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Human Potential in the Age of Exponential Tech

SES Toronto – 6 tips to improve your SEO strategy, Part 2

This is a continuation of the Introduction to Search Engine Marketing Panel. You can read part 1 here.

1. Keyword Research: The first phase in both SEO and SEM Campaigns

Jarboe: Dan Theis, wrote a good book about SEM, that’s been updated. One of the things that they say in the book is that the most strategic part of what you will do when planning a campaign is your keyword research. If you do it smart, then good things will happen, if you don’t do it, no other SEO trick will save you. It all starts with which keywords you want to select.
Ryan: So where are they keywords and where do you go for them?
Jarboe: One of the hard parts is thinking like your customer. One of the problems is that most of us grew up in a marketing world where we would create the slogan and then hammer it over and over and sooner or later they would remember it. That’s not how search works.
  • Think about the words users would type to find your pages
  • Brainstorm keyword categories that address your customer’s wants
  • Compile the brainstormed keywords for further review of traffic potential competition and other factors.
Keyword Research Tools:

  • Google AdWords Keyword Tool: Use for SEO efforts, just be precise because there are no broad matches in SEO keyword.
  • Google Trends: A visual representation that’s good if you want to show people how their keyword fares.
  • Microsoft’s AdCenter Labs Keyword Forecast: Projects keywords into the future for the next three months, but also gives a sense of demographics, who is searching for this word.
  • Trellian’s free search term suggestion tools : they have commercial features, but also a free version.
  • Wordtracker’s free keyword suggestion tool.

2. Choosing the Right Keyword

Jarboe: Once you have this data, you might be tempted to go for the most popular term. Despite the popularity of one word terms, you might need to be smarter and precise and use two or three word terms.
Ryan: the closer you can match a term to the search intent, the better off you’ll be.

3. Website Design

Jarboe: Next you have to look at your web design. “Website design should avoid search engine stumbling blocks.” One easy way is to follow Goog’s design, content, technical and quality guidelines.
  • Not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages.
  • Allow search bots to crawl your site without session ID’s or arguments that track their path.

4. SEO CopyWriting:

  • Titles should be created by the marketing departments not IT-
  • Find a natural way to emphasize your key phrases in headlines and subheads.
  • Think of it as an inverted triangle. Put the most important information on top.
  • SEO copy writers also need to learn white-hat link-baiting techniques

5. Link Building

Jarboe: Link building is as hard as getting publicity from the Globe & Mail. The easy part of link building is knowing that you need them. The hard part is influencing the right people to give them to you. Don’t assume that they come easy. The quantity, quality and relevance of links count towards your rating.

  • Design content and guidelines that are clear.
  • Offer a site map
  • Submit to directories when you’re ready such as industry specific expert site.

Jarboe: Blogger community is excellent place to generate links.

On Using Multiple Vendors

Ryan: Does google analytics have too much information for a sales vendor? It might not be a bad idea to split it up and use different tools owned by different people, so that you can maintain control. Nothing good has ever happened from one entitiy having all the power and information.

On Taking advantage of Universal Search before it gets rolled out:

Ryan: SEO isn’t about text anymore it’s about every asset on your sight. You’re still ok since universal search hasn’t been rolled out yet, but you’ll want to understand what turns out when. It’s a great time, then when it’s completely rolled out. Now is the time to optimize your multimedia asset.

6. Using Other Advertising: Keywords are the Beginning

  • Contextual targeting
  • Placement targeting
  • YouTube
  • DoubleClick Digital
  • Google Audio Ads
  • Google Print Ads
  • Google TV Ads Beta

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