CATEGORY: Tutorial

SEO Series Part 4: What the Spiders Like…

Look, who’s crawling up my wall SEO How To
Black and hairy, very small
Now he’s up above my head
Hanging by a little thread

Boris the spider
Boris the spider
-THE WHO

While the Google searchbots may not all be named Boris, they do like to crawl. They are also very particular about where they crawl. When your site attracts ol Boris, then your site becomes more recognizable, branding is enhanced, and your business’s ROI is substantial. Here are three ideas for attracting the attention of those pesky searchbots:

Compelling Content – By having original content which is relevant to your business, you are making your site irresistible to Boris. It’s the easiest way to attract site traffic and retain both readers and searchbots. Just be sure that the Meta Tags, Meta Descriptions, and Page Descriptions are well-matched to the page content.

Keywords, Keywords, Keywords – While informative and engaging content is key, it is also important to use the right keywords. Current best practice suggests using 4-6% of your content as keywords. If the percentage is lower, the site will not be found. If it is higher, it will be identified as spam.

Technicalities – In addition to refreshing and updating your keyword-rich content, there are a few technical aspects to consider. For example, try to use more content and less images. Mainly because images make a site file heavy and therefore unreadable by the search bots. Check and be sure there are not any broken links within the site itself. Also be sure that any images or icons used have both an alt tag and a text link. And, finally, be sure to add a site map or even place multiple site maps.

These are simply some general guidelines to make your site more appealing. Every business is unique and, therefore, every SEO campaign is also unique. However, when you keep these three basic ideas in mind, your individual SEO campaign is sure to succeed with our friend, Boris.

Bo has been cranking out some great SEO content. Here are the first three articles.

SEO Part 3: Human vs. Machine: How people REALLY interact with the search engines

(In part 2 of our series we discussed the importance of link structure. Today we seek the help of humans.)

It can be easy to forget that, at the end of the day, all SEO efforts are not just about the latest algorithms, counts per click, and bounce rates, but are really about getting the human at the other end of the machine to pay attention to your message.

Machines can get in the way of views.

While much time, effort, and energy is spent on man beating the latest machine innovations (in terms of search engines, that is), there are some simple things to remember about how people REALLY interact with the search engines. Here are a few tips:

Readable Copy – Make sure that ad titles and descriptions are targeted for each group at each point of the buying cycle. Effective copy takes into consideration competitor messaging and audience composition.

Keywords – In order to have effective copy, your site’s keywords need to be targeted and well researched. Many industries have a template list of keywords, so be sure that your long and short-tail keywords follow current best practice.

24/7 Management – Monitoring sites for performance daily is the best way to find what triggers any day to day changes. Match types, geo-targeting, accelerated delivery, and day parting need constant evaluation and monitoring. Any positive keywords or negative keywords need to be added or stopped based on performance.

Budgeting and Bidding – Make sure budgets are flexible enough to move across search engines/content networks/campaigns as needed. All strategies need to be well articulated and flexible. In addition, the bid strategy for each campaign needs to be clear – maximum clicks; most conversions, highest click-through rate, best ROI, and the highest cost per conversion are several important considerations.

Content Channels – What are the specific content network channels? Who makes the creative decisions? Copy in all content ads should be different. That way, it better grabs the attention of someone reading an article.

Lead Generation – If a company is using a lead generation site, what are the metrics for success? Also, in addition to online lead forms being filled out, phone calls should be tracked, recorded, and properly evaluated for internal training purposes. Be sure that any PPC data is synched with CRM data in order to calculate a true ROI.

Synergized SEO – Are all SEO efforts synchronized and synergized? Keywords need to be strategically targeted between organic and paid so that a site will command search engine results. Web analytics data from organic searches needs constant review in order to find the most effective keywords to add to any PPC campaign.

A picture of a human.

While there is still the attitude of “human versus machine,” when you are familiar with and use these techniques, it will not be such a lengthy battle. After all, a human touch is most certainly required for managing PPC properly and maximizing SEO results.

SEO Series Part 2: Why Link Structure is So Important!

(If you’ve just shown up, click here for Part I of the SEO How-to Series. And welcome)

Links = Votes!

Links as votes is a helpful analogy to remember. Basically, if Page A links to Page B, then Page A is casting a vote that Page B is relevant to the keywords used in the link text or anchor text connecting the 2 pages (example: in the link to Name.com at the end of this sentence the “link text” or “anchor text” is domain name). In addition, votes can be stronger or weaker depending on factors like overall trust of the link, PageRank of the page it came from, and even how significant the relationship between Page A and Page B is.

In other words, the more votes that Page B gets, the higher the likelihood it will rank higher for keywords. The more internal links you provide that point to any given page on your site, the more opportunities there are for that page to rank highly for its targeted keywords. Here are three important internal “link structures” and some simple tactics to optimize them.

1. Global Navigation – The template for global navigation (including home page alt tag) is one of the most elemental starting points for SEO. This is especially true for large sites because the more pages your site has, the more votes the global navigation template is providing for you. This is not to say that you need to have lots of pages. By putting the right keywords in global navigation links like the drop-down menu, your site is more likely to get credit for any internal links. That’s why indexing the links is both important and helpful.

2. Link subsets – There can be any set of links existing on the page template which specifically targets page groups with targeted keyword phrases. This is an ideal vehicle for creating that ever-important link connectivity to the high priority pages. Typically, this is in the footer area or on the right column of the page. Sites may have buckets for “Related Topics” or “Most Popular Pages” or a similar subset which is both related to the main link and relevant. Look at the Name.com Footer for an example of how this is done.

3. Navigate the breadcrumbs – Breadcrumb navigation is an internal link structure that can enhance SEO; especially for any sub-pages that are not linked by global navigation. Any links appearing in the global navigation template will typically occur in the source code before any breadcrumb navigation or content links. This means that global navigation links supersede any other links on the page. Mainly because most search engines (like Google) only count the first link found in the source code between Page A and Page B. Any breadcrumb navigation links must be keyword focused as the primary purpose of them, SEO-wise, is to link to any pages outside of the global navigation template.

Remember that the main purpose for all three of these types of link structures is to direct users to the right information. When the link structures are keyword focused, it aids search engines and users in finding the relevant information.