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SEO 101
BERNARD HUANG
Get your copy and follow along!
MHW schedule or
bit.ly/500-seo
Bernard Huang
Distro hacker in residence at 500 Startups.
Co-founder at Clearscope.
@bernardjhuang
“SEOs are like
doctors.
We don’t actually
know what’s going
on… ”
1. SEO in 2017
2. Should you SEO?
3. How to set up your SEO accounts
4. Keyword research
5. On-site content considerations...
1.
SEO in 2017
The evolution of “SEO”
2017
● “quality”
content
● machine
learning
● links?
The Evolution of SEO
2010
● link
authority
● link trust
● keywords
20...
“Quality” content
● Keyword co-occurrence, content authority
Machine learning
● User engagement metrics - dwell time,
clic...
2.
Should you SEO?
Things to take into
consideration before investing
in SEO.
SHOULD YOU SEO?
● Is there any search volume for your
product, app, or service?
● SEO takes a LONG time (in startup time)....
SHOULD YOU SEO?
SEO captures monthly searches. If no
one is searching, you’re outta luck
https://adwords.google.com/ko/Key...
SEO takes a LONG time. If you change
directions, you gotta re-invest in SEO.
SHOULD YOU SEO?
SEO is not guaranteed to pay
dividends.
SHOULD YOU SEO?
SHOULD YOU SEO?
IMO, invest in SEO when:
● post product market fit*
● know what keywords you’d like to rank
for
● have com...
3.
How to set up your
SEO accounts
Set up relevant SEO accounts
and other things.
● Google Search Console
○ proper setup
○ sitemaps
○ robots.txt
○ fetch as Google
● Google My Business
○ reviews
● Bing Web...
WHY
SEARCH
CONSOLE?
Add your website or android app.
SETUP: SEARCH CONSOLE
Add all the variations: http, https,
www., non-www., blog, etc.
SETUP: SEARCH CONSOLE
Set all the preferred domains for
your variations.
SETUP: SEARCH CONSOLE
Valid sitemaps help search engines
understand & crawl your site.
SETUP: SEARCH CONSOLE
Include URLs in the sitemap:
● are unique
● return status code 200
● aren’t <link rel=’canonical’> to a different
URL
● ar...
Robots.txt where search bots go to
see what they can crawl.
ROBOTS.TXT: SEARCH CONSOLE
Allow pages you want crawled and
disallow things you don’t.
ROBOTS.TXT: SEARCH CONSOLE
https://www.grubhub.com/robots.txt
If you’re heavily using js make sure
Googlebot sees it correctly.
FETCH AS GOOGLE: SEARCH
CONSOLE
Updated content on your page?
Make Googlebot crawl / index it!
FETCH AS GOOGLE: SEARCH
CONSOLE
Sign up, register. Pretty easy.
HOW: GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
https://www.google.com/business/
Show reviews, business hours, phone
#s and credibility in SERPs.
WHY: GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
Reviews > no reviews. Review it
yourself, get friends, batchmates.
REVIEWS: GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
Better tooling for errors and
reporting than Google’s console.
WHY: BING WEBMASTER TOOLS
4.
Keyword research
How are people searching for
your keywords? How many?
Understanding keywords is the
foundation of SEO:
● Brainstorm
● Current search traffic analysis
● Competitive analysis
● G...
Create a list of keywords you’d like
to target.
BRAINSTORM: KEYWORD RESEARCH
Get a list of keywords you’re
currently ranking for.
CURRENT SEARCH TRAFFIC
ANALYSIS: SEARCH CONSOLE
COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS: SEMRUSH
Get a list of keywords your
competitors currently rank for.
Google helps searchers by filling out
popular queries.
GOOGLE AUTOSUGGEST:
CLEARSCOPE
Explore what Google is
auto-suggesting for search queries.
GOOGLE AUTOSUGGEST:
CLEARSCOPE
Take the list of keywords from
current / competitor / brainstorm.
ADWORDS KEYWORD PLANNER
Get avg. monthly search volume for
each keyword.
ADWORDS KEYWORD PLANNER
Categorize keywords by intent… now
you have content topics.
SEO CONTENT TOPICS BY INTENT
5.
On-site content
considerations
Content SEO factors that you
can control on your website.
