Search engine optimisation recorded webinar 6 March 2013

DOUG PYE: Good afternoon, everyone and welcome
to today’s webinar on Search Engine Optimisation. My name is Doug Pye. I am from the Phillips
Group based in Brisbane and I am your host for today’s webinar and I am delighted to
have so many of you with us here today. In a moment I will hand you over to Jake Falkinder
who is an expert in Search Engine Optimisation and today’s presenter. At the end of the webinar,
I will hold a questions and answer session with Jake and we look forward to receiving
your questions. This webinar is part of a series being provided
by the Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games.
We hope that you find it informative and useful to your business. Jake, over to you. JAKE FALKINDER: Good afternoon, everyone,
and welcome to today’s webinar, all about Search Engine Optimisation. Let’s quickly look at the agenda for today’s
webinar. We will be kicking off with an introduction and orientation which will run for approximately
the first five minutes. After that, we will run into the key workbook points which will
obviously formulate the bulk of today’s webinar; and as Doug mentioned, following that, we
will have some time to field your questions. So the remainder of the webinar will be spent
on that. Just quickly looking at the control panel
of Go To Webinar, for any of you who would like to offer a question, just use the “questions”
box which you can see pictured on screen now. We will be taking questions throughout the
webinar and these will be collated and fielded towards the end. It’s important to note that
anyone who is using an iPad or any sort of tablet, unfortunately you won’t be able to
use that question facility, as to Go To webinar doesn’t currently support tablets. For those of you who like to Tweet, feel free
to use Twitter at any stage throughout this webinar. The hashtag that you should be using
is #QLDBiz. And now a quick introduction about myself.
My name is Jake Falkinder. I am and online marketing consultant, working with the Phillips
Group. My corporate and search marketing experience is quite varied. I have worked in a lot of
corporate environments, including Virgin Australia, Ray White Real Estate, that lovely energy
drink called red Bull; and, of course, Nike, as well as a range of other corporate environments. My specific search marketing experience relates
to industries such as the building and property development sectors, home renovation and services,
fashion and fashion labels and also a variety of other online retailers. So without further ado, let’s jump into the
topic at hand, which is Search Engine Optimisation. Search Engine Optimisation often referred
to also as SEO is about the process of improving the visibility of a website or web page. When
we are talking about the visibility here, we are talking about the search engine such
as Google, Yahoo, Bing and the others that exist. We are referring to the natural, also
known as the organic or unpaid or algorithm results. In laymen’s terms, what we are talking
about is getting your website to appear at the top of those natural search results rankings. It is important when anyone is taking out
or starting off with a new website build, that they consider SEO at the initial stages.
That is not to say that anyone who doesn’t already have an existing website has missed
out on the opportunity, but, yes, for optimal SEO implementation, ideally it started from
day dot. You will notice at the bottom of the screen
there’s a progress indicator that I will be using throughout this webinar. This will tell
you where in the webinar we are at any given time. Now, jumping into a view of Google, this will
explain visually how SEO is currently appearing in Google. Let’s have a look at a search phrase
at the top, which I have marked with my mouse pointer there. That says “dentist, Brisbane
City”. Now, moving down the screen again, if you
follow my mouse pointer, you will now see that I am pointing to the yellow shaded section
this is Pay Per Click advertising, also known as Google AdWords. So the top three results
in Pay Per Click are appearing at that top area and then, again, following my mouse pointer,
you will see that Pay Per Click extends down the right hand side as well. So all of those
results are Pay Per Click ads. Moving across, you will see the Google Maps,
also known as the Google Places listings, which are written down here each with a corresponding
map marker. So let’s have a look at Central Dental, again marked by my mouse pointer,
and you will see that correlates to map marker A. So if we jump up and have a quick look
at the map, that map marker A that is represented there in red, corresponds to Central Dental. Interestingly enough, Google Plus pages are
also dispersed throughout this particular section. So if we look at the area that’s
highlighted, again where my mouse pointer is currently sitting, you will see Dr Paul
Trembath. He has a Google Plus page which you will notice is quite rare amongst the
rest of the dentists listed on this page. So Google Plus is actually Google’s latest
technology which is slowly pushing out Google Places in Google Maps and it’s something that
I will cover in a bit more detail in this presentation, but also in next week’s presentation
about “local search marketing”. So we have covered a variety of Google products
on this page which all sit above the fold but we haven’t yet even touched on the organic
search results, which we will see on this page. So if we scroll down on that page that I was
looking at just before, you will notice there’s an orange highlighted section where my mouse
pointer is currently sitting. This represents the natural listings, or the unpaid listings
in Google. So I have zoomed in on that for you, so that you can see the top results for
“dentist Brisbane City”, and, yes, these are listed in groups of 10, with the navigation
at the bottom of the page. So the first result is “Dentist Brisbane City”,
with the URL “brisbanecitydentist.com.au” which is a very relevant match for that search
term that we entered. At this point, I thought it might be interesting
to run a quick poll to see how many of you are actually using Google AdWords currently.
So I will open that poll now. … And that poll is now launched, which you can
respond to in your webinar control panel. We are seeing some interesting statistics
flowing in already. I will give you just another couple of seconds to place your responses
and then I will actually be publishing those poll results for you. … Right. So you will probably be able to see
those poll results on screen right now. 71 per cent of you have not used Google Pay Per
Click advertising, which leaves 21 per cent that have and 8 per cent that are unsure;
which is quite reflective of the general population of small business. So it’s good to see that
I am talking to a crowd that are well informed about Google AdWords and some of you have
already tried it. So you are probably wondering why I have mentioned
several search engines but I am focussing solely on Google already. The reason for that
is in the statistics. We have got some stats on screen that will be collated from 2012,
the first of which says that Google’s global search market is currently at 85 per cent.
That is quite an astounding figure considering there are several other search engines out
there. And yes, it is a global search figure, so it does vary slightly in Australia; but,
yes, by all means in Australia we definitely have a majority of users who use Google as
their predominant search engine. Another interesting statistic, in comparison
to the other search engines, is that Google began as a research project back in 1996 and
actually went live in 1997. So it’s one of the longest withstanding search engines in
existence and one of the most consistent, in terms of its evolution. A statistic here that’s quite mind boggling
is the fact that everyday Google answers more than 1 billion questions from people across
the globe. And that spans over 181 different countries in 146 language. 15 per cent of
those searches that we see every day have actually never been searched before which
makes sense when you think about the English language and the number of combinations and
permutations of words within it, let alone all of those other languages that we have
listed above. Monthly, the number of world wide searches
across all Google sites is 87.8 billion. So that also includes other Google sites, such
as Google Plus, Google Maps, Google Places and the other suite of Google products. That’s
still quite an astounding figure. All of these searches are made possible because
of a very complex computing program called an algorithm which sits behind the scene and
is designed to handle the immense volume of search requests that we are discussing above. So let’s take a look at what a search algorithm
actually is. The challenge that Google and a lot of those other search engines have is
creating an algorithm which returns only the most relevant results at the top of the page,
so that users don’t have to scroll on through results and pages and pages of them in order
to find what they are looking for. Now, obviously, it’s a challenge because what’s
relevant to one person is not going to necessarily be relevant to another person, despite very
similar keywords and phrases. So while not every website can come out at the top of the
page or even appear on the first page of the website, it’s the algorithm’s responsibility
to collate all those in a logical and relevant way. Let’s look at an example, which again I have
got pictured on the screen here. I have keyed into Google “Australian tennis players”. It
probably comes up as no surprise that there’s quite a few results there. 44,200,000 to be
exact. Having a look at those results, you will notice the first couple of results are
very reputable and relevant sites. So Wikipedia is coming in at number 1; Australian Open
Tennis is coming in at number 2; and Tennis Australia, number 3. So this is just an example
of what the search algorithm is capable of and is designed to do when entering a search
term. Now an important note about algorithms. This
is very important for you to know and it is the fact that Google renders results in a
way that is constantly changing. So what this means for you as a searcher is that what you
see one day may not be the same the next. These days the Google algorithm depends on
a whole bunch of factors that include who you are, what you are looking for, where you
are located when you perform the search, what you are doing as to results that are displayed
for any given keyword combination. So that is quite a lot of factors to incorporate into
the search results. Another important thing to note here is that
the number of words in searches is increasing. So if we look at that graph there, which looks
back to 2008, the average number of searches of words in a search phrase was under 3. It
was 2.9 in July 2008. So, for example, back then we might have searched for just “tennis
shoes”. As time goes on, people are more inclined and more informed, so they are using longer
search phrases. So come 2013, that search term is probably more likely to be something
along the lines of, “Nike tennis shoes 2013”, or it might be “Nike tennis Pegasus”, or one
of their specific shoe models. I am going to run another little question
right now. It’s actually a live question as opposed to a poll. So if anyone does have
a response, please feel free to shoot that through using the “questions” box. You will
see there’s a little panda hanging at the top of the screen and a cute little panda
at that. Does anyone have any ideas as to why that is included on this slide? … Now what I might do is leave that until the
end, during the question time with Doug, to see if anyone has actually responded correctly
on that one. So moving on. I mentioned that there are a
lot of factors which determine how a website ranks and which are incorporated into the
search algorithm. In fact, there are actually over 200 of those factors for Google. I am
going to run through a few of those key factors now and these are ones that you should definitely
be keeping in mind when undertaking SEO. The first is how often a search term occurs
on your web page which is also referred to as your “keyword density”. I will be covering
