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Search Essentials - What You MUST Know

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Visibility in search engines is critical to nearly every business these days, but the basic mechanics of search are still in mystery to many people. Success begins with good keyword selection and continues with optimal page construction, good descriptions and continuous campaigns to generate inbound links. Providing high quality content is critical to search engine success, and recent revisions to Google's search engine algorithm reinforces that point.

This presentation covers the basics of search engine optimization. Use it to familiarize yourself with the essentials of what you need to know. It covers:

• Why search optimization matters;
• The importance of quality content;
• Recent revisions to Google's algorithm their significance to website operators;
• Tools and tactics for selecting optimal keywords;
• What you can control in search;
• How search engines view and index Web pages;
• Analysis of one company that excels at search optimization;
• Common SEO mistakes;
• Tips for optimizing every item of Web content;
• URL construction tactics;
• The value of inbound links;
• Anchor text and alt text;
• Strategies for generating inbound links;
• The future of search.

The downloaded slides include detailed speaker notes. There's also a 52-minute video version of this presentation included at the very end. It can be found on YouTube at http://youtu.be/j7471wtSbpA

Published in: Business

Search Essentials - What You MUST Know

  1. 1. Search Optimization: Why It Matters and How to Do It Paul Gillin, Author The New Influencers Secrets of Social Media Marketing Social Marketing to the Business Customer Attack of the CustomersTwitter: @pgillin
  2. 2. Why Should You Optimize For Search? Number of searches Americans conduct each month: 15.4 billion Number per second: 5,750 Avg. number of words in a Google search: 3.2 Percentage of Google searches that have never been done before: 20 Percentage of B2B buyers who turn first to a search engines to locate information: 79Twitter: @pgillin Chart source: AJ Kohn, BlindFiveYearOld.com
  3. 3. Journalists Rely on Search Tools Journalists Use in ReportingCompany websites 92% Blogs 70% Wikipedia 68% Online Video 47% Social Networks 41% Instant Message 28% Podcasts 24% Twitter 22% Source: Middleberg/SNCR Study on Media in the Wired World, 2011Twitter: @pgillin
  4. 4. Did You Know? • The top 25 Google results for “personal computer” only include one PC maker? • Links from .edu, .mil and .gov sites significantly improve your search performance? • The #1 search result for “click here” is Adobe Reader? • The more often you update your website, the more often Google visits it?Twitter: @pgillin
  5. 5. The Panda PropositionRolled out in 2011, Panda is a major revision of the Google algorithm. It targets:• Low quality content• Excessive advertising• Branding• Link farmingFactors Google is now taking into account include:• Load time• Aesthetic appeal• Quality content• Shares• Interactivity• Engagement Twitter: @pgillin
  6. 6. What Search Engines BattleTwitter: @pgillin
  7. 7. KEYWORD SELECTIONTwitter: @pgillin
  8. 8. Choose Keywords That Are “Just Right”o Don’t target keywords that are “too hot” (they multiple meanings or are poor matches for your site)o Avoid keywords that are “too cold”—too few searchers look for themo Use the language the searcher uses: An Italian tour operator targets “milano tours” but Americans say “milan tours”o Walmart calls them “associates,” but everyone else calls them “employees.”o Americans search for “crockpot” but Canadians search for “slow cooker”o A computer maker thinks “notebook” sounds classier than “laptop,” but customers don’t.o Someone looking for “lodging” seeks something different than someone searching for “hotel.” Source: Mike Moran Twitter: @pgillin 8
  9. 9. Don’t Forget The Long TailTwitter: @pgillin
  10. 10. A Long Tail Example Security Physical Security search volume Physical Security Retail timeTwitter: @pgillin Page 10
  11. 11. Keyword Research Techniques• Google Adwords Keyword Tool adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool• Google Trends - google.com/trends• Google Autocomplete• Keyword Spy - keywordspy.com• WordTracker - wordtracker.com• Keyword Discovery - keyworddiscovery.com Twitter: @pgillin
  12. 12. Keyword Research Techniques Google Adwords Keyword Tool Search Google for “adwords keyword tool” Select “Exact” under Match Types Click “Download” to export to ExcelTwitter: @pgillin
