NWEN_eIQ_Launching Your SEO Effort_Confluence Digital


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In the digital age there is no more efficient means to increase brand visibility than via search engines. Knowing how to structure your company's website content to be appealing to search engine spiders and interested humans needs to be in every company's marketing strategy. Applying search engine optimization best practices to your website is a necessity. This session will walk you through the steps necessary to launch an SEO effort.

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NWEN_eIQ_Launching Your SEO Effort_Confluence Digital

  1. 1. Launching An SEO Effort<br />What You Need to Know & Getting Started<br />
  2. 2. Agenda<br />About Confluence Digital<br />How Search Engines Work in 2 minutes<br />Search Engine Optimization in 2 Slides  <br />A Few Myths About SEO<br />Before Optimization Starts<br />Where to Start?<br />Live Optimization<br />Resources<br />
  3. 3. Confluence Digital Work<br />
  4. 4. How Search Engines Work in 2 Minutes (or so)<br />
  5. 5. The Basics - Indexing<br />
  6. 6. The Basics – Serving Results<br />
  7. 7. Search Engine Results Page (SERP)<br />The higher the position of your listings, the more click-throughs to your site.<br />The number one search result is worth pursuing because # 1 gets:<br />4.9 X more clicks than number 3 position <br />8.5 X more clicks than number 5 position <br />14.1 X more clicks than number 10 position<br />
  8. 8. Search Engine Optimization in 2 Slides<br />
  9. 9. Google Page Rank<br />Elite 8-10<br />Above Average 6-7<br />Average 3-5<br />Below Average 0-2<br />
  10. 10. SEO Factors<br />Off-site<br />On-site<br />
  11. 11. A Few Myths About SEO<br />
  12. 12. It’s All About the Homepage<br /><ul><li>False. While important, high value internal pages may have a larger role in converting actions. It’s about conversions!
  13. 13. View your site as a funnel functioning to move visitors to act on a specific objective.</li></ul>Keyword Meta Tag<br />No. The Keyword Meta Tag is no longer a consideration in search algorithms.<br />
  14. 14. Your Domain Doesn’t Matter<br />False. A domain that includes keywords, all else being equal, will out rank a generic domain name. URL is not a primary factor.<br />Example: We sell widgets<br />Better URL: www.superiorwidgets.com, www.seattlewidgetsinc.com<br />Not as strong: www.superiorcorp.com, depth of content can be an equalizer<br />All Hosts Are Created Equal<br /><ul><li>False. Geographic location impacts local search results. Hosting in the location of your target audience for a modest SEO boost.</li></li></ul><li>Frequent Site Updates Are Needed <br /><ul><li>False. Regular content updates are great but quality of content & relevance is paramount.</li></ul>More Visits = SEO Success <br />False. Quality traffic trumps quantity. Focus on tailoring your content to your ideal human visitor. <br />Paid Ads Help SEO<br /><ul><li>False. Ads may help with visibility but the official word from SE’s is there is no influence.</li></li></ul><li>Before Optimization Starts<br />
  15. 15. Success Starts with Support<br />Company Dynamics<br />Executive level support is essential<br />Marketing >> drive web strategy &<br />positioning<br />IT >> recommend SEO friendly<br />technologies & solutions<br />Finance & Operations >><br />providing adequate resources<br />Collaborate or lose.<br />
  16. 16. Site Analytics<br />Install an analytics solution <br />that provides the following:<br />Who’s coming?<br />What are they doing?<br />Where are they coming from?<br />When do they act? <br />Why do they convert?<br />How loyal are they?<br />Google & Yahoo Analytics are free powerful tools<br />Easy Natural/Organic traffic report set-up<br />
  17. 17. Diagnostic Tools from the Engines<br />Search Engine Diagnostics & Troubleshooting<br />Google http://www.google.com/webmasters/checklist/ <br />Bing http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmasters<br />Set up Accounts and Start Collecting Data<br />See Your Site How Engines See It<br />Gain Insights into:<br />Find queries that drive visits<br />Crawler access, stats and errors<br />Broken links and barriers to indexation<br />Internal and external link reporting<br />Direct the engines how you’d like them to interact with your site<br />
  18. 18. Baseline The Current State<br />For Keywords you think are important now, how do you rank?<br />How do your Branded Keywords rank? <br />How do you compare to a select group of competitors? Are there new competitors?<br />Conduct a competitive SEO audit versus 2 or 3 competitors (template at the end)<br />
  19. 19. Put Together Your Team<br />Assemble a cross functional team<br />Representatives from Corporate, Marketing, Customer Support, IT and outside perspectives<br />No “team”? Recruit interested parties who’ll offer unbiased feedback: business advisors, peers, significant others, friends/family, etc.<br />
  20. 20. Where to Start?<br />
  21. 21. On-site: “Crawl-ability” & Indexation<br />Data from the webmaster tools will indicate crawl errors, crawl stats, broken links, top search queries, etc.<br />If plans include moving your site, use the Change of Address tool to notify Google.<br />Use 301 redirects to permanently tell users and search engines of changes to page locations.<br />Compare known page count to amount indexed by search engines. This ratio indicates how you may be impacted by issues.<br />
  22. 22. On-site: Keyword Research <br />Brainstorm<br /><ul><li>Ask customers & co-workers
  23. 23. Visit high ranking competitors
  24. 24. Visit industry sites</li></ul>Take your Marketer hat off<br /><ul><li>What problem does your company solve?
