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By Shea Hanson | Lynda.com
8 Ways to
ROCKSEO
www.lynda.com/industries | enterprisesolutions@lynda.com
1 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
Introduction
Search engine optimization (SEO) improves the content and organization of
a website to boost search result rankings. Effective SEO increases views
and drives more traffic. Why is this important? Research shows that that top Google
search results get about twice as many clicks as those that rank second.
Google rankings rely on proprietary algorithms that place the most relevant content at
the top. There’s no easy or sneaky way to get there. Web content needs to be clear,
relevant, and optimized for search. Use this guide to analyze your website, optimize its
content, and improve your search engine rankings.
2 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
Table of contents
01	 Introduction
02	 Table of contents
03	 No. 1: Build an easy-to-index site
07	 No. 2: Use the best keywords
09	 No. 3: Create clear content
11	 No. 4: Add links
13	 No. 5: Be local
15	 No. 6: Go global
17	 No. 7: Find the right tools
19	 No. 8: Test your site’s SEO
22	 Conclusion
23	 Learn more
24	 Authors
25	 About Lynda.com
3 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
Build an easy-to-index site
4 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
NO. 1
Build an easy-to-index site
incorporate lots of text
Site indexers read text. Image- and flash-based text isn’t read by search engines,
and it won’t be indexed. Links should be text-based and include natural, descriptive language.
For a deeper dive, watch our Lynda.com video Understanding Why Indexing is Important.
organize your site thoughtfully
Your navigation tells search engines how important each page and its content is to your site.
The more pages to click through, the less important and the lower to your site will rank.
For a deeper dive, watch our Lynda.com video Reviewing Page Content.
5 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
create relevant tags
Title, header, and alt tags should be polished and relevant.
Keyword stuffing doesn’t work here, so only include language
that is meaningful. Leave out the fluff.
For a deeper dive, watch our Lynda.com video
Building Title Tags.
submit a detailed sitemap
Include a sitemap in both HTML and XML formats and
a well-defined robots.txt file. This helps site crawlers find their
way around your site more easily and rewards you with
better rankings. For an example of an HTML sitemap, view our
Lynda.com sitemap.
For a deeper dive, watch our Lynda.com video
Building and Submitting HTML and XML Sitemaps.
6 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
Start with a sitemap diagram
If you’re not quite sure where to begin with creating an HTML and XML sitemap, a sitemap diagram
is a great place to start. A sitemap diagram is an internal tool for planning website content in
a logical and organized manner. They’re also used to help conceptualize what keywords and tags
could be used on each unique page. Below is a basic example.
tip: Creating a flat hierarchy = better SEO rankings
For more information on how to create a sitemap, check out our Lynda.com video Creating a Sitemap.
ABOUT US
(LEVEL 2)
SERVICES
(LEVEL 2)
LOCATIONS
(LEVEL 2)
CONTACT
(LEVEL 2)
UNIQUE
PAGE B
(LEVEL 3)
UNIQUE
PAGE C
(LEVEL 3)
UNIQUE
PAGE A
(LEVEL 3)
HOME
(LEVEL 1)
Any unique pages
(level 3) live under
the main pages
All main pages
(level 2) are linked
from the home page
7 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
Use the best keywords
8 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
NO. 2
Use the best keywords
Use a keyword tool, such as Google Keyword planner, to compare
the search volume of the keywords you’re using and identify
alternatives. You can view statistics for current or possible keywords
to evaluate how well they perform and check out your competition’s
keywords to see what they are bidding on and ranking for. This can
help you build competitive advantage.
example: A local carpet cleaning company is researching the best keywords
to use in its website copy. When researching search volume, the
company finds that “carpet cleaning” has 90,500 average monthly searches,
while “steam cleaning” only has 1,600. For local searches, “carpet
cleaning Santa Barbara” ranks higher than “carpet cleaners Santa Barbara.”
For more information, watch our Lynda.com video
Checking for Sitemaps on Competitor Websites.
KEEP IN MIND:
70%of search traffic comes
from long-tail keywords.
source: goo.gl/P2GDRb
65-75
characters
of a title tag are displayed.
source: goo.gl/KZ2kRA
70%of search results
include synonyms.
source: goo.gl/vOj0nd
Create clear content
9 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
For more information, watch our Lynda.com video
Creating Engaging Web Copy.
