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Everything You Need to Know about SEO


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A look at everything you need to know about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). A presentation given by Naoise Osborne at Journée Infopresse in Montreal on Oct. 15th 2009.

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Everything You Need to Know about SEO

  1. 1. INTERACTIVE STRATEGY - 55, AV. MONT-ROYAL O., SUITE 999, MONTRÉAL (QC) H2T 2S6 T 514.524.7149 NVISOLUTIONS.COM Search Engine Optimization: Everything You Need to Know about SEO
  2. 2. Ingredients for Successful SEO <ul><li>The Holistic SEO Recipe: </li></ul><ul><li>One Part Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>One Part Editorial </li></ul><ul><li>One Part Webmaster </li></ul><ul><li>One Part SEO </li></ul>Someone from each area should learn the essentials of SEO then coordinate on its implementation. INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  3. 3. Marketing | Product Expertise, Keyword Research, Promo INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  4. 4. Editorial | Keywords to Content, Content to draw links INTERAE STRATEGY – CTIV NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  5. 5. Webmasters | Link Tech, Sitemaps, Publishing, etc... INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  6. 6. SEO :: Inter-department Coordination, Strategy, Reporting INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  9. 9. Information Architecture | Determine Page Relationships <ul><li>Hierarchies imply information organization – implement them with breadcrumbs navigation that always links up to ‘parent pages’: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Home Appliances > Kitchens > Stove Cook-tops > Product Page </li></ul></ul>INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  10. 10. Information Architecture | Content Grouping Similar pages link to other similar pages with breadcrumb and category-specific navigation links present at each level INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  11. 11. Information Architecture | Interlinking Each group of content links heavily to similar content and sparsely to other on-site content that is less similar INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  12. 12. Ranking Targets | Frequency Mirrors Hierarchy INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  13. 13. Information Architecture | Mapping Keywords to Levels Optimize pages higher up for more competitive keywords INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  15. 15. Marketing’s Role | Raking Goals, Converting traffic & Popularity <ul><li>Find & Prioritize Relevant Keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate for ‘Searcher Intent’ </li></ul><ul><li>Request Content from Editorial </li></ul><ul><li>Contribute to Conversion Process </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing for External Links </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct Solicitation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contest & Widgets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Relations </li></ul></ul>INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  16. 16. Keyword Research | Start Short & Think Laterally INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  17. 17. Keyword Research | Build Long Lists with a Narrow Focus INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  18. 18. Keyword Research | Dig Down & Identify Searcher Intent INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  19. 19. Marketing & Editorial | Working Together <ul><li>Convert KW lists to prioritized ranking goals </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm ideas for bridging searcher intent to conversion </li></ul><ul><li>Identify quantity / quality / nature of editorial content required for keyword coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Place content appropriately in I/A </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm ideas for link-attracting or embedded promotion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contest | Worst Vacation Ever Photo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Viral article | Vacation Villas that Tailor to Ghost Hunting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Widget | Last Minute Luxury Ticket Ticker </li></ul></ul>INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  20. 20. Editorial’s Role | Keywords to Content, Titles, Interlinking <ul><li>Proactively suggest content based on KWs </li></ul><ul><li>Write highly clickable <title> tags </li></ul><ul><li>Write keyword oriented on-page titles </li></ul><ul><li>Link out from content to related areas of the website and to outside authority sites </li></ul>INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  21. 21. Editorial’s Role | Page Title, <title> tag, and Interlinking INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  22. 22. Web-Tech’s Role | Integrate content, monitor indexation <ul><li>Implement Information Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate Content to Spec </li></ul><ul><li>Responsible for spider accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor indexation </li></ul><ul><li>Fix duplicate content issues </li></ul><ul><li>Thorough understanding of indexation control </li></ul><ul><li>Understands and utilizes a number of tools </li></ul>INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  23. 23. SEO’s Role | Either in-house or consultants <ul><li>Coordination of all efforts </li></ul><ul><li>Define and manage goals </li></ul><ul><li>Identify technical issues </li></ul><ul><li>Train & Assist Marketing and Editorial </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure good interlinking </li></ul><ul><li>Coordination of link building </li></ul><ul><li>Utilize analytics regularly </li></ul><ul><li>Reporting on SEO </li></ul>INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  24. 24. <ul><li>Two Free Tools | For Webmasters & SEOs </li></ul><ul><li>Google Webmaster Central: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identify Crawl problems (spider data over time!) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find duplicate titles and meta descriptions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Quickly identify 404 pages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>List your pages by internal or external links </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Manage and find errors in sitemaps </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Test your robots.txt file against specific URLs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Basic domain canonicalization (www to non-www) </li></ul></ul></ul>INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  25. 