  25. 25. Describe the situation & solution without buzzwords</li></ul>Is analytic data available?<br /><ul><li>Review site logs, if not…
  26. 26. Google Analytics (free) & collect data (Visitors > Keyword)</li></li></ul><li>On-site: Keyword Research <br />Use Tools to Find New Words<br /><ul><li>Google Keyword Tool
  27. 27. WordTracker
  28. 28. KeywordSpy</li></ul>Quantify Opportunities<br /><ul><li>Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI)
  29. 29. Estimated monthly volumes
  30. 30. Strength & volume of competition</li></ul>Review the List, Reprioritize<br /><ul><li>Begin to organize the list
  31. 31. Do searches to see what results come up. Are they relevant to you?</li></li></ul><li>On-site: Keyword Research <br />Map Keywords to Strategy<br /><ul><li>Are these the visitors you’re looking for?
  32. 32. Do the keywords filter traffic well</li></ul>Conduct a Content Gap Analysis<br /><ul><li>Do you have relevant content for targeted keywords?</li></ul>Bucket Keywords: Core & Supplementary<br /><ul><li>3-5 core keywords
  33. 33. 5-10 qualifying keywords to further target (i.e. geographic, special function, etc.)
  34. 34. End with 10-15 high value phrases</li></li></ul><li>On-site: Title Tags<br />Title Tag or Page Title<br /><ul><li>Succinctly summarizes the page’s content
  35. 35. Appears as the headline in search results
  36. 36. The <title> tag should be placed within the <head> tag of the HTML document.
  37. 37. Example: <title> Primary keyword + supplemental keyword w/call to action or brand</title></li></ul>Best Practices <br /><ul><li>Create a unique title for every page
  38. 38. Include a keyword or two, no more
  39. 39. Describe the page contents
  40. 40. Avoid vague titles (i.e. Home Page, Products)
  41. 41. Recommended 50-60 characters, up to 64-66 displayed</li></li></ul><li>Title Tags Example<br />
  42. 42. On-site: Meta Description<br />Meta Page Description<br /><ul><li>Summarizes the page with more detail
  43. 43. Appears as text below Hyperlinked Title Tag on search engine results page
  44. 44. Support the headline & work in 1-3 keywords
  45. 45. Google may supply a description for you if you don’t</li></ul>Best Practices<br /><ul><li>Craft unique descriptions designed to drive click throughs
  46. 46. Support concepts in Page Title Tag
  47. 47. <meta name="description" content=“A keyword rich description of products available on this page. Write it like an ad and include a call to action." />
  48. 48. Recommended 150 -170 characters
  49. 49. DO NOT use keywords excessively</li></li></ul><li>Meta Description Example<br />
  50. 50. On-site: Other Low Hanging Fruit<br />Include Keywords in URL/directory structure<br />Add Keywords to image ALT tags<br />Create Sitemap.xml file & submit to engines<br />Include robot.txt files with a pathway to the sitemap.xml<br />Introduce text-based Keyword rich navigation links<br />Use Flash wisely. Accentuate and highlight content vs. using as a vehicle for content<br />
  51. 51. On-Site: Content is King<br />Your website must be relevant to your audience<br />Content should be regularly updated within reason<br />Create and maintain a copy blog<br />Ideas for content<br /><ul><li>Develop a list of frequently asked questions
  52. 52. Tips & Tricks for issues faced by the market
  53. 53. Create case studies and publish tutorials/help files
  54. 54. Ask peers to write guest articles/blog posts</li></ul>Too busy to develop content?<br /><ul><li>Online freelance communities: Elance, oDesk, many others
  55. 55. Hire a grad student researcher in your field with solid writing skills </li></ul>Buy “Content Strategy for the Web” by K. Halvorson<br />
  56. 56. Off-site: Link Building<br />Link Building is…<br /><ul><li>Acquiring in-bound link from reputable sites which are relevant to your target audience.
