Basics of SEO – August 14th, 2014
This free SEO webinar was presented by Attracta on August 14th, 2014.
Greg: All right. It’s 9:02. Let’s get started. Thanks again for joining us today. My name is Greg, I’m going to be leading our presentation. My colleague Joe Knipp is unable to join us this morning.
Also, sorry about the time mix-up. I know that there was some confusion on if we were going to begin at 9 Eastern or 10 Eastern time. Obviously we’re getting started a little bit earlier today, but in the future we will have multiple time options on either Tuesday or Thursday for when our webinars are.
Just to give you guys a quick overview of what we’re going to cover today, it’s going to be over the basics of SEO and link building. We’re going to cover a little bit of the on-site characteristics of what you guys should do to make your websites look really good for the search engines and then we’ll dive into some other tactics that you can do to increase your ranking such as link building and a few other things.
Without wasting anymore time let’s get started. Again, this presentation will be about 20 minutes long. At the end I’ll save about five to 10 minutes for your questions, so as we go along if there’s anything that I don’t really go deep enough into, if you could just do me a favor and just jot down your questions and we’ll save them for the end. All right, so let’s get started.
What is SEO? SEO basically stands for search engine optimization. I’m sure all of you are here today because you have a website that you want to rank. You probably have some keywords in mind that you want to capture some traffic for.
Search engine optimization is the entire process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s organic, or unpaid, search results. Just let me give you a quick example of a search here for the keyword “make money online.”
This is probably one of the most popular niches that’s out there along with weight loss. A lot of people are trying to make money online obviously. There’s 422 million search results here. What you’re seeing down here are all of the organic results.
The user would just read the articles and websites that are retrieved when you type in “make money online,” but you see over here to the side and at the top, these are the paid ads.
What you could actually do is if you wanted people to find your website through paying for your ads, you would just choose your keyword and every time someone clicks on that link there, you’re going to have to pay a fee to Google for having that ad being run on the homepage.
These are the organic results. Getting into what the localized results are, you guys might notice that there’s some keywords that you can type in and they give you different results.
They’re not just the regular websites that you’d pull up for a various keyword, but it actually gives you locations that are in your area that provide that service or have that product. You see I typed in “bike shop.” I’m in St. Petersburg, Florida, so we have a list of our local shops that I can buy a bike here, rent a bike.
Google gives us back the results in order of what they deem as most important. The first result here, this is the most authoritative site. Usually it’s going to have the most reviews, it’s going to have a lot of directory citations, another word for that is phone book websites, like YellowPages.com, SuperPages, Yelp.
Those are all examples of local directory citations. The more of those that you have for a local business, the more visibility you’re going to get for that business. It’s pretty straightforwards. It’s like the more votes your website has, the more authoritative Google is going to deem that website.
We have all of our listings here in order of importance. These are the localized results. Other keywords that trigger this, keywords like “coffee” for instance, or “video game store,” just use your imagination. There’s a lot of keywords that trigger local results instead of the regular organic ones.
Before you begin on your SEO endeavor, what’s the first thing you’re going to do? You’re actually going to pick out the keywords that you want people to find. This is just what we call keyword research, so it’s the process of asking yourself, “What are people searching to find my type of business or service?”
You have to be aware of your competition. You have to know what people are searching for actively month in and month out. There’s a lot of tools that you can use for that. My personal favorite is just the Google Adwords Keyword Tool.
You can create a free account on Google Adwords and get access to this tool. It’s just a great way just to see what the monthly search volume is for the different keywords that you want to rank for.
After you get an idea as to which keywords are popular, you need to make sure that they’re not way too popular and make sure that there’s not way too much competition out there for your keyword because what’s the point in going after a keyword if there is already 30 million people that are gunning for the top spot. You could probably find an easier to rank keyword.
In every niche out there, there’s still really good keywords. Even in weight loss or make money online, there’s still a lot of possibilities of keywords that you can rank for. It just takes a little bit of critical thinking and takes a good strategy to actually hone in on those keywords.
Let’s talk about on-page optimization. On-page optimization is the process of getting your site to look really good for the search engines. Not only are you trying to make your website good for the search engines, but you actually want to provide helpful content to users and readers of your website. Just make things easy to find.
I’ll give you a few examples of ways that you can work your keywords into your on-site SEO. Here you’ll see a site for our friend Charles H. Stark, Personal Attorney. Charles is located in Winter Park, Florida here. He has his contact information right here, right in the top portion of the site, so that’s really good.
