So today, we're going to go ahead and answerthe super high level question what is SEO, search engine optimization? You're brand new to SEO or if you've donea little bit of it before in the past, but you might be missing a few pieces here andthere, then this is the video for you.
So stay till the end because we're going togo through the exact step-by-step process that you need to understand what search engineoptimization fundamentally is.
I've been doing SEO for almost 10 years.
I'm excited to take you through the entireprocess.
My name's Tommy Griffith with ClickMinded.
Let's get going.
All right, so let's dig in.
What is SEO, search engine optimization? Let's answer that question today.
So search engine optimization is very simplyjust the act of acquiring traffic from search engines to any of the digital assets thatwe own.
Most commonly this is your website, but we'regoing to talk about a couple of other digital assets that you can drive traffic to as well.
What is SEO not? Right, so what are the things that don't defineSEO? SEO is not paying for traffic.
It's not a scam.
It's not shady or against terms of service.
Right, SEO is completely acceptable and normal, white hat.
Lots of companies rely on it, depend on it.
It's not that fast.
A lot of people jump into this the wrong way.
They expect to see SEO results right awayand that's usually not the case.
It's not just for Google anymore.
There's a number of different platforms thatyou should be doing search engine optimization on depending on your business.
And most importantly, it's not that hard.
My favorite aspect of search engine optimizationis that once you understand it, it's really not that difficult.
If I only had 30 seconds to tell you whatSEO is, I would tell you it's these three things: document relevancy.
That's all the stuff we do on our pages tomake them more relevant for users and search engines.
Increasing authority, so that's all the thingswe do kind of off our page in order to let search engines know we're trustworthy anduseful to users.
Things like links, views, sales, favorites.
We'll talk a little bit more about those.
They're kind of dependent on the platform.
The third one is technical optimization.
That's just all the behind the scenes engineeringthings that we do to make it easier for search engines to find us.
Right? So within document relevancy, the easy wayto think about this is that it's the search engine's job to give users exactly what they'relooking for and then eventually monetize that behavior, right? It's our job as SEOs to understand what ourcustomers are searching for and then create awesome relevant content for them, right? So the search engines try and deliver theright answer to their user and it's our job as SEOs to understand what that user is lookingfor and deliver that answer for them.
That's the document relevancy piece.
Increasing authority, very broadly this meanspopularity, right? So again, it depends on the platform, butif you're a regular search engine, that usually means links or clicks or any type of engagement.
If you're a video platform like YouTube, itmight be video views or length of video view.
If you're an eCommerce platform like Amazon, it might be sales, right? Favorites or likes, right? It might be a different platform like Pinterest, right, and so it really depends on the platform, but in general search engines have to understandwhat kind of what the most popular documents are and then show those at the top.
The last piece is technical optimization.
There are more than a billion websites outthere.
This is an incredibly comprehensive technicallydifficult problem for Google and other search engines.
Technical optimization is just all the stuffthat we do to make it easier for search engines to find us.
Search is no longer just Google on your desktopanymore.
There's a ton of different places where searchexists.
YouTube, Amazon, Pinterest.
There's mobile search, Google Places, TheApp Store.
Yelp, Core, LinkedIn, eBay, [inaudible 00:03:47], anything with search engines.
Anything that has a search engine, that hasa number of documents, it has to sort and rank those documents, this is a problem, right? Airbnb has this problem.
Yelp has this problem.
LinkedIn and eBay have this problem.
When someone types in used VCR or vacationrental Miami, or coffee shop San Francisco, how do all of these web applications decidewhat documents should go on the top? It's actually a very similar problem thatGoogle has.
Google's obviously much more comprehensive, it has many more tanking symbols, it has a much more difficult kind of task at hand, but in general the problem is document relevancy.
What do you show at the top for your users? Now, the best way to think about this is this, every platform with a search engine has to solve this document relevancy problem, right? So in general to do this they like to askthemselves two questions.
The first is what's best for our users andthe second is what's best for our business? If your content, if the thing you are doingon that platform is the answer to one or both of these questions, it is a relevant document, right? Keep that in mind when you're doing this.
In general what you want to be doing is beinghelpful and useful to the end user and also helpful and useful to that platform's business.
If you do both of these, you're going to dovery, very well in search engine optimization.
The last piece I want to talk about here beforewe move on are click through rates, and this is why SEO is so important.
If you think back to kind of the pre-Googleera, Google was search engine 11 or 13 or something like that in the late '90s.
There were many, many other search enginesprior to Google, right? The reason why Google went out is becauseof their ability to find more relevant documents than other search engines.
Back in the late '90s, kind of pre-Google, it was very, very common to do a search, not find what you were looking for, go to pagetwo, go to page three, go to page four, maybe change search engines.
Go to page two, go to page three, go to pagefour and generally be very disappointed in not finding what you were looking for.
AltaVista, HotBot, Lycos, MetaCrawler, goinga little nostalgic for you here, right? There were a lot of search engines that kindof sucked.
Google fundamentally changed a lot of userbehavior here.
So what happened was because Google becameso good at finding the most relevant documents, our behavior as users changed with it.
This is a click through rate chart from AdvancedWeb Ranking.
We have a link down below.
You can go ahead and grab this.
But what we found is that users stopped goingto page two and page three and page four.
What they're broadly doing now is siftingthrough the top five results and if they don't find what they're looking for, they're doingwhat's called query refinement, which means they go back to Google and they change theirsearch, right? They add a word, they remove a word, theypluralize it, whatever it is.
In general, about 75% of clicks go to thetop five results.
What this means is is if you're not in thetop five results, you are effectively invisible.
Users are really only sifting through thetop five results and then they're doing another search.
This is why SEO is so important, because it'snot good enough to be in the top 10.
It's not good enough to be in the top 20.
You need to be in the top five and there'sa power law distribution through this, the spoils go to the victor.
Whoever's number one is going to get the vastmajority of clicks, right? This is why it's so important.
In general the rule of thumb here is in orderto win SEO, you want to rank number one for all of your keywords.
In general, this usually isn't possible.
It is almost impossible no matter what yourbusiness is to rank number one for everything.
If you've done it, please email me.
I'd love to take a look at what you're doing, but this is why SEO is so important is because 75% of clicks go to the top five results.
If we're not in the top five, we are effectivelyinvisible.
Okay, so I want to take you through a quicksearch framework before we get going that kind of compartmentalizes a lot of these thoughtsand makes it very easy to go through this entire process.
So here's the search framework.
We have this as a downloadable for you.
If you'd like, go ahead and click that linkdown below int eh description to grab this on your own.
So this framework, this SEO framework is appliedto every step of your sales funnel, so do keep that in mind as we go through.
So let's look at the top, the very first personaand the funnel, right? So before you kind of dig into this, if youdon't have any familiarity with what the sales funnel is, we have a video for you down below.
You can go ahead and grab that, but the basicidea here is you want to figure out who you're targeting and where they are in the funnel.
General sales funnel, you have people whoare kind of least interested first experiencing your business at the top, most interestedcloser to the bottom and any users that have converted have passed through your funneland they're in the retention kind of reactivation phase of the entire funnel, right? So before you use this SEO framework to identifyand optimize your site, you want to figure out who your customer avatar is, what theirwants and desires are and where in the funnel are they.
So let's do an example and let's look at alocal real estate website in order to do that.
So let's say we had a site, it's AwesomeNHRealty.
comis a website dedicated to selling real estate in New Hampshire, right? Let's identify our persona and our funnelas well.
My little sister was recently married, we'regoing to go ahead and use her as an example.
So we have Johnny and Liz, my brother-in-lawand my sister.
They're 26-years-old, recently married.
They want to buy a home.
They've just started looking.
They're looking for a place in New Hampshireso they're in the top of the funnel.
We know who they are.
They're 26, they have a certain level of income, they're recently married, they're looking for a home.
There they are.
Look at those clowns.
Look at those two dummies.
