Rise to Top with Search Engine Optimization - for MaineToday Digital


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Maine Today Digital and The Portland Regional Chamber asked me to take part in their Marketing Breakfast Series.

We went beyond SEO 101 into some great strategies for content development and link-building.

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  • This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. And it’s completely relevant to good SEO. Ultimately the search engines are trying to decide who to trust. So, if you can appear the most relevant you win. And there’s no better way to do that, online, in a universally approachable way than with good old fashioned SEO.
  • So what is “Good old fashioned SEO”? It’s: For What are * your* customers searching? How well do you say that for which they search? Do you have good references who reinforce the message? The extent to which you have to reinforce the message depends entirely on how competitive is the marketplace and by extension the search ranking landscape.
  • Obligatory hitwise data slide.
  • Look how far down this list we have to go before we see a true YP property
  • What is SEO? Organic Vs. Paid Vs. Local Organic Results are found on the Left hand side of the page Local also known as Maps results Either 7 pack Integrated -  hybrid of Local and Organic Paid Search, Results on the right side of the page and in the yellow box above Organic Through on site and off site techniques, we improve the rankings of your site.
  • Why is SEO Important? The organic results are more trusted by search engine users. The numbers prove this to be true: 60 - 80% of searchers click on organic results 90% do not leave page one   Some studies show it as high as 97% To Stay Competitive: Local competitors are using SEO marketing to outrank you.
  • Chris Anderson, the Editor of Wired created this You can see the top part of the dinosaur is the distribution of common searches like shoes and running shoes, a lot people search for these specific terms. The lower tail end of the dinosaur represents search phrases which have small search volume, but if you add them all up, it ’s a huge chunk of money to be made. Without physical boundaries, the web enables this to be the case.
  • Benefits of SEO Improved brand awareness and Reputation Improve Traffic Increase number of quality leads Increase Sales! SEO is one of the most cost effective ways to improve sales.
  • Keywords What are people searching for? What are you selling and how are people searching for what you’re selling? Is it relative to your business? How Competitive is the market? Content How well does your site say those important keywords? Links Are other websites reinforcing that it ’s you who should be found by linking to you? Google Loves Links! Keywords and content provide a solid foundation, and links reinforce to Google and others that you do what you say you do. When competing for high-value keywords, you ’re unlikely to win without ongoing link building.
  • What is a local citation? Anytime your NAP appears Our packages will address the issue Local Directories: Google, Yahoo, Bing Local Search Ecosystem All roads lead back to Google Places Major Data aggregators (Major Data Feeds)
  • As you can see all the directories talk to each other and all roads lead back to google places
  • They’re starting to understand flash, but the techniques are still very weak.
  • Keyword research is a topic unto itself. The main thing is brainstorm, research (with tools), discover, brainstorm, etc… Eventually you will arrive at a list of 15 – 20 “money” terms. From these start looking at localization (if your business is location bound) and then find way to apply them to your pages. Google, while free is weighted toward paid search terms. Meaning if you are in a research field or an esoteric profession you may not find enough search to gain value.
  • The title tag ALONE has moved sites from nowhere to page 1.
  • In a world when anyone can publish a fully functional web site in minutes it just makes sense the search engines need other ranking factors to determine credibility. Just like in life, it’s often more important what others say than what you say about yourself. Links are those referrals.
  • I give a lot of credence to the fact that Yahoo! Directory has been consistently mentioned by name in the Google Webmaster Guidelines. There are tons of places to get links. Some make you work harder than others. For instance article and press release sites you have to have an article written or something press-worthy to talk about. And of course if your budget supports it there are many other opportunities but for local, long tail searches. A few low-quality links can go a long way. Good old fashioned SEO still does the trick, particularly in the long tail of local organic search.