10 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
NO. 3
Create clear content
Search engines are smart enough to understand proper grammar
in words and phrases. Attempting to reinforce a keyword unnaturally
in website copy doesn’t help your SEO. If anything, it might negatively
impact your efforts. When you build content, keep in mind there is no
magic number of words or term repetitions that will make your site
rank higher. Instead, include information that brings the most value
to users. If you’re going after a particular search term, do so because
that term is popular to your user base and using it naturally is in your
benefit. If you really need a formula, stick with this: Insert a keyword
or related concept in your heading tag.
11 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
Add links
12 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
NO. 4
Add links
A large number of quality links pointing to your site will increase your authority and popularity.
And if you’re consistently promoting good quality content through link outreach opportunities,
other websites will link to you. Being able to clearly see what’s happening to your link portfolio
can tell you how trustworthy and authoritative search engines think your website is. A few really
good tools out there help analyze backlink metrics, including Majestic SEO, Ahrefs, and Raven.
tip: Use absolute links. If your content is republished on another page, it still links back to your site.
Here is an example of an absolute link: <a href=”http://url.com”>Home</a>.
For a deeper dive on SEO link building, explore our Lynda.com video SEO: Link Building in Depth.
13 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
Be local
14 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
Explore our Lynda.com videos SEO for Local and Leveraging Local SEO.
NO. 5
Be local
USE GOOGLE
Show up on local searches and Google Maps by setting up a My
Business profile.
BE CONSISTENT
Google will link identical contact information. Make sure all your
phone numbers, addresses, links, and more are consistent.
COLLECT REVIEWS
Customer reviews will show up in search results and help
build credibility for your organization. Make sure you’re present
on customer review sites, including Yelp.
20%OF GOOGLE
SEARCHES
are for local
information.
15 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
Go global
16 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
NO. 6
Go global
Structure your site to accommodate translated content. Each language your site is
translated into should have it’s own separate content.
example: yourdomain.com/es. Using multiple domains offers freedom in terms of content, structure,
and navigation. However, you risk losing SEO value built by your main domain.
es.yourdomain.com. A different subfolder on main domain maintains the SEO value and authority.
However, with this method you might face difficulties with differing site frameworks or variations
based on content structures if your content varies between translations. This might also be difficult to
accomplish depending on your content management system.
Watch International SEO Fundamentals to learn more International SEO Fundamentals.
17 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
Find the right tools
18 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
NO. 7
Find the right tools
These tools can help you accomplish your SEO goals:
Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster
Tools) allows you to review how your site ranks in Google
search results.
Google PageSpeed Insights helps you evaluate the
performance of your site based on technical structure
and usability.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider crawls and audits your
site so you can evaluate common SEO problems.
Google Keyword Planner helps you research volume,
trends, and forecasts for keywords.
Google Structured Data Testing Tool allows you to
review a competitor’s use of structured data.
SEMrush allows you to analyze massive amounts of
SEO data related to your site and your competitors’ sites.
Moz Open Site Explorer helps you analyze links
on your site.
Siteliner finds duplicate content on your site.
For an in depth look at each of these tools, explore SEO Tools Fundamentals.
19 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
Test your SEO
20 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
NO. 8
Test your SEO
Elements of your site should be evaluated and tested regularly.
By auditing your site, you’ll identify elements that need to
be changed or optimized to increase your SEO ranking.
ON-SITE ITEMS
Keyword focus
URL structure
Title tags
Meta description tags
Meta keyword tags
Heading tags
Content
Internal linking and anchor text
Image names and ALT tags
NoFollow anchor tags
INDEXING ITEMS
Page exclusions
Page inclusions
URL redirects
Duplicate content
Broken links
Code validation
Page load speed	
OFF-SITE ITEMS
Inbound followed links
Authority and trust
Competitive link comparisons
Elements to Test
21 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
22 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
Conclusion
Ranking high on search engines takes time and energy. It doesn’t happen
overnight. You might have to rethink parts of your existing site strategies
and do some tweaking. You can get started right away—making one change and
measuring the results. Over time, and as your skills improve, you can make big
changes that drive success. The strategies discussed in this guide are only the
beginning. I encourage you to explore the Lynda.com online library to become
even more of an SEO rock star.
