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Silver Arc Search Marketing's SEO training manual

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  • Silver-Arc-Search-Marketing-SEO-Training-Guide

    1. 1. Search Engine Optimization Training
    2. 2. Table of Contents
    3. 3. <ul><li>SEO: The Facts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Marketing Overview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where Are They Searching? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exponential Increases Possible w/ SEO Implementation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organic vs. Sponsored Link User Preference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Golden Triangle and The Goal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is an Algorithm? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does each of the major search engines have different algorithms? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why do some Websites/Pages rank for certain keywords higher than others? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why do some sites/pages rank differently on different search engines? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What Can Be Optimized To Increase Organic Rank (The Basics)? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Page-Title Tags </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meta-Descriptions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meta-Keywords </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alt-Tags on Images </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content and Duplicate Content </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What Can Be Optimized To Increase Organic Rank (Advanced)? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>XML Sitemaps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HTML Sitemaps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal Anchor Text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link Building </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Directory Submissions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dirty URLs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clean URLs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding Link Juice </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. SEO: The Facts
    5. 5. SEARCH MARKETING OVERVIEW <ul><li>U.S. residents conducted 9.82 billion searches in August 2007; a 28.4% increase from August 2006. </li></ul><ul><li>Over 80 percent of internet users visit a search engine to find what they want online. </li></ul><ul><li>When’s the last time you found anything online without visiting Google, Yahoo or MSN? </li></ul>Source: Advertising Age, “Search Marketing Fact Packet” August, 2007
    6. 6. WHERE ARE THEY SEARCHING? Source: Advertising Age, “Search Marketing Fact Packet” August, 2007
    7. 7. Exponential Increases Possible with SEO Implementation Source: ClickZ, “Tracking Organic SEO Benefits”, February 2005
    8. 8. ORGANIC VS. SPONSORED LINK USER PREFERENCE <ul><li>A primary factor to consider is user preference for organic links </li></ul><ul><li>87% of traffic from major search engines is organic, non-sponsored traffic results </li></ul><ul><li>70% of searchers at Google and Yahoo prefer organic to sponsored links </li></ul>US Internet Users Preference for Organic vs. Sponsored Links, by Preferred Search Engine
    9. 9. THE “GOLDEN TRIANGLE” AND THE GOAL Researchers call this a &quot;golden triangle&quot; at the top of result pages. The triangle extends across the top paid search result, then angles back to the left of the page down to the bottom-most &quot;above the fold&quot; result, typically in the third or fourth position on the page. Enhance page position and rank in organic search results to secure placement within the “golden triangle” The Goal of SEO:
    10. 10. What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    11. 11. What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is strategy undertaken to lift the “organic” rank of a website or website pages in the search engines for given keywords. This is done by selecting targeted keywords and phrases which are valuable to the client, changing site structure and usability. SEO is distinct from Search Engine Marketing (SEM) in that Search Engine Marketing encompasses ALL aspects of marketing on search engines: paid search campaigns, banner advertisements, internet yellow pages, and SEO. Organic Business Results Organic Results Paid Search Results
    12. 12. What is an Algorithm? An algorithm is a complex mathematical formula that search engines use to assess a website’s on-page factors and off-page factors in order to determine the relevance of a website or page in relation to a keyword or phrase.
    13. 13. Each search engine has a completely unique algorithm. However, as all websites have standard elements within them, we know that algorithms are set to look for these standard elements. Unfortunately, the technology of the web evolves quickly, and websites and pages follow suit just as quickly, causing algorithms to change to incorporate these new technologies. But the standard elements never change, and that is the base on which we begin SEO for websites and pages. It suffices to say that algorithms determine how search engines see the world wide web and is the formula used to determine what is relevant, how relevant it is, and what is not relevant at all. These algorithms are closely guarded and no one except the creator(s) knows what specific values they search for. All Major Search Engines Use Different Search Algorithms
    14. 14. Why do Search Engines Display Some Websites/Pages Higher Than Others for a Given Keyword? Search Engines rank web pages based on relevance in relation to the keywords/phrases users are searching for. Each search engine bases what is deemed relevant on a variety of factors on the website or web page being considered. Search engines factor in elements of a page in determining a page’s relevance to the keywords and phrases being searched for. Some pages leverage these factors optimally , in keeping with what a given search engine considers important, while other pages do not. This is why some pages “rank” higher in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) than others.
