Optimizing Web Sites for Search Traffic


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An introduction to Search Engine Marketing (SEM), including Search Advertising and Search Engine Optimization. I also explain details regarding the search business model and ranking algorithm that are relevant when implementing SEM.

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  • Hi, thanks for this presentation, did you use maybe tools like Metrics11 to increase your site traffic and you have some insight/opinion?
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Optimizing Web Sites for Search Traffic

  1. 1. Mohit Srivastava Co-Founder & CTO Faves.com Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  2. 2.  Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  3. 3. <ul><li>Why, as a Web site owner, should you care about Search Engine Marketing? </li></ul><ul><li>Search Engine Advertising techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Search Engine Optimization techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Build, Measure, Iterate! </li></ul>Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  4. 4. Worldwide Search - August 2007 Source: comScore qSearch 2.0 95% of worldwide Internet audience uses search Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava Market Segment Unique Searchers Searches Searches Per User Worldwide 754 Million 61 Billion 80.9 Asia-Pacific 258 Million 20 Billion 78.7 North America 206 Million 16 Billion 77.4 1. Google 37 Billion 2. Yahoo! 8.6 Billion 3. Baidu.com 3.2 Billion 4. Microsoft 2.2 Billion
  5. 5. Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  6. 6. <ul><li>Search Engine Marketing, as compared to traditional outbound marketing… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is “Permission Marketing”, generating qualified leads. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is highly measurable. </li></ul></ul>See form Fill out form x% y% click Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  7. 7. <ul><li>Google makes over 90% of its $19B yearly revenue from “search network” ads. </li></ul><ul><li>“ AdSense” ads on partner site </li></ul><ul><li>Google shares ad revenue with partner site </li></ul><ul><li>Paid listings on Google search </li></ul><ul><li>Google pockets all ad revenue </li></ul>Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  8. 8. <ul><li>Search network ads are targeted by keyword phrases, language, and geographic location. </li></ul><ul><li>Google allows an advertiser to bid on a keyword phrase by letting the advertiser specify </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How much it is willing to pay per click for this keyword phrase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A total budget (across all keyword phrases) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Google subsequently displays your ad vs. others’ ads for the keyword phrase in a way that maximizes Google’s revenue. </li></ul>Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  9. 9. <ul><li>As a Web site owner, how do you pick the best keyword phrases? </li></ul><ul><li>Start by identifying keywords that maximize the chance of conversion (e.g. someone clicking on search ad and then completing a form) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For example, if you are a Chinese restaurant, you do not want to buy the “Seattle appliance repair” keyword. You might get clicks, but you will get low conversion because you are attracting the wrong users. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To minimize cost, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pick keywords with the highest search volume but lowest competition. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Word your ad effectively: The more your ad gets clicked, the less you have to pay per click. </li></ul></ul>Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  10. 10. Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  11. 11. Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  12. 12. <ul><li>If cost per conversion is high, you have to improve your keyword choices, the ad itself, or the user experience on your site! </li></ul><ul><li>Technical Details: Call AdWords on conversion (e.g. signup, purchase, etc.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li><script language=&quot;JavaScript&quot; type=&quot;text/javascript&quot;> <!-- var google_conversion_id = XXXX; var google_conversion_language = &quot;en_US&quot;; var google_conversion_format = &quot;1&quot;; var google_conversion_color = &quot;FFFFFF&quot;; if (%VAR(order_subtotal)%) { var google_conversion_value = %VAR(order_subtotal)%; } var google_conversion_label = &quot;Purchase&quot;; //--> </script> <script language=&quot;JavaScript&quot; src=&quot;https://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion.js&quot;> </script> … </li></ul></ul>Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  13. 13. <ul><li>The benefits of SEO (getting listed in actual search results) as compared to Search Advertising: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No cost - Organic results are listed based on the search engine’s measure of your relevance and quality, not your advertising dollars, so you don’t pay a “tax” per click </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get more traffic - Most people click the organic search results, not the paid advertisements [ Mohit – And, you may end up ranking for keywords you would not have thought to bid on via paid results] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get visitors with a higher education - Research shows those who click on organic search results more often have a higher level of education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Longer lasting rank and traffic - Search engines record your ranking history, helping you rank highly in the future, and they only reevaluate your rank every few weeks or months, allowing you to maintain your rank longer </li></ul></ul>Source: MarketingSherpa & Enquiro Research via http://www.hubspot.com/organic-vs-paid-search Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  14. 14. Index Crawling Ranking Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  15. 15. <ul><li>Robot assesses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can I get to this page? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has the page changed? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can I process and download the page? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where can I go from here? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does anything look abnormal? (h1, links, text etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tip </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Turn off JavaScript and Flash to see what the robot sees. </li></ul></ul>Source: Advanced Seo Web Development Tech Ed 2008 by Nathan Buggia Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  16. 16. <ul><li>Disney.com (as seen by robot)  </li></ul><ul><li>Disney.com (as seen by human) </li></ul>Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  17. 17. <ul><li>The rank of a page given a search term is a combination of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PageRank TM : Based on the quality of inbound links (independent of the search term). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Text-matching score : Combines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How many times the search term appears in the document, weighted higher for certain HTML tags </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. <title>Chinese Food</title> contributes more than <p>Chinese Food</p> </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Anchor text of inbound links </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li><a href=“http://mysite.com”>Chinese Food</a> </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  18. 18. <ul><li>The goal of SEO is to achieve a large number of conversions (e.g. purchases, sign-ups, or whatever metric makes sense for your site). </li></ul><ul><li>Accordingly, there are two component goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Achieve a high ranking (of your site and underlying pages) in search engines, especially for relevant keywords </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Higher ranking => More page views. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Achieve a high conversion rate . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Similar to what was discussed earlier in the Search Advertising section. </li></ul></ul></ul>Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  19. 19. <ul><li>High Ranking: Follow best practices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Site must be understandable to the robot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use semantic HTML </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. <h1>My Article Title</h1> instead of <span class=“heading”>My Article Title</span> </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use proper HTTP status codes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>200 OK </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>404 Gone </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>301 Moved Permanently </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>302 Moved Temporarily </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not fragment your rank: The same page should only have one url. Alterntate url’s for that page should 301 redirect to the canonical url. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. http://www.faves.com 301 redirects to http://faves.com . </li></ul></ul></ul>Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  20. 20. <ul><li>High Ranking: Follow best practices (cont.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Site must be navigable by the robot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use form posts only for forms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid JavaScript for links unless absolutely necessary </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>WARNING: ASP.Net postbacks violate both of the above. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid using Flash for navigation. Instead, embed Flash in HTML pages. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Make pages accessible without login, when appropriate. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implement down-level experiences both for users with limited browsers and for the robot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. <noscript></noscript> (only read if JavaScript is disabled) is understood by the robot </li></ul></ul></ul>Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  21. 21. <ul><li>High Ranking (continued) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Include the keywords you want to be ranked for. Note: Certain tags ( <title> , <h1> ) carry more weight than others ( <p> ). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use clean & understandable urls. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. http://faves.com/users/mohit is better than http://faves.com?st=%3amohit . </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Motivate people to “naturally” link and deep-link to your site. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But, don’t go overboard. Google can detect attempts to game their algorithm. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Post to social media sites (e.g. Digg, StumbleUpon). </li></ul></ul></ul>Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  22. 22. <ul><li>High Conversion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure the page includes the text you want to see as part of the search result. Alternatively, include this text in the <meta name=“description”> tag. </li></ul></ul>Google <meta name=&quot;Description&quot; content=&quot;Mohit Srivastava, Co-Founder & CTO - Faves.com, is a featured speaker at the Search Marketing Expo Conference Series.&quot; /> The Page Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  23. 23. <ul><li>SEO problem with your site? Is it a crawling problem or a ranking problem? Determine both with Google Webmaster Tools. </li></ul>Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  24. 24. Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava
  25. 25. <ul><li>More About Me </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://faves.com/users/mohit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://thishostedlife.com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Demoed Tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Advertising : Google Keyword Tool, Google AdWords </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEO : Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Questions? </li></ul>Copyright (c) 2008 Mohit Srivastava