Seo 101


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This Intro to SEO presentation took about 30 minutes to deliver. I presented it to marketing, user experience and web developer teams who had no experience with SEO. See

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  • Ask questions any time during the presentation. We may put your question in the “question pen” to answer later.
  • Don’t forget about QUALITY of those visits. “Quality” depends on your website’s goals. SEO is a process; the traffic that results is called ORGANIC TRAFFIC. Google is the biggest search engine by far, but visits from another serach engine may convert at a higher rate for a particular website. Google is the most advanced technologically. We need to optimize for Yahoo and Bing, too. Interesting note: YouTube is actually the 2 nd biggest search engine.
  • Here is the Yahoo Search Engine Results Page or SERP. The Search Query is “socks for dogs” in PURPLE. We also call this the “keyword”. Highlight the PPC areas of the screen in RED Highlight the Organic Search area of the screen in BLUE. 85% of clicks happen in the Organic Search area; 15% occur in PPC. The words in our search query – “socks”, “for” and “dogs” – are in bold throughout the SERP. Bold stands out visually. Notice the larger, blue title for each listing. This is the Page Title – the most important factor in SEO. We can use keywords here, but because it is so prominent on the SERP, we need to make it appealing so that people will click on it. The text snippet underneath the Page Title is either the 1. Description Meta or 2. a selection of text from the body copy of the web page. This also represents an opportunity to entice people to choose our listing. The bottom green line is the URL. The keywords are even in bold here. Like the Page Title and Description (snippet), it represents an opportunity to entice someone to choose our listing. CONCLUSION: The factors on this page that require good SEO are also good usability and good marketing.
  • 10 search results for page is standard. Anecdotally, we know that about 40% of people click on the 1 st Organic Search listing. About 10% of clicks happen on the 2 nd Organic Search listing with the remaining 8 receiving the rest of the clicks about evenly. This doesn’t mean we always want to rank #1 for a particular search query (keyword). We want to rank well for keywords that perform well for us. It might be better to rank #2 for 4 other keywords.
  • About this graph: The idea is to show not so much the number of searches in the US but that that number CONTINUES TO GROW
  • More and more people are using search engines, even to navigate to websites they already know. We want to capture that.
  • SEO consultants claim to know of 100 factors that are important for SEO; Google has claimed that they use 100-200 factors in their search algorithm. The “algorithm” is the set of rules a search engine uses to determine how web pages rank for a specific search query. You don’t have to know all those. The most important thing to remember is that Search Engines want their users to find what they are looking for. SITE INDEXATION means the search engine – i.e., a computer program – has to be able to read the website. KEY TERM = “Clearly Visible”. These are primarily CODE issues. CONTENT OPTIMIZATION means we want the Search Engine to index our web pages using our keywords. KEY TERM = “Keywords”. These are primarily WRITING issues, but keywords can be used anywhere words can be used, e.g., file names. LINK BUILDING : Links are the roadways to web pages AND they are votes of “importance” for a web page. 3 TYPES of LINK BUILDING: Links from other websites Linking among web pages within the same website Linking out to other websites MOST SEO PRACTICES OVERLAP WITH Good USABILITY & Good USER EXPERIENCE Clean CODE Easier FILE MANAGMENT … so you get big bang for your buck when you practice good SEO.
  • “DON’T BLOCK THE BOT” Corollary: “DON”T SLOW HIM DOWN” Most common examples: Entirely Flash based web page Text formatted as images – something many websites do in their navigation. This does not count as much as text that is actually text. Let’s do a quick example…
  • This is the world’s most minute example. The bot will spend a fixed amount of time spidering our website. We want to make it easy for it to reach VALUABLE CONTENT by reducing the amount of VALUELESS content. “ RandomLetters” should be replaced with an actual keyword like “socks-for-dogs”. QUIZ: When in the development process would you address this? QUIZ: Would a Vanity URL resolve this?
  • “USE WORDS YOUR USERS USE.” Don’t be the guy in the comic! Corollary: “USE THEM WHERE EVER WORDS ARE USED” This is GREAT for USABILITY because speaking to people in their language: Reduces their cognitive load Generally gets a better response. Let’s look at an example…
  • What do we mean by “Search Demand”?
  • “GET THEM THERE” Corollary: Signposts also establish AUTHENTICITY and CREDIBILITY. Quiz: What’s wrong with the content on this sign? “Trough” Do we care? Probably not for SEO because few people are searching for “Trough” or “Through”.
  • This page has links in the: LEFT navigation TOP navigation CONTEXTUAL LINKING is missing from this page. Contextual linking means linking within the body copy of the page. This is useful for both Usability – when people are engage with the content, they are likely to choose contextual links. Search engines use the content around those links to help establish the content of the target web page.
  • There are a lot of people at many medium to big-sized companies… We cannot emphasize enough that SEO is a Sitewide Discipline
  • We think the Standards overlap with other web best practices.
  • ARMS RACE Best practices in website design mean you should worry more about your competition than the search engine algorithm. INCHES NOT MILES The examples should tell you that SEO is a bunch of small changes. Unless the website is simply horrendous, any one change will probably not cause perceptible changes in results. BAKED INTO THE WEBSITE – like these walnuts. The examples hopefully communicated that many SEO practices start at the beginning of any website project – not at the end.
  • Seo 101

