The New SEO and Why You Need to
Understand It
Morning Ladies, I’m Claire Robinson-Ayres and I’m going to talk to you about...
Every page needs an H1, and these keywords, it reads crap, well that’s OK because Google
will like it and that’s all that ...
shifted and digital marketing is at the heart of everything SEO with just the technical aspects
remaining. So what does SE...
interesting content with them, then every now and then share something with them about
your business.
Google+ now this cou...
Search Results Today
Finally, don’t get hung up on your rankings…there are several reasons why I tell you this, not least
...
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The new seo and why you need to understand it - Presentation Transcript

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The new seo and why you need to understand it - Presentation Transcript

  1. 1. The New SEO and Why You Need to Understand It Morning Ladies, I’m Claire Robinson-Ayres and I’m going to talk to you about SEO. I entered the SEO arena because as an in-house marketing manager trying to resource SEO companies to look after our website I started to notice a couple of things: SEO people were really good at the technical things but, SEO people couldn’t understand how SEO fit into the marketing mix and what it meant for the business model as a whole. SEO people struggled to communicate between marketing, web developers, and graphic designers. There were communication problems at all levels. I realised that if, as a marketer, I had those technical skills I could fill a gap in the market, being able to look at the marketing plan, understand the business objectives, whilst seeing what was required on a technical level and working out the best way to make everything fit together. So, I joined an SEO Agency and trained under one of the top SEO specialist’s in the UK for three years before he left to help run a top agency in London and I left to be a freelance digital marketer and help businesses be better. So that’s my SEO story in a very brief nutshell! Now to the good stuff! What Was SEO SEO used to be simple, it was what it said on the tin… Search Engine Optimisation. Most people know it as this, and if you refer to SEO, the tactics I will talk about now are what you will think of as being SEO. Listing your website in every directory / forum you competitors are listed on. Buying sponsored reviews from bloggers Getting added to blog rolls, and footers on as many blogs and sites as possible Writing *frankly* crap articles (think oDesk freelancers charging $10 per article crap) then posting them on every single article site you can find with a bajillion anchor text links in, then spinning the article to post it another 10 times. Leaving links in blog comments on every single blog you can find all over the internet, then going back next week and doing it all over again Repeating the above but with forums Listing the site on every internet directory in existence Social bookmarking, think sites like delicious which bookmark pages for you to read later or share on your social networks but on a scale which is beyond belief. Guest blog posting – on any and every website which will take your blog posts, you won’t spend much time on these, because you’ve lined up 50 for this week!
  2. 2. Every page needs an H1, and these keywords, it reads crap, well that’s OK because Google will like it and that’s all that matters. Make sure there’s a mix of keyword rich anchor text links…do they not make sense? Tough Usability….Run a few tests, tell the developers to change a few things but that will be about it. Social Media? “Well that’s got nothing to do with SEO and is not measurable and is completely pointless” (Yes, I was told these exact words by somebody in the SEO industry less than two years ago!” All of these tactics ended with the aim of building as many links back to your website as possible so that your site looked really popular and Google would say “wow, look at them, they’ve got thousands of links, they must be really good” and voila you’re at number one in the search rankings…as the meerkats would say “Simples”. What Changed As you can tell, most of this was absolute rubbish, very easy to manipulate and created a lot of spam all over the internet. From the websites which were collecting it all to the content going on the sites. So Google, decided enough was enough, and in a series of algorithm changes put their foot down… February 2011 – Panda hits Panda was the first of the big updates of recent years, this update affected about 12% of search results and cracked down on thin content, content farms, sites with high ad to content ratios, and low quality issues. It took several months to roll out and didn’t hit the UK until April! April 2012 – Penguin hits Known as the webspam update Penguin came along affecting about 3.1% of sites who were flagged as being targets for spam so those with significant keyword stuffing and involved in link schemes like link exchanges or buying and selling of links. August 2013 – Hummingbird hits Google didn’t officially announce Hummingbird until the end of September but all of the data points to it hitting in August. It had a huge impact on semantic search and Google’s knowledge graph results making Google more intuitive, less in need of hand-holding and making SEO more about the user experience than the search engine. These updates are just the main highlights each of these have had a series of updates since their inception and there are constant minor updates ongoing but what we know is that SEO in 2014 is a completely different animal to SEO in January 2011! SEO Today I’ll be honest, I don’t like referring to SEO as SEO anymore. It seems wrong to call something Search Engine Optimisation when these days the focus is about the end user and the user experience. It seems my reasons for entering the world of SEO were right on because now the entire focus has
  3. 3. shifted and digital marketing is at the heart of everything SEO with just the technical aspects remaining. So what does SEO these days entail? Technically Broken link fixes – Google hates 404 errors, you all know them well, those pages you get to when you click on a link and get told the page doesn’t exist! So these need fixing and a regular crawl of the website will highlight where these are so that they can get fixed. Meta Data – Meta data has reached a whole new level of amazing, on the simplistic level we have meta titles and descriptions which are the basic information we’ve always put into websites to ensure search engines know what each page is about. But now Google is a huge fan of micro formatting. Micro Formatting consists of meta data about every aspect of the content on your page which is split into different categories such as a product review, a business, an article, contact information, or a person. Micro Formatting contributes to what we see when we get Google Authorship and Rich Snippets results in Google Search Results aswell as helping