25. <ul><li>Two Free Tools | For Webmasters & SEOs </li></ul><ul><li>Xenu Link Sleuth: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find broken links (sort by status) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find duplicate title tags (sort by title) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find heavy pages (sort by size) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find pages too many click from home (sort by level) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find pages with too few internal links (sort by In links) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find images without ALT text (sort by type, scan title field) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Test non-canonical URLs (from a text file) and view status </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find outgoing links to broken pages or expired content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find bot traps (like open ended calendars) </li></ul></ul></ul>INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  26. 26. Reporting & Evaluating | Non-Paid, Non-Branded Traffic Trends INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  27. 27. Reporting & Evaluating | What Not to Look at Avoid judging SEO efforts based on: <ul><li>Specific Rankings </li></ul><ul><li>Brand-related SE traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Portion of overall site traffic derived from organic </li></ul><ul><li>Incorrectly defined conversions (e.g. contact form) </li></ul><ul><li>Too little time </li></ul><ul><li>Expectations of results without team involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Incorrect time comparisons (e.g. compare Q4 ‘09 with Q1 ‘08) </li></ul>INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  28. 28. <ul><li>Summary | Dos and Don'ts </li></ul><ul><li>Do: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Define your IA and determine canonical URLs for all pages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Write original content to accommodate your ranking targets </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use breadcrumb style navigation – Put all new content in it! (EG: Home > Kitchen > Major Appliances > Stoves ) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Include relevant category-specific navigation at each level </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Make interlinking of all editorial content mandatory! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep updated HTML and XML sitemaps for all new content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learn all the ways to control indexation and link juice flow </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Be prepared to weight other priorities against SEO and make sacrifices </li></ul></ul></ul>INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  29. 29. <ul><li>Summary | Dos and Don'ts </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Let the same content appear on more than one URL </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Just throw content up without linking to it, or linking from it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Spread your link juice thin over pages don’t have unique content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Leave open ended page scripts like calendars </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Archive poorly without respect to your IA </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Return server headers other than 404 for error pages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Think you can fix link juice distribution issues with robots.txt </li></ul></ul></ul>INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  30. 30. A CHEAT-SHEET FOR: Indexation and PageRank control methods Contact [email_address] for a PDF INTERACTIVE STRATEGY – NVISOLUTIONS.COM
  31. 31. Link Juice and Indexation Cheat Sheet: Tag/Command Indexation Link Juice Robots.txt (file in root of site) EG: Disallow: /news/pdf-copies/ Stops pages or directories from appearing in Search Engine indexes – (except ‘uncrawled references’ ) Pages ‘blocked’ by robots.txt can still accumulate link-juice, but cannot pass it Block what you don’t want indexed: Session IDs / dupe URLs: Disallow: *partner=* Entire directories: Disallow: /news/pdf-copies/ Internal SERPs: Disallow: *car-search-query=* External affiliate links: Disallow: *redirect.cgi* If excluded pages have external links, expect 'URL-only' listings: No title, snippet, size or cache. For no listing at all, allow bots & use Meta noindex On-Page Meta No-Index (<head> of page) EG: <meta name=“robots” content=“noindex”> Stops the page from appearing in Search Engine indexes entirely The page can still accumulate and pass link-juice You may want to use Meta Noindex if: you can’t alter your robots.txt, or if robots.txt standard is not flexible enough, or if you don’t want URL listings
  32. 32. Link Juice and Indexation Cheat Sheet: Rel=nofollow (in an <a href> link) EG: <a href=“” rel=“nofollow”> Stops spiders from following a specific link. They don’t crawl or discover through nofollow links. Stops Link Juice from flowing through a specific link Can be used from one domain to another when a link does not imply trust. Lots of controversy recently on its use within a domain to ‘sculpt PR flow’ 301 Redirection (many types of implementation) EG: redirect /old/page.php /new_page.php [301, permanent] Spiders follow redirect and discover new pages  Search Engines transfer link juice from old pages to new pages If any URLs change, this is the best way to shift link juice from old to new. 301s are the only way to transfer link juice from one domain to another. Tag/Command Indexation Link Juice On-Page Meta No-follow (<head> of page) EG: <meta name=“robots” content=“nofollow”> Stops spiders from following the links on the page (which may still get indexed via other links) The pages can still accumulate link-juice (and rank), but can’t pass it on You may wish to nofollow an entire page like a list of paid sponsors.
  33. 33. Link Juice and Indexation Cheat Sheet: Tag/Command Indexation Link Juice Canonicalization tag (<head> of page) EG: <canonical = “/proper/product/page.php“> Spiders go to referred page like a 301 redirect . Does not work across domains. Search Engines transfer link juice from variation pages to real page <ul><li>A new approach to both indexation control and link juice control </li></ul><ul><li>Supported by The Big Three: Google, Yahoo, MSN </li></ul><ul><li>May be cheaper than redoing your entire site from scratch, for now </li></ul><ul><li>May see faster results than redoing your entire site </li></ul><ul><li>May become a maintenance nightmare </li></ul><ul><li>Can turn out to be as or more complex than doing it right from scratch </li></ul>Javascript Link EG: <div onclick=&quot;document.location.href=''&quot;> Google tries to crawl and index if URL is easily to access – in onclick or href If crawlable, Google will try to pass link juice <ul><li>Before rel=nofollow, many SEOs used uncrawlable JS links for sculpting </li></ul><ul><li>May not carry as much weight, and should not be used as main navigation </li></ul>