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Unbeatable SEO Tips


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A collection of search engine optimisation tips covering off the following broad topics:

Building A Strong Foundation
Keyword Research
Website Performance
Great Content
Rich Snippets
Link Building

Learn why getting the basics right is an absolute priority, allowing you to move into more advanced topics such as URL canonicalisation using rel="canonical" tags and HTTP 301 permanent redirects, outpacing competitors with great content, leverage rich snippets, website performance and more!

Published in: Marketing, Technology, Design
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Unbeatable SEO Tips

  1. 1. Unbeatable SEO Tips Learn what it takes to compete online, beat down your competition & win! KNOWING WHAT MATTERS
  2. 2. Who is Mantra Group? Mantra Group is the largest Australian based hotel operator, with properties in Australia, New Zealand and has recently expanded into Indonesia. Mantra Group has a 3 year pipeline to deliver 20 new properties into Indonesia and a further 20 properties into Thailand in the following 3 years. Some interesting figures about the company: • • • • • 110+ hotels Over $7 billion of assets under management 15000 rooms for sale every night of the week Employees ~4000 staff $500 million per annum turnover
  3. 3. Who is Alistair Lattimore? Alistair Lattimore - Ecommerce Analyst • 9 years with Mantra Group • Software development background • Founding member digital/ecommerce team • Mad keen about search since 2003 I wear a few hats: • Search Engine Optimisation • Conversion Rate Optimisation • Product development • Analytics Support my mo,
  4. 4. Agenda Unbeatable SEO Tips Building A Strong Foundation Keyword Research Website Performance Great Content Rich Snippets Link Building Mobile Social Download this deck,
  5. 5. Building A Strong Foundation Read the manual Google Webmaster Guidelines • Design & Content obvious site hierarchy text links information rich • Technical use robots.txt to block crawlers don’t track crawlers don’t allow ads to affect SEO • Quality make pages primarily for users, don’t deceive them Avoid tricks, auto-generated content, link schemes, cloaking, sneaky redirects, hidden text or links, doorway pages, scraped content, irrelevant keywords, malicious behaviour Google SEO Starter Guide
  6. 6. Building A Strong Foundation What do the search engines think? Google Webmaster Tools, Fast and easy to verify your site, Tonnes of useful tools and invaluable insight
  7. 7. Building A Strong Foundation Controlling the bots Use robots.txt to control what URLs search engines are allowed to crawl with a website. If search engines can’t crawl it, they can’t index it & therefore it can’t rank. Use Google Webmaster Tools Crawl->Blocked URLs report to quickly check how many URLs are blocked.
  8. 8. Building A Strong Foundation XML Sitemaps Back in 2006 Google, Microsoft & Yahoo! jointly announced a XML sitemap protocol. XML sitemaps are a way for a website to tell search engines what content they’d like crawled and indexed. Be aware, it is a hint or suggestion not a directive that they must obey. Popular content management systems can generate them out of the box, some require plugins or they can also be created using a website crawler such as Xenu Link Sleuth. Notify search engines about them via their webmaster console or via robots.txt files. Submit several smaller XML sitemaps for different sections of your site to help understand indexing problems. XML Sitemaps,
  9. 9. Building A Strong Foundation URL Canonicalisation To a search engine, every variation in a URL is a different unique URL: • • • • • • Tools to help address these issues: • • HTTP 301 permanent redirects rel=“canonical” tag,
  10. 10. Building A Strong Foundation rel=“canonical” tag Ecommerce websites typically have lots of products, which typically means tools such as filtering or sorting to help users. Faceted navigation and helpful user tools can be tricky for search engines. Maximise high priority page equity by directing rel=“canonical” tags from URL variations into their respective base URLs. /books/?sort=name /books/?sort=price /books/ /books/?sort=rating rel=“canonical” tag,
  11. 11. Building A Strong Foundation Pagination Ecommerce websites tend to have a lot of products, which then requires pagination. Pagination,
  12. 12. Keyword Research Understand your customers Keyword research allows you to understand how your customers actually search for your products/services. Leverage keyword research to make better information architecture decisions, improve internal navigation, align product categorisation to customer expectations. It will uncover topics , sub-topics, related topics and importantly unrelated topics, many of which will go untapped without investing in keyword research.
  13. 13. Keyword Research Tools, tools & more tools Good keyword research is about going as broad and deep as you have the stomach for. Leveraging multiple keyword research tools and different sources of data provides the best diversity. Remember, you can always ignore a keyword but if you don’t know it exists, you could be missing out on a pot of gold. Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, Google AdWords Keyword Planner, Bing Webmaster Keyword Research, Ubersuggest, Soovle, Keyword Snatcher, HQ Suggest, SEM Rush, WordStream,