Aren't they adorable? So we'd go ahead and do our search, our keywordresearch and get that process going, right? So there's a bunch of different tools youcan use here.
We have a number of keywords and the monthlysearch volume for them and we can actually break these down in terms of where they arein the funnel, right? So best cities for newlyweds, best millennialcities in 2017-2018.
Those might be top of the funnel queries.
As they start to do some research they mightmove closer to the middle and the bottom of the funnel, kind of ready to convert, right? So best cities, newlyweds, New Hampshire, newlyweds, NH cities might be middle, and then real estate agents, Portsmouth, New Hampshireor realtors New Hampshire, November 2017 or June 2018, something like that.
So it's kind of an example of how differentqueries can represent different phases of the funnel.
So we've identified our persona in our funnel.
Right? It's Johnny and Liz.
They're 26-years-old, they're recently married, they're at the very top of the funnel.
They're just kind of starting their searchfor a home.
Now let's talk about the digital asset thatwill help capture them, right? So the digital asset is just a fancy way tosay the content that the user will consume.
The vast majority of the time this could probablyjust going to be a post on your site or a page on your site.
But it doesn't have to be, and that's kindof the point here is that the digital asset that you use to capture users could be a bunchof different things.
It could be a form response.
It could be a product review, a social mediapost, a video image or a podcast.
Maybe it's a digital tool that you createor a product demo that you could create as well.
In this particular example, we're just goingto do a blog post, right? So it's going to be a blog post and it's goingto be called Newlywed Advice: The Best Cities To Build A Love Nest.
So this is kind of our post that's designedto capture a 26-year-old recently married who is looking for a home in New Hampshire.
Next is the medium and the channel.
So this is going to be where the content livesand how it will be distributed.
There's a bunch of different mediums.
In general the most common one will be yourown website, but it doesn't have to be.
Right now we're using YouTube as a mediumfor this type of content, right? So this is video content optimized for whatis SEO.
This is very meta talking about this, right? This optimized, what is SEO? It's going to live on YouTube.
It could be on other places as well.
Google Places, Yelp, Amazon, Core, Pinterest, maybe The App Store, right? So that's the medium and then the channelcould be a bunch of different things, SEO, paid search, email marketing, content marketing.
Today it's going to be SEO, right? So as a reminder, search isn't just Google, right? Depending on your website there are many searchengines that you could be optimizing for, YouTube, Amazon, Pinterest, mobile search.
There's a bunch of different options out therefor you.
For this particular example our medium isgoing to be our own site and our channel is going to be Google.
That's what we'll do today.
So we've done the persona and the funnel.
We've done the digital asset and the digitalmedium and the channel that we go ahead and optimize for.
Next it's going to be optimization.
Optimization very simply is just doing everythingyou need to do to maximize the number of users that get to that next step in the funnel, right? So because this is top of funnel, becauseour primary asset is a post on our site and because the medium and the channel will beour own site and Google, we're going to do all the things we need to do from a searchengine optimization perspective, right? So make sure the title's there, make surethe meta description's there.
Do you have the keyword in the copy a coupleof times? Is it fast? Do you have your keyword in a couple of images? Are you using latent semantic indexing? All the things you do for SEO to kind of maximizethe total number of users that gets to the next step in the funnel.
Finally, it's the nudge.
This is the most important aspect of the framework.
The nudge is understand.
it's an important aspect of the framework.
The nudge is understanding where the useris in the buyers journey, and then taking them to the next logical step down the funnel, right.
In our example, our users at the top of thefunnel, right.
A 26 year-old looking for a home.
We've created this post.
It's an asset on our own site, it's callednewlywed advice, right, the best cities to build a love nest.
We're optimizing for Google.
We're suddenly ranking, we're getting allthis traffic.
Our nudge is the next step in the funnel wherewe want them to go.
When we've optimized our site and we're generatingtraffic and we're getting all this traffic, we have not yet committed the nudge.
Getting the traffic is not the nudge.
Moving the user to the middle of the funnelis the nudge.
If we get a bunch of traffic and then allthat traffic bounces, we actually have not yet succeeded, right.
Just getting traffic is not enough, we wantto take the user to the next logical step.
In this particular case our next logical stepis getting their email.
When my sister does a search for best newlywedhomes New Hampshire, or best places to live, right, best cities for millennials, whateverit is, she's not yet converted until she enters her email address.
The minute she enters her email address, shemoves to the middle of the funnel.
Once she moves to the middle of the funnel, we go back through the search framework and do the whole thing over again.
Right? The framework is applied to every step ofthe funnel.
This is the framework.
Now, she's in the middle of the funnel, wewould do the same thing.
What's the persona and the funnel.
Okay, it's still a 26 year-old, she's a littlebit closer to buying.
What's the asset, what's the medium, what'sthe optimization? You do this for each step of the funnel untilyou have converted your user.
That's the high level stuff in the searchframework and kind of everything that you do and where you apply it in each step ofthe funnel.
Now, let's talk about those pillars we talkeda little bit about earlier.
The first up is document relevancy.
It's a quick reminder.
It's the search engine's job to show usersrelevant content based on what they're searching for, and it's our job as SEO's to understandwhat those users are looking for and create awesome, relevant content for them, right.
A couple things before we get started.
First, and a lot of people kind of mess thisup, is pages verse domains.
Google ranks pages, not domains.
You want to use this document relevancy conceptbefore we dig into it on a page basis.
What a lot of people do is they mess thisup.
They kind of just optimize their homepage.
They do a bunch of keyword research, theysay, “Okay, I have 50 keywords I want to optimize for.
” They jam all 50 keywords in their homepage.
That's not the way to think about it.
The way to think about this is on a page basis.
Yes, the domain you're on is important.
Yes, you want a high quality domain.
Yes, the total number of kind of links andauthority to your domain can be helpful, but in general all these concepts we're aboutto talk about are at a URL by URL or a page-by-page basis.
Do keep that in mind.
Just optimizing your homepage generally doesn'thelp your deeper pages get ranked.
The other too to think about is that in generalwe're going to be doing all this on a one keyword, one page basis.
My rule of thumb is you only want to pickone primary keyword that you're optimizing a URL for.
Of course, URL's can rank for many, many, many different keywords, but when you're first getting started the best way to think aboutthis is you take a core keyword that you want to optimize for, and you kind of do that onekeyword for one URL.
It makes things much cleaner and easier whenyou're just getting started.
A couple things to think about when you'regetting going.
Keyword research is one of the most importantaspects of search engine optimization.
We use third party tools to figure out whatpeople are searching for, how users are looking for things, and we want to optimize our contentin a similar fashion.
Rule of thumb here, you're going to want todo your keyword research, figure out your primary keywords, but once you know your primarykeyword you only want to use that exact match, exactly that keyword, to a point.
You don't want this to sound too spammy, right.
Rule of thumb here is read it out loud.
Google really understand synonyms.
They understand sort of all these word relations, like word relationships, different keyword relationships.
You want to be writing this for humans, notfor robots.
I messed this up a lot when I was first gettinginto search engine optimization.
I just kind of overdo it.
I would look up my core keyword, and I wouldjust jam it into the copy as much as possible, and it's not the best way to do this, right.
Use exact match keywords to a point.
Don't let it sound too spammy.
Google really understands synonyms.
Just read it out loud, right.
If it sounds terrible when you read it outloud, rework it until it's great.
Another great way to do this is have a friendread it out loud.
Open it up, open up your site on your phone, you hand it to a friend and say it, “Read it out loud.
” If you're both cringing and it sounds gross, you're doing it wrong.
Do keep that mind.
Let's look at an example, right.
Let's say we were optimizing an e-commerceshoe store.
We wanted to rank number one for the term, “Discount Nike Shoes.
” It's searched for 4400 times a month.
Some different synonyms right that might bekind of thematically related to Nike shoes might be sneakers, running shoes, or footwear.