    15. 15. When gauging relevance, not all search engines give the same weight to on-page elements and off-page elements to assess importance and relevance of a page in relation to specific keywords and phrases. So what one search engine uses to assess the relevance of a given website or page can be completely different for another search engine. If ranks #5 in Google for keyword “X”, this does not necessarily translate into the same rank on Yahoo! and MSN, where might rank higher or lower based on the search engine’s algorithm. Why do Websites/Pages Rank Differently on Different Search Engines?
    16. 16. What Can be Optimized to Increase Organic Rank? (The Basics)
    17. 17. Page <Title> Tags <ul><li>What it Does </li></ul><ul><li>The text placed in the title tag (between the <TITLE> and </TITLE> portions) will appear in the title bar of someone's browser when they view the web page </li></ul><ul><li>Viewed by the experts in SEO as one of the most important factors in on-site SEO. </li></ul><ul><li>Each page should have unique title, using a keyword or keyword phrase to describe what the page is about </li></ul><ul><li>Search Engines will display up to 70 Characters of the Title Tag </li></ul>
    18. 18. Page <Title> Tags Where Page Title Tags Are Found (Source Code and Website):
    19. 19. Meta-Page Descriptions <ul><li>What it Does </li></ul><ul><li>A Meta-Page Description is a short blurb with targeted keywords and phrases that will entice users to click through to the website when it displays in the search engine results pages (SERPs). </li></ul><ul><li>Viewed by the experts in SEO as one of the most important factors in on-site SEO. </li></ul><ul><li>The information in these tags can influence how search engines rank your site for relevance. </li></ul><ul><li>The description that is written will show up in search engine listings on Google. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Where Meta-Descriptions Are Found (Search Engines and Source Code): Meta-Page Descriptions
    21. 21. Meta-Page Keywords <ul><li>What it Does </li></ul><ul><li>Viewed by SEO experts as one of the least important factors in on-site optimization , as visitors cannot see these keywords on the website or SERPs; however, they should still be included. </li></ul><ul><li>Meta-Keyword Descriptions help identify what the page is about, and how to categorize it when a search is done by a user, to bring the user the most relevant pages according to the keyword query string typed in by the user. </li></ul><ul><li>Most search engines have limits as to how many meta-keywords are viewed. It is a good idea to review keywords and make sure that they are as concise and specific as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Keywords should be in order of importance, or what keywords/phrases are most important to rank for on that page. </li></ul><ul><li>Using non-concise keywords or no keywords at all, effectively mask pages to the search engines and mask relevance. </li></ul>
    22. 22. Where Meta-Page Keywords Are Found (Source Code): Meta-Page Keywords
    23. 23. Alt-Tags on Images <ul><li>What it Does </li></ul><ul><li>The Alt-Tag is an attribute of a HTML tag that provides alternative text when non-textual elements, typically images, cannot be displayed </li></ul><ul><li>Per the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), all websites should be using Alt-Tags as a means for these users to navigate and interact with the website. Moreover, these tags can provide extra information about services or products. </li></ul><ul><li>Alt-Tags should first describe the image and secondarily use keywords inside HTML tags and image title tags. This provides a simple, easy, and effective way to add value to the website when robots/spiders index the website and its images. </li></ul><ul><li>Though not exclusively agreed upon by SEO experts, many believe this can be the difference between ranking in the Top 10 of results and being in the Top 20 or 30. </li></ul>
    24. 24. Where Alt-Tags Are Found ( Website and Source Code): Alt-Tags on Images
    25. 25. On-Page Website Content <ul><li>Why it is Important </li></ul><ul><li>Search Engines, as we have discussed previously, rank websites for importance and relevance in relation to given keywords and phrases. They do this by assessing not only the meta-data but also through HTML content on the website. </li></ul><ul><li>Content should be in plain text, not in images, or written out with JavaScript, or embedded in Flash. However, there are ways to make text visually pleasing using these standards. </li></ul><ul><li>There is a phrase that is used in the SEO community, “Content is King”. And, it’s not a lie. The content on a client website should contain keywords and phrases littered within. It is one of the main ways search engines calculate the webpage’s relevance, importance, and expertise in relation to the keywords and phrases. </li></ul>
