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Natural Search Tactics for the Retailer Ken Jurina, President, Epiar Jenny Schlueter, Global Online Search Manager, Dell Stephan Spencer, President, Netconcepts Ian McAnerin, CEO, McAnerin International Keyword Research The Do’s and Don’ts You Need to Know About Ken Jurina

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Natural Search Tactics for the Retailer

Ken Jurina, President, Epiar

Jenny Schlueter, Global Online Search Manager, Dell

Stephan Spencer, President, Netconcepts

Ian McAnerin, CEO, McAnerin International


Keyword Research

The Do’s and Don’ts

You Need to Know About

Ken Jurina

President, Epiar Inc.


who is epiar
Who is Epiar?

Founded in 2002, international Experts in SEO/SEM.

SEO/SEM Services Driven by Internet Marketing Research & Proprietary Applications.

Have Spoken at International Online Marketing Conferences Since 2001

International Clients Include SME to Microsoft.

11th Fastest Growing Company In Alberta (AB Venture Feb ‘07).

2007 Business Owner of the Year Award (Edm, AB ‘07).

Saving Companies 20% to 40% on their PPC Spend!

  • Don’t Assume
  • Do Mine Multiple Keyword Sources
  • Don’t Just Depend on Tools
  • Do Determine Keyword Difficulty
  • Do Think Beyond SEO/SEM
  • Don’t Be Greedy (Keyword Theme)
don t assume
DON’T: Assume

…that you know the correct keywords to optimize your site with.

  • Instead discover how your target market searches for your products/services.
    • You want customers not visitors to your site
  • If you fail in determining the correct keywords to optimize your website with all your other SEO efforts may be in vein.
keyword research what it should be
Keyword Research - what it should be…
  • Data mining all possible keyword search behavior around your online offering targeting hundreds of thousands of phrases from multiple sources.
  • Eliminating skewed results including inconsistencies, non-seasonal irregularities, and obvious data flaws.
  • Identifying core relevance / irrelevance of phrases by demographic, geographic, usage & other defining target market parameters.
  • Identifying opportunities for both search and other marketing media...
keyword research what it should be7
Keyword Research - what it should be…
  • Effective Keyword Research equals:
    • = Effective Online Market Research
    • = Search Informed Marketing
  • Meaning!
do mine multiple keyword sources
DO: Mine Multiple Keyword Sources
  • Don’t just depend on one keyword source!
      • Eliminate any skewed results in your data
      • Correct for rank-checking distortions
      • Look for realistic phrase variations in your data
        • Sort sources alphabetically in Excel
      • Rarely is long tail searched more than the head
      • Use common sense!
do mine multiple keyword sources9
DO: Mine Multiple Keyword Sources

Red = in only one Datasource Note:Huge # Differences

google insights for search
Google Insights for Search
  • Comparative data on phrases
      • Identify phrases by topic/brand/category you might want to rank on
      • Breakout tool shows fast rising phrases on a topic
      • Geo target where to sell your products
      • Identify product seasonlity
      • Identify if news stories relate to spikes in searches
  • Leverage top 100 Google “Hot” trends
      • Updated multiple times/day
      • Past history helps determine product popularity
keyword research tools
Keyword Research Tools
  • WordTracker
  • Yahoo Panama Keyword Tool
  • Google Keyword Tool
  • MSN Keyword Forecast
  • Trellian Keyword Discovery
  • Google Webmaster Tools
  • Wordze
  • Google Suggest
  • Google Traffic Estimator
  • Google Trends
  • Hitwise
  • NicheBOT
  • SEO Book Keyword Tool
don t just depend on tools
Don’t: Just Depend on Tools
  • Track phrases being searched within your internal site search (Do you have one?)
  • Mine your log files (split organic and paid phrases)
    • Analytics? Which paid phrases convert, are you ranking organically?
  • PPC broad match “head” of phrase to identify “tail”
    • Eg: “women’s shoes”, identifies “Jimmy Choo classy women’s shoes”
  • Talk to your Front Line Employees
    • What phrases in questions are being used/asked?
do determine keyword difficulty
DO: Determine Keyword Difficulty
  • Set yourself up for success 
    • Manage expectations on what phrases you can win on!

