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by Ash Nallawalla. Marketing Your User Group Using Search Engines . About the Presenter. Ash Nallawalla BCom (Hons), GradDipComp Certified Google Advertising Professional 26+ years in marketing, sales, product management, writing and editing, mainly in multinational Web-economy companies

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By ash nallawalla l.jpg

by Ash Nallawalla

Marketing Your User Group Using Search Engines


About the presenter l.jpg
About the Presenter

  • Ash Nallawalla

    • BCom (Hons), GradDipComp

    • Certified Google Advertising Professional

    • 26+ years in marketing, sales, product management, writing and editing, mainly in multinational Web-economy companies

    • Consulting and training delivery to small and big business on search marketing topics – http://www.trainsem.com

    • Blog: http://www.netmagellan.com


Why use search engines l.jpg
Why Use Search Engines?

  • Easier for new members to find you – they already use search engines to find answers to computing problems.

  • Staying ahead of the competition (if any) – your competitors are usually online forums, not user groups.

  • Increasing the number of visitors


Main search engines l.jpg
Main Search Engines

  • Google

  • The Rest:

    • Yahoo

    • Live Search (was MSN)

    • Altavista (Yahoo)

    • AOL (powered by Google)

    • Alltheweb (Yahoo)


Main directories l.jpg
Main Directories

  • Open Directory Project (www.dmoz.org)

  • Yahoo Directory(dir.yahoo.com)

  • Specialist Directoriese.g. APCUG list of usergroups, Ash’s List


Google pagerank pr l.jpg

A ranking system based on popularity:

Popularity = links:

More links are good

Links from topical pages are better, e.g. Ash’s list of PC User Groups, from APCUG, from vendor pages

Reciprocal links as not as good as one-way links, esp. From off-topic sites – don’t bother.

Links to “bad” sites are very bad

Use Google Toolbar to view PR

Don’t read too much into the rank # e.g. PR5

Google PageRank (PR)


Google toolbar l.jpg
Google Toolbar

  • Download free from http://toolbar.google.com and Add-Ons exist for Firefox


How search engines work spiders l.jpg
How Search Engines Work: Spiders

  • Three stages of search engine visibility:

    • Get crawled by spider

    • Get indexed into the search index

    • Get positioned for a specific phrase (lots of phrases, in fact) – you must know what phrases a searcher will use to find you, even if they have never heard of the concept of a user group – e.g. “help with excel”.

  • Above takes 1-3 months if you do everything “right”

  • Search engines deploy spiders (crawlers) to jump from link to link and index the Web.

  • Frequently changing pages are visited more often.


Blogs l.jpg
Blogs

  • Easiest way to set up a “web site” – you can build your first within minutes!

  • Encourage each SIG to set up their own blog!

  • Link to one another.

  • Invite members to subscribe.

  • Encourage members to promote URLs responsibly.


Press releases l.jpg
Press Releases

  • Prepare regular press releases

  • Always have a human story angle:

    • Not “Podunk User Group Meeting” as a heading for the press release

    • “Local computer group saves the hospital!”

    • “12-year old genius wins scholarship”

    • “Never too old to learn, says 99-year-old Tulsa resident”

  • Include quotes from various people

  • Mention contact number and photo opportunity


Press releases mostly free l.jpg
Press Releases (mostly free)

  • 1888 PressRelease.com: http://www.1888pressrelease.com/

  • 24-7PressRelease.com: http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/

  • EcommWire: http://ecommwire.com/

  • Express Press Release: http://express-press-release.com/submit-press-release.php

  • Free News Release: http://www.free-news-release.com/

  • Free Press Release Center: http://www.free-press-release-center.info/

  • FreePressRelease: http://www.free-press-release.com/

  • I-Newswire.com: http://i-newswire.com/

  • Malebits: http://www.malebits.com/

  • Media Press Release: http://www.media-press-release.com/

  • MediaSyndicate: http://www.mediasyndicate.com/

  • PowerHomeBiz: http://www.powerhomebiz.com/BizNews/pressrelease.htm

  • PR.com: http://www.pr.com/

  • PR Leap: http://www.prleap.com/

  • PR Newswire: http://www.prnewswire.com/

  • PR9: http://www.pr9.net/

  • PressExposure: http://pressexposure.com/

  • Pressmethod: http://www.pressmethod.com

  • PRLog: http://www.prlog.org/

  • PRweb: http://www.prweb.com/

  • PRZoom: http://www.przoom.com/

  • The Open Press: http://theopenpress.com/

  • Xtvworld.Com: http://press.xtvworld.com/


Apcug toolbar l.jpg
APCUG Toolbar

  • Free promotion tool

  • Get it from http://apcug.ourtoolbar.com (not mytoolbar.com)

  • Get your own UG toolbar from www.conduit.com

  • Add your group’s RSSfeed to the APCUGtoolbar


Getting to the heart of seo l.jpg

…getting to the heart of SEO

Optimization of the Site


Seo factors l.jpg
SEO “Factors”

  • On-Page Factors:

    • Invisible (HTML, headers)

    • Visible (readable content) – the key is to have unique content.

