5 days.
  11. 11. Task 2: Updating your domain name registrationKEY POINT: The search engines see websites as being more credible the longer the domain name is registered for.
  12. 12. Task 2: Updating your domain name registrationWhat you can do right now: Renew your domain registration for at least two years into the future. Use GoDaddy.com “WHOIS Domain Check” to find details regarding your domain registration.
  13. 13. Task 3: Determining your most important geo-specific keyword phrases KEY POINTS: Include the phrases people are actually using to search for your services. Use geo-specific keyword phrases.
  14. 14. Task 3: Determining your most important geo-specific keyword phrases What you can do right now: Use my keyword phrase spreadsheet as a general guideline. Use Google’s free keyword tool to analyze geo- specific keywords that may work best for you. (Google, “Google keyword tool” to find it)
  15. 15. Task 4: Claiming your business listing in the most important online directoriesKEY POINTS: Take control of your business listing on directories like Google Places. Make sure company information is accurate and filled out completely.
  16. 16. Task 4: Claiming your business listing in the most important online directoriesWhat you can do right now: Visit Google.com/Places to claim your listing on Google Places. Complete your profile on APLD’s website. Get your business listed on LandscapingNetwork.com
  17. 17. Task 5: Optimizing your website for speedKEY POINTS: Search engines don’t want to send someone to a website that takes forever to load—it makes them look bad.
  18. 18. Task 5: Optimizing your website for speedWhat you can do right now: Visit http://fpt.pingdom.com/ to test the load time of your website.
  19. 19. Task 6: Link building within your websiteKEY POINTS: You need to let the search engines easily crawl your website—the deeper the better.
  20. 20. Task 6: Link building within your websiteWhat you can do right now: Find and fix any broken links on your website (Wordpress plug-in “Broken Link Checker” or http://validator.w3.org/checklink. For Wordpress users, install the plug-in “Google XML Sitemaps” and another plug-in that will display “related posts” after each blog post.
  21. 21. Task 7: Become active in the social networksKEY POINTS: When you are active on a social network like Facebook, the search engines see you as an invested, engaged participant in a hugely popular online community. This gives you credibility and relevancy beyond just your website.
  22. 22. Task 7: Become active in the social networksWhat you can do right now: Install social share plug-ins on your blog Install Facebook and/or Twitter widget on your website Add social buttons to your website Share content across the social networks
  23. 23. How much SEO expertise do you really need to have?
  24. 24. How I can help you:
  25. 25. Get in touch with me… Chris.Heiler@landscapeleadership.com (616) 953-0774 (voice or text) Facebook.com/cjheiler Twitter.com/chris_heiler

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