Search in Google for:

        • womens shoes 12,300,000 (Results in Google)
        • “womens shoes” 1,920,000
        • allintitle: womens shoes 381,000
        • allintitle: “womens shoes” 105,000
        • allinurl: “womens shoes” 99,400
        • allinanchor: “womens shoes” 61,200
      • Keyword Difficulty Tool
      • We Build Pages “Cool SEO Tool”
      • KEI from Trellian or Wordtracker
do think beyond seo sem
DO: Think Beyond SEO/SEM

Identify new opportunities via keyword research

  • Business Research
    • Product Research
    • Brand Equity
    • Competitive Intelligence
    • New Market & Product Opportunity Identification
    • Consumer Feedback
  • Social Research
    • Political Topics
    • Public Issues
    • Celebrity Brand
product segmentation
Product Segmentation

Top 15 Topics in Online Searches Surrounding:Televisions

what brands to sell
What Brands to Sell?

Top 15 Topics in Online Searches Surrounding:Television Brands

get new product ideas
Get New Product Ideas

Top 15 Topics in Online Searches Surrounding:Wholesale Candles

consumer feedback
Consumer Feedback

Top 15 Topics in Online Searches Surrounding:Auto Brands: EGR & PCV Valves

consumer feedback28
Consumer Feedback

Top 15 Topics in Online Searches Surrounding:Ford: EGR & PCV Valves

don t be greedy
DON’T: Be Greedy
  • Yay! You’ve got your keywords…no don’t go stuffing them everywhere on your site.
  • Isolate targeted phrase groups
    • Select and optimize 2-3 phrase per page
      • Results in targeted traffic to targeted pages = $$$
    • Very competitive phrase? Optimize that one phrase on one page…don’t keyword stuff.
thank you
Thank You!

Ken JurinaPresident, Epiar Inc.


Presentations from & previous speaking engagements online at:


Optimizing Your Content

Jenny Schlueter

Dell Inc.

optimize the right pages
Optimize the Right Pages
  • Decide which page is most relevant for each keyword (or group of words)
  • Consider which pages are already search friendly
  • Create a “link library” of keywords to page urls
keyword density
Keyword Density

Browser Title- Include Keywords & Relevant Variations

URL Naming – Include Targeted Keywords

Page Title- Use Targeted Keywords

Content- Sprinkle keywords throughout the page to increase density (target 3-10%)

Contextual Links – Never say “click here”…

images do matter
Images Do Matter
  • Relevant tags on images help your page rank
  • Plus image search and universal search is growing signficiant – 2x in 2006!
  • High Brand Benefit / Lower Conversion
focus on the right meta content
Focus on the Right Meta Content

Meta Title- Descriptive title. ~80 characters max

Meta Description- Descriptive language that summarizes page’s content. ~200 characters max.

track improvement
Track Improvement
  • Track search rank, traffic, keyword density and links over time

Keywords for Country A

Month 1

Month 2



the impact of content
The Impact of Content
  • Simple terminology, localization changes and keyword density can have a large impact
  • Jan 2006 Dell moved from just “notebooks” to “laptops & notebooks”
    • Result: Instantly moved to page 2 of Google for “laptop”
set yourself up to win
Set Yourself Up to Win
  • SEO can be tactical
    • Establish operational process to implement & maintain SEO
  • SEO can be scientific
    • Hire a SEO firm to help with strategy, technical & future SEO
  • SEO can be a art
    • Implement, Test, Learn, Adjust….then do it again…
make it easy for marketers
Make It Easy for Marketers
  • Everyone owns SEO!
    • Education / Training for Marketers
    • Part of the Content Process – Checklist, Signoff, Audits
    • Corporate Styleguide
    • Marketer ToolKit

Corporate Styleguide

and make it exciting
….And Make It Exciting
  • Get your marketers excited! Hold a learning summit, invite expert speakers and make it fun.
  • Dell Search Summit, January 2008. Lead by Mark Jarvis, Dell CMO.
  • John Battelle, Federated Media – Why Search Matters
  • Matt Kain, 24/7 Real Media – How Marketers Influence Search
  • Wendy Kano, Intuit - Case Study on Search Lessons Learned
  • Penry Price, Google – Best Practices on the Power of Search
  • And much more….
participate in your online community
Participate In YourOnline Community
  • Tips:
  • Be part of the conversation
  • Provide Help
  • Positive reputation Management
  • Results:
  • Help customers fix their problem
  • Bonus: Rank at the top for product or service issues
prepare for linking
Prepare For Linking
  • Distribute your link library to all marketing teams
  • Successful press release with LINKS!