    26. 26. Duplicate Content on the Website <ul><li>Having duplicate content, whether intra-site or “scraping” it from other sources on the internet, may cause search engines to “penalize” the website. Penalize is a relative term; search engines won’t black list you, but it will certainly effect the placement of a website and pages in the SERPs, most likely banishing them to the supplemental section. </li></ul><ul><li>Supplemental Section? Supplemental results usually only show up in the search index after the normal results. They are a way for Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and other engines to extend their search database while also preventing questionable pages from getting massive exposure. </li></ul><ul><li>Best Practices for Duplicate Content on Websites and Pages </li></ul><ul><li>The definitive best practice is to create unique content for the website and each page. This content should be relevant to the website and concentrate on giving clear, concise descriptions of what the website, page, service, or product is about. </li></ul>
    27. 27. What Can be Optimized to Increase Organic Rank? (Advanced)
    28. 28. XML Sitemaps <ul><li>XML Sitemap: What it Does </li></ul><ul><li>Google defines a sitemap in the following way : A sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site, along with additional information about each URL. Sitemaps give Google and other search engines important information about your website including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A complete list of all URLs on your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google's normal crawling process (for example, non-text pages or URLs containing several parameters.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How often the pages on your site change. For example, you might update your product page daily, but update your About Me page only once every few months </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The date each page was last modified </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The relative importance of pages on your site </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sitemaps allow spiders/Bots to index a site quicker and in a more efficient manner </li></ul><ul><li>PLEASE NOTE: submitting a sitemap, does not guarantee that these pages will be crawled or indexed. The sitemap will only tell search engines that these URLs exist on the website. </li></ul>
    29. 29. <ul><li>HTML Sitemap: What is Does </li></ul><ul><li>In conjunction with XML sitemaps, websites should also contain sitemaps. The sitemap page is simply a directory page which lists, in HTML form, all the pages on a website in an organized fashion. </li></ul><ul><li>HTML Sitemaps are particularly useful to search engines, in that a sitemap page will provide excellent internal link structure and anchor text. (This topic will be covered more fully below) </li></ul><ul><li>HTML Sitemaps are also useful for users who may not have JavaScript or Flash enabled on their computers, and, therefore, may not be able to use the site’s navigation. </li></ul>HTML Sitemaps
    30. 30. Internal Anchor Text <ul><li>What it is and What it Does </li></ul><ul><li>Internal linking structure is a pattern used to link one page to another. Links can be found in the navigation or in the body text. Refers to the number and importance of internal links pointing to the target page(s) </li></ul><ul><li>It is a good idea to use two or three words as the anchor text (the text used to link to another page). This not only makes it clear what the following page is about, but also adds some weight with the search engines </li></ul><ul><li>Ideally, websites should link to important internal pages using keyword-dense internal anchor text; however, internal link structure has much to do with Site Architecture and Usability, or how the website’s page hierarchy is constructed. </li></ul><ul><li>Additionally, using the &quot;title&quot; attribute filled with keywords to the anchor tag for all internal hyperlinks is a recommended procedure as well. </li></ul><ul><li>This is ranked as being one of the most important factors by Top SEO players </li></ul>
    31. 31. <ul><li>Example : </li></ul><ul><li>Un-Optimized Internal Anchor Text: </li></ul><ul><li>It's your home or project, so choose your windows and doors carefully . Select the options that meet your needs. Then sit back and enjoy the view. You'll clearly see the difference quality makes. </li></ul><ul><li>Each internal link is not using optimized anchor text, attempting to be relevant for too many words, lessening the temporal relevance search engines would apply. </li></ul><ul><li>Optimized Internal Anchor Text: </li></ul><ul><li>It's your home or project, so choose your windows and doors carefully. Select the options that meet your needs. Then sit back, enjoy the view, and see the difference quality makes. </li></ul>Internal Anchor Text
    32. 32. Link Building <ul><li>What it is and What it Does </li></ul><ul><li>A Link Building Campaign is to build keyword-rich, quality external links from third-party sites that will increase the relevancy of your site for the main keyword phrases assigned to targeted pages. </li></ul><ul><li>Two Important Factors when Link Building: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where does the linking page rank for the term/phrase you want to rank for? If the page is ranking #1 at Google for &quot;sliced bread&quot; and you want to be #1 at Google for &quot;sliced bread”. That's the #1 most valuable link you can get. The larger quantity of higher ranked, quality websites the website we are looking at has the better. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the relevance of the linking page/site to your target page? Answering this question requires you to think critically about the visitors to both the potential linking page and the domain. If the relationship of subject matter is high, the link will provide more semantic and topic specific value. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Link building through low quality/Spam Sites (a.k.a. Link Pharms) can have a negative effect on search engine results and can result in being “black listed” from Google and other search engines. Therefore, the goal is to get external links on high quality sites. </li></ul>
