*this was created from lecture videos and is used to help you gain an understanding of how to optimize search engine results for my website.
Relevance and authority
Is your website a trusted place? This is crucial when answering how to optimize search engine results for my website
Evaluating what other websites say about you
Links are like votes of trust
Place emphasis on quality of link vs. quantity
SERP- search engine results page
“Long term process that brings long term value.”
Research keywords, create unique content, build links, resolve technical issues with site
“You’re optimizing for search engines and real human beings”
Targeting and intentional traffic and ability to measure results
Formal keyword research is the foundational piece in SEO
Relevant terms for business objectives
How to research keywords
1.Brainstorm from customers perspective
What services do you offer? Be comprehensive
- Collect search volume research
Google Trends lets you see different keyword and how it is being searched over time
Relevance, search volume and competition when choosing keywords
-Does the keyword accurately reflect the nature of the product or service you offer..
-Number of searches per month for a specific keyword
-How difficult will it be to rank above your competition..
Moz Keyword difficulty tool to research competition
Keyword distribution- Assigning keywords to different pages on your website
One keyword per page and do not try to force anything
Clarity and quality about what your content is all about, and that they can trust!
Make your site structure clear to you and other people
Make URL as concise as possible
Meta Description will improve search engine results click through rate, text that shows up under the title in the search page.
Write the way you write for a human. Include target phrase 1-3 times in average piece of text. Don’t over think and don’t overdo.
Schema.org to markup the code with very relevant and specific metadata specific to a certain type of content
How well a page is being optimized, Moz onpage grader
Continually generate new unique and quality content for website and also get user generated content
User generated content- blog comments, voted, blog posts, articles, testimonials, case studies and product reviews
-Create external links for new content, create XML sitemap (listing of your pages content in a special format that search engines can easily read through)
Canonical URL tag- Add to page that acts as instructions to make sure to index this url to access this content
Schema.org microformat – Special syntax to help search engines identify very specific types of content on your pages
Target audience and their needs: bait and fish tactic
Who, where they are and conversing and what they are talking about
Quality is more important than quantity.
-Define your goals and objectives: what keywords to target what audience is looking for and what you want them to do once on your site.
-Understand your key audiences and their needs
-Ensure everyone in your organization is involved
-Team must understand online reputation management
-Spend time monitoring trends
Define your target audience: “who are the people we want visiting our site and what role will they play in an organization?” provide insight on how end consumer uses technology today.
Have new compelling and useable content that provides your target audience a new insight
Build an editorial calendar through Google Sheets
Build your social media presence.
Write content that provides value and leaves an impression
Google Analytics Measure:Page per visit average time on site, bounce rate
“Is content generating results?”
How relevant is the link to the content you are producing?
Create great content, promote through all channels and leverage relationships you have and create new ones to get links!
Building external links: Submit to we directories, entice other websites to link to your content
Analyze the backlinks of other sites to help out your own rankings
Moz Site Explorer to see all links that are external from a web page
Measuring SEO Performance:
1.Install Analytics software
2.Define business objectives and KPI’s
Make a Google My Business and Bing Places
Relevence Distance and Prominence is what matters for local SEO
Have a place for users to review on your own website
Put business in Google+ Local, Yahoo, bing, yelp, citysearch. Also, industry specific such as Tripadvisor for Traveling..
Responsive Web design (recommended)
Build one site serving same site from same url, uses CSS media queries and automatically adapts
Dynamically device detection
Need to maintain more complex code
Completely separate site
Need to maintain two websites (Utilize switchboard tags)
Google PageSpeed Insights to show speed of website
An SEO friendly website is the technical foundation for all your content efforts. Answer the question, “how to optimize search engine results for my website” by developing a strong website with an SEO emphasis.
Indexability, root domains, redirects, canonical URL’s, page tag structure data, critical rendering paths
Components of on-site SEO
Technology stack- server, domain, redirects, information architecture-navigation, site maps, URL’s- folder structures and linking, site structure- html, page speed, structured data
Google wants to provide users with quick answers that are simple to understand. Google wants to see:
Accessibility- able to be seen across all devices
Experience- user friendly
Context- links to relevant content that are off and on your website
Transparency- avoiding black hat tactics
Authenticity is needed in your content
Accuracy is needed to match the specific queries
Crawling- act of finding a page on your website to analyze the content
Indexing- storage of that page and information related to it within the search engine’s database
Headless browser is a web browser with no graphical interface. Evaluates sites that utilize JS.