23 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com23 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
Learn more
SEO Fundamentals with David Booth
www.lynda.com/SEO-Fundamentals
SEO for Local Visibility with Brad Batesole
www.lynda.com/SEO-Local-Visibility
International SEO Fundamentals with David Booth
www.lynda.com/International-SEO-Fundamentals
SEO Tools Fundamentals with Brad Batesole
www.lynda.com/SEO-Tools-Fundamentals
SEO Link Building in Depth with Peter Kent
www.lynda.com/SEO-Link-Building-Depth
Online Marketing Fundamentals with Brad Batesole
www.lynda.com/Online-Marketing-Fundamentals
Content Marketing Fundamentals with Dayna Rothman
www.lynda.com/Content-Marketing-Fundamentals
Google AdWords Essential Training with Brad Batesole
www.lynda.com/Google-AdWords-Essential-Training
24 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
CONTRIBUTORS
Brad Batesole,
Staff Author
Lynda.com
Lindsay Thomson,
Email  Marketing Specialist
Lynda.com
Dave Booth,
Author
Lynda.com
AUTHOR
Shea Hanson,
Marketing Content Manager
Lynda.com
Shea Hanson is the content manager for marketing
courses at Lynda.com, where she works with expert authors
to create engaging, effective training courses. With
a background in instructional design, Shea’s goal is to
help professionals improve their skills and transform
their lives through simple and helpful content.
Authors
25 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
About Lynda.com
For 20 years, Lynda.com has helped marketing professionals,
leaders, IT and design pros, project managers—anyone in
any role—build software, creative, and business skills. We work
with the best instructors. Our production standards are second
to none. And with training that is quick to market, we’ve grown
our online video-based content library to include thousands
of engaging courses.
Now a LinkedIn company, Lynda.com serves more than
10,000 organizations. With tutorials presented in five languages,
Lynda.com is a global platform for success.
Contact us for Lynda.com
Enterprise Learning Solutions pricing.
US: 1 (888) 335-9632
International: +1 (805) 477-3900
EMEA: +44 (0) 1252 416554
APAC: +61 2 9779 1582
email: enterprisesolutions@lynda.com
web: www.lynda.com/industries

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8 Key Ways to Rock SEO

  • 1. By Shea Hanson | Lynda.com 8 Ways to ROCKSEO www.lynda.com/industries | enterprisesolutions@lynda.com
  • 2. 1 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com Introduction Search engine optimization (SEO) improves the content and organization of a website to boost search result rankings. Effective SEO increases views and drives more traffic. Why is this important? Research shows that that top Google search results get about twice as many clicks as those that rank second. Google rankings rely on proprietary algorithms that place the most relevant content at the top. There’s no easy or sneaky way to get there. Web content needs to be clear, relevant, and optimized for search. Use this guide to analyze your website, optimize its content, and improve your search engine rankings.
  • 3. 2 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com Table of contents 01 Introduction 02 Table of contents 03 No. 1: Build an easy-to-index site 07 No. 2: Use the best keywords 09 No. 3: Create clear content 11 No. 4: Add links 13 No. 5: Be local 15 No. 6: Go global 17 No. 7: Find the right tools 19 No. 8: Test your site’s SEO 22 Conclusion 23 Learn more 24 Authors 25 About Lynda.com
  • 4. 3 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com Build an easy-to-index site
  • 5. 4 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com NO. 1 Build an easy-to-index site incorporate lots of text Site indexers read text. Image- and flash-based text isn’t read by search engines, and it won’t be indexed. Links should be text-based and include natural, descriptive language. For a deeper dive, watch our Lynda.com video Understanding Why Indexing is Important. organize your site thoughtfully Your navigation tells search engines how important each page and its content is to your site. The more pages to click through, the less important and the lower to your site will rank. For a deeper dive, watch our Lynda.com video Reviewing Page Content.
  • 6. 5 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com create relevant tags Title, header, and alt tags should be polished and relevant. Keyword stuffing doesn’t work here, so only include language that is meaningful. Leave out the fluff. For a deeper dive, watch our Lynda.com video Building Title Tags. submit a detailed sitemap Include a sitemap in both HTML and XML formats and a well-defined robots.txt file. This helps site crawlers find their way around your site more easily and rewards you with better rankings. For an example of an HTML sitemap, view our Lynda.com sitemap. For a deeper dive, watch our Lynda.com video Building and Submitting HTML and XML Sitemaps.
  • 7. 6 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com Start with a sitemap diagram If you’re not quite sure where to begin with creating an HTML and XML sitemap, a sitemap diagram is a great place to start. A sitemap diagram is an internal tool for planning website content in a logical and organized manner. They’re also used to help conceptualize what keywords and tags could be used on each unique page. Below is a basic example. tip: Creating a flat hierarchy = better SEO rankings For more information on how to create a sitemap, check out our Lynda.com video Creating a Sitemap. ABOUT US (LEVEL 2) SERVICES (LEVEL 2) LOCATIONS (LEVEL 2) CONTACT (LEVEL 2) UNIQUE PAGE B (LEVEL 3) UNIQUE PAGE C (LEVEL 3) UNIQUE PAGE A (LEVEL 3) HOME (LEVEL 1) Any unique pages (level 3) live under the main pages All main pages (level 2) are linked from the home page
  • 8. 7 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com Use the best keywords
  • 9. 8 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com NO. 2 Use the best keywords Use a keyword tool, such as Google Keyword planner, to compare the search volume of the keywords you’re using and identify alternatives. You can view statistics for current or possible keywords to evaluate how well they perform and check out your competition’s keywords to see what they are bidding on and ranking for. This can help you build competitive advantage. example: A local carpet cleaning company is researching the best keywords to use in its website copy. When researching search volume, the company finds that “carpet cleaning” has 90,500 average monthly searches, while “steam cleaning” only has 1,600. For local searches, “carpet cleaning Santa Barbara” ranks higher than “carpet cleaners Santa Barbara.” For more information, watch our Lynda.com video Checking for Sitemaps on Competitor Websites. KEEP IN MIND: 70%of search traffic comes from long-tail keywords. source: goo.gl/P2GDRb 65-75 characters of a title tag are displayed. source: goo.gl/KZ2kRA 70%of search results include synonyms. source: goo.gl/vOj0nd
  • 10. Create clear content 9 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
  • 11. For more information, watch our Lynda.com video Creating Engaging Web Copy. 10 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com NO. 3 Create clear content Search engines are smart enough to understand proper grammar in words and phrases. Attempting to reinforce a keyword unnaturally in website copy doesn’t help your SEO. If anything, it might negatively impact your efforts. When you build content, keep in mind there is no magic number of words or term repetitions that will make your site rank higher. Instead, include information that brings the most value to users. If you’re going after a particular search term, do so because that term is popular to your user base and using it naturally is in your benefit. If you really need a formula, stick with this: Insert a keyword or related concept in your heading tag.
  • 12. 11 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com Add links
  • 13. 12 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com NO. 4 Add links A large number of quality links pointing to your site will increase your authority and popularity. And if you’re consistently promoting good quality content through link outreach opportunities, other websites will link to you. Being able to clearly see what’s happening to your link portfolio can tell you how trustworthy and authoritative search engines think your website is. A few really good tools out there help analyze backlink metrics, including Majestic SEO, Ahrefs, and Raven. tip: Use absolute links. If your content is republished on another page, it still links back to your site. Here is an example of an absolute link: <a href=”http://url.com”>Home</a>. For a deeper dive on SEO link building, explore our Lynda.com video SEO: Link Building in Depth.
  • 14. 13 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com Be local
  • 15. 14 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com Explore our Lynda.com videos SEO for Local and Leveraging Local SEO. NO. 5 Be local USE GOOGLE Show up on local searches and Google Maps by setting up a My Business profile. BE CONSISTENT Google will link identical contact information. Make sure all your phone numbers, addresses, links, and more are consistent. COLLECT REVIEWS Customer reviews will show up in search results and help build credibility for your organization. Make sure you’re present on customer review sites, including Yelp. 20%OF GOOGLE SEARCHES are for local information.
  • 16. 15 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com Go global
  • 17. 16 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com NO. 6 Go global Structure your site to accommodate translated content. Each language your site is translated into should have it’s own separate content. example: yourdomain.com/es. Using multiple domains offers freedom in terms of content, structure, and navigation. However, you risk losing SEO value built by your main domain. es.yourdomain.com. A different subfolder on main domain maintains the SEO value and authority. However, with this method you might face difficulties with differing site frameworks or variations based on content structures if your content varies between translations. This might also be difficult to accomplish depending on your content management system. Watch International SEO Fundamentals to learn more International SEO Fundamentals.
