Search Engine Marketing Training


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Staff training presentation for the purposes of considering search engine interpretation when designing content for our several websites.

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Search Engine Marketing Training

  1. 1. SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING Staff Training Linda Detterman May 28, 2009
  2. 2. Why should we care? • How do you find resources and information? • How do you think our data users are finding our resources? – Is the strategy to find them and bring them in? --OR-- – Is the strategy to enable them to find us? • 80% of Internet user sessions begin at search engines (Source:
  3. 3. ICPSR Search Traffic • So far in 2009: – 41% of our traffic coming through search engines – 37% coming through Google • Stats from Google Analytics (January 1 – May 15)
  4. 4. Some Definitions & the Goal • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)– techniques to develop a web page or site that search engine spiders can easily interpret; includes SEO and paid search techniques • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – a part of SEM; techniques to “influence” ranking in “natural/organic” search results - Google • Google’s POV: manipulating your site such that their spiders can correctly interpret your content and bring the right users to you is okay
  5. 5. Search Engine Share & Ranking • Google – 60% • Yahoo! – 23% • Live Search (formerly MSN Search) – 12% • Ask – 4% (Source: Hitwise 2007 – oldie stat but a goodie!) So Google has a ranking algorithm – rumor has it, with 200+ elements . . .
  6. 6. Agenda Today • Organic Search – The Content Factor • Organic Search – The Links Factor • Google Analytics & Other Sources – Playing a role in your content • Feeding Spiders • Tips & Free Evaluation Tools
  7. 7. Optimizing Organic Search – The Content Factor
  8. 8. How do Search Engines Work? • Web pages containing text are “spidered” by search engines • Search engines process spidered pages to decide importance of sites/pages and to create searchable indices • Users submit a keyword(s) search to the engine which then returns relevant pages associated with that keyword(s) • Users click the links of interest from the results (note – this also feeds into relevance since the search engine “learns”)
  9. 9. Content – Text versus Not Text • What is Text? – Webpages with HTML text – Common files: PDF, Word, Excel – META tags • What is Not text? – Images – Flash – Audio – Video – Java/AJAX/Javascript
  10. 10. Not all Content is Equal! • Title & Tagline • Section Heading • Navigation tags • Text in paragraphs • Image tags • Meta tags • URLs also Crawled! – Note: Spiders interpret hyphens (-) as a space but underscores (_) as a character – the latter thus lowers the match!
  11. 11. Good Example
  12. 12. Another Good Example
  13. 13. Not So Good Example • Scarecrow Winery – All Flash and no Content! • Spiders can’t read or interpret, so can’t rank or return to users • Winery is successful – but it’s relying on other content & viral methods (and good wine!) to get people there (more on that during social media training next month!)
  14. 14. Content Tips • If possible, incorporate key search terms in titles, section names, text, & metafiles (and also in your print media/promotions) • Don’t use the brand name in these unless you are really well known – okay for Coca Cola and Nike! • Lot’s of “personalizing” the website going on (sessionizing) – be careful however since if you make the landing page unique to each user, spiders don’t consolidate across users (spiders can crawl, but they can’t add!)
  15. 15. Analyze your Preferred Site for Content • Do titles and subtitles on your page explain the content? – “The OLC supports quantitative literacy” vs. “What We Do” • Does paragraph text have terms users might use? • Are images tagged? • Are navigation tags aiding the spiders?
  16. 16. Optimizing Organic Search – The Link Factor
  17. 17. The Link Factor! • Emphasizing the “Web” in Website! • Three kinds of links: – Internal links to other pages within the site: Never, Never “CLICK HERE”!! • Subpages should link to homepage – increases homepage importance ranking – Outbound Links to other sites: Never, Never “CLICK HERE”!! – Inbound Links from other sites: Do I need to say it again?
  18. 18. The Link Factor! • Inbound Links Rule! – Feed Google’s fascination with citations • But it’s not just quantity, it’s quality: – Links to site/page from .gov, .mil, .edu, and .org are more highly weighted – Links from blogs, social media sites, and .com also important (think popularity contest!) • Links should describe your content – “Click here for info on the ICPSR Summer Program” -versus- “For info on the ICPSR Summer Program, Click Here”
  19. 19. Google Analytics – ICPSR Referral Sites
  20. 20. Feeding the Spider a Good Link Diet • Referring to ICPSR: – ICPSR is the world’s largest archive of digital social science data • Referring to an ICPSR resource: – ICPSR’s Online Learning Center is a collection of social science teaching resources • Referring to an archive/project: – The National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA) is a collection of research data on the aging • Referring to an ICPSR dataset: – Those interested in research regarding racial disparities in mental health should consult the Detroit Area Studies Series – The Detroit Area Study, 1995: Social Influence on Health: Stress, Racism, and . This survey explored the ways in which social influences, such as stress and racism, affected health , and the impact these influences had on the respondents' outlook on life.
  21. 21. Feeding the Spider - Social Media Discussion Social Networks Forums Photo/Slide Sharing Blogs Social Bookmarking Mobile Social Event Sharing News Podcast Sharing Videos
  22. 22. Analyze your Preferred Site for Links • What do you know about your internal links? • Take a look at your outbound links – are they properly described? • What do you know about inbound links – Who are your best referrals? – Have you looked at how other sites are describing your site? – Have you asked appropriate sites to link to you?
  23. 23. Tips • Design your site with users AND spiders in mind • Don’t become labeled as a spammer! – No hidden text/key words on pages – No hidden links on pages – Stay away from link factories • Design strategically – use some of the free tools out there to assist. There are many!
  24. 24. Free Evaluation Tools • Really Cool Tool: - • Google Trends - shows how often a particular search term is entered relative the total search volume across various regions of the world - • Google Webmaster Tools – Inbound link & other information about what the spider is seeing - • Yahoo Site Explorer: • Google Adwords: • Delicious - • Some to investigate: – –
  25. 25. Now Get Out There & Be Found!