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SEO Workshop - St. Edward's University Instructional Technology


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This is the slide deck for the SEO workshop taught at St. Edward's University by Megan Ura (@Megan_Ura), Computer Training Coordinator. Sponsored by Instructional Technology. This material was developed from past work experience and from Google's Search Engine Optimization Started Guide and SEOMoz's Beginner's Guide to SEO.

UPDATED: Jan 18, 2012 - Added slide on Google's SPYW.
I'm also aware there might be some formatting issues. It seems that SlideShare shifts some slide elements around, resulting in content not being exactly positioned where I want it. Even so, this shouldn't impact your ability to view the content. If there's formatting issues, let me know!

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SEO Workshop - St. Edward's University Instructional Technology

  1. 1. Building Your Site for SEOOn-site traffic-driving strategies.Megan Ura (@Megan_Ura)St. Edward’s University Instructional Technology
  2. 2. What is SEO?“the practice of improving and promoting a web site inorder to increase the number of visitors the site receivesfrom search engines” – SEOmoz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO
  3. 3. Why?1. Conversion:Better visibility =More customers,on and offline2. Trust:Worthiness and relevance image via
  4. 4. How Crawler-based Search Engines Work 1.Crawling 2.Indexing 3.Calculating Relevancy & Rankings 4.Serving Results Your mission: Make your site easily consumable for humans and search engines.
  5. 5. Search Engine Robot Limitations 1. Crawling and Indexing: HTML text rules • Forget forms, login fields • Poor link structures • Uneven support for plug-in content/media 1. Content to Query Matching: Language, slang • “fridges” vs. “refrigerators” 1. Is your tree falling in a forest? • Content must be marketed for visibility • Generating popularity
  6. 6. Planning it OutOn-site • what you can control • “content is king” • site design, structure Off-site • What you try to affect • “link building” image via SEOmoz
  7. 7. Search Plus Your World January 2012 Algorithm Update• Google+ Bias• Related Google+ pages from people and brands• A must-have for businesses, writers, any content makers image via
  8. 8. Keyword Research 101What motivates your customers? 1.List most essential aspects of your site • Review your own copy • Niche vocabulary and jargon or not? 1. What do you customers want to see, learn about? 2. Learn what your competitors use 3. Use a mix of “popular” and “long tail” keywords
  9. 9. Site structure and navigation • Simple directory structure • Help visitors find desired content • Naturally flowing hierarchy • Create a sitemap • Why it matters • Usability and crawl-ability • Ease of use • Watch for orphan pages! image via Google SEO Starter Guide
  10. 10. Semantic URL Structure“friendly” URLs • short, descriptive file names • avoid symbols, numbers, capitalizations • have only one URL per page of content!Better: image via Google SEO Starter Guide
  11. 11. Rules for Choosing your Domain Name • Get inspired by keywords. • Make the domain unique. • Just Say NO to hyphens and numbers. • Only choose .com available names. • Make it easy to type and remember. Keep it short! • Create and fulfill expectations. • Set yourself apart with a brand. Don’t follow the latest naming trends. (
  12. 12. <title>The Title Element</title> Unique, Accurate, Brief • Site Name/Company Name/Your Name • Page-specific keyword(s) • Less than 65 characters, including spaces • Seen at top of browser, browser tabs and search results • Users rely on good titles! Keyword(s) | (Location) | Company Name
  13. 13. “Description” Meta Elementpage-specific summaries to encourage clicksOn your site:On a SERP: images © Google SEO Starter Guide
  14. 14. Quality Content Unique and fresh – people first, SE’s second • Easy-to-read, concise, appropriate • HTML text equivalent for media • “keyword density” – frequency of use • “keyword stuffing” – overdoing it! Why it matters: • Keeps visitors coming back! • Visitors will want to share Image via
  15. 15. rel=“canonical” distinguishing copies from an original To the <head> element, add: <link rel=“canonical” href=“” />• the page is treated as a copy of the canon URL• all of the SE link & content metrics flows back to the canon URL Image via SEOmoz
  16. 16. Organize content with headings• Headings present structure on the page to users.• 6 sizes: <h1>to <h6>, largest to smallest. • Use sparingly; only one <h1> per page. • Serves as an outline for content image via Google SEO Starter Guide
  17. 17. Meaningful Anchor Text Anchor Text: clickable, hyperlinked text <a href="...">Anchor Text</a>. • convey the content linked • Descriptive, not generic “click here” or URL itself • Stands out visually • Use for external and internal linking image via Google SEO Starter Guide
  18. 18. Use “nofollow” when needed• rel=“nofollow” is a link attribute• tells search engines certain links on your site shouldnt pass your pages reputation to the page linked • sites you can’t vouch for, “bad sites” • business competitors A link on the web = a vote, vouch of quality image via Google SEO Starter Guide
  19. 19. Image filenames & alternate text • Accessibility and search engine relevance • Used in image search results • Short, literally descriptive • Place the image near relevant text content <img src=“image001.jpg” /><img src=“SEUlogo.jpg” alt=“St. Edward’s University Logo” />
  20. 20. Analytics• Record and understand traffic trends.• Google Analytics is free!
  21. 21. MaintenanceAn SEOer’s work is never done. • Evaluate keyword rankings monthly. • Watch out for broken links. • Update your content frequently! • Integrate social media/blogging. The Unchanging Core: 1.User Experience 2.On-page SEO and Internal Linking 3.Backlinks: make citation-worthy material
  22. 22. SEO as a Career • Agency, in-house, consulting • Work with a variety clients and businesses • HTML and social media literacy skills
  23. 23. Where to go from here?• “Resources” handout• Books & Blogs• Consider SEM companies carefully.• Promote your site appropriately.• Humans first, search engines second. image via Google SEO Starter Guide