Six times per year, I instruct a three-hour workshop for the San Luis Obispo Chapter of the SCORE Association on website SEO (search engine optimization) and marketing technology (CTAs, blogs, emails, Google+, etc.). I developed this workshop per the many requests of attendees to my other workshop for SCORE on social media marketing.
Outline – Copyright Chicadita®
Building Traffic Search Engine Optimization Industry Best Practices
Why Are You Here?
What motivated you to come today? What are your learning objectives?
I want to help you… Identify Your Top Keywords Develop Traffic Building Methods Evaluate Your Website’s Competitiveness
What Does It Take To Have a Website?
Let’s Use Your Website Checklist
TYPES BASED ON SKILL Self-Build: Free ie WordPress Template: $ ie VistaPrint Drag-Drop: $$ ie SquareSpace Professional Coder: $$$ ie Cal-Poly Grad
Search Engine Optimization:
- Where/How your properties appear in search engines.
- Advanced (and nondisclosed) algorithms are used to determine the weight of your site vs. other sites and pages for a keyword.
In the current Google algorithm, content is KING. Take the time to WRITE:
- Longer Pages –600-800 words as a minimum
- Update Often –Keep the site alive 2x/month
–Blogs are an easy way to do this
• Stay on Topic –Write about anything relating to your niche
Use 10 top keyword strings throughout your website. Keywords should be:
- Consumer-Driven –Searched as part of a sales cycle
- Obtainable –Look at your competition first
- Localized –Use your city, niche, and/or USP
- “Long-Tail” –ie “Best Tea in San Luis Obispo” –Not “Best, Tea, in, San, Luis”
• I own a small pet store. Unlike box stores, I only sell organic and holistic products. I’m in Templeton.
Keywords need to be used more heavily than other words throughout your page. But keep it natural:
- String Remix –Strings can be rearranged
- Synonyms –Use synonyms & common cohorts
- Space to Breathe –Tea Tea Tea Tea Tea Tea
- 1 Focus Per Page –Use that 1 once per 300 words
Google places a lot of value on the words in a hyperlink. This is called anchor text. Anchor text and linked photos are very valuable.
- Hyperlink keywords on a blog to their source page –NEVER hyperlink “click here”
- Never leave an image unclickable –Think of the alt tag as the anchor text: link a photo to something relevant to the alt tag
Build pages in your site that answer customer questions, not just a short F.A.Q. page. F.A.Q. pages often cram too many keywords into one place. Pages might include:
- About Us –Why would I give you my money
- Comparisons –Why is your product/service better
–How and why to use
Help visitors understand if your business is a fit for them. Lead/Sales qualifiers:
- Size –Do you sell to 1, or 100
- Cost –Base model, or luxury
- Niche –Does the product/service fit
- Restrictions –Region, age, etc.
Once you register your address with Google+, keep it consistent on your website.
- Place your address and phone number in the footer –If Google uses “Ste B” or “Suite B” you do the same
- Use a contact form or hyperlink your email address into an image –DO NOT WRITE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS (unless you like spam)
Every page needs a Call To Action! Ask/Tell them to:
- Call now! –We’re here to listen
- Use our Contact Form –For the more insecure
- Social Share –Like/+1/Share/Tweet/Etc.
- Follow –Follow RSS feed or on social
Use tools to capture the qualified leads and/or sales. Capture tools include:
- Newsletter Sign-up –Demonstrate valuable information
- Gated Content –Free eBook/PDF in exchange
- Live Chat –I.M. through site, Skype, etc.
- C.T.A. –Call To Action
Pages that are difficult for a browser to navigate rank low. Build a good foundation:
- Site maps –Create and submit to all search engines
- Mobile –Most sites are viewed over 50% on mobile devices
- Meta –Include Meta tags and descriptions on all pages, links, and images
You will need to make webmaster accounts with Google and Bing to submit your sitemap. Most CMSs already make a sitemap for you by default
- mydomain.com/sitemap.xml –Type your URL in to see if you already have one
- Use a plugin to make one if you don’t have one
- Enter the URL of your sitemap into your webmaster accounts –It’s very easy, but often skipped
Responsive Sites Are Mobile Friendly
Editing tags can be done in most CMSs without any HTML experience, so don’t skip it!