ON-SITE CONTENT
CONSIDERATIONS
Searcher intent
● content relevance
● content comprehensiveness
User engagement metrics
● d...
How do you craft content people
(aka “Google”) want?
By copying what already
works in the SERPs!
and make it better.
SEARCHER INTENT: RELEVANCE
For a query like [san francisco food
delivery], let’s see the results...
SEARCHER INTENT: RELEVANCE
CONTENT RELEVANCE
CONTENT RELEVANCE
CONTENT RELEVANCE
CONTENT RELEVANCE
Google the keywords you want to
rank and classify content type.
HOW: CONTENT RELEVANCE
Google is using keyword
co-occurrence to “grade” content.
SEARCHER INTENT: COMPREHENSIVE
Comprehensive content generally
ranks better than other content.*
SEARCHER INTENT: COMPREHENSIVE
Look at the ranking content and
generate a list of keywords / topics.
HOW: CONTENT COMPREHENSIVE
Staying on your site longer before
backing to SERPs is good.
USER ENGAGEMENT METRICS
USER ENGAGEMENT METRICS
Ways to increase user engagement
metrics:
● relevant content DEPENDS ON QUERY
For example:
● user ...
E-COMMERCE: HERO IMAGES
E-COMMERCE: HERO IMAGES
E-COMMERCE: HERO IMAGES
E-COMMERCE: HERO IMAGES
COPY
the types of content that are already
working in Google and
MAKE YOUR CONTENT 10x BETTER.
6.
Top on-site
technical
considerations
Technical SEO is becoming less
relevant, but here’s what to
watch out for
● crawlability
● <title> tags
● <meta descriptions>
● internal linking
● mobile friendliness / page load speed
TOP ON-SITE...
Crawl your website
● Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Google Search Console
● HTML improvements, internal links,
server errors
Mo...
CRAWL: ON-SITE TECHNICAL
FACTORS
SEARCH CONSOLE: ON-SITE
TECHNICAL FACTORS
If Googlebot can’t see it, fix it. Then
fetch as Google again + submit.
WHY / HOW: CRAWLABILITY
<title> tags are used as the title of
your content in the SERPs.
WHY: <title> TAGS
Make sure your <title> tags are:
● not missing
● unique & interesting
● greater than 30 characters
● less than 65 characte...
Use Adwords to a/b test content and
see how to increase CTRs.
PRO TIP: <title> TAGS
<meta descriptions> are suggestions
for the snippet in the SERPs.
WHY: <meta description> TAGS
Make sure your <meta descriptions> are:
● unique & interesting
● less than 160 characters
● relevant to the content
* not ...
If you have great unique content, try
having no meta descriptions.
PRO TIP: <meta description> TAGS
PRO TIP: <meta description> TAGS
Internal links are like internal votes to
important content on your site.
WHY: INTERNAL LINKING
HOW: INTERNAL LINK RANK DEPTH
HOW: INTERNAL LINK COUNT
Make sure all of your pages:
● are internally linked to within your
website
Make sure the pages you want ranked:
● get mor...
PRO TIP: INTERNAL LINKS
Nav bars are above the fold links you
can use to target important pages.
PRO TIP: INTERNAL LINKS
User sitemaps are easy ways to get
full internal linking coverage.
PRO TIP: INTERNAL LINKS
Google has a
separate index for
mobile and desktop
queries.
Not mobile friendly?
You won’t rank well
for mobile search.
WH...
Check your website with the mobile friendly
testing tool:
HOW: MOBILE FRIENDLINESS
Better the user experience and
Google crawl budget.
WHY: PAGE LOAD SPEED
HOW: PAGE LOAD SPEED
Google Search Console > Crawl >
Crawl Stats > Time spent dl’ing page
7.
Off-site SEO hacks
Links, citations, and more links.
SEO PRESENTATION WITHOUT
LINK ADVICE?!?!
Backlinks
● external votes to your website / page
Citations
● establishes credibility - more important
for local businesse...
HOW: BACKLINKS
● Citations
● PR
● Bloggers
● Guest blogging
● Sponsored content
● Creative endeavors
● Ask your batchmates
CITATIONS: BACKLINKS
Get your business on local
directories or use moz.com/local
Hustle journalists and/or do new and
noteworthy things.
PR: BACKLINKS
Hustle bloggers in your industry for
link placement.
BLOGGERS: BACKLINKS
Hustle bloggers in your industry for to
trade link placement.
GUEST BLOGGING: BACKLINKS
Sometimes the hustle results in
sponsoring bloggers.
SPONSORED CONTENT: BACKLINKS
Think about how you can do or
leverage something others can’t.
CREATIVE ENDEAVORS: BACKLINKS
bit.ly/500-seo
@bernardjhuang
bernard@500.co
Want more?
bit.ly/programmatic-seo
QUESTIONS?
RECOMMENDED TOOLS
Keyword research & discovery
● SEMrush
● Keyword Tool
Technical analysis
● Search Console
● Screaming Fr...
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SEO 101: How to Get Started Winning Google Search Traffic

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Published on

Last updated 3/27/17 - Learn how to start winning in SEO. Here's a talk I gave at the 500 Startups Marketing Hell Week for Batch #18, #19, #20:

Topics covered include:
* State of SEO in 2017
* Should you do SEO?
* How to set up your relevant SEO accounts
* How to do keyword research
* On-site content considerations
* Top on-site technical considerations
* Anddddd, off-site hacking (backlinks)
* Recommended SEO tools

Published in: Marketing

SEO 101: How to Get Started Winning Google Search Traffic

  1. 1. SEO 101 BERNARD HUANG
  2. 2. Get your copy and follow along! MHW schedule or bit.ly/500-seo
  3. 3. Bernard Huang Distro hacker in residence at 500 Startups. Co-founder at Clearscope. @bernardjhuang
  4. 4. “SEOs are like doctors. We don’t actually know what’s going on… ”
  5. 5. 1. SEO in 2017 2. Should you SEO? 3. How to set up your SEO accounts 4. Keyword research 5. On-site content considerations 6. On-site technical considerations 7. Off-site hacks WHAT WE’RE COVERING
  6. 6. 1. SEO in 2017 The evolution of “SEO”
  7. 7. 2017 ● “quality” content ● machine learning ● links? The Evolution of SEO 2010 ● link authority ● link trust ● keywords 2000 ● # of links ● anchor text ● keyword tags
  8. 8. “Quality” content ● Keyword co-occurrence, content authority Machine learning ● User engagement metrics - dwell time, clickstream data Links ● less dependency, harder to game STATE OF SEO 2017
  9. 9. 2. Should you SEO? Things to take into consideration before investing in SEO.
  10. 10. SHOULD YOU SEO? ● Is there any search volume for your product, app, or service? ● SEO takes a LONG time (in startup time). ○ if you’re pre-product market fit, beware ● SEO is not guaranteed.
  11. 11. SHOULD YOU SEO? SEO captures monthly searches. If no one is searching, you’re outta luck https://adwords.google.com/ko/KeywordPlanner/
  12. 12. SEO takes a LONG time. If you change directions, you gotta re-invest in SEO. SHOULD YOU SEO?
  13. 13. SEO is not guaranteed to pay dividends. SHOULD YOU SEO?
  14. 14. SHOULD YOU SEO? IMO, invest in SEO when: ● post product market fit* ● know what keywords you’d like to rank for ● have competitors who’re ranking for things on Google that you’d like to rank for
  15. 15. 3. How to set up your SEO accounts Set up relevant SEO accounts and other things.
  16. 16. ● Google Search Console ○ proper setup ○ sitemaps ○ robots.txt ○ fetch as Google ● Google My Business ○ reviews ● Bing Webmaster Tools ○ more advanced crawl data SETTING UP YOUR SEO
  17. 17. WHY SEARCH CONSOLE?