    1. 1. seo 101 <ul><li>The goal of this presentation is to understand SEO: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>what “SEO” is </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how it works </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>why SEO should be part of every web project </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We will: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>define “SEO” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>show how SEO works, including examples </li></ul></ul>
    2. 2. what is SEO? <ul><li>Search engine optimization is the process of improving the volume or quality of visits from search engines to a website. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s also called: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Organic Search” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Natural Search” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>A search engine is a tool that finds information on the Web based on a specific search query . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The most popular search engines are: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Google </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Yahoo </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>bing </li></ul></ul></ul>Source: comScore &
    3. 3. organic search results on the SERP
    4. 4. organic search results on the SERP
    5. 5. 18 billion searches per month whoa!
    6. 6. organic search growth = 20% <ul><ul><li>Web search continues to grow. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The total number of search queries grew 20% in the U.S. from March 2010 to March 2011. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The number of people searching the Web grew 7% in the U.S. year-over-year. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>See also A Quick & Easy SEO Metric: Search Query Growth . </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. how it works: the 3 pillars of SEO Source: Stephen Spencer, netConcepts To get indexed accurately, web pages needs to be optimized for the right keywords CONTENT Content Optimization Links help the search engines find web pages & determine their “importance” CONNECTION Link Building Making the site clearly visible to search engines is crucial to getting web pages indexed CODE Site Indexation
    8. 8. “site indexation” means… <ul><li>Don’t block the bot. </li></ul>
    9. 9. site indexation example The search engine bot spends a fixed amount of time crawling any website. Compare this URL, which is long and contains useless keywords : 1. … to this one: 2. URL 1 a lot more characters than URL 2. Multiply that over the total number of URLs on your website. That extra crawl time could be used to crawl real, useful content on your website. This is a very small example. How much other non-essential content is embedded inside, behind, all over your website?
    10. 10. “content optimization” means… Use words your users use.
    11. 11. content optimization example: an easy tool to find good keywords
    12. 12. content optimization example: more easy tools to find keywords <ul><li>Useful FREE tools: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Insights for Search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Trends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Adwords Keyword Research Tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Wonder Wheel or Google Related Searches Go to Google, click “Show Options” then choose from the left </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You don’t need the URLs for these; just Google them! </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. “link building” means… Get them there.
    14. 14. link building example Contextual linking means linking within the body copy of the web page (“within context”). Linking to the HMO plans page 1 would give that page more authority with search engines. 1
    15. 15. a rising tide lifts all boats… <ul><li>Search engines see a domain </li></ul><ul><li>not a… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>department </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>business unit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good SEO helps everyone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>& </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weak SEO hurts everyone </li></ul></ul>A rising tide would lift all of the boats in this Thai floating market.
    16. 16. web best practices Usability Accessibility Good Code SEO except for Search Demand
    17. 17. the least you need to know SEO is… <ul><li>… an arms race </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your competition on the web is likely to change. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search engine algorithms change less frequently. Good practices mitigate possible negative effects. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>… baked into the website, not spread on top </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good SEO begins at the planning stages. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organic Search traffic is valuable, so SEO should be part of every web project. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>… almost always achieved in inches, not miles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t expect to see huge jumps in quantity or quality of organic search visits with one change. </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. questions or comments? <ul><li>Contact me </li></ul><ul><li>with any questions </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>or </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>