  • 18. 17 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com Find the right tools
  • 19. 18 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com NO. 7 Find the right tools These tools can help you accomplish your SEO goals: Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) allows you to review how your site ranks in Google search results. Google PageSpeed Insights helps you evaluate the performance of your site based on technical structure and usability. Screaming Frog SEO Spider crawls and audits your site so you can evaluate common SEO problems. Google Keyword Planner helps you research volume, trends, and forecasts for keywords. Google Structured Data Testing Tool allows you to review a competitor’s use of structured data. SEMrush allows you to analyze massive amounts of SEO data related to your site and your competitors’ sites. Moz Open Site Explorer helps you analyze links on your site. Siteliner finds duplicate content on your site. For an in depth look at each of these tools, explore SEO Tools Fundamentals.
  • 20. 19 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com Test your SEO
  • 21. 20 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com NO. 8 Test your SEO Elements of your site should be evaluated and tested regularly. By auditing your site, you’ll identify elements that need to be changed or optimized to increase your SEO ranking.
  • 22. ON-SITE ITEMS Keyword focus URL structure Title tags Meta description tags Meta keyword tags Heading tags Content Internal linking and anchor text Image names and ALT tags NoFollow anchor tags INDEXING ITEMS Page exclusions Page inclusions URL redirects Duplicate content Broken links Code validation Page load speed OFF-SITE ITEMS Inbound followed links Authority and trust Competitive link comparisons Elements to Test 21 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com
  • 23. 22 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com Conclusion Ranking high on search engines takes time and energy. It doesn’t happen overnight. You might have to rethink parts of your existing site strategies and do some tweaking. You can get started right away—making one change and measuring the results. Over time, and as your skills improve, you can make big changes that drive success. The strategies discussed in this guide are only the beginning. I encourage you to explore the Lynda.com online library to become even more of an SEO rock star.
  • 24. 23 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com23 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com Learn more SEO Fundamentals with David Booth www.lynda.com/SEO-Fundamentals SEO for Local Visibility with Brad Batesole www.lynda.com/SEO-Local-Visibility International SEO Fundamentals with David Booth www.lynda.com/International-SEO-Fundamentals SEO Tools Fundamentals with Brad Batesole www.lynda.com/SEO-Tools-Fundamentals SEO Link Building in Depth with Peter Kent www.lynda.com/SEO-Link-Building-Depth Online Marketing Fundamentals with Brad Batesole www.lynda.com/Online-Marketing-Fundamentals Content Marketing Fundamentals with Dayna Rothman www.lynda.com/Content-Marketing-Fundamentals Google AdWords Essential Training with Brad Batesole www.lynda.com/Google-AdWords-Essential-Training
  • 25. 24 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com CONTRIBUTORS Brad Batesole, Staff Author Lynda.com Lindsay Thomson, Email Marketing Specialist Lynda.com Dave Booth, Author Lynda.com AUTHOR Shea Hanson, Marketing Content Manager Lynda.com Shea Hanson is the content manager for marketing courses at Lynda.com, where she works with expert authors to create engaging, effective training courses. With a background in instructional design, Shea’s goal is to help professionals improve their skills and transform their lives through simple and helpful content. Authors
  • 26. 25 | 8 Ways to Rock SEO | Lynda.com About Lynda.com For 20 years, Lynda.com has helped marketing professionals, leaders, IT and design pros, project managers—anyone in any role—build software, creative, and business skills. We work with the best instructors. Our production standards are second to none. And with training that is quick to market, we’ve grown our online video-based content library to include thousands of engaging courses. Now a LinkedIn company, Lynda.com serves more than 10,000 organizations. With tutorials presented in five languages, Lynda.com is a global platform for success. Contact us for Lynda.com Enterprise Learning Solutions pricing. US: 1 (888) 335-9632 International: +1 (805) 477-3900 EMEA: +44 (0) 1252 416554 APAC: +61 2 9779 1582 email: enterprisesolutions@lynda.com web: www.lynda.com/industries