  18. 18. Add your website or android app. SETUP: SEARCH CONSOLE
  19. 19. Add all the variations: http, https, www., non-www., blog, etc. SETUP: SEARCH CONSOLE
  20. 20. Set all the preferred domains for your variations. SETUP: SEARCH CONSOLE
  21. 21. Valid sitemaps help search engines understand & crawl your site. SETUP: SEARCH CONSOLE
  22. 22. Include URLs in the sitemap: ● are unique ● return status code 200 ● aren’t <link rel=’canonical’> to a different URL ● aren’t `no indexed` in robots.txt or on the page SITEMAP: SEARCH CONSOLE
  23. 23. Robots.txt where search bots go to see what they can crawl. ROBOTS.TXT: SEARCH CONSOLE
  24. 24. Allow pages you want crawled and disallow things you don’t. ROBOTS.TXT: SEARCH CONSOLE https://www.grubhub.com/robots.txt
  25. 25. If you’re heavily using js make sure Googlebot sees it correctly. FETCH AS GOOGLE: SEARCH CONSOLE
  26. 26. Updated content on your page? Make Googlebot crawl / index it! FETCH AS GOOGLE: SEARCH CONSOLE
  27. 27. Sign up, register. Pretty easy. HOW: GOOGLE MY BUSINESS https://www.google.com/business/
  28. 28. Show reviews, business hours, phone #s and credibility in SERPs. WHY: GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
  29. 29. Reviews > no reviews. Review it yourself, get friends, batchmates. REVIEWS: GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
  30. 30. Better tooling for errors and reporting than Google’s console. WHY: BING WEBMASTER TOOLS
  31. 31. 4. Keyword research How are people searching for your keywords? How many?
  32. 32. Understanding keywords is the foundation of SEO: ● Brainstorm ● Current search traffic analysis ● Competitive analysis ● Google autosuggest ● Adwords keyword planner KEYWORD RESEARCH
  33. 33. Create a list of keywords you’d like to target. BRAINSTORM: KEYWORD RESEARCH
  34. 34. Get a list of keywords you’re currently ranking for. CURRENT SEARCH TRAFFIC ANALYSIS: SEARCH CONSOLE
  35. 35. COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS: SEMRUSH Get a list of keywords your competitors currently rank for.
  36. 36. Google helps searchers by filling out popular queries. GOOGLE AUTOSUGGEST: CLEARSCOPE
  37. 37. Explore what Google is auto-suggesting for search queries. GOOGLE AUTOSUGGEST: CLEARSCOPE
  38. 38. Take the list of keywords from current / competitor / brainstorm. ADWORDS KEYWORD PLANNER
  39. 39. Get avg. monthly search volume for each keyword. ADWORDS KEYWORD PLANNER
  40. 40. Categorize keywords by intent… now you have content topics. SEO CONTENT TOPICS BY INTENT
  41. 41. 5. On-site content considerations Content SEO factors that you can control on your website.
  42. 42. ON-SITE CONTENT CONSIDERATIONS Searcher intent ● content relevance ● content comprehensiveness User engagement metrics ● dwell time (bounce rate, avg. time on site)
  43. 43. How do you craft content people (aka “Google”) want? By copying what already works in the SERPs! and make it better.
  44. 44. SEARCHER INTENT: RELEVANCE
  45. 45. For a query like [san francisco food delivery], let’s see the results... SEARCHER INTENT: RELEVANCE
  46. 46. CONTENT RELEVANCE
  47. 47. CONTENT RELEVANCE
  48. 48. CONTENT RELEVANCE
  49. 49. CONTENT RELEVANCE
  50. 50. Google the keywords you want to rank and classify content type. HOW: CONTENT RELEVANCE
  51. 51. Google is using keyword co-occurrence to “grade” content. SEARCHER INTENT: COMPREHENSIVE
  52. 52. Comprehensive content generally ranks better than other content.* SEARCHER INTENT: COMPREHENSIVE
  53. 53. Look at the ranking content and generate a list of keywords / topics. HOW: CONTENT COMPREHENSIVE
  54. 54. Staying on your site longer before backing to SERPs is good. USER ENGAGEMENT METRICS
  55. 55. USER ENGAGEMENT METRICS Ways to increase user engagement metrics: ● relevant content DEPENDS ON QUERY For example: ● user generated content and photos ● well formatted / readable text ● hero images ● videos
  56. 56. E-COMMERCE: HERO IMAGES
  57. 57. E-COMMERCE: HERO IMAGES
  58. 58. E-COMMERCE: HERO IMAGES
  59. 59. E-COMMERCE: HERO IMAGES
  60. 60. COPY the types of content that are already working in Google and MAKE YOUR CONTENT 10x BETTER.
