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The Three Pillars of SEO – Advanced Review at A4U Expo

12 October 2010 BY

*LIVE BLOGGING can result in some mistakes, however there is no money back guarantee and the reason it is slightly late is my watch is slow.

It is always great seeing @davenaylor speak – every time I see him you can really see his passion for search. His approach is so analytical and precise, everything is thought out, analysed and push forward. Or as he says himself “Monitored, tracked and tweaked” Here he covers the 3 elements of SEO; Technical, On Page and Off Page.

Dave started by saying “sites always need improvement” which is great news for our jobs…

TECHNICAL SEO

Top 4 tools:
•    http fox
•    Screen Grabs
•    Show IP
•    Search Status

Good tools for your amoury include:

Webpagetest.org
-    Speed not a massive ranking factor yet
-    But don’t give Google excuse to drop you down
-    Faster speed will improve crawler speed
-    If engines know you can handle traffic then more likely to send you it
-    From experience Dave had a client that saw in analytics no drop offs in traffic every Saturday and Sunday (between 999-1000 visits everyday) He knew that the server couldn’t handle more visits than this so this supports the theory

Microsoft IIS SEO toolkit
-    Site quality audit
-    Highlights many common SEO issues
-    Use as a benchmark – looking to eliminate errors

Development Pitfalls to avoid
-    Restrict access to dev servers (Most developers only change DNS address)
-    Robots txt IP addresses
-    Do not carry over to live server
-    Check https version of the site
-    Make a checklist for Dev’s to check
-    Very easy to duplicate whole swathes of your site and penalise yourself

Test HTTP responses
-    Don’t redirect error pages to pages with a 200 response
-    Test errors – 404 and 301
-    HTTP Fox to check server headers

ON SITE SEO

Site Structure

- Keyword rich URLs – use CMS, scripting engine or .htaccess file to archive
- Incorporate a site map and breadcrumb trail
- If building a big site block a number of pages via robots.txt and start link building to them – Google are like a naughty child – they want to know what they are and when you do unblock them they will index them asap – “Google on steroids”
- This seems to get more pages indexed faster than normal
- Use rel=canonical

Building a site for SEO
- Write clean code. Semantic, tableless, CSS
- Ensure content is at top of source
- Employ good accessibility practise – alts
- Descriptive, unique and keyword rich <title>
- Good meta descriptions – NOW ranking factor – Look into this deeper and TEST
- Convert searches to visitors

On Page Factors
- <h1> to incorporate a target phrase
- Pages should blend – getting to the stage for over optimisation – when they have right measure they will roll out in mass for basic structure SEO
On Page Linkage
- Use keyword rich anchor text links within BOLD copy to important pages
- Use alternative phrasing and keyword stemming for internal linking
- Think about Adwords – phrase match not exact
- External llinks to be used sparingly as a quality indicator

Planning a site structure
- Information architecture to be led by SEO
- Navigation – no more than 3 levels deep
- Navigation labels – keyword rich
- Top level pages = top level keywords
- Deeper pages = long tail terms

Set your keyword targets
- Include high volume targets and long tail targets
- Check existing traffic for converting keywords and page 2 terms with volume –PUSH THROUGH
- Target based on strength of competition and time/money needed to be spent
- Be realistic!
- Use calculations to work out how many people are actually searching – CTR & Rank
- Look at what Google is telling you and what is real

Tracking the site
- Really important to track the visitors, referrers and movement of visitors
- Track rankings for target terms
- Analytics is good – bigger budget Omniture
- AWR Avanced Web Ranking is really good for tarcking keywords

Plan for Freshness
- Identify subjects suitable for news/blogs
- Identify sources of fresh content
- Set targets for new content
- Make targets realistic
- Set up decent RSS feeder

- Know what you want to create content for
- Create headlines
- Integrate infographics and link bait ideas

OFF SITE SEO

Link Research
- Majestic SEO – loads of historical
- Syntryx – think hitwise for links (very expensive)
- Competitor Analysis
- Google tell you what works – just read the SERPs
- Test it, don’t believe Google or what other people say
- 1st link 1st – referring to anchor text passed value
- Via gra – rank for Viagra – Google has to return results passed on words – test related keywords for your site in copy
- After testing no conclusive proof about anything except Links are valued for where you get them from

Obtaining Backlinks
- Still most important ranking factor
- Avoid bad neighbourhoods and link brokers
- Go for easy wins initially – sites in your sector, suppliers, customers, trade directories, complimentary services, regulatory bodies

Content for Links
- Use high quality content for editorial links
- Create content people will want to link to

Buying Links
- Do it but KNOW THE RISKS
- Buying links form same source – mix and match
- Buying sitewides – in content is better
- Some competitive sites always Buy links
- Buying sitewides – in content is better
- If matt cuts saw this links what would he think?