that in a little bit more detail down the track. The second I have listed there is “domain
age”. The older your domain, generally speaking, the better. This rule doesn’t always apply
because some domains have been tarnished or even banned by Google for, I guess, abusing
the search engines in the past. The third point there is “page rank” which
is a term that Google came up with to describe the reputation and authority of a website;
and that is something that you will need to put a lot of time and effort in to increase;
and it is a scale from 0 to 10. I believe the only site that ranks at 10 at this point
in time is Google.com itself. A lot of small business pages would hover around, say, the
2 to 3 page rank area. So constantly your job should be to try and increase that page
rank. In terms of another factor, which contributes
to Google’s algorithm, it is “domain backlinks”, which is a key to creating page rank. It used
to be the case that quantity, not quality, contributed to page rank. So what we are saying
here is: if you had 300 backlinks from any different websites across the Internet, your
page rank would just go up and up. These days, the algorithm is a lot smarter and it measures
your page rank based on the authority of the domain backlinks, linking back to you. Say, for example, if you had an “.edu” or
a “.gov” backlink, you will be getting a lot better reputation passed back to your site
and hence your page rank will improve. The next point is a “Dmoz directory listing”.
It’s important to get yourself listed on Dmoz as this is one of the largest directories
in existence online; similarly for the Yahoo directory which is also listed there. A couple
of other factors which contribute to how your site will rank: keywords in your title, keywords
in your URL and keywords in your description. I will run through these in a bit more detail,
as we move forward. Now, you will notice in the blue box pictured
there on the right that we have also got a mention of personalised results. With Google
these days, whether you know it or not, whenever you are logged into your Gmail and are performing
searches on Google, you will be receiving personalised results; unless you go into your
settings and switch this off. So these results are based on things such
as the previous history of your searches, the physical location of the searcher, the
social graph of searches so by this we mean your activity on Google Plus, which is the
social media engine for Google itself we also look at the social authority of pages, which
probably refers most to the activity of your friends on these particular pages and how
they are interacting with them, using Google Plus; and finally up to the second use and
trends. So what we are finding now, Google is actually displaying more recent content
above older, more dated content in personalised search results. I encourage you to try that
for yourself, when you get a chance. So moving on to the suggested approach for
Search Engine Optimisation for your business. Before I jump into the four step process,
I would first like to reiterate one very important point and that is: that Search Engine Optimisation
is a long term endeavour. There is no overnight quick fix for Search Engine Optimisation and
if anyone does tell you that, it is an untruth. I recommend spending at least six to 12 months
on SEO and continuing a maintenance plan after that 12 month initial endeavour. Now, let’s look at the four steps in a little
bit more detail to understand what they entail. Step one is to research and benchmark. So
by this, what we mean is assessing your current status and current search engine rankings.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to jump into Google and have a look yourself. While
you are there, also have a look for your competitors and see where they are ranking and what you
might find is the competitors you thought you have, are actually very different in Google. The final step in researching and benchmarking
is to identify potential keywords that you could be targeting. Once you have gone through
this step, step two is all about strategising and mapping out a plan of attack. This involves
selecting keywords and keeping an official list of those keywords for your reference;
deciding on how you are going to optimise for those keywords and where you are going
to optimise. The other important thing is identifying who is actually going to undertake
this strategy and monitor it from month to month. Step three is to roll your sleeves up and
actually start the process of internal optimisation on your site, which in SEO land we often also
called “the on page optimisation”. This refers to things such as the page title, header tags,
meta description, keyword density and more. I will be covering those in a bit more detail
shortly. Step four, and probably the longest term step,
is the external optimisation; also referred to as “off page optimisation”. This refers
to backlinking, directory submission, social media linking and plenty more. This will formulate
the long term strategy for your SEO. There is a whole array of tools available
to make your SEO initiative a lot easier. Of course, some of these tools are free and
there are also some paid options available, too. The tools can do a variety of things;
anything from keyword research and identifying the best keywords for you to be focussing
on, through to monitoring and tracking your progress so that you can automatically work
out for your selected keywords how they are ranking on any given day or even at any given
hour. I am going to run through a few of my favourite
tools which I recommend that you have a look at now. The first tool, and obviously the most important,
is own a website that you can optimise. There will be more on that in a moment. The second tool, which I wholeheartedly recommend,
is the Google keyword tool. This was actually designed for use with AdWords originally but
more and more SEO experts and anyone interested for SEO in that matter uses this tool as a
reference point. I will be showing you a bit more about that shortly. Next tool is Google webmaster tool. Again
a free tool and one that is vital for not only checking the health of your site but