You can use thesauraus.
com or a number ofother resources to find synonyms.
Just Googling whatever your keyword is synonymis a great way to do that as well.
The rule of thumb here is that Google's understandinga lot of these synonym relationships.
Getting some synonym's into your copy is afantastic thing to do.
Kind of one additional piece of the wholeoptimization equation.
On top of this, kind of synonym's plus orsynonym's advanced is this concept of latent semantic indexing.
This is very, very important for kind of thepost-Google hummingbird world, which is a Google update.
It's very, very important nowadays.
LSI, or latent semantic indexing, it's justa fancy way to say related keywords.
What's important here is how Google and othersearch engines are doing this.
If you think about the entire web and allof the different relationships that are happening on the web, you want a lot of those kind ofrelationships that are naturally happening out in the wild to be also happening on yoursite.
An example of this is this.
I was trying to optimize a page for the termEmpire State Building, right.
I wanted to rank number one for the term EmpireState Building.
Some synonym's for Empire State Building mightbe building, tower, skyscraper, right.
Go ahead and get those in there, that's fine, but latent semantic indexing keywords are things that are constantly showing up on documentsthat mention the Empire State Building, but they might not be synonym's, right.
Of every website that's out there that mentionsthe Empire State Building, how maybe Google finds a pattern, it turns out many of themare also mentioning New York City.
Guinness Book of World Records, sightseeing.
These are things that are kind of thematicallyrelated, even though they're not synonym's.
This is very, very important in terms of thedocument relevancy equation now.
Do keep this in mind.
My favorite resource for this is LSIGraph.
All you have to do is input your primary keywordand it will spit out a ton of the latent sematic indexing keywords for you.
It's a very helpful tool.
Alright, so next up are title tags and yourmeta descriptions.
Title tags are the most important aspect ofsearch engine optimization.
Not only are they a huge ranking factor, they'remassively important to your click-through rate.
In general, you are going to want to keepyour title tags within the truncation limits.
It's about 65 characters on Google, there'sa little bit of variation there based on the pixel length.
In general, you want to keep them so thatthey're not truncated in Google search results.
There's a couple of situations if you're workingon a large enterprise where maybe it's worth it to you to get more keywords in there eventhough there's truncation, but in general, most people you're going to be wanting tokeep it within 65 characters maximum limit.
Do keep click-through rate in mind, this ismassively important as well.
You don't want to just stuff your title tagswith keywords.
They need to be attractive and interesting, and drive users to click them.
Keeping your keyword closer to the front isthe rule of thumb here.
In general you do want to do that, and theyshould be unique for every page as well.
Make sure that your titles are not kind ofduplicated and sort of the same thing across all your pages.
This is often a problem with some contentmanagement systems, they duplicate a lot of their titles over a lot of different pages.
Category titles can do this as well.
Do make sure all of your title tags are unique.
Meta description's in a similar boat.
Meta description should be about 160 characterslong.
You usually want to use your primary keywordin here because it gets bolded, in general.
Meta description's don't impact your rankings, but they will impact your click-through rates.
Sometimes, and this is what's really annoyingabout this, is that you spend a lot of time writing your meta description, you want itto be really good, you put a lot of marketing work into it, but sometimes, you know, Googlereserves the right to not use it.
If Google things that there's a snippet oftext on your site that's better, they'll actually replace that.
They won't use your meta description, they'lljust take a snippet that they've kind of crawled on your site and use that.
Write them, make sure they're great, readthem out loud.
Make sure they're compelling and interestingand worthy of a click in Google search results, but unfortunately sometimes Google just won'teven use it, which sucks, but you can't really do a lot about that.
Just an example, right, if we were tryingto optimize this for the term SEO checklist, we have here kind of an old screenshot.
“The insanely powerful SEO checklist.
” You see the primary keyword is in the title, and we have SEO checklist in the meta description as well.
In the actual code, the way this would look, in the title tag, “The insanely powerful SEO checklist.
” Then, the meta name equals description.
We have SEO checklist in the code as well.
Okay, so next up is URL's.