  • Rise to Top with Search Engine Optimization - for MaineToday Digital

    1. 1. Search Engine Optimization Maine Today Digital Digital Marketing Series © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    2. 2. The most important thing in business is sincerity… If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.Source: Google Webmaster Guidelines © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    3. 3. © Maine Today Digital, 2012http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheepies/
    4. 4. http://www.flickr.com/photos/darrenhester/ © Maine Today Digital, 2012http://www.searchinfluence.com/2010/11/have-you-measured-it/
    5. 5. Agenda• What is SEO?• Search Engines• Your Web Site• Local Search• Measuring It• Some Extra Data © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    6. 6. Organic Search Marketing 101• Keyword Selection• Content• Links• Lather, rinse, repeat Source: Google Webmaster Guidelines © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    7. 7. The Search Engines © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    8. 8. Search Engine Market Share •Google 71.31% •Yahoo 14.47% •Bing 10.03% •Ask 2.27% •AOL 1.19%Source: Hitwise, Volume of Searches for the 4 weeks ending 7/17/2010 © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    9. 9. Top WebsitesSource: HitWise Visits for the week ending 7/17/2010 © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    10. 10. How Search Engines Work• Crawling • Scouring the web for new content and links between web sites• Indexing • Parsing, normalization, categorization and recording of these data for later use• Searching • Presenting data to searchers in response to their queries in relevant and useful way © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    11. 11. Understanding the Search Results: PAIDSearch Results ORGANICSearch Results PAID Search Results LOCALSearch Results
    12. 12. Why is SEO Important?•37% of clicks go to the#1 position•60% of clicks go to thetop 3•97% of clicks go tosites on page 1 Source: Optify Study, December 2010
    13. 13. SEO and The Long Tail • Local / Long Tail Searchers are Buyers • Generic keyword: “cleaning” • Long tail keyword: “carpet cleaning Augusta Me” © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    14. 14. The Local SEO ApproachOrganic Results • Keyword • Content • Links • Lather, rinse, repeat!Local Search / Maps Results • Consistency in local citations
    15. 15. Where Is Local Search? © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    16. 16. Consistency of Local Citations • What is a local citation? • NAP + W – Name – Address – Phone Number – Website © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    17. 17. The Local Search Ecosystem © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    18. 18. Your Web Site © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    19. 19. Core Concepts• Search Engines Only Read Text • Flash and Images don’t contain text• Don’t Slow Down The Spiders • Fast loading sites get indexed faster • Text links are unambiguous• Every Page is An Island • Just because you’ve built it… © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    20. 20. Organic Search Marketing 101• Keyword Selection• Content• Links• Lather, rinse, repeat Source: Google Webmaster Guidelines © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    21. 21. Keyword Selection• Don’t Guess, Use Tools • Google - Free • https://adwords.google.com/select/Keyword ToolExternal • Keyword Discovery • http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/ • Word Tracker • http://www.wordtracker.com/ © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    22. 22. Google: “Keyword Tool” © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    23. 23. Organic Search Marketing 101• Keyword Selection• Content• Links• Lather, rinse, repeat Source: Google Webmaster Guidelines © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    24. 24. Content – Invisible Content• Title Tag • MOST IMPORTANT TEXT ON PAGE• Meta Description • Low ranking value; high marketing value• Meta Keywords • Widely ignored; still useful in lesser search engines• Image Alt Tags • Most valuable in image search; critical for search in image based navigation © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    25. 25. Content – Invisible Content Example Title Tag Meta Description<title>New Orleans Chiropractic | NewOrleans Chiropractor - Dr. Gordon Alt TextDuBois D.C.</title><meta name="description" content="NewOrleans Chiropractic - Gordon Duboisspecialized in ChiropracticAdjustment and TBM. Let New OrleansChiropractor Dr. Dubois ease yourBack and Neck Pain and help you onthe path to wellness." /> © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    26. 26. Content – Visible Content• Heading Tags • HTML (the language of the web) was developed by engineers – they think in outline form – the higher the heading level, the more important <h1> being foremost• Text on Page • It is possible for a page to rank without saying the phrase for which it ranks but it is definitely harder © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    27. 27. Content – Visible Content H1 Example On Page Text © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    28. 28. Shareable Content © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    29. 29. © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    30. 