Link Building Tactics for the Retailer

Stephan Spencer

President, Netconcepts

(608) 285-6600

build more better links
Build More, Better Links
  • Inbound links play a key role in determining rankings
  • It’s not just about quantity (“link popularity”); it’s about quality (importance of the page, topically relevant/authoritative)
check link popularity
Check Link Popularity
  • To a page
    • Google’s and Yahoo’s link: query operator
  • To your site
    • Google Webmaster Central, Live Search Webmaster Center, Yahoo Site Explorer & Yahoo’s linkdomain: query operator
  • Subtract sites from the results (Yahoo only)
    • E.g.
  • Google’s link: query operator displays only a sampling of backlinks (to foil SEOs)
checking link popularity
Checking Link Popularity
  • Tools:
    • Yahoo’s Site Explorer (
    • Netconcepts’ Link Checker (
    • Back Link Analyzer (
    • Thumbshots Ranking tool (
    • TouchGraph GoogleBrowser (
  • PageRank™ – Google’s algorithm for measuring a page’s importance; Yahoo & MSN have similar measures
  • Each web page (not site) has its own PageRank score
  • PageRank scores from 0 to 10; logarithmic scale
  • Who’s at the top of the PageRank food chain?
    • 10: Google, Apple, NSF, FirstGov; 9: Yahoo, MSN, Stanford
  • Sites with higher PageRank get crawled earlier, faster, and deeper by Googlebot
check pagerank
Check PageRank
  • Google Toolbar for IE or Firefox
    • Download it from
  • Google Directory (
    • Only works for pages that are listed in DMOZ (e.g. your home page)
    • Listings are ranked in order of PageRank
    • Get historical PageRank scores w/ Wayback Machine (
  • Google Webmaster Central
check pagerank53
Check PageRank
  • More free tools
    • SEOChat PageRank Lookup (
    • SEOChat PageRank Search (
    • SEO for Firefox extension (
seochat s pagerank lookup
SEOChat’s PageRank Lookup

The way to check the home page PageRank when a redirect is present

google bombing
“Google Bombing”
  • Inbound contextual links alone can drive a site to the top of Google
  • Google has defused some Google bombs (e.g. “miserable failure”), but not all (e.g. “click here”)
  • Also works on Yahoo, Live Search, etc.
  • THE LESSON: Link text is your secret weapon!
find link targets
Find Link Targets
  • Review links of competitive sites, sites in your keyword market
    • Use tools like the ones just mentioned
    • Check sites with high rankings for relevant keywords
    • The fewer the number of links on their page, the better
  • Review links to your site; look for opportunities to get the link text revised
request links
Request Links
  • NOT:
    • “Hi, Let’s swap links!”
    • “I’ve already linked to you.”
    • “Great site!”
    • “You already link to our competitor and we offer a better product.”
    • “Please use the following text in your link…”
  • Maybe?
    • ”Hi, found a broken link on _____. btw, you might want to add as a link.”
  • What then?…

Hi Lois,My name is Eric Ward, and I am working with to help them announce the launch of their new web site located at http://www.stormwaterauthority.orgI am hoping you will consider mentioning or linking to the site on your Water and Wastewater Engineering page at have included a brief overview of the site below, and should you need anything at all I am a real person and actually reply to email. You can also contact me by phone.Thank you for your time and consideration.Regards,Eric Ward(On behalf of voice 865.637.2438