    33. 33. Directory Submissions <ul><li>What it is </li></ul><ul><li>Link Directories such as DMOZ , Yahoo! Directories , Look Smart , and are ways of building solid backlinks. </li></ul><ul><li>Directories can be free to submit to or have annual fees associated with being listed. Free directories often take months for approval and to be listed; paid directories will list within a week or two. </li></ul><ul><li>Link title and description variation are a necessity when submitting to online directories. These varied descriptions and titles will “fool” the search engine that a single source is submitting the website, and hence look more natural to the search engines. No less than three variations of each should be created for a website. </li></ul><ul><li>A NOTE OF CAUTION: while directory submissions are useful in building backlinks and trust to a given website, over-submitting a website to hundreds of directories without link title and description variation is likely to hinder a website’s organic ranking and trustworthiness in the eyes of the search engine. </li></ul>
    34. 34. Dirty URLs <ul><li>What it is and What it Does </li></ul><ul><li>What is commonly known as “Dirty URLs”, or hard-to-read and complex URL structures. These URLs are still commonplace for dynamic web sites, or database-driven websites, because they are portable URLs that can re-create a given search (meaning a user can paste the URL into their browser and end up with a particular set of results). However, they pose many problems to the web site: </li></ul><ul><li>The Dirty URL: </li></ul><ul><li>The length of the URL is often too long for the user to remember or type, and therefore, typos and user errors are abundant </li></ul><ul><li>Does not promote site usability. Because of their complexity, length, and not being straightforward, the average user will not know what function is being served or what content they are about to get. Search Engines, while able to read and index these URLs, as Google uses these as well, will NOT want to index these pages. They are an indicator that they content is always changing, lowering the ability to rank for the content held within. </li></ul>
    35. 35. Clean URLs <ul><li>The “Clean” URL </li></ul><ul><li>A shorter, more meaningful identifier in-line with the content or function of the page. In essence, a short but meaningful URL that users can remember and type with ease. A URL that hides the “wiring” of the site, making it more difficult for security penetrations, and a URL which is more Search Engine friendly. </li></ul><ul><li>Things That Can Be Done to Create Clean URLs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A Clean URL will be descriptive and concise. It will let the user, and the search engines, know exactly what they can expect to see on the page. These URLs should contain page keywords as well. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Simple cleaning usually remaps the ?, &, and + symbols in a URL to more readily typeable characters. </li></ul></ul>
    36. 36. Understanding “Link Juice” <ul><li>What it is </li></ul><ul><li>Link Equity, or as the SEO professionals term it: “Link Juice”, is a theoretical model of how, or how not, a webpage retains or loses the value and weight of links. </li></ul><ul><li>This has become somewhat of a buzzword around the SEO community, and though it remains mostly theoretical, there are underpinnings involved which make this viable when considering SEO for websites. </li></ul><ul><li>The “No Follow” </li></ul><ul><li>Is a non-standard HTML attribute value used to instruct search engines that a hyperlink should not influence the link target's ranking in the search engine's index. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What this looks like in the code: <a href=&quot;...&quot; rel=&quot;nofollow&quot;> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SEO professionals and Webmasters can use this tag to control the flow of “link juice” to other pages in their site. For instance, some pages in the site may not need link juice as they are not worth ranking for or are not relevant. In this case, a webmaster would want to use “nofollow” after the link to the less important page, to ensure that the linked-to-page does not receive juice from the more important page, or the linking page. By using this tag, the more important page retains the value, weight, and importance. </li></ul><ul><li>Sound Confusing? Here is an illustrated guide (thanks to ) , </li></ul><ul><li>that may help you understand this more fully: </li></ul>
    37. 37. “ Link Juice” Illustration 1 2 3 4
    38. 38. Questions?