  57. 57. Strategies & tactics which entice others to link to your site.</li></ul>Why is Linking Important?<br /><ul><li>Engines like links. Links drive traffic. Links improve visibility.
  58. 58. Engines puts heavy emphasis on qualityand diversity of inbound links.</li></ul>Create & Distribute Quality Content<br /><ul><li>Avoid distributing to content farms.
  59. 59. Seek sites that are authority sites within your domain of expertise.</li></ul>Pursuing High Value Link Partners<br /><ul><li>Treat as you would a business development opportunity.
  60. 60. Create a relationship for the long term.</li></ul>NEVER PAY FOR LINKS<br />
  61. 61. Off-site: Social Media<br />A growing influence on SEO likely to a key factor.<br />Engines are indexing & serving social media sites and content in their results pages.<br />Establish company accounts for Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter.<br />Use to distribute notification of company news, content updates, items of interest to your audience.<br />Once you start, do not stop. Experiment, Test & Measure. <br />Start here: What is Social Media Marketing?<br />
  62. 62. Ongoing Activities<br />Benchmark efforts against initial baselines and target objectives.<br />Research keywords for new opportunities quarterly or monthly.<br />Tweak and add content to fill gaps.<br />Link building is continuous. Track efforts.<br />Social media updates & connecting with others.<br />Watch your analytics: if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.<br />
  63. 63. Live Mini SEO Reviews?<br />
  64. 64. Resources<br />
  65. 65. Tools & Resources<br />Free SEO Tools<br /><ul><li>Google Keyword Tool – free https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
  66. 66. RankChecker from SEOBook</li></ul> http://tools.seobook.com/firefox/rank-checker/ <br /><ul><li>SEOMoz - http://www.seomoz.org/tools
  67. 67. Live Search (MSN) http://adlab.msn.com/Keyword-Forecast/default.aspx
  68. 68. SpyFu – http://www.spyfu.com
  69. 69. KeywordSpy - http://www.keywordspy.com/
  70. 70. WebCEO free version - http://www.webceo.com
  71. 71. The Google Guide - http://www.googleguide.com/</li></ul>There are hundreds available. Find the one that suites your style.<br />SEO News<br /><ul><li>http://searchengineland.com/
  72. 72. http://searchenginewatch.com/
  73. 73. http://www.imediaconnection.com/seo/index.asp
  74. 74. http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769</li></ul>Key Blogs / Forums<br />Matt Cutts: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/<br />Rand Fishkin: http://www.seomoz.org/blog<br />Aaron Wall: http://www.seobook.com/<br />John Battelle: http://battellemedia.com/<br />DigitalPoint: http://forums.digitalpoint.com/<br />SEMPO.org: http://www.sempo.org/home<br />Confluence Digital: http://confluencedigital.com<br />
  75. 75. Competitive Comparison Template<br />
  76. 76. About Confluence Digital<br />What We Do <br />Digital Brand Enhancement<br /><ul><li>Search Engine Optimization
  77. 77. Paid Search
  78. 78. Social Media Marketing
  79. 79. Display/Banner Programs
  80. 80. Digital Video/Image Distribution</li></ul>Program Optimization<br /><ul><li>Digital Marketing Program Management
  81. 81. Landing Page/Conversion Path Optimization
  82. 82. User Experience Analytics
  83. 83. Consulting, Training & Education
  84. 84. 3rd Party Program Audits & Vendor Selection</li></ul>Dave Pektas Search Marketing Specialist<br />Jason Gritten Search Marketing Specialist<br />Alonso Chehade Social Media Associate<br />Eric Layland Client Strategy<br />Dorota Umeno SEM & Brand Advisor<br />Margery Spears SEO & Social Specialist<br />Complemented by an extensive network<br />
  85. 85. Got A Question?<br />Confluence Digital<br />711 Sixth Avenue North<br />Seattle WA 98109<br />www.ConfluenceDigital.com<br />Phone: 206-852-7102<br />eric@confluencedigital.com<br />