  61. 61. 6. Top on-site technical considerations Technical SEO is becoming less relevant, but here’s what to watch out for
  62. 62. ● crawlability ● <title> tags ● <meta descriptions> ● internal linking ● mobile friendliness / page load speed TOP ON-SITE TECHNICAL CONSIDERATIONS
  63. 63. Crawl your website ● Screaming Frog SEO Spider Google Search Console ● HTML improvements, internal links, server errors Mobile-friendly test, Site load speed test IDENTIFY ON-SITE TECHNICAL ISSUES
  64. 64. CRAWL: ON-SITE TECHNICAL FACTORS
  65. 65. SEARCH CONSOLE: ON-SITE TECHNICAL FACTORS
  66. 66. If Googlebot can’t see it, fix it. Then fetch as Google again + submit. WHY / HOW: CRAWLABILITY
  67. 67. <title> tags are used as the title of your content in the SERPs. WHY: <title> TAGS
  68. 68. Make sure your <title> tags are: ● not missing ● unique & interesting ● greater than 30 characters ● less than 65 characters OR 512 pixels* ● relevant to the content HOW: <title> TAGS
  69. 69. Use Adwords to a/b test content and see how to increase CTRs. PRO TIP: <title> TAGS
  70. 70. <meta descriptions> are suggestions for the snippet in the SERPs. WHY: <meta description> TAGS
  71. 71. Make sure your <meta descriptions> are: ● unique & interesting ● less than 160 characters ● relevant to the content * not a ranking factor HOW: <meta description> TAGS*
  72. 72. If you have great unique content, try having no meta descriptions. PRO TIP: <meta description> TAGS
  73. 73. PRO TIP: <meta description> TAGS
  74. 74. Internal links are like internal votes to important content on your site. WHY: INTERNAL LINKING
  75. 75. HOW: INTERNAL LINK RANK DEPTH
  76. 76. HOW: INTERNAL LINK COUNT
  77. 77. Make sure all of your pages: ● are internally linked to within your website Make sure the pages you want ranked: ● get more internal links than other pages ● get contextual links (eg. homepage links, within blog posts, nav bar, etc.) HOW: INTERNAL LINKING
  78. 78. PRO TIP: INTERNAL LINKS Nav bars are above the fold links you can use to target important pages.
  79. 79. PRO TIP: INTERNAL LINKS
  80. 80. User sitemaps are easy ways to get full internal linking coverage. PRO TIP: INTERNAL LINKS
  81. 81. Google has a separate index for mobile and desktop queries. Not mobile friendly? You won’t rank well for mobile search. WHY: MOBILE FRIENDLINESS
  82. 82. Check your website with the mobile friendly testing tool: HOW: MOBILE FRIENDLINESS
  83. 83. Better the user experience and Google crawl budget. WHY: PAGE LOAD SPEED
  84. 84. HOW: PAGE LOAD SPEED Google Search Console > Crawl > Crawl Stats > Time spent dl’ing page
  85. 85. 7. Off-site SEO hacks Links, citations, and more links.
  86. 86. SEO PRESENTATION WITHOUT LINK ADVICE?!?!
  87. 87. Backlinks ● external votes to your website / page Citations ● establishes credibility - more important for local businesses OFF-SITE SEO HACKS
  88. 88. HOW: BACKLINKS ● Citations ● PR ● Bloggers ● Guest blogging ● Sponsored content ● Creative endeavors ● Ask your batchmates
  89. 89. CITATIONS: BACKLINKS Get your business on local directories or use moz.com/local
  90. 90. Hustle journalists and/or do new and noteworthy things. PR: BACKLINKS
  91. 91. Hustle bloggers in your industry for link placement. BLOGGERS: BACKLINKS
  92. 92. Hustle bloggers in your industry for to trade link placement. GUEST BLOGGING: BACKLINKS
  93. 93. Sometimes the hustle results in sponsoring bloggers. SPONSORED CONTENT: BACKLINKS
  94. 94. Think about how you can do or leverage something others can’t. CREATIVE ENDEAVORS: BACKLINKS
  95. 95. bit.ly/500-seo @bernardjhuang bernard@500.co Want more? bit.ly/programmatic-seo QUESTIONS?
  96. 96. RECOMMENDED TOOLS Keyword research & discovery ● SEMrush ● Keyword Tool Technical analysis ● Search Console ● Screaming Frog SEO Spider Content strategy & improvements ● Clearscope

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