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Search Engine Optimisation - SEO basic training

What is SEO (in 2019), what are the challenges for the team organisation, the priorities to consider, the risks, the tools, the opportunities?
This training covers a wide range of topics about Search Engine Optimization.

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Search Engine Optimisation - SEO basic training

  1. 1. SEO Basic Training ì  Paolo Margari | paolomargari.eu
  2. 2. ì  SEO core concepts and skills ì  Search Engines: algorithms and ranking factors ì  Rank penalisations: causes and solutions ì  Tools ì  Link building ì  Authority / Speed / Performance ì  Resources ì  Practical examples ì  Q&A Index
  3. 3. ì
  4. 4. Core definitions SEO is a fundamental part of a larger digital marketing strategy: •  SEO = organic search (not only websites but also apps) •  SEM/SEA = paid search (ie Adwords to be renamed Google Ads) •  SMM = free/paid social media content •  Content Marketing = writing content for blog, newsletter, etc •  Digital PR / Influencer Marketing = build relationship & promote content online Main SEO specializations •  Local SEO •  Technical SEO •  Copywriting / Content SEO tactics White hat / Grey hat / Black hat (to avoid)
  5. 5. SEO core tasks •  Planning: before launching a website, bringing SEO in the project •  Training: tell the rest of the team involved what and embed SEO in their work •  Recommendation: optimise when there is a need (ie a new service) •  Reporting: monitor performance in relation to the goals established in the planning phase and the new needs (ranking, authority, traffic, conversions, etc.) •  Ideas: follow up new trends in the search marketing industry (algorithm updates, tools, etc.)
  6. 6. 1. Have clear objective 2. Collaborative team 3. Knowledge of the core tools in mind 4. Process in place 4 successful ingredients for SEO
  7. 7. •  Scientific mindset and logical approach •  Curious problem solver •  Detail oriented •  Ready for long term results and indirect initiatives •  SEO is cause and effect, not immediate correlation: too many factors working together at the same time Skills are mostly linked to technical SEO
  8. 8. •  content & localisation = relevance (is the content relevant to a user?) •  linking & social = importance (is the website important, well-known by other relevant websites?) •  technical & site architecture = trust & crawlability (is the website safe, well-made, professional?) What counts most to a search engine
  9. 9. ì
  10. 10. SERP: Search Engine Result Page More than 65% of world search traffic on avg. is generated by Google Search. Adding Google Images & Youtube it means that about 90% of total search traffic can be attributed to Alpabeth Inc. – Local SE: Yandex=Russia, KZ, Naver=S. Korea, Baidu=China.
  11. 11. Organic Click-Through-Rate (CTR) •  Ranking higher mean way more traffic •  Assure that the website is optimized in order to keep ranking and traffic •  Optimise for the right keywords: not all have the same value (More traffic ≠ More Money) The organic CTR is affected also by title/ description, rich snippets (eg reviews) and sitelinks
  12. 12. 1st on Google? SERP = Searh Engine Result Page More than 70% of organic traffic come from Google first page, but today… 2018 2008
  13. 13. Rich snippets
  14. 14. schema.org An initiative launched in 2011 by Bing, Google and Yahoo! to ”create and support a common set of schemas for structured data markup on web pages”.
  15. 15. Local search Ads Local Organic
  16. 16. What determines Google ranking? Old days: PageRank Google used to be a kind of popularity context where links were affecting authority & ranking The famous original PageRank formula (1999): ilpubs.stanford.edu:8090/422
  17. 17. Google ranking factors today After many Google algorithms updates like Florida, Austin, Brandy, Vince, Caffeine, Panda (content), Penguin (links), Hummingbird (semantic), Pigeon (local), Mobile…
  18. 18. MozCast MozCast is a weather report showing turbulence in the Google algorithm over the previous day. The hotter and stormier the weather, the more Google's rankings changed. Alternative: Sensor by SEMRush
  19. 19. SEMRush Sensor France
  20. 20. Ranking advice by Google SEO Starter Guide by Google 1)  Provide high-quality content for the user, in particular in the home page à holistic approach, relevant terms more than repetitions 2)  Get backlinks relevant and natural (and add also outbound links) 3)  Make sure that the website is clearly visible to the search engine the same way it is to the user (no cloaking = penalisation) and tell what shouldn’t be crawled (using robots.txt) 4)  Make sure that your website has a clear hierarchy (either via HTML or CMS structure) 5)  Make sure that the website has a great user experience (avoid abusing tools that make it difficult and/or slower) 6)  Optimize the images and make the website mobile-friendly & https Not least… Do not over optimize! è penalisation
  21. 21. How to classify ranking factors?
  22. 22. SEO Periodic Table
  23. 23. Penalties They can occur after Google algorithm updates, even multiple penalisations at a time. Not all updates are public.
