So, You Want to be an SEO, eh?

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I presented this information to a group of Internet Marketing students at Marlboro College in VT. Some info is a little outdated, but you get the gist.

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So, You Want to be an SEO, eh?

  1. 1. So, you want to do SEO, eh? Search Engine Optimization 3.0 The good, the bad, the ugly. And how-to be successful at it.
  2. 2. Patti Fousek, President & Chief CreativeMindpatti@cmsearchmarketing.comwww.twitter.com/PattiFousekwww.cmsearchmarketing.com
  3. 3. Who the heck is Patti Fousek?
  4. 4. Patti Fousek is…• 10 Year SEO Veteran• Owner of Inbound Marketing agency in South Berwick Maine• Does agility and Dock Dogs with Aspen, aka, The Nerdy Dog• Tweets, blogs, and “Facebooks”• Local social media & SEO speaker• SEO panelist at IMS Boston 2009 & 2010
  5. 5. Why is SEO important?Millions of Searches (Monthly) Source: Comscore: http://www.comscore.com; Chart via SEOmoz
  6. 6. Why else?Paid =AdWords 20% of Clicks 80% of ClicksOrganic =SEO Source: Comscore: http://www.comscore.com
  7. 7. Why else? Google: Changing the way we view Search Engine Optimization!
  8. 8. SEOmoz is a great resource for all things SEO.
  9. 9. Data courtesy of SEOmoz: Data released June 6, 2011www.seomoz.org/blog/new-edition-ranking-factors-for-2011-live
  10. 10. Whatever you do….. Don’t bother with: • Search engine submissions • Meta keywords Don’t do these: • Keyword stuffing • Doorway pages • Duplicate content • Buy links • Hide textFollow Google’s Webmaster Guidelineswww.google.com/support/webmasters
  11. 11. How do you optimize a site for 1st page results? In 2011?
  12. 12. 75% 20% 5%Photo of baby: transformationalleadershiphq.com ; image of robot: cas.illinoisstate.edu;Common sense image: commonsenseuseit.com
  13. 13. The SEO Process
  14. 14. 8 Steps to SEO 1 Understand the Website History • How old is the domain? • How old is the current design? • Has SEO been done in the past? • Who is the target audience? 2 What are the Client’s Goals for the Website • Sell a product or a service? • Increase website traffic? • Brand recognition? • All of the above?Always do your homework first
  15. 15. 3 Conduct an SEO Audit • Current keyword rankings • Current organic traffic • Any visible on-page optimization? • How many inbound links? • Current Google page rank • Current bounce rate • Other factors: site architecture, usability, calls-to action, website load time, robots.txt, xml sitemap, search engine friendly design.
  16. 16. 4 Research and Analyze Keywords • Google AdWords keyword tool • Keywords with high searches and low competition • Do actual searches on Google • Competitor research • Key phrases rather than keywords5 Write/Execute the SEO Plan • Titles/Descriptions by page • Internal links, H tags, Alt tags • SEO copyedit the text • Add robots.txt & xml sitemap
  17. 17. 6 Create a Link Building Strategy • Does the client have content to push? Blog, articles, press releases? • Online directories (Dmoz, Yahoo Directory, local directories) • Blogger outreach, Twitter, Facebook, delicious, etc.7 Measure & Track • Increase/decrease in traffic • Bounce rate increase/decrease • Keyphrase producing traffic8 Rinse & Repeat
  18. 18. Photo of file folders: revitalizationpartners.com
  19. 19. One large goal: Increase Sales
  20. 20. The SEO Audit
  21. 21. • Website source code • Google Analytics • Yahoo Site Explorer • Advanced Keyword Ranking • Compete.com • Advanced Link Manager • Firefox Rank Checker • W3CWebsite Audit Tools
  22. 22. • Home page title tag included one keyword phrase (a new term they made up) • Average website traffic 4,000/month – mostly direct traffic. < 1/4 from organic search. • Ranked for a few keyphrases, mostly on page 2 and 3 of Google • Most keyphrases used were very broad or had low search volume • Few calls to action = few leads from website • No robots.txt file or xml sitemap • 1,400 inbound links - lots fewer than competitors • Navigational structure a bit confusingWebsite Audit Findings