Overview of

Source: Eric Ward

watch out for
Watch Out For…
  • Types of links that are likely to get discounted:
    • Reciprocal links
    • Affiliated sites (on the same IP range or hostname)
    • Footer links (at the bottom of the page)
    • Site-wide links
    • Links contained on a page called links.htm / links.asp
    • Links with the exact same anchor text
    • Remember: the more links on the linking page, the less PageRank you’ll get
update link text
Update Link Text
  • Link text (anchor text) is critical for SEO
  • Review your existing links and link text
    • SEOBook’s Back Link Analyzer tool
  • Are the keywords you are targeting in the link text?
  • Contact webmasters, particularly those who you have a relationship with & those with the most valuable links
best practices
Best Practices
  • Offer link-worthy content. Keep it fresh.
  • Try to get good keywords in the link text
  • Make it easily shareable (RSS feeds, Email to a friend, Submit to Digg/delicious/etc.)
  • Simple keyword-rich urls encourage deep linking
  • When you redesign your site, keep your old URLs or 301 redirect them to the new URLs
  • “Nofollow” any links you don’t want to spend PageRank on
    • <a href=“/privacy-policy.htm” rel=“nofollow”>
worst practices
Worst Practices
  • Participating in “link farms” or FFA (“Free For All”) sites
    • Hallmarks of a link farm = more urls per page & less organization
  • Splogging, comment spamming, guestbook spamming
  • Linking to “bad neighborhoods”
  • Hiding links
  • Hoarding all your PageRank
  • Unnatural link structures
    • Too much symmetry, link text never varies, or otherwise looks “engineered”
  • Acquiring links from sites all on the same IP block
  • Acquiring links only from the same top level domain (.com, .org, .edu, etc)
  • Search engines – and Google in particular – love blogs
  • Inherently link-rich
    • “Hat tips” – part of blog etiquette
    • Blogrolls
    • RSS feeds
    • Trackbacks
    • Comments
  • The dark side of the blogosphere:
    • Blog comment spam
    • Splogs (spam blogs)
text ads
Text Ads
  • Good
    • High rankings for the search terms targeted with the existing ads’ link text
    • Stats showing the page you’ll be on gets good traffic numbers
    • Stats showing a respectable amount of traffic is sent to the advertisers
    • Site is topically relevant to your business
    • Site is likely to be considered an authority site
    • Inbound links from .gov, .edu, .mil sites
    • Good Alexa rank
    • Extra good if the site you’re placed on is a .gov, .edu, or .mil
    • Reasonably good PageRank score on the page you’ll be on
    • Reasonably few other links on the page you’ll be on
    • Link is within the main body of the page

984th most popular website

Note: Alexa rankings can be manipulated

text ads70
Text Ads
  • Bad
    • Sitewide link
    • Site has been greybarred (i.e. banned)
    • Neighboring ads are of dubious nature (casinos, Hoodia, Viagra, etc.)
    • Acquired PageRank through dubious means (e.g. hidden or obscured links)
    • Advertisers have left in droves (evidenced by Wayback Machine archives)
    • “Advertisers”, “Sponsors”, or “Sponsored” closely associated with the ads
    • No visibility in top 10 pages in Google for advertisers’ targeted keywords
get creative
Get Creative
  • Give awards / recognition
    • Badges with link text underneath
  • Allow webmasters to republish your articles
    • Require a link in your byline
  • Publish unique content
    • Podcasts (e.g.
    • Screencasts (use TechSmith’s Camtasia Studio)
    • Wikis (e.g.
get creative72
Get Creative
  • Offer useful tools for webmasters, such as…
    • Hit counters
      • E.g. NOT like
    • Weather stickers
      • E.g.,
    • RSS feeds
      • Lottery winning numbers from
get creative73
Get Creative
  • Start a blog
  • Give testimonials
    • E.g.
    • E.g.
  • Sponsor a nonprofit
    • E.g. Kohl’s supports the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association
  • Leverage your affiliates
    • Get a straight link (e.g. from Legal Notices page)
    • 301 redirect
link bait
Link Bait
  • Offer a niche-specific blogroll, tool, How-To, or compilation of news stories
  • Post a scoop
  • Expose a story as flawed or a fraud
  • Be a contrarian about a story, product, or prominent blogger’s opinion
  • Be humorous. Good topics include a bizzare pic of your subject, “10 things I hate about…”, and “You know you’re a when…”

Source: Performancing

link bait75
Link Bait
  • Publish or commission some original research
  • Creative-Commons-license photos you made of an event you’re blogging about
  • Make available for free a theme, plugin or piece of software
  • Start a meme that others can replicate and that links back to you (e.g. buttons/stickers/tools for bloggers/webmasters to post on their sites, contests, quizzes, surveys, etc.)
in summary
In Summary
  • Best links are:
    • Topically relevant
    • One way (not reciprocated)
    • Not in footer and not site-wide
    • Appear to be earned by merit
    • Not crowded with many other links on the page
    • On a high PageRank-endowed, high Alexa-ranked, .edu/.gov/.mil authority site
in summary77
In Summary
  • Get creative
    • With your content, functionality, free tools, your budget
    • Think “Web 2.0” (blogs, RSS, tagging, etc.)
  • Measure success not by fixating on the PageRank meter, but by measuring the rankings lift and other KPIs
thank you78
Thank You!
  • For three hours of screencasts on link building, e-mail your request to
  • Also, feel free to email me:

Technical SEO Issues

Ian McAnerin

McAnerin International Inc.