Getting your keyword in your URL is helpful, but changing URL's can have severe consequences, so keep this in mind.
Page migrations can be tricky, when in doubtdon't do it.
If you're starting a new page, yes, get yourprimary keyword in the URL, but if you have an old site, if you're getting a lot of trafficfrom SEO.
If you're getting a lot of kind of trafficfrom all different kinds of places, in general this riskier and riskier the larger you are.
The rule of thumb here is like, yes, if you'redoing your primary keyword research and you're starting a brand new site from scratch, yes, try and get your primary keyword in the URL.
If you have an old site, you just startedto figure out SEO, you just did a bunch of keyword research and now you're like, “Ohmy God, none of our keywords are in our URL's.
” The larger you are, and the more traffic you'regetting, both direct and referral traffic and SEO traffic, the riskier it is to changeURL's.
There are things you can do to mitigate this, right.
You can use a three-to-one redirect from theold URL to the new URL, but in general you often see a small traffic loss for a littlebit of time when you do this.
Don't worry about this too much.
I know a lot of you get really stressed aboutthis and you're like, “Oh, my perfectly optimized keyword is not in my URL, but my site is 10years old, and I'm getting, you know, 10, 20, 30 thousand unique visitors a month.
” In general, the URL of thumb is don't changeyour URL's, right.
Going forward, sure, try and get your primarykeyword in there, but this is riskier and riskier the larger you are, so do keep thatin mind.
Finally, the other rule of thumb here is thatthe closer to the root domain in general the better, right.
com/page in general is better thanwebsite.
Again, this is probably not worth re-architectingyour entire site over, but if you're starting from scratch, in general it can be helpful.
Some people say, “Hey, I actually, I had, you know, a bunch of blog post categories and they're one sub-folder level deep.
” Right, so website.
Should I re-architect everything and kindof put it one folder closer to the domain? In general, I would say no.
This is not kind of worth it.
The rule of thumb, broadly, is that the closerto the root domain the better, but if I already had a site and a system and a way of doingthings, I would put this very low on my priority list.
There's too many ways to mess it up.
That's why it's kind of a small potatoes sortof thing in my opinion, is the downside generally outweighs the upside, so do keep that in mind.
Right, so we're talking about URL's.
Here's an example of PayPal's.
PayPal's optimizing this page for send moneyonline.
Now, in general, it probably be closer tothe root domain would be a little bit better, but there's a lot of very difficult problemsaround enterprise stuff and office politics.
A lot of very difficult technical decisionswere made to get this URL structured the way it was.
The larger the company the harder this is.
In general, this URL has the primary keywordin it, so that's fine.
If we were closer to the root domain it mightbe a little bit better, but what's the headache.
At a large company like PayPal this mighttake months, quarters, years, to do.
Probably not worth it, but in general applesto apples, if ones easier than the other, sure, go ahead, try and get it closer to theroot domain.
Next up are headers, right.
Headers are what we do to logically lay outa webpage.
In general these are the H1, H2, H3 tags.
In general, you want to make sure to onlyhave one H1 tag.
There's lots of debate about whether or notyou should put your primary keywords in your kind of sub-header tags.
Right, H2, H3, H4.
I think this is- .
have sub-subheader tags, like H2, H3, H4.
I think this is, again, a very sort of small, upside sort of thing.
My rule of thumb here is, get your primarykeyword in the H1 tag and just move on.
If you can get some synonyms or LSI keywordsin your H2 or 23 or H4, that's fine, that's nice.
Rule of thumb here, get your primary keywordin your H1 tag and you should be good to go.
All right, so here's an example.
We have this WordPress site, and you're kindof posting it here, 15 of the best email marketing campaign examples you've ever seen, and emailmarketing campaign examples was our primary keyword.
You can see in the actual code, it's wrappedin the H1 tag.
The next step is body copy.
Body copy is just a fancy way to say, “therest of the text on your page.
” There's no real minimum magic number, butmy rule of thumb is about 100 words a page, and using that main keyword at least two tothree times.