websites rank much better because search engines can read and find the information they need to help them rank sites much more easily. Have content on site which is of a high quality, written for your target audience, at least 300 words per page (ideally 500) and NOT keyword stuffed. Yes I said NOT keyword stuffed. Link Building You shouldn’t do link building in the traditional sense anymore, building lots of links all over the internet is just going to get your website penalised and coming back from a Google black mark is hard work. Instead embrace digital marketing tactics which will, in turn, create natural, high quality links back to your website. Some of the best, and I would say essential, tactics to embrace, are as follows: Blogging – Have an on-site blog and update it regularly, fortnightly at a minimum, an absolute ideal would be daily, but for anybody but big companies who can budget for full time content writers this is rarely realistic. Then promote your blogs to encourage sharing. Guest Blogging – There has been a lot of discussion lately after Matt Cutts from Google slammed guest blogging. The problem is a lot of companies and marketing agencies went to the extreme with guest blogging and used it as an alternative to the old school article posting method. If you do high quality blogs, and have them posted on sites which are relevant to your own and don’t do 50 per week you aren’t going to have a problem. In most cases, I aim for 1-4 per month and see some great results from this. Social Media – Where are your target audience? What are they talking about? Get in on the conversation. Now, one of the biggest mistakes businesses make when starting social media is to promote and sell, then they wonder why it doesn’t work for them…DO NOT DO THIS…social media is about communication, two way communication. Talk to your customers, ask them questions, thank them, welcome them, laugh with them, share
  4. 4. interesting content with them, then every now and then share something with them about your business. Google+ now this could fall into social media, but it is becoming a huge part of standalone SEO strategies since Google integrated their Google Places pages a few years ago, now Google+ has a number of signals which appear to increase the chances of a site ranking well, not least the number of +1’s a page has, this also applies to +1’s on links to a page…so get posting updates! Mobile – In case you’ve missed the news 2014 is the year of the mobile. If you don’t have a mobile or responsive website you really need to get this sorted out. According to the Mobile Marketing Association mobile search will overtake desktop search this year, and according to a Google study 81% of mobile searches are driven by speed and convenience, and are likely to encourage follow up actions be that a purchase or social share. Usability Testing – This is a great way to find out what ‘real’ people think of your website and how they use it. Any number of experts, me included, can give you advice until the cows come home, but what truly matters is the average joe sat at home, which is why usability testing is an invaluable tool. There are a number of different types of usability tests but two of my personal favourites are the 5 second test where someone looks at your site for 5 seconds then answers a few questions about the site…you’ll be surprised how much people can tell about a site in 5 seconds. Then there is a full usability test where you send someone to the site and video their journey through the site. What is interesting is often what they say they are seeing and what they do with the mouse are two different things, showing that what they think they are doing is completely different, so you can make changes according to not only what they tell you, but what they actually do! Extra Things You Should Do These are some additional things you should be doing to ensure that you keep your website ahead of the game with SEO. Ensure your blog has social sharing buttons installed to encourage people to share blog posts with their network. Upgrade to the newer and much more data driven Universal Analytics as soon as you can, invites are being added in the Admin section of your Google Analytics account as they are being released. This will be compulsory at some point this year, so you may aswell get ahead of the crowd. Start using Google Tag Manager, to update information being fed to your analytics without the need for updating your analytics code every five minutes! And…keep a close eye on your website stats, this can give you lots of information to help guide your next steps, content ideas and target audience. Get TwitterCards coding installed onto your site, this way, when somebody shares information about your website, the information which is seen on the Twitter information is much more than just a simple tweet, it is information pulled from the page the person has shared.
  5. 5. Search Results Today Finally, don’t get hung up on your rankings…there are several reasons why I tell you this, not least because no two people see the same search results anymore, I’ll finish up with some examples of different types of search results you can expect to see in Google these days: Local Search Results – based on your actual location, your profile location, or a location you’ve entered into the search bar Knowledge Graph Results – The knowledge graph is a combination of data sources and algorithms which Google uses to provide useful information relating to a search. Vertical Search Results – These are the more traditional search results which you expect to see, although with the addition of images, videos, news, articles etc these are forever changing and will never look the same again. Paid Search Results – These are all of the results which show adverts for people who have paid for a result via Google AdWords. Add to this additional information which goes into search results such as: Site Links Authorship Mark Up Review Mark Up Social Results Related Searches All of these search types appear in different styles, priorities, and designs depending on the search, user, and location etc. Meaning that you can be number 1, on one screen but on your neighbours screen for the same keyword number 10. What I’m getting at here is that you should concentrate on your site traffic, which pages are converting traffic, which aren’t, and looking into why? Always be asking yourself questions about the actual data you have rather than “why am I not ranking at number one”. Anybody can manage their SEO, of course the issue can be time and knowledge, which is where people like myself can come in useful to take away that pressure. I have put together an e-handout which has the talk, presentation and some useful links included for you to refer back to. If you would like me to send this to you, please let me have your business card with SEO written on it and I’ll get them all sent out by email this week. Any questions.

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