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An Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation – presenters notes.

February 15, 2010

An Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation

Jaamit Durrani, Senior SEO Engineer, Fresh Egg

Tue 26th Jan 2010, BScene

Search Engine Algorithm = what google does when you type something into the search box:
relevance – which pages are closely related to the query entered (-> onsite optimisation)
importance – which pages / sites are most linked to by other influential sites – links are ‘votes’ (-> link building)
ONSITE OPTIMISATION

Keyword research – start by brainstorming phrases and words describing your key products & services into Google’s Keyword Tool – https://adwords.google.co.uk/select/KeywordToolExternal.
Make sure you select “exact” match type to get the most accurate results, and sort by “Local Search Volume” to get searches / month in UK
Be realistic – look at what else is ranking for a big keyphrase and don’t run before you can walk – add location information (eg Brighton) or specific adjectives to target the most relevant and realistic keyphrases
Choose 10 target keyphrases you’re going after
Keyword targeting:
splitting out copy onto keyword assigned pages -> http://www.devikadesigns.com
page titles – put the keyword 1st, 70 chars max – dont duplicate! – possibilities-unlimited.co.uk
copy / text – something users want to read + for search engine relevance
internal links + anchor text
Always make sure your key pages contain text – not only images or flash – give the search engines something to read and determine relevance!
http://www.devikadesigns.com – homepage has one big image but no text – give it some copy
http://www.yogabrightonandhove.co.uk (nav menu uses images instead of text links – always use text links for navigation menu links)
Splitting out copy onto keyword assigned pages – don’t try and get your homepage to rank for everything – if you have 5 different services or products then give each one a page
http://www.devikadesigns.com (services)
Blogging – the importance of blogging – a source of freshly updated content and pages for your site, keeps search engines coming back and targets ‘long tail’ search traffic. Also allows you to create internal links to key pages on your site.
http://www.tnbr.co.uk – plenty of room for blog content – ‘rogue traders’ blog posts – [rogue traders, scammer stories, guest content from members, diy tips?]
http://www.possibilities-unlimited.co.uk has a blog but on different domain! – install wordpress on your server – eg http://www.possibilities-unlimited.co.uk/blog/ to make sure your blog is actually helping your main site rankings
Flash websites –eg http://www.toweroftype.com/ – avoid flash-only sites, they’re not great for SEO, esp for ranking/indexation of deeper pages
Use one domain for one business –
http://www.toweroftype.com and http://www.stevencroft.co.uk – these should ideally be combined to consolidate your power – Google sees these as two entirely different sites.

Google local is a great opportunity – make sure you register with http://www.google.com/local/add/ and add a descriptive title and as much info as you can. Ranking in local results can get you great traffic and its often much easier than main rankings.

LINK BUILDING

Using your assets / USP to get links – who are your offline business contacts – clients, suppliers, trade associations, etc – do they have websites? What would you need to do to get a link from them? http://www.tnbr.co.uk – no rogue trader badge link

Competitor link analysis –

use Yahoo Site Explorer (http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/) to check out your competitors’ backlinks (click on inlinks, except from this domain and entire site to get the right data)
Spend time picking through and examining links that are helping your competitors rank where you want to be – how did they get that link – can you get that link too (eg directories, links pages) or is there a technique they’ve used that you can learn from – very valuable activity!
Run Site Explorer on your own site and optimise the anchor text of your own links – links that use your target keyphrase rather than “click here” are much more powerful
Reciprocal Links / Link Exchange – excessive use of this is against Google’s guidelines and could cause you problems – best way to do it is create a genuinely useful Resources page, then use that to leverage handpicked highly relevant links. Dont just have pages and pages of free for all link exchange with all and sundry
Web directories, both paid and free are excellent ways of building backlinks – biggest ones are DMOZ (free but hard to get) and Yahoo ($299/year) but there are loads of general and niche ones
Article directories like http://www.ezinearticles.com are great, free ways to build low level links – submit an article every X weeks containing a couple of links to key pages on your site using targeted anchor text
guest blogging on other peoples sites – great opportunity to get links to your site.

FURTHER READING

The most important thing: if you want to learn SEO, its all online and free to learn, SEOs love to share info and teach others. Just use Google to research!

Here are a few great places to start:

Google SEO Guide: http://www.google.com/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf

Local SEO Guide: http://www.localseoguide.com/how-to-do-local-seo-in-five-minutes-or-so/

Fresh Egg Workshop videos (look out for my video which talks about a way of getting strong links): http://blog.freshegg.com/full-coverage-from-the-seo-workshop_2339

Small Business SEO Series – Rishi Lakhani: http://explicitly.me/small-business-seo

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