CS4047 Multimedia Industry Perspectives Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Introduction to SEO. Martina Skelly Activate Marketing.

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1 CS4047 Multimedia Industry Perspectives Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Martina Skelly Introduction to SEO Martina Skelly Activate Marketing 18 November 2011

2 Agenda The Elements of a successful SEO strategy On-site Optimistion Off-site Optimisation Tactics to Avoid Slide 2

3 Why SEO is Crucial Why SEO is Crucial 90% of purchasing decisions begin online [Forrester]. 86% of online sales lead in hospitality are generated by organic search [Uptake] The top result on a search engine page gets clicked 42% of the time (compared to 3% for result # 10 [Google] Slide 3

4 [1] On Site Optimisation Synopsis Meta Data Heading Text Internal Links Body Text Site Structure Alt Tags Fresh Content (why blog) Slide 4

5 On Site Optimisation The Various Elements HotelDealsIreland.ie as Example Hotel Deals Ireland was launched in Feb 2010 By May 2010 it was # 4 in Google for the keyphrase Hotel Deals Ireland By December 2010 it was #1 By October 2011 it had surpassed 310k in sales Slide 5

6 On Site Optimisation Meta Data: Meta Title HotelDealsIreland.ie Meta Title The Meta Title of a page is visible in the browser title bar. The Meta Title is one of the most important on site elements of Optimisation Pick one or two phrases per page The best position is right at the beginning of the tag HDI focussed on Hotel Deals Ireland and Hotel Offers Ireland for the homepage Code is written as: <title>hotel Deals Ireland - Hotel Offers Ireland - HotelDealsIreland.ie</title> Slide 6

7 On Site Optimisation Meta Data: Meta Description HotelDealsIreland.ie Meta Desc The Meta Description of a page is not visible in the browser or on the webpage It is the description that users see when they search in Google Very important to write an appealing snippet that includes keywords Google will bold keywords which draws users eye to them Recommend having a unique Meta Title and Meta Description for each page Slide 7

8 On Site Optimisation Meta Data: Meta Keywords Meta Keywords Meta Keywords are not widely used by Search Engines now, due to misuse and spam No longer seen as an accurate representation of a page s content However it is not harmful to use them Use 5 10 per page, comma separated Don t repeat the same keywords Code is written as: <meta name="keywords" content="ireland, hotel, hotels, deals, offers, breaks, last minute, cheap, budget, 4 star, 5 star /> Slide 8

9 On Site Optimisation The Header Tag <H> <H> Tags By putting words in a heading, you are indicting that those words are very important to that particular page, and in some way define the page. Search Engines therefore give more weight to keywords in header tags than to keywords in body text You can use <H1> <H2> <H3> tags to give additional prominence, with <H1> having more weight then <H2> etc. Choose a succinct and relevant keyphrase for your page Seach Engines can t read images. Don t put key phrases in images. Slide 9

10 On Site Optimisation Body Text Body Text Each page needs content, not only for visitors and sales effectiveness but also to enable Search Engines determine what the page is about. Using Keywords at the top of the page gives those keywords more prominence Use various permutations of your keywords Don t overdo it, or the Search Engines may categorise the page as Spam HDI uses main keyphrase Hotel Deals Ireland and also hotel deals, hotels offers, hotel break in Ireland etc naturally in the body of text. Slide 10

11 On Site Optimisation Internal Links Internal Links Links help Search Engines find other pages in your site Keywords in links tell Search Engines about the content of those pages Use suitable link text to complement your Meta Data, Headings, and Body Copy All your pages should be part of the navigation structure (no orphan pages) HDI uses 5* Hotels rather than 5* Hotel Deals Ireland as the link text as it would detract from user experience. Slide 11

12 On Site Optimisation Alt Tags Alt Tags ALT text was originally text that was displayed if the browser viewing the page could not display images Now used for accessiblity Often the ALT text pops up if you hover over the image ALT tags offer another clue to Search Engines about the content of a page However due to misuse and spam, their importance has diminished Do still use them, but sparingly and accurately Slide 12