- <h> tags are titles
- alt tags go into images
- meta titles and descriptions display in search results and social media shares
- meta keywords tell the search engine where to focus
Review: How is your SEO graded?
Separating myth from fact And Black Hat from White Hat.
Sites can have an overall score of 1-10. Google is the only 10. You do not want backlinks from websites with a page rank much lower than yours.
- Check the page you want a link from first –http://checkpagerank.net
- Purchase a REAL backlink via an ad on a website, like the chamber of commerce –Do NOT buy 50 backlinks for $5
Links from other sites to yours are called backlinks. You need backlinks on anchor text that matches your keywords.
- Join Forums –Include your URL in your signature line
- Guest Blog –Include a keyword and signature link
- Link Trade –Ask friends and look for sites with a better score than yours
- Own a Separate Blog –Prevents link diluion on your domain
Open a Google Analytics account early to start gathering data to mine later. Information gathered includes:
- Visitors’ locations
- Time on site
- Most popular pages
- Keyword used to find site
- Exit Page
Your Social Media Plan
Time for a break! Does your head hurt yet? Social, Google+, Blogs, and Emails after the break
Make it easy for visitors to your website to find you again. Remember, it takes ten impressions for your brand to stick in their minds.
Example – Go to www.chicadita.com/blog See the Facebook button on the top-right?
Make sharing easy and obvious with a plugin, widget, application, script, or code that provides social sharing.
• Use your own sharing links to syndicate content
–This is also a good way to randomly test your meta information • Take my other workshop for more information on social sharing. •
The only people who will leave you reviews are the upset ones unless you remember to ask for them.
- Include snippets of some of your favorite reviews with an invitation for more feedback
- Send invitations via email after completing work for a new client
- Integrate more than one reputation tool –People are more likely to use the one they prefer
Don’t like Google+? TOO BAD! It offers the most SEO benefit in the shortest amount of time.
- Cut the line in Google –Goes above and on the right in search results
- Authorship –Have your picture show up in search results
- Backlinks –Thought to be the only platform with real value
1) Create a Profile for yourself (person) for Authorship.
2) Create or Claim your Business Page for reviews, map, hours, and more!
3) Post to the Business Page –Post are searchable on Google. –Post questions and answers.
Blogging helps Google see your site is active and builds volume. Scans every 6 weeks:
- Build a Keyword –1 Keyword String per blog article, 400-600 words.
- Build Site Visits –Share blog content in ‘spoonfuls’ on social media with a link.
- Build Links –Guest blog with a link back to your site –Link to other blogs and pages in your site (make it sticky).
Writing a Good Blog
- Pinterest has boards full of blog topic ideas
- I start by selecting a low performing keyword and brainstorming socially engaging things to talk about.
Think Cosmopolitan Magazine
A big goal for any website is to keep people on it for more than 2 minutes. Use links and nesting to ensnare website visitors
- Page A has a CTA to Page B
- Page B has a hyperlink to Blog Page J
- Blog Page J has a tag to display all similar blogs
- Blog Page M has a CTA to Page C…
- The Keyword Method
- The Social Pin Method
- The Backlink Method
- The Content Method
- The Campaign Method
Stay in touch with your customers and leads. Common email campaigns:
- Drip Campaign –Automated email flow based on triggers
- Newsletter –Monthly/Quarterly information – must be of value
- Alerts/Specials –Infrequent special announcements
Drip Campaign Example
What Makes a Good Email?
Beyond the content?
Most email platforms come with a CRM solution. “Customer Relationship Management”:
- Segmented Lists –Separate messaging for customers and leads
- Example: Target –Best CRM Targeting
Your Social Media Plan