The Power of SEO - SEO Basics


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Lisa Myers's presentation from SEM Konferansen in Oslo (23 Sept 09). Going through the basics of SEO; technical, on page and off page SEO.

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The Power of SEO - SEO Basics

  1. 1. Search Engine Optimisation Lisa Myers Director, Verve Search
  2. 2. About Lisa Myers • Director & Founder, Verve Search (Search Consultancy – SEO, PPC & Online PR/Social Media) • Regular speaker at SES & SMX Search Conferences • Regular contributor to on and offline publications (UK, US & Europe) • Heavily involved in the global Search Community, founded and blogs for European search blog Awards • Management Today “35 women under 35” list 2009 • “Best Use of Technology woman under 30” BlackBerry Woman & Technology Awards (2008) • “B2B Marketing Newcomer of the Year” (2007)
  3. 3. Clients we have worked with
  4. 4. How the Search Engine Work
  5. 5. Crawls & Reads Content
  6. 6. Indexes Content
  7. 7. Accesses the index
  8. 8. Search Engine Result
  9. 9. Search Engine Results Page PPC Local Organic
  10. 10. Universal Results images videos news
  11. 11. Importance of ranking highly • 93% of users won’t go past the first page • Less than 1% goes beyond 2nd page of a search • The top 3 positions receive 80% of the clicks • More likely to change the search query than go to 2nd page of the SERPs
  12. 12. Google Click Distribution
  13. 13. What is SEO? SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is where you adapt and moderate a website specifically so that it is indexed and ranks highly within a search engine's organic (free) listings.
  14. 14. Technical SEO – the foundation
  15. 15. Technical Optimisation 1. Site Architecture & URL structure 2. Canonicalisation and use of redirects 3. Geo targeting & Sitemap 4. Hosting & Domain 5. Webmaster Tools
  16. 16. Site Architecture • Build horizontal rather than vertical!! • Every page can potentially rank (search engine ranks pages, not entire websites) • Typically, the further a page is from the homepage the harder it is to get ranked.
  17. 17. URL Structure • Search engines don’t like LONG dynamic URLs. URLs with “?” and docIDs can cause indexing problems. Session IDs are a big no no! • Beneficial to have keywords in URLs • Ecommerce sites often creates canonicalisation issues as several categories has same item
  18. 18. Canonicalisation Canonicalisation is the process of choosing one URL when there are several choices! Canonical URL = Preferred URL
  19. 19. Canowhatnow?
  20. 20. Multiple URLs – Same Content Looks like exactly the same page? I’ll have to choose one for the index
  21. 21. Potential Link Dilution => 848 links =>45 links =>89 links
  22. 22. Transferring “Link Juice”
  23. 23. Increased Link Authority Canonical URL = 982 Links
  24. 24. How to fix it You have two options: - Use 301 (permanent) redirect - Canonical meta tag
  25. 25. 301 redirects • This is a permanent redirect that: - Redirects human visitors - Redirects search engine spiders Make sure it’s a 301 (permanent) and NOT a 302 (temporary) redirect
  26. 26. Canonical Meta Tag • In the HTML of all duplicate URLs insert a code like this: <link rel=”canonical” href=”” /> • This code tells the search engine spiders that all link authority should be allocated to the canonical URL. Does not redirect VISITORS!
  27. 27. Hosting
  28. 28. Hosting implications • The IP address of your server will be associated with your site • Search engines could associate “bad neighbourhood” sites with yours based on shared hosting environment • For larger sites dedicated servers ( or virtual servers with their own IP) is recommended
  29. 29. Domain • Keywords in domain is beneficial • Age of domain will have an impact older domains = authority • Register your domain for as long as possible • When targeting different countries country specific TLDs (Top Level Domains) such as: .no,, .fr etc is imperative!
  30. 30. Top Level Domains (TLDs)
  31. 31. Geo Targeting • Content in relevant language • Relevant country specific TLD (.no • Preferably hosting in the relevant country • XML Sitemap submitted to Google Webmaster Tools
  32. 32. Google Webmaster Tools • Provides you with details of your pages visibility on Google • Diagnoses problems (broken links, server errors, crawling issues) • Submission of sitemap; tell Google which pages are more important, how often they change, how you want the URL to appear • Specify what country you are targeting
  33. 33. Set Geographic targeting
  34. 34. If you can’t get the TLDs • If you have a domain targeting several languages/countries for example a .com targeting Norway, UK and Germany. - Translate versions of each page, under - Create separate XML sitemaps for each language - Submit and verify each one to GWT and select country of targeting
  35. 35. Content is King
  36. 36. On-page Optimisation • Keyword research and mapping • Title and Meta description optimisation • Main content optimisation • Internal linking • Keyword in URL • Images (alt attributes) • Updated content
  37. 37. Keyword Research • Identify keyword groups: - Brand keywords - Descriptive keywords - Product/service keywords • Brain storm (with client, colleagues etc) • PPC Campaign • Keyword Research Tools
  38. 38. Keyword research tools • Google Keyword Tool • Wordtracker Keyword Tool • Trellian Keyword Discovery Tools
  39. 39. Using Google Keyword Tool
  40. 40. Keyword Trends •
  41. 41. Keyword Targeting • The search engines rank pages NOT entire websites! • Ideally no more than 2-3 keywords per page • Don’t keyword cannibalise your pages (target the same keyword on several pages)
  42. 42. Areas to optimise • Title tag • H1 tags (the heading of the page) • The anchor text of internal links (don’t use click here!) • In the first 25 words of text on the page • In the URL • Repeated throughout page content
  43. 43. Optimising content
  44. 44. Title & Meta Description Tags
  45. 45. Optimising the Title Tag • Max 65 characters including spaces • Keyword first in the tag • Balance between keywords, descriptive and appealing for click through
  46. 46. Meta Description • Keep it short! Max 152 characters (including spaces) • Make it Relevant! Relevant description to the page that it links to. • Although not ranking factor it can make or break whether people actually CLICK through to your website!
  47. 47. SEO copywriting • Never spam, you might get the visitors but they won’t convert! • You can be optimising a page for a keyword and still have great content. • THINK before you start optimising content for keywords. • Don’t bother with measuring keyword density (= rubbish old school)
  48. 48. Off Page Optimisation • Incoming links to a site • Relevancy of content from site that links to you • Anchor text of link • Surrounding text of link Quality of links rather than quantity of links!! or ?
  49. 49. Link Development Strategies • Link building (via directories, blogs etc) • Link baiting • Online PR & Press Release distribution • Social Media Marketing
  50. 50. Trust and Authority • Google developed PageRank to measure importance of pages largely based on incoming linking structure • Trust rank was later developed and additional relevancy metrics now play a major role in the search engine algorithm. Such as; Age of domain, brand, content relevancy and content associations (LSI)
  51. 51. Unethical SEO • Avoid hidden text or hidden links • Don’t employ cloaking or sneaky redirects • Don’t send automated queries to Google • Don’t load pages with irrelevant keywords • Don’t create multiple pages, sub-domains, or domains with substantially duplicate content • Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines, or other approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content
  52. 52. Unethical SEO Rule of thumb: Make pages for users, not for search engines! If you present different content to the user and the search engine you are doing something dodgy and the search engines CAN blacklist you WHEN they find out!
  53. 53. My Toolbox (favourite tools) SEO
  54. 54. Top 5 SEO tools/recources 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
  55. 55. Thank You! @lisadmyers Email: Web: