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Web Entrepreneurship S.E.O. What is SEO? Search Engine Optimisation Making webpages more search engine friendly. SEO should be considered from the start. Domain Name Site Structure Site Design Site Navigation Site Topics Headings Subheadings Content Links Usability Accessibility

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what is seo
What is SEO?
  • Search Engine Optimisation
    • Making webpages more search engine friendly.
  • SEO should be considered from the start.
    • Domain Name
    • Site Structure
    • Site Design
    • Site Navigation
    • Site Topics
    • Headings
    • Subheadings
    • Content
    • Links
    • Usability
    • Accessibility
why is it important
Why is it important?
  • 24% of marketers said that >75% of their traffic comes from search engines
  • 60% of students use search engines to find online retailers
  • 55% of online purchases were made on sites found through search engines
  • 80% of users reach sites through search engines
  • 48% of websites depend on search engines for the majority of their traffic

(Various sources)

why is it important4
Why is it important?
  • Following Search Engine rules.
    • If your webpage fits the criteria for a certain search term, you’ll get top ranking.
  • Search Engine Optimisers
    • Modify webpages to fit the criteria to give a page a better chance of being selected.
design with seo in mind
Design with SEO in mind
  • It’s tempting to build a website, and then think about SEO.
  • Better to design with SEO in mind
domain name
Domain Name
  • Get a domain name that contains your keywords
  • But make sure it is still memorable…
  • www.AAA1-Chiang-Mai-Travel-Hotel-Guide-Bookings-Tourist.com
    • Is not a good domain name!
website structure
Website Structure
  • Usability
    • It doesn’t matter how good the content is if the site is frustrating to use.
  • Linkability
    • Remember the internal linking structure, and its effect on PageRank
website design
Website Design
  • Flash?
    • NO! Search Engines rely on keywords to classify pages, while flash is mostly for entertainment.
    • Search Engines do not index flash files.
  • HTML
    • Yes! It’s easy and spiders have no problem indexing it.
    • But PHP etc. is fine so long as you use search engine friendly urls & links
website navigation
Website Navigation
  • Spiders will rarely crawl deeper than the top 2 or 3 levels of a website. So possibly spiders won’t index lower level pages;
    • www.chiangmaiplan.com (level 1)
    • www.chiangmaiplan.com/golf/ (level 2)
    • www.chiangmaiplan.com/golf/maejo/ (level 3)
    • www.chiangmaiplan.com/golf/maejo/hole1/ (level 4)
  • Site maps can still lead spiders to lower level content.
website categories
Website Categories
  • You need to split your site into categories, but what are the right categories?
    • Digital Camera
    • Canon Digital Camera
    • Etc.
  • Make sure you have content that will cater for all types of searches.
webpage content
Webpage Content
  • Spiders use the content to know where to categorise each page.
    • A page with no text (flash site)
      • Where should it be put?
    • A page with lots of text on lots of topics
      • Where should it be put? There are too many competing keywords.
    • The amount of content is also important.
  • After content, links are the most important thing…
    • Some would even argue it’s the opposite way around.
    • PageRank
  • The link text is just as important as the link.
    • It is tempting to use an attractive graphical button for the link – but how can the spider associate keywords with the link?
usability frames
Usability - Frames
  • SEO quite often goes against good site usability design.
  • Frames can make webpages much easy to use, but spiders can’t index framed pages as well as standard pages.
internet marketing plan seo
Internet Marketing Plan & SEO
  • How do you promote your site?
    • Affiliate Marketing
    • Pay per Click search engine advertising
    • Banner advertising
    • Newsletter advertising
    • Viral Marketing
  • Optimise your landing pages!
    • If you optimise your affiliate program page then more affiliate marketers might find your program
keywords keywords keywords
Keywords, Keywords, Keywords
  • There are many factors that search engines use to decide SERPS
    • Link popularity
    • Click through popularity
    • Webpage age
    • Webpage size
    • Number and quality of competition
  • Probably the most important factor though is keywords
    • If a page has no text, there is nothing to index
web designers
Web designers
  • Do a good job of designing attractive looking websites
    • But not such a good job of SEO, as they aren’t marketers.
  • Web designers also don’t know what keywords people search for.
    • And people use a lot of different words to search for the same product / service
  • Unless you have all the keywords, you’re not going to ‘win’.
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Search Engine Ranking
  • Search Engine Placement
  • Website Optimisation
  • Website Optimization
  • Search Engine Positioning
  • High Search Engine Ranking
  • Webpage Optimisation
  • Search Engine Promotion
  • Top Search Engine Ranking
  • High Search Engine Rankings
  • Better Search Engine Placement
  • Search Engines Optimisations
what keyword
What Keyword?
  • Before you can start SEO, you need to know what keywords to target.
  • Fortunately there are plenty of tools out there to help you.
which keywords
Which Keywords
  • Each webpage should concentrate on the following
    • 1) One keyword or phrase matching the page content
    • 2) Most frequently used by the target audience
    • 3) With the least number of competing pages.
1 target one keyword phrase per page
1) Target one keyword / phrase per page
  • Sprinkle the keyword throughout the page to remind the spider that the page is important for that keyword.
  • But, if you have half a dozen different keywords on a page, the spider might think the page is too broad to be the most relevant for the keyword.
2 most frequently searched for keywords
2) Most frequently searched for keywords
  • But how do we know?
    • Google Adwords
    • Check the “related searches” lists – this will give you an idea what other people have searched for.
    • Analyse the keywords used in your site search engine
    • Server Log File Analysis (or Google Analytics)
    • Educated Guess
sprinkle uncommon keywords
Sprinkle uncommon keywords
  • Sprinkle less common keywords through your main body text.
  • If someone searches for a slightly obscure phrase, then your page will only be returned if it contains all the words in the phrase.
how many keywords
How many keywords?
  • Keyword Frequency
    • The number of times a keyword, or phrase, appears within a page.
  • Keyword Density
    • The ratio of keywords contained in the page within the number of total indexable words
    • Perhaps 1-3%
keyword density
Keyword Density
  • Is more complicated than that.
    • Different search engines have different preferences
    • Different search engines will also calculate a different density for your page;
      • Stop words?
      • Word Stemming?
      • Keywords in particular HTML tags
keyword prominence
Keyword Prominence
  • As well as frequency and density, prominence is also a factor
    • Words appearing near the beginning of the page, paragraph, sentence.
    • Certain HTML tags (title)
keyword proximity
Keyword Proximity
  • How close keywords are together could also be a factor.
  • Consider a search for ‘dog biscuits’
    • “We sell delicious biscuits for all breeds of dogs!”
    • “We sell the most delicious dog biscuits in the world!”
the title tag
The <Title> tag
  • The title tag is perhaps the most important place for keywords.
  • Consider it as a short version of the page, where frequency and density are important.
    • Don’t have the same title for all your pages.
  • The heading tags are also important;
    • With <H1> having more priority than <H2> etc.
  • Always add an ALT parameter to your image tags.
    • Not just for visually impaired users, but for keyword embedding too.
  • You can add a title parameter too.
    • Some search engines index the keywords stored in the tag.
add keywords to links
Add keywords to links
  • Add a title parameter to your links too.
    • It’s spoken for disabled users, and adds a place for keywords too.
  • <a href=“mypage.html” title=“Ken’s Keywords”>
word stemming
Word Stemming
  • Some search engines manage word stemming to return results beyond what is searched for.
    • Cheap
    • Cheaper
    • Cheapest
stop words
Stop Words
  • Some search engines use stop words to avoid having to process every word in the page.
  • Stop words are common words that are simple ignored.
file names
File Names
  • It’s probably pretty obvious…
  • …but you can place keywords in your filenames and directory structure as well.
to hyphen or not to hyphen
To Hyphen or Not to Hyphen?
  • Some SEO experts say keywords in a domain name don’t need to be separated by hyphens.
  • Others think that the keywords in the domain are important and should be separated.
    • http://www.chiangmaiplan.com
    • http://www.chiang-mai-plan.com
  • What do you think?
  • Consider:
    • http://www.newshut.com
    • http://www.sportsexchange.com
  • A case study investigated the hyphen question, and found that hyphens did actually perform better in serps, but will people remember the site?
  • Subdomains are another great place to add keywords;
    • golf.chiangmaiplan.com
      • vs
    • www.chiangmaiplan.com/golf/
meta tags
Meta Tags
  • Meta tags describe the content of a webpage, and some search engines use the information stored in it.
  • The 2 most important tags are;
    • Meta Description
    • Meta Keywords
meta description
Meta Description
  • <META NAME=“description” CONTENT=“Welcome to Chiang Mai”>
  • Some search engines use the contents as the search result description.
  • Because this unseen tag can be maliciously abused, many search engines have devalued keywords in it, and some simply ignore it.
  • Only the first 135-250 characters are used, so there is no point in writing too much.
  • It should be enticing to visitors.
meta keywords
Meta Keywords
  • Most search engines now ignore the keywords meta tag as too many webmasters abused it.
  • Some search engines or results providers (Inktomi?) still use it, so it might be worth adding a few keywords.
robots txt
  • Add a robots.txt file to a directory to give instructions to spiders about what pages to index.
  • Search engines don’t have to follow the instructions, but most honour them.
  • But, why might you not want a spider to visit a page?
robots txt41
  • Suppose you optimise the same page for different search engines (Google, Altavista, yahoo). If they are all indexed they will be tagged as duplicate content.
  • Perhaps you have some sensitive content, or content that isn’t ready to be published.
robots txt42
  • Contains;
    • User-agent: the name of the spider you want to refer to e.g. googlebot. * indicates all robots.
    • Disallow: specify the directories / files that shouldn’t be crawled.
  • E.g. What would this do?
    • User-agent: *
    • Disallow: /
  • And this?
    • User-agent: *
    • Disallow: /*.gif$
pet spiders
Pet Spiders
  • Google: Googlebot
  • Altavista: Scooter
  • AlltheWeb: Fast
  • Inktomi: Slurp
  • Lycos: Lycos
robots txt44
  • Find out what people are blocking (or their sensitive files, by looking at their robots.txt:
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/robots.txt
things to avoid
Things to avoid
  • Splash Pages
    • Little content to index
    • Flash applets aren’t indexed
    • What does the flash page do for the site?
  • Frames
    • Just use CSS instead!
    • There is a <Noframes> tag where you can duplicate the content
things to avoid46
Things to avoid
  • Keywords in comments tags
    • Comments aren’t included in the index
  • Keywords in Hidden CSS layers
    • If the search engines catch you…
  • Keywords in Hidden form fields
    • Considered spam by all search engines
  • Keywords in Styletags
    • Again, not indexed
getting more black hat
Getting more “Black Hat”
  • Doorways
  • Hallways
  • Cloaking
doorway pages
Doorway pages
  • Doorway pages are pages created simply to gain higher rankings for particular search phrases.
  • The content is aimed towards the search engine spiders rather than human visitors
  • Human visitors are then encouraged to follow links into the site, or often redirected with a meta-refresh
doorway pages49
Doorway Pages
  • Google, Inktomi have publicly stated that doorway pages are spam.
    • So they might ban you.
  • But it is difficult to tell the difference between doorway pages and regular pages.
    • Often even humans can’t tell the difference.
automatic doorways
Automatic Doorways
  • There is software available that can automatically generate hundreds of doorway pages, virtually identical.
  • Around 30-40% of the web is spam, with automated doorway pages responsible for much of it.
  • Search engines will remove doorway pages and penalise the responsible sites, if they catch you.
hallway pages
Hallway pages
  • While doorway pages are doorways into part of your site, hall way pages contain links to different doorway pages.
    • Similar to a sitemap
  • But because doorway pages are controversial, you don’t want to include them in your sitemap, so use a hallway instead.
dynamically generated content
Dynamically Generated Content
  • We use dynamic content already – PHP.
  • But dynamic content doesn’t exist until someone follows a link, giving certain parameters.
  • Search engines don’t like ?$ken=3&$cosh…
  • How can we get around this?
dynamic pages
Dynamic Pages
  • One common approach is to use Apache’s mod_rewrite module.
  • This rewrites the URL into something that search engines can index
  • We’ve seen pretty urls in the OS software we’ve played with.
  • The practice of serving optimised pages to spiders and unoptimised pages to human visitors.
  • Very controversial, as search engines consider it as spam.
  • Cloaking works by detecting the IP address of the request, and redirecting human visitors to the real content, while spiders index the optimised content.
benefits of cloaking
Benefits of Cloaking
  • Optimise pages without compromising your site’s look and feel.
    • Consider adding graphics and multimedia, that otherwise wouldn’t be indexed.
  • Deliver dynamic content as static HTML
  • Deliver local versions of webpages.
  • Hide the source code of optimised pages, so competitors can’t see your hard work.
themed websites
Themed Websites
  • The idea is that search engines give more relevance to webpages within a website, if all pages are based around a single topic or theme.
    • i.e. all the pages are about ‘Chiang Mai’.
  • This sounds logical, but… Search engines rank pages, not sites. Each page is ranked on its own merits, rather than the other pages stored for the same domain.
themed websites57
Themed Websites
  • “I think people sometimes mean different things by ‘themes’. The statement that somehow your blue widget site would be ‘weaker’ if it contained a page about Tigers is completely wrong. No search engine would want to do that; having a page on Tigers doesn’t affect your ability to be a resource for blue widgets. We’d miss good blue widget pages if we excluded the sites that also talk about Tigers. However, there is a difference between having a little bit of content about blue widgets and having in-depth content about blue widgets. Clearly we prefer in-depth (more useful) content. That’s not so much a preference for themes as a preference for depth.”
off site seo
Off site SEO
  • So far we’ve considered SEO which is done on the site
    • It’s important to get the site right before focusing on incoming links etc.
  • Next lets look at offsite SEO
finding links
Finding Links
  • Who links to your competitors?
    • Surely they might be good choices to link to you!
  • You can find out which links have been indexed by doing:
    • link:http://www.chiangmaiplan.com
finding reciprocal links
Finding reciprocal links
  • Search for;
    • Links chiang mai
    • Resource chiang mai
    • Info chiang mai
    • Resources chiang mai
    • Information chiang mai
    • Partner chiang mai
    • Partners chiang mai
finding site submissions
Finding Site Submissions
  • Add url chiang mai
  • Add site
  • Add a site
  • Submit site
  • Add link
  • Submit link
  • Add url
  • Submit url
reciprocal linking
Reciprocal Linking
  • Have your backlink ready to submit;
  • <a href=http://www.chiangmaiplan.com title=“Chiang Mai Plan”><b>Chiang Mai Travel Plan</b></a> : all the information you need to plan your trip to Chiang Mai.
  • There are tools to help you find and manage link partnerships…
    • But be careful to avoid link farms.
reciprocal linking63
Reciprocal Linking
  • Link to your home page
  • Use the exact keyword phrase in the link text.
  • Make sure the link text also appears on your landing page.
  • Add a description that will encourage click throughs.
  • As well as exchanging links with other people’s sites, you can create your own minisites to exchange links with
  • To channel traffic towards your monetising site.
submit your site to the search engines
Submit your site to the search engines
  • Most search engines accept url submissions.
  • This can speed up being indexed, rather than waiting for a spider to find a link from another site.
  • Use a spam email address when doing this!