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Search Engine Optimisation

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Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - a simple how to guide for web designer

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Search Engine Optimisation

  1. 1. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION The importance and power of SEO
  2. 2. What is SEO?  Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is used to increase the visibility of your WebPages on search engines.  Approximately 5.2 billion web searches are made every day, so it‟s important you capture as many of these potential visitors to your site as possible.  88% of all Americans use a search engine!
  3. 3. Global Search Engine Market Share (July 2011)  Figures for late 2012 are similar, with Google and Microsoft gaining 2% market share, whilst Yahoo has slipped 4%  Figures specifically for the UK has Google capturing almost 90% of the search engine market!
  4. 4. How do people search the web?  Most people use one of the following methods: 1. They hunt for a specific answer to a question (e.g. “What‟s the weather in Madrid on Monday?”) 2. They formulate a search query using simple words or phrases (e.g. “Weather Madrid Monday”)
  5. 5. Why is this important?  Over 80% of web searches are less than 5 words long!  You ideally need to reach your potential audience in no more than four words.  Therefore, you need to carefully consider what key terms are going to bring people to your website.
  6. 6. Why being No.1 Helps!
  7. 7. Why being No.1 Helps! Percentage of user clicks based on position & ranking in Google…
  8. 8. Why being No.1 Helps!  85% of searchers click on natural results rather than paid results.  In terms of value, natural results could be worth three times as much as paid results!
  9. 9. What terms to use?  Some terms are more important than others; web users naturally gravitate toward simple words and natural phrases. For example, you will receive more searches for a phrase like „obscure movies‟ than „esoteric talkies‟, even though they essentially mean the same thing
  10. 10. What terms to use?  It‟s very important, therefore, to research your key terms before you publish your website!  Even a single word or letter can make all the difference!
  11. 11. What terms to use?  http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/search.html  Type in your keyterms and see how often its being searched, along with other popular suggestions
  12. 12. What terms to use?  What does „Google Auto Suggest‟ think users want?
  13. 13. Basic SEO Tips  Use your key terms in your URL (web address). For example, www.garden-tools.com will appear as a relevant choice to Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines when you look for „garden tools‟  Use a „keyword rich‟ title for your page. For instance: “Gardening Tools | Spades, Rakes, Forks”  Search engines LOVE fresh, new content! Websites updated regularly always do better longer term.  Older, established websites are generally given priority over new, unknown quantities. Pre-aged
  14. 14. Simple SEO in Dreamweaver CS5  Optimise your titles in your title bar:
  15. 15. Simple SEO in Dreamweaver CS5  Adding META tags will give search engines basic guidelines as to what your website is about.
  16. 16. Simple SEO in Dreamweaver CS5  Search engines read the „alt‟ attribute from your images and interpret the content to help determine what the image is about.
  17. 17. Simple SEO in Dreamweaver CS5  Use your „Headings‟ correctly. Titles have more impact on search engines than paragraph text does…
  18. 18. Why Linking Matters  Search engines use clever algorithms to guess what‟s relevant. One tool they use to judge a site‟s popularity is incoming links. ✔
  19. 19. How many links do you have?
  20. 20. Getting Inbound Links  Email others for help  It‟s quick, easy, cheap and personal  However, it can take a long time, you won‟t have a great response rate and it can involve a lot of effort to get through every potential lead…
  21. 21. Getting Inbound Links  Keep your message simple and short. The person you are contacting is receiving an email that is unsolicited. They aren‟t going to read a four-page essay!  Clearly state your request. It‟s tricky getting someone to read an email, and so it‟s critical your pitch is clear.  Clearly say why your site deserves a link. Showcase your highlights like awards, industry prestige, etc  Give and you may receive. Always offer to reciprocate when asking for a back link; you‟re always better off, psychologically speaking, doing
  22. 22. Getting Inbound Links  Social Networking sites are a really easy way of spreading your message, plus the links back to the website help immensely!
  23. 23. Getting Inbound Links  Join directories like http://www.dmoz.org/
  24. 24. Getting Inbound Links  Make your own; promoting your website needn‟t mean putting your link wherever you can – be pragmatic and think about relevant places.