  13. 13. Keyword Research TechniquesGoogle TrendsShows seasonal change in search volumeCompare volumes of one keyword to anotherShows geographic breakdowns by country Keyword: “digital camera”Twitter: @pgillin
  14. 14. Keyword Research Techniques Google Suggest Pros Free & Quick Huge Database Cons Limited # of Keywords Doesn’t show “broad match”Twitter: @pgillin
  15. 15. Keyword Research TechniquesRelated SearchesSearch Google, then click “Related searches” Searches that Google thinks are related are displayed as links Twitter: @pgillin
  16. 16. Search Fundamentals 25% is on-page visible • Page Title • URL • H1,H2,H3 tags • Page Text • BoldTwitter: @pgillin Source: HubSpot
  17. 17. Search Fundamentals 25% is on-page invisible Description Keywords Alt ImagesTwitter: @pgillin Source: HubSpot
  18. 18. What we see… What Google seesTwitter: @pgillin
  19. 19. Let’s Look At An ExampleTwitter: @pgillin
  20. 20. Describing Yourself Inflow has keywords in both the domain and the page title The word “inventory” appears four times on the home page and in every page title on the site. The site description and meta tags reinforced that this site is about inventory managementTwitter: @pgillin
  21. 21. But There’s More Magazine Image “alt” tags feature is a repeat keyword valuable inbound link Social sharing enhances legitimacyTwitter: @pgillin
  22. 22. What you don’t want Says nothing about Poor document title and the site description in PDF Garbled page title Untagged audio fileTwitter: @pgillin
  23. 23. TIPS FOR OPTIMIZING FOR SEARCHTwitter: @pgillin
  24. 24. Get the Basics Right Clear headline Linked bio Comments enabled Social sharing Keyword- focused subheadsTwitter: @pgillin
  25. 25. How Does Google See My Site?1. Search Google for your Company Name2. Click on the “Cached” link next to your organic resultTwitter: @pgillin
  26. 26. How Does Google See My Site? 3. Click on “Text-only version” in Google’s headerTwitter: @pgillin
  27. 27. How Does Google See My Site? The result is essentially what Google seesTwitter: @pgillin
  28. 28. URL ConstructionPut yourself in the mind of the user:Can you guess what the content of the page will be by looking at the URL?Use keywords, but don’t go overboard:Bad: http://www.worldofwidgets.com/widgets/widgets-again/widgets-widgets.htmlGood: http://www.worldofwidgets.com/blue-widgets/pricing.htmlUse static URLs rather than dynamic if possible:Dynamic: http://www.fluffybunnies.com/blog?id=123Static: http://www.fluffybunnies.com/blog/why-you-should-own-bunnies.htmlUse real words:Bad: http://www.breadstore.com/cat-123/product-342Good: http://www.breadstore.com/loaves/sourdoughUse hyphens – not underscores - to separate wordshttp://www.fluffybunnies.com/blog/why-you-should-own-bunnies.html - some engines don’t interpret underscores & spaces correctly Source: McDougall InteractiveTwitter: @pgillin
  29. 29. LINK LOVE Inbound links are the secret sauce of modern search engines, and the rules change all the time.Twitter: @pgillin
  30. 30. How Do Search Engines Value Links?  The most links PageRank is Google’s  From the best sites name for its page factor ranking  With the right anchor text Source: Mike MoranTwitter: @pgillin
  31. 31. Which Link Is Better For You? Click here Or Small business inventory management Both can link to the same page, but the second link is more descriptive. If it links to you, it improves your ranking for that search term.Twitter: @pgillin
  32. 32. Being Visible  Link internally  Link externally  Use tags, categories  Register with aggregators  Ask for “link love”  Promote outbound links  File a site map  Bookmark and tweet  Use Google PlusTwitter: @pgillin
  33. 33. THE FUTURE OF SEARCHTwitter: @pgillin
  34. 34. Search Is A Moving Target TIME PERIOD RANKING CRITERIA Pre-2000 •Web page content 2000-2010 •Web page content •Authority as measured by inbound links Post-2010 •Web page content •Authority as measured by inbound links and social mentions •Who is searchingTwitter: @pgillin Source: HubSpot
  35. 35. Search Fragmentation Success will depend on using multiple platforms and promoting through multiple social channelsTwitter: @pgillin
  36. 36. Performance Factors May Include • Inbound Links • Comments • On-site "Likes" • MozRankSEO Authority 1-10 • LinkedIn Group Members • LinkedIn Company Followers • Facebook "Likes" • Twitter Followers • Google+ Followers • YouTube Views • SlideShareViewsTwitter: @pgillin Source: HubSpot
  37. 37. Thank You! Paul Gillin pgillin@profitecture.com 508-656-0734 Twitter: @pgillinTwitter: @pgillin #bpblogging

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