1 403 444-6981

  • YOU! (Probably)
  • In our experience, roughly 60% of SEO issues can be traced to technical problems.
  • Most companies face unnecessary hurdles due to technical issues that can often be fixed in minutes.
  • Problems can be a single critical issue, but more commonly are a combination of several issues.
  • Often an accumulation of problems results in an accumulation of distrust for the site as a whole.
why or how
Why or How?
  • Accident or omission
  • Deliberately done to accomplish another goal.
  • Software bug or hardware glitch
  • Technical limitation of environment
  • Political or management decisions.

The Seven Deadly Technical Sins

  • Hosting and Infrastructure
  • DNS and Domains
  • Errors and Redirects
  • HTML Validation
  • Spider Traps
  • Scripting and Objects
  • Geolocation / Personalization Disconnect
hosting and infrastructure
Hosting and Infrastructure

Small Business = LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)

Medium = LAMP or IIS Cluster

Large = IIS Cluster

Mega = Custom OS: GoogleOS, Dynamo

Why Care?: Slow response times = site Google doesn’t want to send many visitors to. Also slower indexing.

hosting and infrastructure85
Hosting and Infrastructure

Multiple Servers

  • Rotating IP addresses (load balancing) = many different sites = duplication.
  • Edge computing can cause geolocation issues.
  • Fix: detect spiders and send to a canonical site version.
dns and domains
DNS and Domains
  • www vs non-www versions of sites
  • Subdomain.domain.TLD/
  • Subdomains and sub-subdomains (circular dependency)
  • Multiple DNS servers sometimes not updated = weird results.
dns and domains87
DNS and Domains

Rule of Thumb:

  • TLD (and ccTLD) for country
  • Subdomains for language or major groups
  • Subdirectories for Topics
  • language.domain.ccTLD/topic/page.htm
errors and redirects
Errors and Redirects
  • An error page should always respond with a 404.
  • Strongly recommended that you use custom error pages for usability, but watch for error codes.
  • Error responses are different at directory and page level – test both.
errors and redirects89
Errors and Redirects
  • Fun with error pages: an intelligent error page can solve a lot of problems, such as redirecting old pages.
  • Google Webmaster Tools are strongly recommended – need working error page and robots.txt file.

Or search “robots.txt generator”

errors and redirects90
Errors and Redirects
  • 301 redirect (Permanent) 
  • 302 redirect (Temporary) 
  • 200 OK
errors and redirects91
Errors and Redirects
  • Parameters:
  • URL = = Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US; rv:1.9) Gecko/2008052906 Firefox/3.0Receiving Header:
  • HTTP/1.1·302·Found(CR)(LF)Date:·Sun,·14·Sep·2008·10:11:01·GMT(CR)(LF)Server:·IBM_HTTP_Server(CR)(LF)Location:·
  • Receiving Header:
  • HTTP/1.1·200·OK(CR)(LF)Date:·Sun,·14·Sep·2008·10:11:01·GMT(CR)(LF)Server:·IBM_HTTP_Server(CR)(LF)
html validation
HTML Validation
  • Search engines strip most HTML code out of a document before parsing, so most HTML validation errors do not affect rankings.
  • Exception: Some errors, such as a missing “>”, can kill the indexing of your page.
  • Best Practice: always try to validate your code.
spider traps
Spider Traps
  • Spider Trap: Dead ends, such as Word or PDF documents.
  • Honey Pot: PR scupting to the extreme – creates a circular trap.
  • Anchor Away: Only the first anchor text of a link on a page counts.
  • Infinite URLs: Pages with more than one URL to them – canonical issue.
scripting and objects
Scripting and Objects
  • Search engines don’t run scripts.
  • Script that changes look of link = good. Script that builds link on the fly = bad
  • Flash is not indexable. (Well, it is, but it’s best to assume it isn’t). Most AJAX isn’t.
  • An Iframe is treated as a separate page – includes are better.
  • Use a spider simulator (i.e. SEO-Browser, Lynx) to test site.
geolocation personalization
Geolocation / Personalization
  • A gTLD (.com, .net) is almost always geolocated via IP address
  • A ccTLD (.ws, .la, .tv) overrides IP geolocation
  • Duplication problem does not affect clearly geolocated sites
  • Always declare language and character types on web pages.