also giving you some insight into search engine queries which are generating traffic to your
website. Google Analytics is the next tool. Again,
an absolute must have and also free. If you don’t have Google Analytics installed, I suggest
that that would be the first thing that you do after this webinar on your website. Another interesting tool this one is not a
Google tool but still free is the marketing.grader.com tool provided by HubSpot. This provides an
initial health check on your website. All you need do is type in your URL and your email
address and it will give you a brief report, providing some insights into how you can start
to increase your SEO; ranked in order of effort. So if you have got limited resources, this
is a good place to turn to, because it will give you a few quick wins. The final tool there is Google trends in the
free section. This site helps you to identify any keywords which are trending at this point
in time. By that I mean keywords that may be popular this month but not the next. So those are the free tools. Looking over
on the right side, you see there’s a variety of paid tools. Paid tools are a lot more in
depth and I would say that they are there for SEO, intermediate to expert use. So if
you are really dedicated to your SEO, then it’s worth looking at these schools. The good
thing about these is that most of them incorporate the entire SEO process into one tool. So that’s
everything from keyword research through to the actual tracking of your keywords and your
progress. If you are interested in those, I would suggest
looking at the free trials because many of them have them and it’s great to be able to
try before you buy. Now, I spoke of an optimisable website so
I thought I might give you a few insights into what an optimisable website is consisting
of. The key point here is that an optimisable
website is updateable via your web browser. Usually we call this a “content management
system”. If you jump into a browser, such as Internet explorer or Firefox, you should
be able to update your website from that. And through there, you should not only be
able to change but also add/remove text, images and videos. Ideally, your optimisable website will also
allow you to change the text on your navigation bar, which some people also refer to as your
main menu. A point that is often overlooked is the ability
for a website to be able to edit the alt tags. Now, alt tags sit behind the scenes. They
are often not seen by end users but these refer to special tags that describe the content
of an image. Keeping in mind that Google is a robot, it can’t actually look at an image
and tell you what it’s about. It needs some text to describe it and that is what an alt
tag is all about. So moving over to the right column: we will
see that an optimisable website should also allow you to edit the page titles, descriptions
and URLs of your page and we will look at that in a little bit more detail shortly.
It should allow you to create redirects using a web standard known as “301 redirect”. It
should allow you to create and delete new sections and pages on your website, so that
you can facilitate the need for new content and changes in your offering and product offering.
And finally, ideally, your website would have a blog. Blogs are a fantastic way of gaining
traction with SEO, particularly because there are so much dynamic content and obviously
it’s generally laden with keywords around your specific area of trade. Now we will have a look at one of my favourite
tools and that is the Google keyword tool. You will notice down the bottom of this slide
there’s actually a URL available for anyone who is interested in giving it a go for themselves.
What I have done here is create an example for the keyword “kitchen renovation”, on behalf
of one of our clients who was looking at installing new kitchens for their clients. So we have keyed in what we thought was a
good term, “kitchen renovation” and we believe that there are a lot of people that are actually
searching for that. However, the Google keyword tool has actually uncovered other ideas for
us and some that are probably more lucrative for us to focus on. So you will notice if
I run down the screen here, first of all at the top I have typed in my keyword “kitchen
renovation”. I actually selected the target as “Australia and global”, so that I could
see international trends versus our own trends; and here are the results, down here. They have been grouped by various categories.
You will see some are location based, such as Sydney, Melbourne and Perth; whereas others
are more generic, things like “kitchen renovation ideas, kitchen renovation on a budget”, and
so on. We are actually interested in this case in new kitchens, in new kitchen installations
as that’s our trade, or our client’s trade. So I have opened the “new kitchen” section,
to have a look in a little bit more detail. You will see the actual phrase “new kitchen”
which I have circled here has a competition of medium and has a quarter of a million global
monthly searches. Of course, the local searches are a little bit less in Australia, where
you almost experience 10,000 searches per month on this particular phrase, but nevertheless
we have uncovered an opportunity for a key phrase that we probably wouldn’t have otherwise
thought about if we had run with the original phrase of “kitchen renovation”. So there’s a number of other phrases that
have been revealed down here as well. Some of them with a lot higher search volumes than
others. For example, “pictures of new kitchens”, which only has 28 searches in Australia each
month. The point with this slide that I would like
to make is: what you think people are searching for and what they are actually searching for,
they can often be two very different things. So it’s important to do your research and
come up with a definitive list. A note about careful keywords selection. As
I mentioned earlier, the average number of keywords people are typing into a search engine
is increasing these days, as people become more informed about what they are searching
for. So for that reason, and that reason alone, I would suggest avoiding single word terms.