  • Off-Page Factors

    • Backlinks (PR) from best (most relevant) sites, e.g. APCUG, ODP, Yahoo

    • Anchor text (actual words used to link to you)

    • Choice of web host – fast connection to the web, not too many others on shared server, more RAM, etc


Best on page factors l.jpg
Best On-Page Factors

  • <TITLE> - Keyword at starte.g. <title>Kentucky Macintosh User Group, Louisville, KY</title>

  • Anchor Text in linkse.g. <a href=“http://www.atlantapcug.org/”>Atlanta PC User Group</a>better than <a href=“http://www.atlantapcug.org/”>Click Here</a>

  • H1 tag – only one per page – use relevant texte.g. <h1>New Jersey PC User Group</h1>

  • Path/File namese.g. /training/excel-training-in-Dayton.html

  • Keyword prominenceJudicious use of important keywords at the top of the page, at the start of a sentence or heading, as long as it reads natural. Vary the words a little.


Less important factors l.jpg
Less Important Factors

  • Keywords at start of sentences

  • Bold/Italic text

  • Keywords in body text

  • Alt tags

  • Meta Description

  • Meta Keywords


Keyword research l.jpg
Keyword Research

  • Study log files

  • Try keywords on search engines to see who comes up on top and why

  • Keyword suggestion tools, e.g.

    • Wordtracker (paid)

    • Adwords tool (free)

    • Overture tool (free)


Directories easy links l.jpg
Directories = Easy Links

  • You submit to a category, e.g. Business > Computers > Organizations > User Groups

  • Link to only one of your pages, usually the home page

  • No crawling of whole site (other than to confirm that link is still alive)

  • Some are free e.g. ODP, Yahoo (free for noncommercial)

  • Some are specialist directories, e.g. APCUG, Ash’s List

  • Avoid “free for all” directories (test = no editorial control; all welcome)


Linking strategy l.jpg
Linking Strategy

  • Choose directories wisely – must be same niche, e.g. computers, user groups, else very little benefit

  • Give others keyword-rich, cut-and-paste HTML for their link to you e.g.

    <a href=“http://www.cpcug.org”>Cleveland PC User Group</a>

  • Don’t offer a link back to them unless you have to. Only do it if both of you are in the same niche.


Page architecture l.jpg
Page Architecture

  • Use clean, valid (W3C standards compliant) HTML

  • Keep page size down

    • Use CSS in an external file

    • Move JS to external files

  • Use text, not graphical text for headings

  • Spiders cannot easily index framed sites and those using JS links.

  • Don’t link every page to every other page.


Site architecture l.jpg
Site Architecture

  • Themed “pyramid” (inverted tree) design

Home Page

About Us

Meetings

Training

Newsletter

Forum

Course 1

Course 2

Archives

Main Meeting

SIGs

Board of Directors

Directions

PIG SIG

Hardware SIG

Other SIGs


Results l.jpg
Results

  • Melb PC ranks #1 when someone searches for a user group in Melbourne.


Results 2 l.jpg
Results 2

  • Melb PC’s training courses needed more visibility.

  • Optimised pages made this happen.


Results 3 local search l.jpg
Results 3 – Local Search

  • Submit to Google Local Search.http://local.google.com/

  • You get a map reference.


Now the web visitor is on your doorstep l.jpg

…now the web visitor is on your doorstep

members

Converting browsers to buyers


Make them stay l.jpg
Make Them Stay

  • Once someone arrives at your user group website, grab their attention within the first five seconds!

  • They must know what the site is about – a user group

  • They must see something that will arouse their interest to explore the site. No stale info!

  • Display a call to action prominently – Join Now button


Melb pc home page l.jpg
Melb PC Home Page


New melb pc website l.jpg
New Melb PC Website


Thank you l.jpg

URLs for links:

http://www.sem911.com/seo-articles (article on Google SEO)

http://easyrsvp.com/ugotw(Ash’s UG list)

http://crm911.com/ugnotw(UG Newsletters)

http://cdb.apcug.org/loclist.asp (APCUG List of UGs)

Thank You


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