Obviously it’s easy to find him. How many times do you guys get to websites and you’re just looking for the phone number and you have to click five times to find it? It’s really annoying. I like that he has this information worked right into his homepage.
Now let’s talk about page titles really quickly. Page titles is probably the most important element of on-page SEO. We’ll use our friend Charles as an example again for that. You see for his page title here at the top, it’s just his name.
It says, “Charles H. Stark PA.” This can be improved on because ideally what he should be doing is he should be working his business or his keywords into his page title because this is what’s going to actually be retrieved in the searches.
A great idea that he can use for this is maybe instead of just his name, it could say, “Personal Attorney for Corporate and Business Law,” or something like that, so he’s worked his keywords in there.
All is not lost for his website because he does do some other things really well such as his heading tags. What are heading tags? Heading tags are the section headlines, so they’re telling the reader what the following section is going to include.
Let’s go back to his homepage here. These are his different heading tags, so where it says, “Corporate Business Law,” “State Planning and Tax Law,” “Probate and Guardianship,” really interesting stuff here. “Areas of Experience.”
These are just his different heading tags and he actually does a pretty good job of working his keywords into them, so “Corporate Business Law,” obviously that’s a good keyword. “State Planning and Tax Law,” that’s another excellent keyword.
“Probating Guardianship,” I don’t really know too many people searching for that, but I’m sure they’re out there. He’s basically thought of the keywords that he wants to rank for and he’s incorporated those pretty slyly into his heading tags. “Areas of Experience,” this can probably be improved on a little bit. He could have worked in a better keyword instead of that. Back to the slides.
Other things that you can do to add search value to your website. Emphasize text, so bold, italic, enlarged, quoted, anything that really jumps out at the reader as just not your standard run-of-the-mill text. That’s going to add a lot of search value to your site, but the thing is you want to use this sparingly.
With a lot of this, your strategies, moderation is key. You don’t want to go overboard and optimize way too many of your keyword because it’s just going to look really funny. I’ll show you an example of how this can go wrong.
All right, we have our friend here who’s got a website on investments in oil and gas and alternative investment. Here are where he has worked his keywords into his text and he’s got it in bold. He’s got them underlined. He’s got “investments in oil,” “invest in oil,” “investing in oil wells.”
I mean, I don’t know how many times he used “invest in oil” or “investments in oil,” but he uses it way way way too much on his page here. Google’s probably going to punish him.
I don’t know if he’s going to receive any sort of penalty for this, but he’s definitely not going to be ranking as high as he should for these different keywords. Just use your common sense.
A lot of times Google can look at these keywords that you’re trying to rank for on your page. As long as you have synonyms of them, other keywords that are saying the same thing, then Google’s going to know that you’re talking about oil and gas investment if you have variations of those keywords.
Just use your common sense, don’t go overboard and keyword stuff and make them all bold and underline because you won’t be doing yourself any favors. Now let’s get back to the slides here.
Let’s talk about a little bit of off-site SEO. We’ve gone over some things that you should be doing to keep your on-page SEO really attractive to the readers, really attractive to the search engines. Not only are you providing really good and high quality content, videos, pictures, really good articles on your site.
That’s only half the battle. You also have to address your link building, or your off-site SEO. What are links? What am I talking about by link building? A link is basically a handshake between two websites.
The more authoritative the website that you’re getting the link from, the better it is for you. If you have a link from Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera, anything like that, any really popular news site or any site that has a lot of authority, a lot of readers.
If you have a link for that site it’s going to be really really good for you. There’s tons of ways that you can build relationships with webmasters and get links the natural way, which is what recommends that you do, but chances are it’s going to be impossible to get all the links you want naturally.
You’re going to have to resort to some other tactics such as paying people to build links for you, hiring a professional SEO to do the work for you, or just building them yourself. The whole idea is you just want really strong authoritative links.
Other things that you can do, diversify your anchor text. Don’t use too many of your main money keywords when you’re link building. If you have a link that goes to your website for “make money online,” that would obviously be the anchor text that people will click on that little blue underline word and it takes you to your website.
That would be your keyword or your anchor text. If your keyword is “make money online,” again, you don’t want to go overboard. Kind of like the example I showed you with investments in oil, you don’t want to use that keyword way too many times because it’s going to develop over-optimization.