Not only will they be difficult and highly competitive, but you will often be competing
against other more generic search terms/businesses, which is not the space you wouldn’t to be
in. So avoid terms that are too broad but also
avoid terms that are too specialised. So what we mean by that is: terms that are so niche,
that there’s only going to be a handful of searches per month; such as the “pictures
of new kitchens” example that I had on the previous slide. Also, avoid terms which are highly unpopular
or highly competitive. I have provided an example again on this slide. This time we
were looking for a writer which we keyed into Google and which yielded 11,600,000 results.
Obviously the results were from a variety of different writers and from a variety of
different niches. So it was too broad. We narrowed it down to “real estate writer”,
which again yielded 1,200,000 results from across the globe. We realised that what we really wanted was
“a freelance real estate writer”, which when we keyed in yielded 48,000 results. And finally,
we thought “we are actually after a writer on the Sunshine Coast, so let’s add that to
the search phrase” which now yields 9,000 results. So those 9,000 results are a lot more relevant
to what we are searching for and this type of search activity/behaviour is what we are
seeing more and more from your standard Google searcher. So it’s important to find that balance
of search phrase, when you are arriving at your keywords to focus on. Now let’s have a look at on page optimisation
in a little bit more detail. You may recall earlier that I referred to on page optimisation
as your internal optimisation and this refers to tweaking and adjusting the words on your
own website. Here, on screen, what we are seeing is a somewhat typical example of a
content management system; so a system that sits behind your website which allows you
to update the text. Now, not pictured on this screen is the actual
content for this page. So we are not seeing the heading and the actual text/images from
this page. All we are seeing is the meta data. It’s important to mention that the H1 and
H2 tags which are your heading tags, are not displayed on the screen but are they important
for SEO. Moving along, we see the page title represented
by the words “meta title” on this page. This is actually the title that you will see in
your browser. So if you are using Internet Explorer, for example, at the blue bar at
the top of your screen you will actually see this text appearing when you visit this site.
So it is actually viewable by the end user. This text is also very important but it’s
important, also, not to stuff it with keywords; to still keep them relevant. Next is the meta keyword section. Now, this
actually hides behind the scene and isn’t seen by anyone that is surfing the Internet.
This is designed purely for Google and the other search engines to work out what your
website is about. So generally you would supply a list of words separated by a comma in this
specific section; and these words would be words from your keyword research phase. Next, you will see the meta description. Now,
this description is again viewable by the end user but it’s actually viewable in the
search engine itself. So, for example, this site, which is about “spa vitality”, if I
Google the search term “spa vitality”, I would see this meta description text appearing beneath
the heading for this particular result in the Google search engines. So this is actually
what’s going to entice a user to click, as well as being used for SEO purposes. So that’s essentially what on page optimisation
is all about. It’s about getting the meta data to a state that reflects the content
of your site well and also incorporates your keywords. Let’s also look at keyword density and this
refers to the actual text that’s appearing on your website and on any given page. Generally
speaking and I do stress “generally” because it is case specific you should be aiming for
a 3 to 4 per cent keyword density ratio on any given page. So let’s look at the example that’s pictured
below here. We have got a table and we have created a blog post on Sunshine Coast lifestyle
that’s all about surfing. Our aim is to optimise in this case for the word “surf” and we notice
it’s got a keyword density ratio of 2.5 per cent which is just shy of that 3/4 per cent
that I mentioned earlier. We are on the right track there. Perhaps we should include one/two
more mentions of that word. There is a free tool that exists for you to
start measuring your keyword density and it’s called textalyser.net which I have listed
there on the site if you wish to use it. One other important note, which I mentioned
earlier, in terms of on page optimisation, are the alt tags. So the alt tags again hide
behind the scenes and they are there to describe the images and the content within them. So,
again, if we are looking at this example for Sunshine Coast Lifestyle, we will see this
particular image here, which is a lovely photo of Old Woman Island on the Sunshine Coast
at Mudjimba; over here we are looking at the content management system for this particular
image and all of the meta data. So this is the title, which is “Old Woman Island”, and
the alt text which I am referring to is written here. In this case we have got “Old Woman
Island, surf break, Mudjimba”, in order to incorporate that word “surf”, in a logical
and flowing way. So what that does is actually render to this
HTML down here, so we will again see that title that we mentioned above; and then we
will see the alt tag “Old Woman Island, surf break, Mudjimba”. A lot of people actually overlook this in
their content management system and don’t actually enter this information and they are
missing out on a lot of opportunities to optimise specific keywords. So please keep that in
mind. So that concludes the on page optimisation.
