Published on July 29, 2009
Understanding & Using Search Engine Optimization Barrett Michael firstname.lastname@example.org 678 608 3408 www.ifpeople.net
What exactly is search engine optimization?
SEO means improving the volume or quality of traffic to a website from search engine results.
When someone searches for you or something relevant to your org... ...you appear in the results.
30% of web traffic delivered by search engines. 80% of that traffic delivered By Google.
SEO has three separate parts... technical content links
-b a lanced e we ll us t b ree m lts. All th t resu for be s
Let's start with... technical content links
A Word on Flash Flash sites look pretty... ...but text in Flash isn't readable by searches.
A Word on Flash Indexible content is more important than design.
Code: Overview With SEO, code quality matters. Clean, correct code is indexed faster by search engines.
Code: Best Practices Use a validator to check code. http://validator.w3.org/
Code: Best Practices Google reads pages from top to bottom. Keep important content near top.
Code: Best Practices Excessive code makes crawling your site difficult. code copy code Keep a low code to copy ratio.
Descriptive Names: Overview Give your pages names that describe specific content. page title URL
Descriptive Names Overview Names: This associates your page with relevant search engine queries.
Descriptive Names: URLs Include descriptive words in your URLs... www.healthpartners.com/fight-for- healthcare-reform www.healthpartners.com/0001b274cdn
Descriptive Names URLs Names: Use hyphens, not underscores... www.healthpartners.com/fight-for- healthcare-reform See as separate words
Descriptive Names URLs Names: Avoid really long URLs... www.healthpartners.com/fight-for- healthcare-reform-sign-petition-get- bill-through-congress-for-universal- healthcare Viewed as disingenuous and “spammy”
Descriptive Names Page Titles Names: Give descriptive titles to each unique page.
Metadata: Overview Metadata is invisible to web visitors. It includes bits of descriptive info picked up by search engines.
Metadata: Meta Data Keywords Meta keywords... • Usually seen in source code • Still found by search engines • In Plone, called “categories” meta data in Plone
Sitemaps: Overview A sitemap gives search engines an overview of your content. It makes relevant results easier to find.
Sitemaps: Big Sites Big websites need... full map of site
Sitemaps: Small Sites Small websites need... navigation bar
Sitemaps: Creation Sitemap Generator http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/
Now, let's talk about... technical content links
Keywords: Overview • People find websites based on keywords • Including relevant keywords in copy can improve your SEO
Keywords: Selection Step 1: Use Google Analytics to see what words people search for before landing on your site. search term listings
Keywords: Selection Step 2: Brainstorm other related keywords education advocacy universal healthcare health advocacy local volunteer opportunities employment help healthcare for all middle school success live united graduate high school uninsured programs education support low-income family help
Keywords: Selection Step 3: Use a keyword tool to evaluate the search volume of your keywords. free paid https://adwords.google.com/ www.wordtracker.com select/KeywordToolExternal
Keywords: Selection Step 4: Take note of “search volume,” competition, and relevant synonyms.
Keywords: Selection Step 5: Choose identifying keywords and include them in web copy, page titles, metadata. d s ure s nin ram u g pro edu c sup ation port te d liv e uni
Update Content: Overview Search engines love new content. events stories news For higher rankings, update content regularly.
Update Content: How To Easiest if you have a CMS.
Update Content: How To Also easy if you have a blog connected to your URL.
Finally, there's... technical content links
Links: Overview Links are like academic references. More links to and from more credible sources = better SEO.
Links: Two Types Links on your site Links on other sites to other sites. to your site.
Links: Your Site Make your links descriptive. This connects your text to key search terms.
Links: Your Site Don't write, “click here.” Get info about the 2009 Race for the Cure in Indianapolis. For info about the 2009 Race for the Cure in Indianapolis, click here.
Links: Other Sites Appear on other sites by... ...submitting to relevant directories.
Links: Other Sites Appear on other sites by... ...leaving blog comments w/ links.
Links: Other Sites As you develop online relationships, ask clients and partners to link to your site.
But how can I make sure my SEO is continually refined?
Monitoring: Overview SEO is a process, not a one time deal. benchmark evaluate SEO results
Monitoring: Overview Benchmark Questions: What do I want out of SEO? How many new hits do I want to achieve? How many of those hits should turn into reputable leads?
Monitoring: Tools Google Analytics Observe what keywords are associated with your site and increases in traffic.
Monitoring: Tools Website Grader Analyzes: • Web traffic • Social popularity • Technical factors Includes basic advice on improving site.
Monitoring: Tools SEO Toolbar • Firefox toolbar • Competitive research • Keyword research • Comparative linking • Page rank
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