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Sherrod Seo Presentation4 07


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Sherrod Seo Presentation4 07

  1. 1. Increasing Search Engine Visibility Practical SEO for Successful Online Businesses John Sherrod Director of SEO and Emerging Technologies Consumer Source Interactive, 2007 Copyright John Sherrod 2007 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License .
  2. 2. Why SEO?
  3. 3. For generations, business was simple:
  4. 4. Build it and they will come…
  5. 5. EXCEPT…there is no foot traffic in cyberspace
  6. 6. Cyber foot traffic comes from search engines: Yahoo 12-28% MSN 8-12% ASK 3-5%
  7. 7. Cyber foot traffic comes from search engines: <ul><li>Google: 45-78% </li></ul><ul><li>Yahoo 12-28% </li></ul><ul><li>MSN 8-12% </li></ul><ul><li>ASK 3-5% </li></ul>
  8. 8. Search Engine Marketing Getting noticed in a virtual world <ul><li>“ Marketing” - communicating value to customers. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional mediums : TV, Radio, Print, Telephone, Billboards and simple storefront signs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Often in your face, force-feeding marketing) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Search Engine Marketing” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The marketing methods used to increase the presence of a website in SERPs (search engine results pages). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not “mass” marketing – match maker marketing. SEs match queries to available content based on relevance. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(traditional force feeding = pop up ads) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ SEO” – Search Engine Optimization is one component of Search Engine Marketing. SEO is about optimizing your website’s match potential when someone is looking for your relevant keywords. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Much more passive and responsive approach to marketing. </li></ul></ul>Copyright John Sherrod 2007
  9. 9. Also: SEO for Reputation Management
  10. 10. SEM = SEO + PPC <ul><li>Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is divided into two camps: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PPC – Pay Per Click </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>also called “Paid” or “Sponsored” listings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEO – Search Engine Optimization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>also called “Natural” or “Organic” listings </li></ul></ul></ul>To confuse the issue further, “SEM” is commonly interchanged with “PPC”. However, “SEO” always refers to unpaid positioning. Copyright John Sherrod 2007
  11. 11. Some important SEM terms: CPC, CTR and CPA <ul><li>CPC  Cost Per Click. </li></ul><ul><li>CTR  Click Through Rate </li></ul><ul><li>CPA  Cost Per Acquisition </li></ul>
  12. 12. What is SEO? <ul><li>Increasing Search Engine Visibility in the SERPs (search engine results pages) </li></ul><ul><li>The synthesis of website content and organization, site accessibility and popularity quotient. </li></ul>
  13. 13. The University of Google <ul><li>Think of Google like the best Ivy League College - attendance is expensive, space is limited and the competition is fierce. </li></ul><ul><li>Typically there are two ways to be awarded attendance at competitive colleges – through scholarship and through paying full tuition. </li></ul>Copyright John Sherrod 2007
  14. 14. The University of Google <ul><li>SEO is like getting a scholarship. It is a “merit-based” achievement. Good references (links from other sites) and high achievement (authority content) are keys to success. </li></ul><ul><li>PPC is like paying full tuition. Getting a top spot for a sponsored listing is achieved by offering the highest bid*. </li></ul><ul><li>SEO and PPC are distinctly different but are often confused. </li></ul>Copyright John Sherrod 2007
  15. 15. Hi, I’m PPC Hello, I’m Organic
  16. 16. The University of Google PPC (paid) listings are highlighted in Yellow Copyright John Sherrod 2007
  17. 17. The University of Google Google even labels “Sponsored” links. Copyright John Sherrod 2007
  18. 18. The University of Google The “organic”, “natural” SEO listings are highlighted in Yellow Note – organic listings cannot be purchased.
  19. 19. Except with Yahoo… New SearchSubmitPro Program fills some top spots on some search queries (#10 is the new #1)
  20. 20. PPC bid prices range from $.05/click to several dollars per click. The average Cost per Click for the search term “rental houses” is $.76/click for the top spot. Copyright John Sherrod 2007 Pay Per Click operates like an auction From Google Adwords Bid Tool
  21. 21. Organic and PPC in real life
  22. 22. Organic and PPC in real life 60% of searchers click Organic listings!