Now, let’s look at the off page optimisation. As I mentioned before, this will take up the
bulk of your SEO activity. You should be spending many months upon months completing these kinds
of exercises, as this is what’s going yield you the greatest results over time. So off page optimisation essentially is all
about building incoming links back to your website. It’s important not to focus on only
one area for these links. It’s important to diversify. So I have listed a range of options
on the screen for you to consider building links from. These include, if we take it from
the top: blogs, and one of the easiest ways to get links back from blogs is to leave comments
underneath articles, wherever you are permitted to do so. Now, obviously these links need
to be relevant, not spammy, but they are a good opportunity to include your web link
and obviously link it back to your own web page. Moving along, we have got free directories,
such as Hotfrog which I would say at this point in time to exercise with caution, as
Google has recently cracked down a bit on free directories of low quality and actually
started penalising people for linking from those, if the directories aren’t up to scratch.
So exercise that one with caution. Next, we have got social media which includes
Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Obviously, these are quite prevalent forms of communication
in this day and age. But Google is recognising that and rewarding people for using social
media to link back to their sites. So I thought, again, it might be a good opportunity
to run another quick poll now, to see who is actually using Facebook already, to be
sharing content. … So I have just launched a poll, asking if
anyone has used Facebook to share a piece of content for their business. … The statistics are looking good here. I will
give you another couple of seconds to respond. … So we are seeing 72 per cent of you are using
Facebook, to share content; 26 per cent said “no”; and 2 per cent are unsure. That is quite an interesting result. I actually
thought that maybe slightly more would respond using Facebook to share content. But it’s
worth noting, as I said, that Google is really taking social media seriously these days and
incorporating any links and any sharing of content within its algorithms. So the more
that you use these social media forms to promote your business in a relevant way, the better
for your SEO efforts. Next, we move on to strategic alliances. If
you have got suppliers or anyone that you deal in business with quite frequently that
owns a website, it’s worth trying to get a link back from their website to yours. Sometimes
all you need to do is swap a link and other times people would be willing to do it without
even swapping. Paid directories are another option for backlinks.
There’s options out there such as homeimprovementpages.com.au. Again, exercise any directory with caution
because the last thing you want do is be died up in a dodgy directory and impact your SEO
efforts. Get a Google Plus profile. It was worth pulling
that out from the social media section, even though it is considered social media because
it is such a relevant and such a large opportunity in itself to get some traction. Moving on, list on a Yahoo directory, which
is a paid option; start getting active in forums and including a link in your signature
on the forums. Consider submitting to article directories, PR news wise; and finally, list
yourself on dmoz.org which is the largest directory, as I mentioned before, on Internet. Also, consider getting creative. Don’t only
use those options I have outlined on the previous slide. Start casting the net as far as you
can in terms of getting your content out there. Not only will it increase the audience that
you get and the exposure that you get, but you will also be getting backlinks from very
reputable sites. So a good example on this slide is Squidoo
which is pictured towards the bottom right there. What it is, it’s an opportunity for
anyone who is a subject matter expert in a specific topic to go in and write an article
about that topic and it includes a backlink back to their site. So it’s obviously a good
hub for actually looking at information but it’s also a good opportunity for you to go
and be a subject matter expert on a very reputable site and build some links back to your own. I won’t go through the rest of those examples
there but if anyone does have a question about any specific sites on that slide, please feel
free to lodge a question. … Moving on, one of the absolutely critical
things to do, while you are undertaking any SEO initiative is to track and measure constantly,
so that you can see the progress you are making and work out what is working and what isn’t
working. Google Analytics is by far and wide the best
way to do this; not only because it is free, but because it’s also provided by Google.
So you are using an analytics program which is linked into the very search engine that
you are trying to optimise for. On this screen you will actually see that
I have selected queries from the Search Engine Optimisation section of Google Analytics.