  25. 25. Getting Inbound Links  The more respected a website is by a search engine, the more it trusts the link. Getting one high ranking website to link back to you is often worth the power of ten poor performing sites!
  26. 26. Things to AVOID!  Malware hosted on the site - Search engines act fast when penalizing sites that contain viruses and trojans.  Cloaking - Search engines hate to be tricked as much as humans; cloaked websites are given the thumbs down by everyone!  Pages on the site that sell links – Google especially hates any kind of „Backlinks for cash‟ exchange  Sandboxing – taken from O Reilly, The Art of SEO 2nd Edition 2012: “One technique that many people believe Google uses has become known as the Google “sandbox.” The sandbox is thought to be a filter where Google limits the rate of growth of the PageRank (or rankings) of new domains. This approach could be useful in filtering out spam domains because they often don’t stay around very long, so the spammer works hard to get them ranking and producing traffic as quickly as they can. The sandbox can potentially create a scenario where the website is caught by improved algorithms or manual review prior to becoming highly productive. At a minimum, it would increase the cost of the spammer’s efforts.”
  27. 27. Improving Rankings  What are people searching for when they are coming to your website
  28. 28. Improving Ranking  Use „related content‟ to find more potential users you may not currently be targeting with your keywords…
  29. 29. Improving Rankings  Look at what your competitors are doing…  Examine their META tags  Who‟s linking to their website?  What products/services are they offering on their websites that‟s so enticing for users and search engines?
  30. 30. Improving Rankings  Get yourself on the map! If you are promoting a local business, add yourself on Google Maps. Don‟t forget to list addresses, telephone numbers and other contact information like e- mail
  31. 31. Improving Rankings  Discover your competition…  http://www.alexa.com/  http://www.quantcast.com/  http://www.compete.com/us/  http://www.spyfu.com
  32. 32. Improving Rankings You can sometimes jump the queue to the top spot using a video…
  33. 33. Improving Rankings  Ditch the Flash files – Search engines find multimedia like flash animations, music and videos extremely difficult to decode!  Don‟t overdo the linking – Google is said to ignore any page with over 100 links on it; this may sound like a lot, but you‟d be surprised!  TASK: Go to Amazon.co.uk and count the number of links are on the opening page
  34. 34. Improving Rankings  Create a social networking presence.  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+1, all help to drive traffic toward your website.  Regular „tweeters‟ and „facebookers‟ can become a well- respected driving force. A „thumbs up‟ from a popular social- networking guru can see thousands of extra visitors!  DEMONSTRATION: Embedding a „like this‟ button for Facebook: http://developers.facebook.com/doc s/reference/plugins/like/
  35. 35. Picking the perfect domain name  Brainstorm four or five keywords. Try to consider your website‟s core subject.  Make the domain unique.. Avoid confusion with other popular sites.  Choose only .com-available domains or the TLD for your country. Most people simply don‟t trust anything but a „.com‟ or a „.co.uk‟  Make it easy to type. Avoid tricky words to spell and embarrassingly simple mistakes - avoiding names that use lots of the following letters: q, z, x, c, and p.  Make it easy to remember. Word of mouth relies on making your domain simple to remember. Amazon.com is easy to recall, but billsbookemporium.com isn‟t!  Keep the name as short as possible. Short names are easy to type and easy to remember, plus they‟re are a better fit on business cards and other promotional tools.  Don’t be obscure. People like things to do „what it says on the tin‟. Gardeningsupplies.com says what it does, flyamo.com doesn‟t!
  36. 36. The darker side of SEO  Paid Links – asking for links in exchange for money  Giveaways – encouraging people to link to you, or follow your social media channels by offering up an enticing prize  Automatic back link generators – these tools automatically submit your site to directories, listings pages, etc by the thousands.  Link brokers – companies that use their leverage over other sites to buy back links for you; similar to paid linking, but without the effort of doing it yourself  Sponsorship – back links in exchange for articles or blog posts.
  37. 37. Where next?  Blogs (e.g. http://www.seomoz.org/blog ) + usually free + constantly updated + interactive (commenting) - not always truthful - old information  Software (e.g. Market Samurai) + effective tools + easy to use + takes hard work out of SEO - can be expensive  Books (e.g. O Reilly, The Art of SEO) + learn wherever you want + requires no technical skill whatsoever - dry style - quickly outdated  Videos (e.g. YouTube Tutorials) + engaging style + quick to learn - poor production values  SEO company + Guaranteed, professional results - professional prices (£‟000s)

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