  23. 23. Don’t forget about Google LOCAL!
  24. 24. Local SEO for “Brick and Mortar” Businesses <ul><li>Do this tonight! </li></ul><ul><li> Add business content to Google Business Center </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul><ul><li>Put business address in <meta description> tag </li></ul><ul><li>Also, Add a Map to your business on your website – </li></ul><ul><li>Use Google maps, Yahoo maps and maps. </li></ul><ul><li>Search engines will use this information. </li></ul>
  25. 25. PPC and SEO The one/two punch of SEM <ul><li>Used in combination, PPC and SEO offer a broad approach to maximizing search engine presence. </li></ul><ul><li>PPC is more predictable than SEO, gives an immediate return and ROI tracking can be more easily measured. Costs only occur when a visitor clicks to the destination site. </li></ul><ul><li>Although the result is “free” Google listings, SEO efforts are not easily tracked and can take months to create change. There is no “silver bullet” for SEO success but creating great content is the fundamental effort. </li></ul>Copyright John Sherrod 2007
  26. 26. Now….back to SEO <ul><li>Who wants to rank #1 on Google? </li></ul>
  27. 27. Now….back to SEO <ul><li>Who wants to rank #1 on Google? </li></ul><ul><li>More importantly – WHAT do you want to rank #1 for? What are your keywords? How do you know? </li></ul>
  28. 28. Keyword research tools What good is #1 ranking for “click here”? <ul><li>Trellian ( </li></ul><ul><li>WordTracker ( </li></ul><ul><li>These and other keyword research tools can be found here: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>Hint – NONE of these tools are perfect!
  29. 29. Use PPC to evaluate Keywords <ul><li>Step One – discover keywords: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use keyword research tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Step Two – test your keywords: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spend $100 on a few keywords using Adwords. Test conversion! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Step Three – Organize your site’s content based on keyword findings. Optimize page titles, use <h> tags where appropriate. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn your CPC, CTR and CPA </li></ul>
  30. 30. On to the Optimization <ul><li>Fundamentals </li></ul><ul><li>Do’s and Don’ts </li></ul><ul><li>Roadblocks to Success </li></ul>
  31. 31. Fundamental Overview <ul><li>Site architecture - Coherent navigation and content that is easy to reach. (Not just a “dash” of SEO after the website is finished) Website accessibility is crucial. </li></ul><ul><li>Page construction - Clean code without roadblocks to spidering and indexing. </li></ul><ul><li>Creating useful, unique content. Use keyword rich TEXT content - integrate words that real people use. </li></ul><ul><li>Link popularity - Create content that is linkable, interesting to others, worthy of book-marking. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Content is King <ul><li>Search engines can only understand textual content. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We are never going to be able to index things that are not words.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vanessa Fox – Google Webmaster Tools </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create useful, authoritative copy that is written for humans. Segment and organize your site appropriately. Try to keep each page focused on no more than 2-3 keywords/keyword phrases. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Add content regularly </li></ul>
  33. 33. Understanding “virtual foot traffic” Robot Basics <ul><li>When a web surfer uses a search engine, they are searching a database compiled by that search engine. </li></ul><ul><li>Robots or Spiders are automatic programs that traverse web pages, gathering information about websites. The evaluation of websites is a separate process. </li></ul><ul><li>Spiders also follow links from one site to another. Sites that have many links pointing to them from other sites increase their ‘Link Popularity’ , another measure of site importance. </li></ul><ul><li>Search engine robots are simple . They can recognize text and follow links, period. They CANNOT interact with the sites by making choices and clicking ‘submit’. They cannot read images or Flash content. Nor can they follow links and controls that require Javascript </li></ul><ul><li>(JS is read by the browser). </li></ul>Copyright John Sherrod 2007
  34. 34. Link Development (Queen) <ul><li>DMOZ, Yahoo, BOTW, JoeAnt </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Human edited directories only </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Press Releases </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PrWeb, PrNewswire </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Blogs / Forums / Social Media </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Read and participate – be smart and be of use! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Link to them first. Good bloggers will know backlinks. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Links from related, trusted sites </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Edu and .Gov sites = more link juice </li></ul></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Server Side Considerations <ul><li>Site Architecture – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create keyword rich, intelligent url structure. Organize content, use bread crumbs, develop internal cross linking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If dynamic site, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>use mod-rewrite for Apache or </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>use Isapi rewrite for IIS. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why? Easier for Search Engines to crawl and understand. More than 2 variables causes indexing problems. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Canonicalization – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose between “www” and “non-www” version of your site. 301 redirect to the chosen version. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why? To search engines, they are two different sites. Duplicate sites (two urls, with identical content) get de-listed. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>301 Redirects – If changing domain names or moving files, ONLY use 301 redirect. (test with Firefox or at </li></ul>
  36. 36. <tip> 1 page = 1 url <ul><li>A page is a url is a page. </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is different than: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common mistake </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> region /section/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is NOT the same url as as </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> region / </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. Roadblocks for SE spiders <ul><li>Graphics (alt text is NOT the same as textual content) </li></ul><ul><li>Flash </li></ul><ul><li>Hidden divs </li></ul><ul><li>Frames </li></ul><ul><li>Javascript navigation </li></ul><ul><li>Complex Url structure – 2+ QS variables </li></ul>
  38. 38. More on Url structure <ul><li>Bad </li></ul><ul><ul><li>….. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Better </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Good </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Best </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li><note> search engines do not prefer a particular file extension. .html=.php=.asp=.aspx=.jsp, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. Test your Saturation and Inbound Links <ul><li>Type the following into your search engine </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gives you the number of pages indexed </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gives sites that link to your site </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Also Use Google Webmaster Tools and Yahoo site explorer to understand competitors </li></ul></ul></ul>
  40. 40. More Fundamentals: Add a UNIQUE page title for each page in your website – this will take care of 80% <ul><li>Browser rendered page title: </li></ul><ul><li>Html page title: </li></ul>
  41. 41. Common Mistake* <ul><li>Many websites ONLY use their company name for every page on their site. </li></ul><ul><li>Many websites use the same page title for every page on their website. </li></ul>
  42. 42.
  43. 43. Create a site map Both html and xml <ul><li>Html sitemap – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organize categories and sub categories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use descriptive anchor text </li></ul></ul><ul><li>XML sitemap – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a path to ALL web pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use Google Webmaster Tools* Do this! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provides feedback about crawl and problems from Google </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> for protocols and instructions </li></ul>
  44. 44. Create Custom 404 page
  45. 45. A 404 error kills a spider’s crawl
  46. 46. Don’t be a spammer <ul><li>Search Engines are more and more adept at finding spam </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No white text on a white background </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No hiding text in hidden divs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No cloaking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No duplicate domains with identical content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read Google’s quality guidelines! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www. google .com/support/ webmasters/bin/answer. py ?answer=35769 </li></ul></ul>
  47. 47. Winners never cheat Cheaters never win ( unless you’re really really good at it )
  48. 48. Organic sample: page title importance
  49. 49. Look at Bizrate - #2 ranking behind Pcmag comparison * Well developed <title> * Branding in later part of title – keywords first * <meta description> lets users know more before clicking to site * Url has keywords
  50. 50. Random Tip <ul><li>Old Domains do better </li></ul><ul><ul><li>are not susceptible to the “sandbox” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>have less of a tendency to be filtered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and generally are given a higher tolerance for rule bending. </li></ul></ul>Sandbox got you down?
  51. 51. Common Mistakes* <ul><li>Using images Flash for the entire site </li></ul><ul><li>“ Click here” to enter site </li></ul><ul><li>Making textual content into images </li></ul>
  52. 52. Measuring Success Establish a baseline and monitor gains
  53. 53. Training and Resources <ul><li> - Jill Whalen </li></ul><ul><li> - Bruce Clay SEO toolset </li></ul><ul><li> - Chris Sherman </li></ul><ul><li> - Danny Sullivan </li></ul><ul><li>SeoMoz - Rand Fishkin </li></ul><ul><li>Google Webmaster Tools </li></ul><ul><li>Yahoo Site Explorer </li></ul><ul><li>Firefox Plugins </li></ul>
  54. 54. <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>