Now, this isn’t available by default. This is actually something that is hooked in through
Google Webmasters Tools. So what you will need to do is also sign up for a Google Webmasters
Tools account and then you will be able to link the two up. I am going to run another quick poll now,
just to see who actually has Google Analytics set up at this point. … I am now sharing the results. We see 41 per cent
of you currently have Google Analytics set up, which is quite surprising. I would suggest
those of you who don’t, make that a priority for your website in the next week or two. So moving on and looking into the future.
There is a few trends and changes you should be aware of, particularly for the Google algorithm.
One of those is to do with “linked diversification” and what we mean by that is making sure that
when you are out, chasing backlinks to your site, that you diversify. You don’t focus
on one specific channel. Also, make sure that the anchor text, which is the actual text
of the hyperlink, is different from one site to the next. Another trend to keep aware of is Google Plus.
Google Business pages are now available and they are free to sign up for, and obviously
as we saw on the original search engine results page, that we looked at at the start of this
presentation, Google Plus ranks well above the organic search results. So it’s important
to take advantage of this. Finally, content marketing. Content marketing
is all the rage at the moment; because Google is really rewarding timely and recent content
and placing it above old and dated content. So let’s summarise all of this. First of all,
if you are going to kick off in an SEO initiative, it’s important to analyse your current website
performance. Check out your workbook for a couple of exercises about this. Similarly,
at the same time, you should also analyse your competitor’s performance. Again, the
workbook has some options for how you can go about this. Next, do some keyword research and choose
a selection of keywords to start optimising on the pages of your website. Don’t write
a really long list. Try and keep it something that you can keep tabs on, because this is
something that you will need to be enacting month to month. Now, perform the on page optimisation using
the techniques that we have outlined in the web book and also in this webinar. And next,
perform the off page optimisation, which is that backlinking that we speak of. Throughout, make sure that you are creating
new content and content that is relevant and attractive to your audience and publish it
everywhere. Finally, be sure to monitor your performance throughout. If you do require any further information
on this topic, or any downloads, please do visit the Queensland Government business portal.
I now have the address for that on screen. I am now going to flick over to Doug to field
a few questions that have come in during this webinar. DOUG PYE: Thanks, Jake. That was very informative.
Some great tips there, during the presentation; particularly around the AdWords and quite
a few questions did come in from our attendees. The first, around whether or not AdWords is
a worthwhile exercise for the use of your advertising budget. Clearly, advertising budgets
do differ, depending on the size of the business. Is it better that you are spending your time
and resources on refining your SEO capabilities, rather than just simply paying for a keyword
that could potentially cost you quite a lot of money? JAKE F: Yes, it’s a very interesting question
and one that I do get asked quite a bit, is, “Where do I spend my money if I am looking
at Google AdWords or look at SEO?” The truth of the matter is is that SEO is a long term
initiative. As I said before, it is not something that can happen overnight. So if you are after
immediate results, which I would imagine most businesses would be, Google AdWords is something
that’s worthwhile running in parallel, while you get your SEO up to speed. So what I see a lot of businesses doing is
actually investing in Google AdWords for, say, a three to six month period while they
get their SEO up to speed and then re assessing at that point. If they are happy with the
traction they are making with SEO, they may then turn those AdWords off. DOUG PYE: Right. Another question that’s come
through, and I’m sure a lot of people will actually be asking this: a simple method of
getting above your competitors is to ensure that your keywords/phrases are more prevalent
on your page than theirs. But does that open you up to the risk of the Google algorithm,
regarding your pages, being low value to content? JAKE FALKINDER: Yes, that’s another good question,
Doug. In terms of what they call “keywords stuffing”, yes, it does exist and it’s a very
risky thing to be doing and undertaking when you are looking at SEO. I mentioned before,
there’s tools out there to mention the keyword density of your page. Now, it’s important to keep tabs on this because
if your keyword density gets over 5/6 per cent, 10 per cent, Google is going to look
at your page as a page that is potentially abusing the Google search engines and it will
penalise it accordingly. By all means, Google is evolving to a state where it’s aimed at
emulating human behaviour. So if something looks weird to a human, it’s probably also
going to look weird to Google. So, yes, you will be penalised for overusing those keywords. DOUG PYE: Another interesting question that
has come through is around the minimisation of traffic loss after a domain name change.
For instance, if you are running through an alias site, how is it that you can try and
minimise the impact of changing the URL? JAKE FALKINDER: That is an interesting one.
If you are switching to a new domain, you are essentially starting from scratch, unfortunately.