Very broadly, the more text you have on thepage, the better off you are, but you don't want to hurt user experience.
This really depends a lot on what your businessis.
If you're a very text-heavy site, this iseasy to do.
If your site is very image-heavy, and youdon't want to have a lot of text, it's going to be much more difficult.
You do want to get synonyms and Latent Semantickeywords in there if you can, and again, the rule of thumb that we talked about a littlebit earlier, read it out loud before you publish.
If you follow these rules, you should be fine.
All right, so you see we're optimizing thispage for Coffee Shop San Francisco.
We have the word coffee in there a coupleof different times, and we are good to go.
Next up are images, right? Image Alt and Filename.
As a reminder, search engines aren't humans, right, so they can't see images the way that we can.
We help search engines see images by namingthem correctly, and by populating what's called the Alt tag, all right? The Alt tag is a way to describe to searchengines and other tools what an image is.
This is also used for accessibility, so visuallyimpaired and blind users will use these special browsers that read images to them.
This is very prone to over-optimization, sowatch out.
What a lot of people do is they get reallyexcited about SEO, and then they kind of name their images, and they'll put, like, “NikeShoes-Buy Nike Shoes online-Discount Nike Shoes online for sale.
jpg, ” right? Don't do that, but then the other side ofthe equation is very un-optimized, right, so “Home Page Graphic 6.
” That's terrible, right? A good one might be, “Red Nike Shoes.
jpg, “all right? Just be descriptive about it.
Think about your primary keyword.
Think about synonyms or Latent Semantic Indexingkeywords.
Get it in there and move on.
This is one more piece of the entire equation.
This is another kind of thing where some peopleare like, “Oh, do I really have to rename all of my images? It's going to take months, and we have todo this, and we have to ask for this engineering support.
” In general, I put this pretty low on my prioritylist.
If you can do it, great, it's helpful in general, but everything else we've talked about prior to this would definitely be more helpful thanimage renaming and image optimization.
To give you an example, from Zappos, and sothey have a picture of a shoe on their site, and it's called “mens boat shoe.
jpg” and theAlt tag is “Mens Boat Shoe”.
That is fine.
Next up, our Internal Links and Anchor Text.
Links from other pages on our site are important, and the text used in those links are important as well, right? Linking to other documents on our site andthe text that we use in those links is an important signal, so, “click here, ” “learnmore, ” “this website, ” are all examples of terrible anchor text, right, but “men's boatshoes, ” “brown shoes, ” “black Reebok shoes, ” would be great examples of good descriptiveanchor text.
In general, it's helpful for users and searchengines to understand what a document is if you name it properly, so do keep this in mindwhen you're linking to all of your other documents.
Finally, the location of the link is veryimportant here as well.
Google's getting a better understanding ofwhat top navigation is, what the sidebar blog roll navigation is, what your footer navigationis.
The location of the link is important, right? If Google has a really good understandingof NewYorkTimes.
com layout, right, they should have a good understanding when an editor oran author is writing a piece, and they have a link in the first paragraph, that's muchmore valuable than the 75th blog comment linking out to a page, right? Google's getting a better idea of understandingthe value of links based on where they are in the document.
Rule of thumb here is, get that link up atthe top, as close to the top as you can, where it's also still useful for users.
Make sure it's in the actual content, notin the top navigation, not in the footer, not on the sidebar.
Example of this? A really good example of internal linkingis Wikipedia.
Wikipedia does fantastic, phenomenal internallinking, but not necessarily for SEO.
It's just kind of the way it was engineeredand structured.
Every word seems to .
or, every other wordseems to be linked.
It's just being descriptive.
They have so much content.
Sort of think like Wikipedia when you're linkingout to all of your documents.
Okay, so next up are Link Neighborhoods.
You're optimizing your page.