Google Search Console -> fetch as Google
Google needs direct crawlable links. Factors determining crawl demand: popularity and freshness.
The end goal is to have a 1:1 relationship between a URL and unique content.
A responsive site helps crawlability
Robots.txt file- Txt file on how you want the .search bots to crawl your website. The robots.txt file also is where your sitemap file is found. Everyone can find your robots.txt file.
Keep your most prominent content no more than 4 clicks away.
Work on your websites taxonomy. The taxonomy is the simple hierarchy of your site and ontology is the complex relationship between concepts and taxonomies.
Your site needs to move to https. You need to obtain and install a SSL to do this.
Subdomains- try not to have any subdomains and stay simple with having one main directory.
How to choose a domain name- make it brandable, shareable, memorable, unique, make it short, make it intuitive
Sitemaps- xml sitemap gives search engines an easy way to see your site. You can use screaming frog to make a sitemap.
URL structure- Focus on URL’s that are human readable and short. Make the URL for a specific keyword. Rely on static URL’s. Don’t keyword stuff. Build a URL playbook to enable a proper structure with your team.
Canonical URL’s- canonicalization is a process for converting data that has no more than one possible way of being represented into a standard and preferred format.
Pagination- google doesn’t crawl your site in an orderly fashion. You can apply tag to let Google know when it has encountered a sequence of paginated pages
HTTP status codes- 3 digits, the first number begins 1-5.
100: informational, 200:Success, 300:Redirection 400:Client Error, 500: Server Error
200 Success, 301: moved permanently, 302: found/temporary redirect (not recommended), 404: file not found, 410: gone, 500: internal server error, given when something unexpected, 503: service unavailable, temporary problem or maintenance period
Mobile and Desktop friendly Website
HTML tags- title, headings, meta description
Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency- numerical statistic that reflects how important a word is to a document within a collection
Ryte.com to see content report of importance of term frequencies within a specific keyword. Used for TF-IDF.
Image filenames and alt attributes to give context to your images for search engine crawlability
Structured data- makes your site eligible for inclusion of rich results. Use Google Structured Data Testing Tool.
Schema.org -> get started to see schema vocabulary and how structure data works
Lighthouseg> can be used to improve web pages. Generate a report from Lighthouse to improve your critical rendering path. Look at the performance path.
CSS: Put CSS in document head, avoid CSS imports as they increase roundtrips, inline render-blocking CSS
Http/1 does not allow multiple concurrent exchanges on the same connection as Http /2 does. Http /2 also has a server push feature proactively pushes content to visitors without them requesting it. Ensure you enable Http /2 on your server.
PWA- Progressive web apps uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app like user experience. They are progressive, responsive, independent, app-like, fresh, safe, discoverable, engageable, installable, linkable.
What are keywords
Summations of people’s’ needs as they type them into a search engine
Also Ideas, Questions, Needs and Research
Keyword Research- Google Search Console, Google analytics, Google Adwords Keyword Planner
Create a keyword spreadsheet
Export keyword list into Microsoft Excel
plural : vacations vs. singular: california vacation
Who is your customer? Product offering and where do you fit in the market? Cheap or luxurious? What is your price point and what is your positioning in the market? Properly define what your offering so it will fit
Understand the online comfort level of your target audience
Go for keywords with competition of around 30% – 40%. The Standard competition rate is 50%
Google Trends lets you see analysis of keyword over time.
Sweet spot for Google Trends is 6000 or more of searches a month and less than a million search results..
Stick to keywords phrases with 3-5 words at first
Use Google Trends for Keyword Analysis over time to compare and contrast different keywords
Learn the language of the customer
Plural keywords: People are shopping, Singular keywords: People are buying
Humanize your keywords
Quality score is made up of:
- Bid Price- How much you are willing to bid for ad Your budget needs to mask the ad.
- Copy you use in the ad
- Click through rate- How often people click those ads
- Load time of landing page
- Relevance of landing page
Google AdWords Keyword Match Types
Broad match:Used without any brackets or quotations, allows liberal application of showing ad
May give too much flexibility DO NOT USE Broad Match
Exact match: Only show ad if phrase is typed in exact order.