  14. 14. Website Performance Website load time performance matters April 2010, Google announced desktop load time performance was now a ranking factor June 2013, Google announced mobile load time performance was soon to be a ranking factor In addition to being on your search engine optimisation best practice road map, it is great for users. Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, AOL, Amazon, Shopzilla and many more have case studies about the benefits. • Phil Dixon, from Shopzilla, had the most takeaway statistics about the impact of performance on the bottom line. A year-long performance redesign resulted in a 5 second speed up (from ~7 seconds to ~2 seconds). This resulted in a 25% increase in page views, a 7-12% increase in revenue, and a 50% reduction in hardware. This last point shows the win-win of performance improvements, increasing revenue while driving down operating costs.
  15. 15. Website Performance Best practice front end optimisation Measure how well your site adheres to best practice guidelines using: • • • • Best practice performance improvement items: • Enabled compression • Merge CSS files to reduce HTTP requests • Merge JavaScript files to reduce HTTP requests • Combine images into CSS sprites where ever possible to reduce HTTP requests • Configure HTTP caching so browsers don’t needlessly re-request the same assets over and over • Use a Content Distribution Network (CDN) to bring resources closer to the user • …
  16. 16. Website Performance It’s hard work, how about a tool? Google are focused on speed, they’ve built and open sourced a tool named PageSpeed to make it simpler. PageSpeed has been implemented for popular web servers: • Apache • Nginx • Microsoft IIS If your hosting provider doesn’t support PageSpeed, Google provide it as a service as well Australian based startup Squixa and US based Cloudflare provide a similar service and support Great for complex implementations
  17. 17. Website Performance SPDY (pronounced speedy) SPDY is a networking protocol developed primarily by Google, is moving toward standardisation and looks as though it will be included in the HTTP 2.0 protocol. It runs over HTTPS, supports HTTP header compression, out of order responses, multiplexed requests, server-side push and a raft of other optimisations. Google tested the performance improvement of 77 web pages across 31 popular sites using a Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone and found a 23% improvement in mean load times across the sites. Already has support in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 and is available today for the Apache web server,
  18. 18. Great Content Underwhelming What sort of characteristics to underwhelming, lack lustre pages have: • • • • • • • • • • • Little to no content Duplicate content/product descriptions from manufacturer 1 or very few photos Small or low quality photos No zoom feature on photos No 360 degree panorama photos No video No virtual tours No reputable third party reinforcements from noteworthy businesses/people No customer reviews ...
  19. 19. Great Content Outpace your competition Remember, search engines rank content – preferably high quality content. Review the type and quality of content your key competitors are producing, now work out how to do it better! Critically review what content you’re currently producing, do you have gaps over your competitors – if so fill them. Market leaders like Amazon have drawn a line through many of the underwhelming points, great content, endorsements, customer reviews, recognition programs for top community members, lots of photos, zoom functionality, 360 degree panorama, video to accompany the photos with real people providing product descriptions, interviews with book authors, it just keeps going. Could you be asking your customers for action shots of their purchase (ie: customers wearing jean X, cut Y, size Z), how about 15 second video captured on an iPhone of your customers kids loving their latest toy. Think long and hard about the things that make you purchase online & why – can you achieve similar?
  20. 20. Rich Snippets Rich what, speak English.
  21. 21. Rich Snippets Why use rich snippets? Search engine optimisation is about getting more traffic, you can do that by: • • • • increasing your rankings improving the quality of your <title> tag improve the quality of <meta> descriptions stand out visually using rich snippets Rich snippets don’t improve your ranking but they sure make your site stand out in the search results! Cyrus Shepard improved the CTR of his sites content by 35% by testing his author photo,
  22. 22. Rich Snippets Eye Tracking US based eye tracking company LookTracker perform eye tracking on lots of interfaces, Toshiba, Dell, NetFlix, Disney, Walmart, ESPN, Target and many more,
  23. 23. Rich Snippets Structured mark up comes in various forms Google, Microsoft & Yahoo! all support to varying degrees. Google currently augments their search results with the following structured mark up: • reviews • recipes • events • music • video, • people • products • businesses/organisations Google Webmaster Structured Data Testing Tool, Rich Snippets,
  24. 24. Link Building Links, the equity of the internet Google Penguin was released in April 2012, it detects low quality, irrelevant links and over-optimised anchor text. Risky scalable link building tactics from low quality, irrelevant websites: • bulk directory submission • forum signature spam • comment spam • article marketing Similarly, unnatural volumes of highly commercial anchor text such as: • car insurance • sydney hotels • cheap credit cards once a go-to tactic now for easily rankings, puts an entire website at risk when taken too far.