And it is almost as cut and dry as that. Now, what you can do if you have got an existing
domain, is re route some of that traffic from the existing domain to your new domain; probably
put a landing page on there or even a straight 301 re direct, which we discussed earlier,
and start pushing that traffic over to your new domain. You may be able to leverage off some of the
old traction you made on that old domain and start pushing it towards the new one, but
in terms of that actual new domain, you are starting from scratch. DOUG PYE: Another question here from one of
our attendees is on the algorithm. They are asking what it means to take into account
what you are doing; that is specifically in relation to whether or not you are providing
content on other services, such as blogs, other websites and backlinks. JAKE FALKINDER: Again, a very interesting
question and particularly one that’s prevalent now that personalised results exist with Google.
So in the past, Google didn’t use to personalise results based on what you have previously
done; you know, whether it’s on Google plus or in your email or anywhere else. Now, Google actually does that. So what you
are doing on Google at any given time can actually influence the results that appear
in the Google search engine. So a good example is that I might be watching the Quicksilver
Pro which is running now which I have Googled for to get the URL in a separate browser and
then I jump into the Google search engine and type in a surf related topic. Google already
knows that I am interested in a specific event that is running now, so it might prioritise
that specific content first, above some of the other results, because Google knows that’s
what I am interested in. It also takes into account things like mobile.
So when I say what you are doing, it can also refer to the fact that you might be on the
road on a mobile device; therefore, the results that should be presented may be a little bit
different to the ones that you receive on a desktop. DOUG PYE: An interesting question has just
come in regarding keywords, again: the meta tags, according to this attendee, are no longer
considered by Google and in some cases can be seen as what he describes as a “Black Hat
technique”. Is this correct or should keywords still be I guess still have a very high level
of concentration for your efforts? JAKE FALKINDER: Yes, it is a very valid point
and it is a topic of debate in SEO circles, the meta tags specifically. We believe, and
through our testing believe, if implemented correctly meta tags are still useful, if used
for the purpose that they were designed for. So if you start stuffing those meta tags with
keywords, then, yes, you are potentially going to get penalised. Keep in mind that there
are other search engines like that, like the Bings and Yahoos of the world who may still
take these into account more than Google does. So I personally believe these shouldn’t be
ignored. HTML and the way that a website was built, it takes this into account and it was
designed for a reason. So providing that the reason isn’t abused, you shouldn’t be penalised
by Google. DOUG PYE: Another question here, a fairly
simple one for you to explain: to explain what backlinks are. JAKE FALKINDER: Backlinks essentially refer
to a site which is linking back to your own. So if we looked at an example of that, say
you are a builder and you have your domain name is ABCbuilder.com.au, you should make
it your mission, owning ABCbuilder.com.au, to go out to other websites or to other blogs
or social media and get people linking back from their site back to yours. So ideally
it could be a customer, for example, who has had a great experience with ABCbuilder.com.au.
So it would be great if they actually owned their own website or their own blog, or even
if they jumped onto a site like productreview.com.au and actually wrote something about your service,
with a link back to your site. Now, I mentioned before the higher the authority
of that site so if that customer, for example, worked for the government and was able to
get a .gov.au link back to your website the better off you will be
for SEO. DOUG PYE: Another interesting question that’s
come through is whether or not the placement of certain content on your website increases
your relevance within the algorithms. For instance, where you might place a video. Obviously,
you need to place keywords behind that video to describe the content that’s been displayed,
but does the placement on the website matter? JAKE FALKINDER: The short answer is, from
an SEO perspective, yes, the placement does matter. On any given page on a website, it
is important to get some text obviously a page title and a heading and hopefully below
that some descriptive text before jumping into the video content. For this, I am going
to assume that the video is hosted on You Tube or Vimeo because that’s what seems to
be general practice these days. But, yeah, in terms of having a page that is able to
be optimised, you would need some content to sit above that video, so that Google can
start to work out what the page is about and just to get a bit of that keyword density
involved on the page. Also keep in mind that if you are including
a You Tube video, you have got SEO opportunities on that video itself. So things like the actual
title of the video and the description of the video, when you are uploading it to You
Tube, can also give you SEO benefits through the You Tube search engine. So if you are
embedding video, look at it as an opportunity to also grab another audience. DOUG PYE: A question around Facebook: do ‘likes”
count or have a heavy weight towards your Search Engine Optimisation? If your business
page is a Facebook site, if you are encouraging people to “like” your content, does Google
or the other search engines place a higher priority on them? JAKE FALKINDER: It’s an interesting question,
Doug, and again it’s one that’s being discussed in SEO circles at the moment. Now, Google
do keep their algorithmic cards close to their chest, so there’s no definitive “yes”/”no”
respond on that. But any activity around social media that is in a positive light towards
a brand is probably going to be looked on as a positive thi