  23. 23. KeywordResearch
  24. 24. 1. 3D direct modeling 2. 3D software 3. 3D CAE 4. 3D Mechanical softwareKeyword Research starts with brainstorming
  25. 25. https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal Next – use a Keyword Tool to get search volumes & additional keyphrasesTip: Export keywords you choose to Excel
  26. 26. Other Keyword Research ToolsBlogs, Twitter, News, Wonder Wheel – how others use those terms
  27. 27. Neutral Good Bad Keyword Analysis Guide: (either SEO or Paid) (SEO Specific) (too broad or N/A) Average Google Keyword Phrase by Category Average Monthly Searches Competition Keyword Analysis 3D Engineering 3d free modeling software 1,009 16,700,000 neutral 3d engineering software 540 738,000 good 3d engineering models 4 169,000 neutral 3d engineering tool 2 498,000 neutral 3d modeling engineering 2 1,650,000 neutral 3d engineering 1 17,600,000 neutral/paid only 3d engineering design 1 912,000 good 3d engineering mechanical design 1 399,000 good 3D Mechanical 3d mechanical design software 41 420,000 good 3d mechanical design 16 1,050,000 good 3d mechanical software 2 451,000 good 3D Model/Modeling 3d model 270 20,800,000 neutral/paid only 3d modeling 231 270,000 neutral/paid only 3d auto cad modeling 149 4,840,000 good 3d modeling and rendering 143 345,000 neutral 3d cad modeling 141 805,000 good custom 3d modeling 96 963,000 neutral create 3d models 90 17,600,000 neutralFormat in Excel to use later in Word or PowerPoint
  28. 28. The SEO Plan
  29. 29. • Create Unique Title Tags for Top 20 pages o Titles should be under 60 characters • Create Unique Meta Descriptions for Top 20 pages o Descriptions should be under 150 characters • Copy edit the content for keywords o I call this “SEO copyediting” • Create an internal linking structure throughout • Create an inbound linking campaign • Consult on placement of calls-to-action • Consult on site architecture/navigational structureTip: Organize your thoughts before you start
  30. 30. CHAR CHARPAGE NEW TITLE LENGTH NEW DESCRIPTION LENGTHHome SpaceClaim|3D Direct 69 Deliver products to market 168 Modeling Software for FAST with SpaceClaim 3D Engineering, Direct Solid Modeling Manufacturing and CAE software. Process more ideas quickly and interact directly with your customers with SpaceClaim.COPY EDITS INTERNAL LINKSAdditional keywords are in red. Keywords to be bolded, are bold. "3D direct modeling software" willInternal links are underlined. link to the Products Overview page.SpaceClaim - the world’s most innovative 3D direct modeling "capture fresh ideas" will link to thesoftware solution - gives engineers and designers the freedom and Conceptual Engineering pageflexibility to capture fresh ideas easily, make dramatic edits tomodels from any CAD system, and simplify models for simulation "any CAD system" will link to Usinganalysis, digital prototyping, and manufacturing. SpaceClaim Overview page Tip: Google is only showing 54 Title characters now
  31. 31. Title Tag Tips• Each page has a unique Title o Represent the content of that page• Most important keywords go first• Include City/State for local audience• No more than 2 keyword phrases in Title• Keep short – under 55 characters for 2011• Try to avoid stop words or symbols (and, in, of)• Dashes and divider symbols (|) are ok• Put company name at the end if it takes up lots of character real estate
  32. 32. ExamplesGlobal PR and Communications Agency|Boston, DC, NYC, NH, AZ|Brodeur Partners o Total characters actually 77 o This is what Google will show: Global PR and Communications Agency|Boston, DC, NYC, NH … Children Literacy Enrichment Programs in NH – Amity Publications o Total characters actually 66 o This is what Google will show: Children Literacy Enrichment Programs in NH – Amity …