13 On Site Optimisation Link Title Tags Link TitleTags Link Title Tags are again used for accessiblity In most browsers the text pops up when a user hovers over the link Some SEOs claim that they have no SEO benefit I believe that they are of SOME importance but less so that image ALT tags (as search engines have no way of reading an image and therefore no clue to it s content) Keep them relevant and don t overuse them Slide 13

14 On Site Optimisation Site Structure Create a Sitemap with links to all the pages in your site Using a flat site structure is better (not too many sub directories) Avoid Flash and Javascript Navigation Domain Names with the Keywords in the URL can help your SEO efforts Descriptive page names also give clues to the search engines about a page s content (e.g Slide 14

15 On Site Optimisation Fresh Content Fresh Content Search Engines love to see FRESH RELEVANT content, that a website is being maintained and developed and kept up to date Many of us don t have time to change our pages often, especially if they are already working well in terms of SEO Integrating a Blog/News or Twitter feed is an easier way of adding fresh content Search Engines love blogs, the Titles, the Tags, the Categories are all customisable and all help your SEO Slide 15

16 [2] Off Site Optimisation Synopsis Inbound Links (esp Keyword Links) Cultivating Inbound Links Slide 16

17 Off Site Optimisation Inbound Links Slide 17

18 Off Site Optimisation Inbound Links The key off site factor determining SEO success is cultivating inbound links (links to your site from other sites) This can be MORE important that the actual on-site SEO Keyword rich links offer the highest value to your SEO efforts - Buy Video Games Online at is a more valuable link than - for all the latest video games online Slide 18

19 Off Site Optimisation Cultivating Inbound Links Link building can be the hardest part of any SEO strategy Link building should be ongoing Some ideas on how/where to generate quality inbound links to your site: Slide 19

20 Off Site Optimisation Cultivating Inbound Links Directories Irish Directories and Travel Directories are good places to start gaining inbound links. Submit your link to the correct category Swap Links Add a Links page to your own website and start swapping links. Contact local businesses, suppliers, partners, your web development agency, suppliers of complentary services etc and ask to swap links. Blogs and Forums Read related Blogs and Forums and start to post comments. You can include a backlink in most blogs and in a Forum signature. Don t spam, keep comments relevant and don t pretend to be someone else. Slide 20

21 Off Site Optimisation Cultivating Inbound Links Check your Competitors Backlinks Make a list of suitable site and contact to suggest a reciprocal link Contribute Articles to Online Mags/Blogs Offer to write content for suitable online publications in return for links This also helps establish you as an authority on a subject Slide 21

22 Off Site Optimisation Remember Bad links can seriously harm your SEO efforts Case study of Cork Company that outsourced site-build and SEO Slide 22

23 [3] What to Avoid Synopsis Gateway Pages Hidden Text Duplicate Content Bad Links Slide 23

24 What to Avoid Gateway Pages These are pages created purely for the search engines, but not linked to the internal navigation structure of your website If identified, your site will be penalised for using Gateway Pages Hidden Text This is text or links that use some device, often the same colour as the background. It is done purely for SEO and adds no value to user experience Search Engines can identify hidden text and it is considered bad practice Duplicate Content There can often be good reasons for having duplicate content on websites However Search Engines view it as spam and may drop a page or a website from its index as a result, therefore it is to be avoided Slide 24

25 What to Avoid Bad Links As mentioned, bad links can have a detrimental effect on your SEO Research your link requests, and always checkup on incoming link requests Does the person have a free address or is request coming from a company? What is the PageRank of the page on which they will add your link? Is their website related to yours in terms of content? Is it a blog with lots of links but not much content? Are they offering a 3-way link? You link to their site and a different site will link to you? Slide 25

26 Any Questions? Contact me at Twitter.com/ActivateIreland Slide 26

27 Tips & Tools Google Keyword Tool Google Trends Google Page Rank Toolbar Google PageRank TM is a numeric weighting from 0 10 for each page online. It determines the importance of a page based on the number of links to a page and the importance of those links. Pages with higher PageRank tend to do better in the search engine results SEOMoz Term Extractor Find your Competitors Backlinks Type link: into Google or Yahoo Site Explorer to see who is linking to your competitors websites (or your own) Digital Marketing Jobs & Internships Digital Marketing Jobs: Prosperity Recruitment Slide 27