Use brackets to have your keywords be an exact match – [hiking tours northern california]
Phrase Match: Show my ad if these three words are used in any combo by using “hiking tours california”
How people lose money on AdWords
1 Measure the wrong things- Don’t focus on clicks, impressions or TR
2 They don’t have a consistent theme across their ad copy, keyword, and landing page
3 By not using keyword proper exact, phrase and negative matching
4 Not looking at right outcome and managing bid outcomes- keep close eye
- They see it as a set it and forget it strategy
Get more of your budget-
go to Settings, location, advanced search
Show ad only at specific times
Dont focus on getting traffic to website, focus on making money and sales!
Create more than one ad for each ad group
Review the elements of the landing page and ensure there are keywords and Call to Action above the fold
Primary: What makes you money?
Secondary: Performance Goals
Tertiary/KPI: Your dashboard that lets you know that you are on your way. Are all the factors that enable you to reach the goal working together? Rankings, visits, time on site, pageviews, bounce rate
Learning SEO Tools
SimilarWeb.com to discover online competitors
Spyfu.com for seo research on competitors
SEObook.com tools keyword density to check for keyword density
Ahrefs.com site explorer to review competitor link distribution
Exadium.com to analyze metadata about your competitors metadata
Pingdom.com to figure out web address load time (under 2 seconds is good load time, not 3 second or longer)
Seositecheckup.com to gain info about site map information, if score is below 100 it should be addressed
Google Alerts to let you know of new content created with your keywords
Raven tools -keyword manager, keyword insights, research central
SEMRUSH to show info about domain or keyword
Keyword Discovery gives 100’s or 1000’s of keywords
Only use one h1 per page: specific to content, uses keywords
Break up paragraphs into chunks and utilize h2 between them.
Alt tag should be used when image is used as a link. When image doesn’t properly show, the alt attribute will show
Goal Test! Have someone perform an objective of your site to test the usability.
Ex. Let a target market customer go on Bells & Body to purchase a personal training package.
Most ads isolate a specific product, feature or idea with your keywords
Variables- topic covered, page links, website programming, mobile-friendly
Uncontrolled variables- Where user is searching, trending topics, current events
Technical structure– google search console, structured data tester, screaming frog seo spider, pagespeed insights
off site visibility(link building)-Moz open site explorer, semrush
Content-(descriptive and properly formatted content) Google search console, screaming frog, keyword planner, semrush, siteliner
competitive research– all tools
Search engines love text
The more frustrated Google is = the less you will rank
How you are doing within Google Search Results
Site settings: set domain to www. Or no www.
Utilize rich cards, utilize data highlighter!
Html improvements to identify things you can change and resolve
Accelerated mobile pages (AMP)
If Google finds an issue it will show on ‘Manual Actions tab’ take immediate action as it can be a serious hit if you leave those errors in
Index status page- valuable data on how many pages google has indexed over the past year.
Crawl errors Reveal issues google has found with your site
Dns- name of site to address that servers use to find your site, server is where all files of website lives dns error means google couldn’t sort out where your server was
Server connectivity- any issues with your hosting provider (speed problem, downtime)
Robots.txt fetch- every time google access site it has to access your robots.txt file first, if there is error with robots.txt then it will show
URL errors- server error request timed out/site is blocking google, soft 404 page google accessed does not exist but server isn’t telling google that, not found list is going to show you that have urls pointing to nonexistent pages
Crawl stats basic overview that shows activity on site for last 90 days
Goal is to decrease time google is crawling so it can move faster through site
Fetch as google is diagnostic tool that allows you to simulate how google crawls or renders a url on your site
Fetch and render shows differences on how you vs. how googlebot sees page, you want them to look identical
You want your site to be above 85/100
Time to above the fold load, and time to full page load
You want site above fold to render in around 1 second
Will fetch all online elements and will show easily through tabs and reports
Link popularity- measure of how popular a webpage is based on the number of links pointing to it.
PageRank- advanced link-popularity algorithm Google uses to assign a value to a webpage. This value is one of the metrics used by Google to rank webpages in the search results. It is an indicator of the worth of a page based off it’s links. It is based off the number of links, the PageRank of originating pages, the number of links on the originating pages and the linking page “votes” for the linked-to pages.
The higher the PageRank page ranks higher in a Google search.