  25. 25. Link Building Link building ideas Building links can seem difficult at first, however once you’ve had some success – it’ll begin to flow. Link Building Strategies,
  26. 26. Link Building Link research tools Link research tools allow you to dig into the link profile of any website, your own or a competitor. Pull your competitors link building strategies apart, use it against them to dominate the search results. Google Webmasters, Bing Webmasters, Yandex Webmasters, Majestic SEO, Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs, Link Research Tools, Citation Labs Broken Link Builder, Citation Labs Link Prospector, Outdated Content Finder, Review your own link profile for risky, remember Google Penguin.
  27. 27. Mobile Mobile is here to stay, it’s time to pay attention July 2013, Google CEO Larry Page stated that over 1.5 million Android devices are being activated per day globally. Australia has the sixth highest smartphone penetration in the world at ~65%. 90%+ use mobile internet daily. With the except of Norway (48%), between 50%-70% of the smartphone users within the top 10 counties use their smartphone daily within their favourite search engine. Google Mobile Planet has amazing information about,
  28. 28. Mobile Options for delivering a great mobile web experience Three common approaches that are used regularly around the internet: • Responsive Web Design (recommended by Google & Bing) Responsive web design serves all devices (desktop/tablet/smartphone) on the same set of URLs, with each URL serving the same HTML to all devices and using just CSS to change how the page is rendered on the device. • Dynamic Serving Sites that dynamically serve all devices on the same set of URLs, but each URL serves different HTML (and CSS) depending on whether the user agent is a desktop or a mobile device. • Mobile Specific Website Sites that have separate mobile and desktop URLs.
  29. 29. Mobile Finer Details Allow Googlebot and Googlebot-Mobile to crawl both desktop and mobile content. Responsive Web Design: Google recommend using a CSS media query such as the below to adapt the site design for a smartphone: @media only screen and (max-width: 640px) {...} Dynamic Serving: CMS should serve a HTTP Vary response header by user-agent Mobile Specific Website: CMS should serve a HTTP Vary response header by user-agent on the conditional redirects Implement desktop/mobile rel=“alternate” annotations, can be implemented in HTML or XML Sitemaps Smartphone guidelines,
  30. 30. Social Participate where your users participate facebook has over 1.15 billion Monthly Active Users Google+ has 540 million MAUs, over 300 million MAU are within the stream and more than 1.5 billion photos being uploaded per week. Twitter recently passed 218 million MAUs Over 50% of facebook and Twitter usage is via mobile Social media doesn’t directly correlate to search engine rankings, however it represents a great awareness building tool which can be leveraged to achieve outcomes that do directly help search engine rankings.
  31. 31. Social Google Personalised Search Australian Bureau of Statistics data reveals there were 12.4 million internet subscribers at June 2013 In February, an estimated 14% of visitors to were logged into their Google Account Content liked or shared by your Google+ social connections is elevated in the search results. Where your website might not stand a chance of ranking due to a highly competitive niche, suddenly your followers friends can potentially see your content! Integrate Google+ and Google+ sharing into your online purchasing process. After customers have purchased something, ask them to tell their friends about the product via the payment confirmation page but share the product URL or product category URL – trying to increase the reach of those high value URLs throughout your customers social network.
  32. 32. Social Putting your best foot forward Everyone is familiar with sharing content into a social network, whether it facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest or elsewhere. Did you know that the biggest social networks provide opportunities to customise that sharing experience? Facebook Open Graph Twitter Cards (photo, gallery, player, product, ..) Google+ Interactive Posts (buy, reserve, apply, confirm, ..) Pinterest Rich Pins (product, recipe, movie, article) Surprise your users with customised sharing experiences, delight their followers with a the best possible representation of your content, maximise the likelihood of your content being re-shared because it is relevant and visually engaging.
  33. 33. Social Twitter Cards Twitter supports a number of different card formats: • • • • • • • • Summary Card (default) Summary Card with Large Image Photo Card Gallery Card App Card App Installs and Deep-Linking Player Card Product Card Twitter Cards documentation, Twitter Card validator,
  34. 34. Social Enhance your customer data People fill out a lot of information in their social profiles over time, many of which are happy to share it publicly. What if you could mine your customers public social information, now you can! FullContact provide an API, it allows you to enrich your existing customer information with public information your customers have shared in their various social accounts, Use this information to: • put together link building campaigns • increase social followers • find influencers that can increase the reach of your content
  35. 35. Thank You Get In Contact: • • • • Support my mo, Download this slide deck,