30. http://www.damnyouautocorrect.com/13603/the-25-funniest-autocorrects-of-dyacs-first-year/ © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    31. 31. © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    32. 32. © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    33. 33. © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    34. 34. Organic Search Marketing 101• Keyword Selection• Content• Links• Lather, rinse, repeat Source: Google Webmaster Guidelines © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    35. 35. Links – How You Get Found!• It’s the World-Wide Web • That web is made up of links• In the beginning there was no Google – Just Yahoo! and 1000 other directories • Separated into categories filled with links• Links are like votes for your site – I can tell you I’m a great guy, but if you hear it from 100 people you trust you’ll, likely, believe it. © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    36. 36. Links Build Credibility & Trust• Sincerity is the most important thing…• In non-competitive categories even low value will do the trick • Not hip, not sexy, but effective nonetheless• Lots ‘o links if you know where to look• Many categories (particularly for state Searches) don’t show maps • Making top of Organic Search all the more important © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    37. 37. Where do I get links?• Business / Civic Organizations – Chamber, Kiwanis, Trade Associations• Directories – Yahoo, DMOZ, BOTW – http://www.directorycritic.com/ – http://info.vilesilencer.com/ – http://www.seocompany.ca/directory/top-web-directories.html• Articles and Press Releases – http://www.buzzle.com/ – http://goarticles.com/ – http://www.prweb.com/ – http://www.fastpitchnetworking.com/pr/• Bonus! Elder Focused: – Offer an AARP Discount? http://products.aarp.org/discounts/ © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    38. 38. A Relatively Simple ModelHe/She who has the most relevant content and the greatest number of relevant inbound links… WINS! © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    39. 39. Local Search © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    40. 40. Local Search Defined• Location Specific • Can’t ship a “24 Hour Locksmith”• Often for goods and services• Often leads to offline purchase• Local is different depending on: • Urgency • Service type • Demographics / Geography © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    41. 41. Where Is Local Search? © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    42. 42. Local Search in Your Market © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    43. 43. Local Search: How?• “Web References” = Links • In Local web references = Trust • Yellow Pages • Local Directories • Links aren’t critical – the correlating factors are Name, Address & Phone• And, some of the most trusted can be bought• Reviews are votes for your business• And you don’t even need a web site! © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    44. 44. Power of Reviews © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    45. 45. The Google Places Page © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    46. 46. Claiming Your Listing © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    47. 47. Local Listing / Review Sites• Yahoo! Local• CitySearch.com• SuperPages.com• InsiderPages.com• Yelp.com• YellowPages.com• BrownBook.com• Many of the above will allow you to customize your business profile for free or minimal cost. © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    48. 48. The Power of AnalyticsSo, How Are We Doing © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    49. 49. Key Points to Analyze• Traffic – Sources – Keywords• “Engagement” – Bounce Rate – Time on Site• Goals (Performance Indicators) © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    50. 50. Google Analytics (It’s Free!) © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    51. 51. Web Forms © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    52. 52. Web Forms – Input  Clear call to action  Hidden fields trap:  Referrer data  URL String for social © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    53. 53. Web Forms – Output © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    54. 54. The Holy Grail for Many Businesses:Calls © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    55. 55. Calls - Output © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    56. 56. Proving It © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    57. 57. Content COnverts © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    58. 58. © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    59. 59. © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    60. 60. © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    61. 61. © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    62. 62. The Emerging Social / Local OpportunityWhat’s Coming – Some Data © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    63. 63. © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    64. 64. © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    65. 65. http://checkfacebook.com/ © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    66. 66. © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    67. 67. It’s Your TurnLet’s Discuss © Maine Today Digital, 2012
    68. 68. Thank You!Will Scott• searchinfluence.com/blog• wscott@searchinfluence.com• twitter.com/w2scott © Maine Today Digital, 2012 © Search Influence, LLC 2011