Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)


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This session looks at the principles of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to attract website visitors, and the tools and techniques for tuning website effectiveness. Using book marketing examples, it focuses on so-called organic search (natural search) and doesn't try to cover everything: rather it zeroes in on the most important things that website owners can do themselves with minimal technical knowledge.

Search Engine Optimisation is part of the broader field of Search Engine Marketing (SEM). The related Part 2 presentation covers Paid Search using Google Adwords, YouTube and similar opportunities and briefly looks at measuring results using Google Analytics.

Martin Taylor, Director, Digital Strategies Limited, Auckland, New Zealand

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Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

  1. 1. SEO and Web Analytics: Attracting visitors, measuring success Martin Taylor , Director, Digital Strategies Ltd Blog : Michael Carney , Strategic Planning Director, Media Counsel Author, Trade Me Success Secrets Blog : http://
  2. 2. Two ways to top the search results SEO and SEM (arketing) <ul><li>Two parts to today’s talk: </li></ul><ul><li>Part 1 : Organic Search </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus is on good content, good design and good reputation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Part 2 : Paid Search and Web Analytics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus will be on using paid (PPC) advertising and measuring results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often encompassed in the broader term ‘ Search Engine Marketing ’ (SEM) </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Part 1 : Search Engine Optimisation Martin Taylor , Director, Digital Strategies Ltd Blog : http:// Web:
  4. 4. It’s not just about search engines <ul><li>Most things that make sites work for humans make them work for machines </li></ul><ul><li>Good, relevant content + Good site design = Good SEO </li></ul><ul><li>Good usability + Good accessibility = Good SEO </li></ul><ul><li>One difference : Search engines feed on HTML text , both visible and invisible </li></ul>
  5. 5. A search example from an SEO point of view
  6. 9. What the web page looks like to a search engine … <head> <title> Mighty Ape: Harry Potter &gt; Buy Harry Potter Books , Games, DVDs, Toys and Music </title> <meta name=&quot;description&quot; content=&quot;Mighty Ape is the best place to shop for Harry Potter ! Orders over $49.95 get FREE NZ delivery!&quot; /> <meta name=&quot;keywords&quot; content=&quot;games, game, dvds, dvd, music, books , book , computers, computer, electronics, toys, toy, movies, movie, tv, New Zealand , NZ , store, Harry Potter &quot; /> </head>
  7. 10. What should I optimise? <ul><li>You optimise pages , not sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(but there are site-wide things you can do) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You can’t usually optimise every page so focus on specific pages : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most important </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most unique/competitive: ‘large share of small market’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Landing pages with specific, relevant content </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Optimising takes time and is on-going so factor this into the cost (whether in time or money) </li></ul><ul><li>Not just Google </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Other search engines have different ranking opportunities but principles the same </li></ul></ul>
  8. 11. SEO starting point: Keywords and Key Phrases <ul><li>Brainstorm keywords and key phrases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What words will my visitors use to search? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incl similar and plural (“key phrase”, “key phrases” and “keyphrases”) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Study successful competitors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The good news: you can see all their secrets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>eg </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use keyword tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>eg Google Webmaster Tools (free) or freekeywords. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Balance popularity / competition / relevance </li></ul>
  9. 12. SEO Top 5: Tune Your Website <ul><li>Use keywords in Title (<title> tag) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Title shows on the top bar of visitor’s browser </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Useful, unique and fresh content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keywords in first 50-100 words of HTML page </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use keywords in Heading 1 (<h1> tag) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Heading 2-6 (<h2> to <h6> tags) also useful </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keyword use in page links </li></ul><ul><ul><li>both internal links and external (in-bound) links </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Site design: useful hierarchy , text-based links , breadcrumbs, sitemap (and XML Sitemap), keywords in domain name and directory structure </li></ul>Ranking based loosely on data from:
  10. 13. But how do I do this stuff? <ul><li>Do the keyword and key phrase research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure your team know them </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Properly use your Content Management System (CMS) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>or make sure your next website has a CMS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common CMS’s: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If no CMS, mark-up for web designer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>both the visible and the invisible content (eg link keywords) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 14. A CMS gives you control over the content, both visible and invisible text —without the need for a web designer
  12. 15. SEO Top 5: Most important factors for in-bound links <ul><li>Keyword-focused links from external (in-bound) sites </li></ul><ul><li>External link popularity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eg for data on links and site popularity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Diversity of link sources linking to your site </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Links from many different root domains </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trustworthiness of domains </li></ul><ul><li>Directories (also used to supply descriptions) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>especially human-edited , eg Open Directory Project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NB Paid links from link brokers can harm rankings </li></ul></ul>Ranking based loosely on data from:
  13. 16. SEO checklist : Putting it together <ul><li>This page has a unique HTML page title </li></ul><ul><li>The HTML page title contains my target keywords </li></ul><ul><li>This page contains 200+ words of HTML text </li></ul><ul><li>HTML text on this page contains my exact target keywords </li></ul><ul><li>This page can be reached from the home page by following text links </li></ul><ul><li>The HTML links from other pages to this page contain my target keywords </li></ul>Source:
  14. 17. Part 2 : Paid Search and Web Analytics Michael Carney , Strategic Planning Director, Media Counsel Author, Trade Me Success Secrets Blog : http:// [Please open the separate slide presentation.]