Google does not publish PageRank anymore. Because of this, companies have created their own to mimic it.
Examples of Pseudo PageRank
A search engine ranking factor based on the trustworthiness of a page, which is derived by an analysis of the trustworthiness of other pages linking to that page.
Trusted sites pass on TrustRank, which diminishes as distance from the trusted site increases. It links from trustworthy sites to help your site rank well.
Keywords in the link is better than any link. It tells the search engine by link text.
Search-related link components
The anchor text is the link text.
rel=”nofollow” attribute- a value that can be assigned to instruct search engines that the hyperlink should not influence the ranking of the link’s target in the search engine’s index
It tells search engines to not follow the link and it does not provide any SEO value.
Link on text is better than link on image. Always use keywords in an images alt tag and image file name.
Title attribute- provides additional information about a link and is often used to provide the tooltip displayed when one points at a link. It does not help SEO from Google.
The perfect link
Does not have a nofollow link, it is a text link with good anchor text with keywords. Well trusted links are best. It will be on a page with high PageRank. A link that is placed within the content, preferably high up will give the best ranking.
The most important aspect is to get the perfect keywords into your anchor text.
The nofollow link is ignored from search engines, a redirect link is a link that redirects from one web address to another that are made for advertising or affiliates.
Analyzing incoming links to a website
Majestic.com moz.com semrush.com ahrefs.com provide ways to see links pointing to a website.
Link-assistant.com raventools.com seo-spyglass.com are tools for link analysis.
Link analysis reports
How to analyze a site for it’s links- how many links are pointing at a site -> look at Domain authority -> anchor text -> where the links are coming from
Which site has more links? Who has better keyword links? Where can you get links to your own site?
Two types of links
There are real links and fake links with an in-genuine intention. If a website is caught with fake links then the links can have penalties: links devalued, links ignored, page removed from index, site removed from index, linked-to site devalued.
Getting links when starting out
Grab the low hanging fruit. Link to website with your blog. Social networking accounts you can use to place links, although they are mostly nofollow, it still drives traffic to your site. Forums, professional associations, friends and family in their blogs or clubs, partners and suppliers.
Local Pages and Directory Links
Both improve search rankings
Sign up for directory management services such as:
Do not pay for listings usually.
Sign up for local directories.
Work with bloggers
Write guest blogs
You need a unique selling proposition to get individuals to understand why they should choose your site. Create a target list -> send a personalized message -> explain why their readers will be interested -> suggest they add a link to your site -> offer to write an article for them
Content designed to attract attention and encourage those viewing it to create hyperlinks to the site, with the aim of improving the sites position on the list of results returned by a search engine.
Crowd created linkbait- a site creates an infrastructure that allows others to create content.
Social networking links
Most social networking have no follow links. They do pass social ranks. Social links can still assist you indirectly
May or may not be nofollow links. Find questions that do not have a strong answer yet and answer it.
Create infographics as linkbait to place on your site, and also submit infographics to specific directories.
Niche or Blog Directories, trade articles with other sites, create great content and distribute all over
Paying for links
Don’t buy links unless you assume the risk of getting penalized.
Find keywords that fit into a specific question people are searching for
Longer than 3 seconds, 25% percent of traffic
-get good hosting, not bad hosting, get one with SSL
-security, run through an SSL for faster speed times
-how long you have had domain, how long it is active, isn’t to valuable
WordPress All In One Plugin
Don’t have crossover from categories and tags
Canonical URL- Get to content through different url’s, prevents duplicate content penalties
Make Google + account and link it to All in One
Take content itself and format a meta description
Feature Manager -> XML sitemaps
XML sitemap- gives search engines a site maps of every single webpage on your site and when you give new content the sitemap will update and ping search engines to index it
Set schedule update for xml to however often you produce content
Set priorities based off what pages have highest importance for users
WordPress Yoast SEO
Title– Capitalize everything
Coschedule headline analyzer to analyze your headline (make your title compelling!)
Page Title | Website Name
Meta description- ..continue where the headline left off
Make sure you don’t have keywords that rank for the same word. Have a different keyword for each single page
Go to ‘bulk editor’ to edit all pages in an efficient manner
Yoast -> Tools -> Import and Export -> Export Settings -> Export your Yoast SEO settings -> ‘settings.ini edit settings for next website for client -> compress file and turn intpo zip and then import it‘