  24. 24. How to spot a penalty? ì  Much lower organic traffic (Google Analytics) ì  Important change in keyword ranking history (SEO tools) ì  Possible messages on Google Search Console ì  Check for relevant updates (Google Blog), volatility (MozCast or SEMRush Sensor), social media ì  Spot possible toxic backlinks, duplicate content, errors (SEO tools)
  25. 25. ì  Duplicate content (on your website or from others) ì  Auto-generated content ì  Squeeze pages ì  Doorway pages (e.g. meta refresh) ì  Bad guest posts ì  A lot of advertising, a very high keyword density ì  Poor navigation ì  Toxic backlinks, bad anchor text, spammy comments, paid links, schemes, etc. (Google Penguin) What will cause a penalty?
  26. 26. ì  Find all problems (previous slide) ì  Solve all problems (yes, everything can be solved!) ì  (if the case) disavow toxic links to be spotted through a good SEO tool and removed via Google Search Console ì  Send a Consideration Request via Google Search Console (even multiple times if needed) ì  Monitor the effects, it might take weeks or months to recover and sometimes it never gets to the previous level of traffic How to remove a penalty?
  27. 27. Successful penalty removal
  28. 28. ì  Compelling title tags and meta descriptions, within limits ì  Long pages (min 500 words) answering top questions and good quality ì  Focus on topics rather than keywords ì  Site speed do count – use cache and CDN ì  Schema markup where possible ì  Images optimised ì  Solve any error (404, wrong redirects, hreflang) ì  Remove toxic links and ducplicated content ì  Submit the sitemap.xml and solve possible penalisations ì  https ì  Mobile-friendly: be mobile-first Quick SEO check-list
  29. 29. ì
  30. 30. SEO Tools Main features of a SEO tool: ì  Keyword research ì  SERP visibility monitoring ì  Technical SEO & accessibility ì  Link analysis ì  Authority, Social & Analytics Brian Dean’s (quite) comprehensive list: backlinko.com/seo-tools
  31. 31. Website performance •  Google Search Console •  Submit content or crawling •  Monitor content that is most engaging for search •  Stay away from malware or spam •  Link to Google Analytics and other SEO Tools for deeper analysis •  Bing Webmaster Tools •  Yandex Webmaster Tools •  SEO Power Suite •  Detect penalties (and many other functions) •  Screaming Frog (software) •  Sitemap with many details •  BrowSEO: visualize a website in pure HTML •  Woorank
  32. 32. How to evaluate keyword relevancy? •  Volume: popularity = how many searches •  Avg CPC: how much does a click costs? (Many factors involved in the bid) •  Competition: how many competitors are bidding for it •  Length: usually the longer (long-tail) the better = precise intention •  Trends: seasonality or temporary popularity •  Keyword difficulty: an index summarizing the above
  33. 33. Keyword research tools Free •  Google Keyword Planner (free, accessible via Google Adwords) •  Ubersuggest (free) •  … Paid •  MOZ Keyword Difficulty Tool •  Secockpit •  LongTailPro •  KeywordTool.io •  … Enterprise SEO platforms •  SEMRush •  Search Metrics •  SEO Power Suite •  …
  34. 34. Website authority Most relevant for link building •  Majestic •  MOZ Open Site Explorer Other metrics •  Pagerankchecker (still relevant PageRank?) •  SimilarWeb (traffic estimator, similar service partly available also on SEMRush) Chrome plugins •  SEO Site Tools •  SEO Quake (Chrome extension that provides general domain info) •  Ghostery (useful to spy which cookies/platforms are using competitors)
  35. 35. Link building •  There are many agencies selling links on websites with relevant DA & PA for low prices. •  Mind the risk of a penalisation – Google can spot patterns when many clients use the same websites
  36. 36. Link building tools
  37. 37. Monitor site speed: GTMetrix It includes Google PageSpeed Score Select the closest test server
  38. 38. CMS: Tools for Wordpress To increase site speed and security: •  W3 Cache •  Fast Minify •  EWWW (image optimizer) •  Cloudflare (CDN) •  Optimize Database (performance) Multilanguage: •  WPML SEO: •  Yoast Obviously a fast and reliable hosting too
  39. 39. Links: stay up-to-date! •  Ahrefs Blog: ahrefs.com/blog •  Backlinko by Brian Dean: backlinko.com/blog •  Google Webmaster Central Blog: webmasters.googleblog.com •  MOZ Blog (founded by Rand Fishkin): moz.com/blog •  Search Engine Journal (SEJ): searchenginejournal.com •  Search Engine Land: searchengineland.com •  Search Engine Watch: searchenginewatch.com •  SEO by the Sea by Bill Slaski: www.seobythesea.com •  Stone Temple by Eric Enge: www.stonetemple.com/blog •  Yoast: yoast.com/seo-blog •  Twitter List on SEO: twitter.com/@PaoloMargari/lists/seo Beyond SEO... •  Simo Ahava Blog (Google Tag Manager): www.simoahava.com •  Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik (Analytics): www.kaushik.net/avinash •  nn/Group Articles (UX): nngroup.com/articles
  40. 40. Google Keyword Planner Google Search Console Bing Webmaster Tools Google Analytics Ubersuggest SEMRush
  41. 41. Paolo Margari Digital Marketing Specialist Brussels @paolomargari paolomargari.eu oltredigital.com

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What is SEO (in 2019), what are the challenges for the team organisation, the priorities to consider, the risks, the tools, the opportunities? This training covers a wide range of topics about Search Engine Optimization.


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