University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
Ron Foreman, EmpowerYou.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org, Guest Speaker, November 1, 2011
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO), art and science of publishing information that ranks well in search engines.
Top Google Result Gets 36.4% of Clicks [Study]
- Market Research
- Keyword Research
- Site Structure
- On Page Optimization
- Local Search
- Link Building
- Brand Building
- Viral Marketing
- Measuring Results
Can you complete?
Check the competition. Search major search engines; who ranks for your keywords.
SEO for Firefox extension excellent tool.
What keywords are people searching for?
Research: Google Adwords Tool
Long Tail keywords: three and four keyword phrases very specific to what you’re selling: “children’s shoes toronto”.
Choose best keywords and map pages for each important group. Make sure:
- your most important categories or pages are linked site wide
- you link to every page on your site from at least one other page on your site (site map)
- you use consistent anchor text in your navigation (anchor text “Click Here”)
On Page Optimization
- Domain name
- Page title and description appears in search results
- H Tags
- Keyword Density
- Anchor text (“Click Here”)
- View Source, CTRL U, Example
- Site Map
Write for humans, but use keywords.
Each page needs to be sufficiently unique from other pages on your site.
Google Places, “iphone toronto”, “pizza toronto”
Search engines view links as votes, some counting more than others.
Participate in the social aspects of your community and give away valuable unique content that people talk about and share with others.
Google is getting better at understanding link quality.
Link building tips
- try to link to your most relevant page when getting links (don’t point all the links at your home page)
- mix your anchor text
- use Yahoo! Site Explorer and other tools to analyze top competing backlinks
- don’t be afraid to link out to relevant high quality resources
Link building strategies
- submit your site to general directories like DMOZ, the Yahoo! Directory, and Business.com
- submit your site to relevant niche directories
- if you have a local site, submit to relevant local sites (like the local chamber of commerce)
- join trade organizations
- get links from industry hub sites
- create content people would want to link to
Link building single hardest and most time consuming part of SEO.
Brand related search queries are the most targeted, best converting, and most valuable keywords.
A high volume of brand -related search traffic may also be seen as a sign of quality by major search engines.
Example Sporting Life
Creating one popular compelling idea can lead to thousands of free quality links. Hotmail.com.
You can search social news or social bookmarking sites like Digg or Del.icio.us to see what stories related to your topic became popular.
Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half. – John Wanamaker
Effectiveness, the bottom line: more leads, higher quality leads, more sales? What keywords are working?
Google Analytics, free, track traffic trends and keywords leading to conversion.
New high quality unrequested links, Tipping Point, your marketing starts to build on itself.
Depending on competitiveness in your market, it may take weeks or years to establish a strong market position.
Rankings can be a moving target, since at any point in time,
- you are tweaking your marketing
- competitors are marketing and reinvesting profits in building their SEO strategy
- search engines may change their algorithms