Other things you can do to prevent that. You can use variations of that keyword, so if “make money online” is your main keyword, how about “earn income from home” or “earn income from your computer.” Any sort of variation of “make money online” is going to be good. Don’t use the same keywords.
Link building should be performed on a regular basis though. This isn’t the kind of tactic is just one and done. You’re not going to just do it one month and you’re never going to touch your link building again. It should be performed on a regular basis.
Now the technical term that Google uses for that is “link velocity” and it’s really good to have healthy link velocity. You have links that are flowing nice and smoothly into your site, but it’s not like you’re getting 10,000 links overnight. You’re just getting nice, slow, steady link building.
When you have a steady consistent stream of links to your site, Google’s definitely going to take notice and it’s going to give you a boost for those keywords. Again, pay attention to those keywords, but don’t overdo it. What is link authority? Just the more established trustworthy the website is, the higher the authority will be.
That’s pretty much all I have for you guys today. I just wanted to go over some of the basics. Let me see if there’s anything else that I want to show you. There’s one other website here that does not have their heading tags in order.
You see it says, “Our Approach,” “Our Methods,” “Our Customer Care,” that’s just kind of like you’re wasting your time because you’re not really capturing any keywords here.
Certainly there are keywords under that like “algae control,” “mitigation maintenance,” again, this is really thrilling stuff here, but he could have worked those keywords into his heading tags and they would have stood out a little bit more than being hidden down here. Use your common sense.
If this is too much for you guys, just keep in mind that we do offer managed SEO over here at Attracta, so we’ll be more than happy to take a look at your website, give you some tips on what you can improve, and if it’s too much for you to handle on your own, we’d be more than happy to take care of that for you.
The biggest thing I want you guys to take away from this today is, SEO is like an election. I love this metaphor because it’s so true. In order to win the SEO campaign, or the election for that matter, there are two side that you need to do.
You have to dress the candidate, so do your on-site SEO. Make sure everything looks very attractive to the reader, to the voter. They look at your website and they go, “Oh, this is professional. This guy knows what he’s talking about.” Just making your website look really good is the first step.
Then you also have to shake hands and get votes. The off-site SEO, the link building, the actual hard campaigning in the trenches. You’re out there busting you’re butt trying to get some high quality links to your site and those efforts are going to pay off over time.
SEO isn’t the kind of thing that you’re able to rank your keyword for overnight, but if you have the right approach and you implement the tactics that we talked about today, then it’s more than likely that you’ll get the kinds of results that you’re looking for. Just be patient and fight the good fight.
Thanks for joining us today. I’m going to take a break now and answer any questions that you guys have, so if there’s anything that you’re burning to get off your chest, please don’t be shy. Just fire them away and I’ll take them one by one.
All right. We have a question here from our friend Raheem. He asks, “How will I get my website in Google first page?” All right, so hopefully everything that we talked about today gives you an idea of what you need to do to get your website to the first page of Google.
Unfortunately, there is no simple solution to get your website to the first page. Again, it’s just going to take a little bit of patience and some good strategy to do your on-site SEO as well as getting a nice, healthy amount of links on a monthly basis. You should definitely get there.
One other thing I didn’t really talk about today is getting your local business to the top of Google. I briefly covered the things that you should be doing, such as getting a lot of directory citations, so if you’re a bike shop, you have a Yelp listing, you have a YellowPages.com, SuperPages.com.
You have a number of those kind of listings that include your name, address, and phone number, well that’s going to send signals suitable to give you a boost. Other things that you can do, obviously just get good reviews. That’s common sense.
Sometimes people think all the reviews on the Internet are fake, well a good majority of them are, more often than not it is a real review so use those to your advantage. If you have a good clientele base, tell them to spread the word and get your name out there.
Are there anymore questions that you guys have? I’ll take a pause here for a minute so if you guys are typing anything now then I’ll be able to take those in a second. All right, it looks like that’s pretty much all we have for today. Thank you again for joining us. My name is Greg.
We’re going to be doing these webinars on a weekly basis, so if there are any tactics, topics, tips, tricks, anything you guys want to cover, send them over to us, we’d love to hear your suggestions. Please email us at ManagedSEO@Attracta.com or you can give us a ring here at the 888 number.
We’d love to maybe do a more advanced webinar sometime and get a little bit deeper into some of the SEO tactics that I briefly went over today. I apologize if this was just a quick overview, but that was the whole idea was to just give you guys a taste as to what to expect with your SEO campaigns.
Thanks again for joining me and have a great week. Talk to you soon.