You're going through the motions, right? You're getting everything you can, right? Is your primary keyword in URL? Is it in the header? Is it in the title? Do you have it mentioned a couple times inthe copy? Have you added your primary keyword or someLSI keywords into the copy and in your images? Have you internally linked other pages pointingback to this page? Are you using the right anchor text? One other thing you do want to think aboutare link neighborhoods, right? Creating a great resource for users is important, but you can also signal to Google and other search engines that you're doing that by linkingup to stuff that they already trust.
This is very controversial, but I love doingthis.
I love linking out to competitors, so I'lllook at my primary keyword.
I'll Google it.
I'll look at the top five or top 10 results, and I'll often find reasonable ways to link to my competitors.
You're signaling to Google that you are thishigh-quality resource, and that you want to be embedded along with this high-quality neighborhood.
This lets Google know kind of who you're associatedwith, and I love doing this.
It generally seems to help.
Next up is Freshness and Recency.
In 2011, Google announced that fresh contentwould generally rank higher than stale content.
What I find is a great way to get a suddenboost in traffic is going through and updating old content that's performed well in the past, and it'll often give you a nice boost in results.
So, fix broken links.
Go ahead and clean it up a little bit.
Add to it.
Fix it up.
Remember, when you do this, don't change theURL, but in general, a really nice .
You're taking over a new site.
Let's say you have a new client, or you starta new job, where you kind of just want to reboot your entire business, going throughyour content, sorting it by search engine traffic, starting at the top, and just refreshingeverything from there, you can often see a really nice boost in traffic.
Okay, so that's a lot of the document relevancystuff, right? All the things that we want to do to makesure our documents are optimized for Google and other search engines.
Now, I want to briefly touch on the authoritypiece, link building and authority, all right? The funniest way to think about this, whenI first got into SEO, it was because of something I heard on the news.
George Bush was running for re-election, andI heard on NPR that a bunch of activist bloggers started linking to George Bush's WhiteHouse.
govsite with the term, “miserable failure, ” and it got him ranking number one for the termmiserable failure.
In response, a very conservative blogger starteddoing the same thing to Michael Moore's website and got him ranking number two for the term, “miserable failure.
” I was fascinated by this, but I didn't understandit, but it's interesting, right? George Bush's site and Micheal Moore's siteweren't trying to rank for the term, “miserable failure, ” but other people were able to dothat.
How does that work? That's a really interesting way to think aboutlink building.
This is called Google bombing.
Google has updated their algorithm since, so it's much more difficult to do this now, but it's a very interesting way to teach thisconcept of link building, which is, the idea that links from other websites are like votesfrom other websites, and we'll explain this a little bit.
We can use an example, as a cookie recipesite.
Let's say we have a cookie recipe site, right? We have two kind of different concurrent examplesgoing on here, right? We have CookiesForDays.
com, and we have acompetitor site.
In general, right, you want to go out intothe universe and get links from other websites and point them back to you.
It's an authority signal that tells Googleand other search engines that you're popular.
In general, these two pages are exactly thesame.
They have a bunch of links, and the linksare exactly the same.
The one with the most links will win, right? Quantity is the first aspect of this.
The quantity of links is important, but don'twrite that down, because there's a massive caveat here, right? The next is the quality, or the authority, right? In general, if I have a site, two pages thatare exactly the same, a site that has a ton of links, but the links are all from garbage, low-quality, spammy sites, right? Guitar-picks.
biz and LOLMemes.
Info, completelyunrelated stuff, right? And then I have another site that's exactlythe same, but it has two links.
One's from Stanford.
edu, and the other's fromNYTimes.
In general, right, this one with these reallyhigh-quality links is going to move up massively.
But the last piece of this that's really, really important is relevance, all right? So, if I have a ton of links, right? Maybe they're from low to medium-quality sites, but they're incredibly relevant, all right? CookieRecipes.
com, and Cookies.
biz, and GreatCookies.
That's extremely, extremely relevant, right? That may actually be more valuable than linksfrom NYTimes.
com and Stanford.
The idea here is the quantity, the authorityof the site, and the relevance are all very important pieces of this.
So that's it.
Just a super high level brief overview onwhat search engine optimization fundamentally is.
I hope that was useful.
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