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2014 SEO 101 - Solid Cactus

Exploring the best practices for SEO today, touching on content, technical SEO, social media and winding up with a ton of useful links to tools and services.

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2014 SEO 101 - Solid Cactus

  1. what does duane do at bing Bing Webmaster Tools Speaks at shows, runs forums and blog, provides guidance on new WM www.bing.com/toolbox/webmasters tools Does he have a clue? 14+ years as an inhouse SEO; ran seo at MSN; has helped Disney, GAP, Walmart + http://www.linkedin.com/in/dforrester @duaneforrester And this helps me how? Blogging since 2001; owns 150 domains; makes money online http://twitter.com/DuaneForrester
  2. Man’s History of Marketing Billboards Throwing rocks Smoke signals Trading goods Mercantile shops Mail order catalogues Image credit: www.conducthq.com Radio Television Social Email SEO PPC
  3. • • Keyword stuffing all the rage SE submissions help rankings • • SEO software works very well for #1 placements cloaking makes its appearance • • • Google and MSN Search launch Word spreads that links help rankings DMOZ launches and starts directory movement • Dawn of modern search engines w/Altavista Death of SE submissions • • • First paid link network appears • • • Google Toolbar shows PR – drives link requests Google fights spam with Florida update; hurts legit sites Blogging takes off Text Link Ads creates network link buying • • First SEO conference held: SE Strategies • Google notes the “sandbox” Link Farms appear 1994 1995 1997 1998 1999 2000 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 • • • XML sitemaps jointly supported by all engines Nofollow tags appear; PR sculpting follows G Jagger/BigDaddy updates seek link spam • • • Google’s “Brand” update uses “trust signals” to restack SERP around brands • Universal search appears Text Link Ads banned by Google Wikipedia shows the future – domain authority through content depth • • • Canonical tag appears Caffeine rolls out allowing faster indexing – “real time” search is here Tweets integrated showing future of social influencing search • • • • • Google launches G+ G launches +1, tells sites they rank better displaying it Bing partners with Facebook to integrate social signals into SERPs rich snippets starting to be used by sites • • • • • Social signals Mobile Gestures Voice Bing expands social inclusion with FB, Twitter & 4Square Rich Snippets impacting SERPs Data credit: gossip.greenlightdigital.com/blog/the-history-and-evolution-of-seo/ ?
  4. Orange • Paid ads – you pay per click for traffic • Auction-based system • Higher bid; higher placement Green • • • • Organic results SEO works here Trusted results Clicks are free Red M o r e O r g a n i c • • • Shopping results Combination of organically sourced and paid inclusion results Not as wide a net as organic, but more focused than paid ads
  5. •Increase relevancy •Increase exposure •Increase visits •Increase page views •Increase revenue •Better UX •Low cost •Investment in future •Users starting here
  6. 1. SEO isn’t an overnight success story or a one-time effort. Like wealth-building, investing in SEO takes time and continued effort to earn full benefits. 2. Research targeted keywords, create a targeted list per page, and use them in multiple places (in key meta tags, folder & file names, etc.). 3. The <title> tag is one of the most important tags for SEO – put most valuable keywords at start, write unique titles for each page. 4. Add page-relevant, descriptive alt text to content images with copyrights at the end – search bots can’t “see” image contents like humans. 5. Write one keyword-rich <h1> tag per page to serve as the page’s headline. 6. Write compelling <meta> descriptions for SERP snippets – this is what converts SERP impressions. 7. Every page should offer crawlable text for bots to create more keyword relevance. 8. Submit a validated Sitemap.xml file to search engines via their webmaster tools. 9. Canonicalize your URLs to eliminate duplicate content and diluted page rank in the index. 10. Never put content to be crawled inside images, JavaScript, Silverlight, or Flash – bots can’t read it. 11. Don’t expect to get high rank for a newly-published page. Search engine “trust” takes time to build. 12. Use social media to build a community that supports and amplifies your content/products.
  7. • Build social followers & fans organically • Wall posts/tweets with links are perceived as more credible and useful • Get the basics of SEO covered, then focus on content • Its worth repeating: unique, compelling content still works
  8. • The engines really respond to unique, useful content • Your visitors respond to this as well • It’s a wise investment of your time • Don’t take shortcuts – limit syndicated content image credit: http://mashable.com/2011/01/10/social-content-strategy/
  9. • The Internet is B.I.G. Slice and dice to find your niche. • Plenty of niche areas to explore/exploit – start your fight where you can dominate • Choose your voice wisely; don’t be afraid to express an informed opinion • Watch what users respond to, then amplify along those lines