On Going SEO
- Monitor, track, tweak

If you have any questions or anything that is unclear in the notes above then please ask and I will try my best to expand on the point. This LIVE blogging is hard! OR maybe I can’t do 2 things at once…

The Three Pillars of SEO

It is always great seeing @davenaylor speak – every time I see him you can really see his passion for search. His approach is so analytical and precise, everything is thought out, analysed and push forward. Or as he says himself “Monitored, tracked and tweaked”

Dave started by saying “sites always need improvement” which is great news for our jobs

TECHNICAL SEO

Top 4 tools:

· http fox

· Screen Grabs

· Show IP

· Search Status

Webpagetest.org

- Speed not a massive ranking factor yet

- But don’t give Google excuse to drop you down

- Faster speed will improve crawler speed

- If engines know you can handle traffic then more likely to send you it

- From experience Dave had a client that saw in analytics no drop offs in traffic every Saturday and Sunday (between 999-1000 visits everyday) He knew that the server couldn’t handle more visits than this so this supports the theory

Microsoft IIS SEO toolkit

- Site quality audit

- Highlights many common SEO issues

- Use as a benchmark – looking to eliminate errors

Development Pitfalls to avoid

- Restrict access to dev servers (Most developers only change DNS address)

- Robots txt IP addresses

- Do not carry over to live server

- Check https version of the site

- Make a checklist for Dev’s to check

- Very easy to duplicate whole swathes of your site and penalise yourself

Test HTTP responses

- Don’t redirect error pages to pages with a 200 response

- Test errors – 404 and 301

- HTTP Fox to check server headers

ON SITE SEO

Site Structure

Keyword rich URLs – use CMS, scripting engine or .htaccess file to archive

Incorporate a site map and breadcrumb trail

If building a big site block a number of pages via robots.txt and start link building to them – Google are like a naughty child – they want to know what they are and when you do unblock them they will index them asap – “Google on steroids”

This seems to get more pages indexed faster than normal

Use rel=canonical

Building a site for SEO

Write clean code. Semantic, tableless, CSS

Ensure content is at top of source

Employ good accessibility practise – alts

Descriptive, unique and keyword rich <title>

Good meta descriptions – NOW ranking factor – Look into this deeper and TEST

Convert searches to visitors

On Page Factors

<h1> to incorporate a target phrase

Pages should blend – getting to the stage for over optimisation – when they have right measure they will roll out in mass for basic structure SEO

On Page Linkage

Use keyword rich anchor text links within BOLD copy to important pages

Use alternative phrasing and keyword stemming for internal linking

Think about Adwords – phrase match not exact

External llinks to be used sparingly as a quality indicator

Planning a site structure

Information architecture to be led by SEO

Navigation – no more than 3 levels deep

Navigation labels – keyword rich

Top level pages = top level keywords

Deeper pages = long tail terms

Set your keyword targets

Include high volume targets and long tail targets

Check existing traffic for converting keywords and page 2 terms with volume –PUSH THROUGH

Target based on strength of competition and time/money needed to be spent

Be realistic!

Use calculations to work out how many people are actually searching – CTR & Rank

Look at what Google is telling you and what is real

Tracking the site

Really important to track the visitors, referrers and movement of visitors

Track rankings for target terms

Analytics is good – bigger budget Omniture

AWR -

Plan for Freshness

Identify subjects suitable for news/blogs

Identify sources of fresh content

Set targets for new content

Make targets realistic

Set up decent RSS feeder

Know what you want to create content for

Create headlines

Integrate infographics and link bait ideas

OFF SITE SEO

Link Research

Majestic SEO – loads of historical

Syntryx – think hitwise for links (very expensive)

Competitor Analysis

Google tell you what works – just read the SERPs

Test it, don’t believe Google or what other people say

1st link 1st – referring to anchor text passed value

Via gra – rank for Viagra – Google has to return results passed on words – test that

Links are valued for where you can get them from

After testing no conclusive proof about anything except above

Obtaining Backlinks

Still most important ranking factor

Avoid bad neighbourhoods and link brokers

Go for easy wins initially – sites in your sector, suppliers, customers, trade directories, complimentary services, regulatory bodies

Content for Links

Use high quality content for editorial links

Create content people will want to link to

Buying Links

Do it but KNOW THE RISKS

Buying links form same source – mix and match

Buying sitewides – in content is better

Some competitive sites always Buy links

Buying sitewides – in content is better

If matt cuts saw this links what would he think?

On Going SEO

Monitor, track, tweak

Way you site is structured can make it look like a comparison site – sometimes Google filters it

RDFA – rich snippets format for events

AUTHORED BY:
h

Sam Murray graduated from University with a BA (Hons) in Marketing in 2007 and wrote his 10,000 word dissertation on Search Marketing. Sam is a freelance search manager.
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