  33. 33. Meta Description Tips• Each page has a unique Meta Description o Describes the content of that page.• Most important keywords go first• Include City/State for local audience• Keep short – under 150 characters for 2011• Write it as if it were an ad o Entice a visitor to click – include calls-to-action
  34. 34. ExamplesEnviroKid™ eco-friendly children’s products. Ourchildren’s products are always PVC and Phthalatefree! Buy online today. – 122 charactersPlan your next Charity Golf Event or Corporate GolfTournament at New Hampshire golf courses withThe Botts Group, professional golf event consultants.- 150 characters
  35. 35. Link BuildingSite Google Type of Listing Cost Suggested Listing Page Page RankDmoz (Google Directory) 8 general directory Free http://www.dmoz.org/Computers/SoftwDmoz (Google Directory) 8 general directory Free http://www.dmoz.org/Science/TechnoloDmoz (Google Directory) 8 general directory Free http://www.dmoz.org/Computers/SoftwYahoo Directory 8 general directory $299/year http://search.yahoo.com/search/dir?ei= Targeting the right sites for inbound links is crucial
  36. 36. Other ways to get links: Publish content everywhere!
  37. 37. Measure & Track
  38. 38. Website Traffic 2010 vs. 200930,00025,00020,00015,000 200910,000 2010 5,000 0 Jan Feb March April May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 30 day trials increased from a few a month to over 200 a month. 346% increase in traffic in year one. 15% increase in year two.
  39. 39. 12.28% increase in organic traffic! Dec 2010 Dec 2009Tip: Best to track over a long period of time to see trends in data.
  40. 40. Other Aspects of SEO
  41. 41. Usability & Calls-to-Action!• Usability o Visitors should be able to find what they are looking for as soon as they land on the site o Navigation should be clear o Site should have a natural hierarchy o Fonts, font sizes, and colors should be consistant• Calls-to-Action o What do you want the visitor to do upon arriving? o Be very clear with your calls-to-action o Calls-to-action are measureable
  42. 42. Usability & Calls-to-Action Example! •Confusing navigation • Different font colors and sizes • Confusing design • Hard to read • Call-to-action at the bottom, below the fold
  43. 43. After…! •Straight forward navigation •Cleaner design • Much easier to read •Call-to-action stand out
  44. 44. URL Structure! •A good URL structure: www.example.com/category OR www.example/category/product-name •A poor URL structure (for search engine "friendliness") : www.example.com/IWCatProductPage.process? Merchant_Id=1&Section_Id=691&Product_Id=143 9522&Parent_Id=302&default_color=BLACK&sort_ by=§ioncolor=&sectionsize=URL rewrites or fixed with CMS
  45. 45. URL Canonicalization• Canonicalization is the process of picking the best URL (to present to the search engines) when there are multiple choices available: o www.example.com example.com www.example.com/index.html example.com/home.asp• Add the Canonical tag inside the <head> section of the duplicate content pages <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com" />
  46. 46. Social Media and SEO• EVERYTHING is indexed by Search Engines o Twitter posts, Facebook pages, Facebook profiles, Facebook likes, LinkedIn profile, Social Bookmarking profiles, blog comments, blog posts….• Be aware of keywords in all you do social• Builds brand awareness
  47. 47. Social Media and SEO
  48. 48. Local SEOYelp, Yahoo, Bing, City Search, etc.
  49. 49. Conclusion
  50. 50. Questions? Patti Fousek, President CreativeMind Search Marketing www.cmsearchmarketing.com patti@cmsearchmarketing.com www.twitter.com/PattiFousek 207.704.023753

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