  10. • Know exactly what users are searching for • Data can help you uncover new niches or refine your focus • Helps keep you focused on creating compelling content • Got writers block? Check your keyword research for inspiration
  11. • Start with your Home page, categories, products, etc… • Then…when you have numbers… • Every area of your site has a value - $, PV, Emails, etc. • Determine what the value is • Sort your site by value to see what really matters • Organize work around high-value areas first
  12. • SEO is not just content • SEO can be affected by technical elements • You need both • Content can win, but technical SEO helps • Clean domain • Clean, keyword rich URLs • Page Load times • Layout of pages – content v. ads • Tech hiding elements – javascript nav.
  13. • Crawlability – – – – – – – – – – • Xml sitemaps Navigational structure Rich media cautions Graceful degradation URL structure Robots.txt Internal Links URL structure and keyword usage Clean URLs – no extraneous parameters (sessions, tracking, etc.) HTML & XML sitemaps Content hierarchy Rel-canonical usage to manage duplication issues Rich media – don’t bury links in Javascript/flash /silverlight/AJAX Responsive design for managing mobile & web – Head copy – – – • – Titles – unique, relevant, 60 characters or so long Descriptions – unique, relevant, grammatically correct, 160 or fewer characters Body Copy • • • • H1, H2 and other H tag usage ALT tag importance & usage Keyword usage within the content/text Anchor text – using target keywords to support other internal pages Links – – – – On-Page • • Content – – – – – Site Structure – – – – • • – – • Build based on keyword research Down-level experience enhances discoverability Keep out of rich media and images Produce new content frequently Make it unique – don’t reuse content from other sources Content management – using 301s to reclaim value from retiring content/pages Rel canonical to help engines understand which page should be indexed and have value attributed to it 404 error page management to help cleanse old pages from search engine indexes Plan for incoming & outgoing link generation Internal & external link management Content selection – planning where to link to Link promotion via social spaces – direct traffic & seo value Managing anchor text properly URL structure can help insert keywords where they are needed Social – – – – – – Be an authority Build your community Interact often Share useful content Be consistent and useful Grow facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc.
  14. • Skip m. domains • m. domains produce unwanted duplication • Responsive design is your friend • HTML5 can help
  15. Authority Building Short List Know the topic inside out Engage your community Share useful content freely Be consistent and useful Market your strengths Be a go-to resource Learn to spot trends in data
  16. Authority – engine-style • • • • • • •
  17. Where does SEO fit in? Content Social User Experience Link Building SEO
  18. Search – you’re trying to solve… When optimizing your site for search, you invest in these major areas QUALITY TRUST POPULARITY TIMELINESS Content Links Appearance Authority Usefulness Resource Traffic Repeat Visits Links Current Fresh Relevant
  19. Search – we're trying to solve… ComScore and Microsoft Internal Analysis 2010
  20. A Changing Web of Your Objects Schema.org can help Mark up your content
  21. • Signal of topical authority • Real-time – engines want fresh content, fast • Integrated social signals influence click actions of searchers • Social signals remain only a few of thousands of signals for organic ranking How users click on your results can impact rankings and when we show cues like your Facebook friends with results, click rates can be impacted.
  22. • Different sources must be handled differently • Organic traffic is building trust • Paid traffic is ready to open their wallets • Email traffic is ready to buy…now • Ensure your conversion path is short and sweet • Off the shelf carts can usually be tweaked to gain improvements in conversions.
  23. Plan … or #FAIL Core Strategies Op. Strategies Tactics
  24. Oh, and here’s a streamlining trick for ya! AUTOMATED Trusted RSS feeds MANUAL Copy & Paste AUTOMATED
  25. www.bing.com/webmaster www.hootsuite.com tapbots.com/software/tweetbot/ www.echofon.com/ statigr.am/ inst.me/ www.curalate.com/ www.evernote.com www.ifttt.com http://elastic.io/about.html https://zapier.com/ www.trackur.com www.sprinklr.com/ www.visibletechnologies.com/ www.socialmention.com mehdoh.com/
  26. 6 seconds to start a relationship http://socialmediatoday.com/julieblakley/1516266/7-brands-gettingcreative-vine
  27. 18 Social Media Management Tools Alexa.com Board Reader Sysomos Facebook Insights Follower Wonk Google Insights How Sociable Ice Rocket trends Buffer • • • • • • • • • Klout Peerindex Kred Mention Map Social Mention Statigram Twitter Counter Tweetreach Visual.ly
  28. Q&A Special Offer 20% off any monthly SEO package. Scott Sanfilippo Co-Founder, Solid Cactus scotts@solidcactus.com Duane Forrester Senior Product Manager, Bing Webmaster Program @duaneforrester Call now! 855-886-3030 *with Years 12 four month contract Million $20.5 Experience In Sales 500% Average ROA 3+ Years Client Tenure