Tuesday, June 12, 2012

SEO Tactics to Get Found in Google and Other Search Engines

Introduction to SEO Tactics (GF401)

Today, we continue the Hubspot series Inbound Marketing University (IMU).  I've compiled my notes from our course titled "Advanced SEO Tactics: On Beyond Keyword Research (GF401).  Take a look:

Instructor Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz

Class Notes

This course is about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and best practices from industry experts for optimizing your site to rank high in search rankings.

Search Engines
Google and Bing are the major players.  Almost all search engine optimization is done primarily for Google, and then Bing as a distant second.

Poll of Experts Found:

SEOmoz conducted a survey of industry leaders, whose responses led to the below findings when asked about the most important things to search rankings:

  1. Trust/Authority (25%) - Sites like Wikipedia will always have the highest trust/authority rank.  Links from these sites are important; More important than content.
  2. On Page Keyword Use (15%) - Keywords in the url, title, body, and alt text are highly correlated to high rankings.  Headings (H1, H2, H3), and meta tags are very very small importance.  Be sure to use keywords in the url and title of article.  Position of the Keywords matters most.  Put the important words first in the order (lead with them).
  3. Link Popularity (22%) - Trust, Ranking of inbound links are more important than volume of links.  Diversity of links are also more important than some would think.  PageRank is a good tool, but not an exact science (rule of thumb).  Don't buy links!
  4. Anchor Text of External Links (20%) - When possible try to dictate the anchor text (the text that is human-readible over the top of the hyperlink).  You want this text to target a keyword or phrase.
  5. Traffic & CTR Data (7%) - This amount of times the public clicks onto your site, and the overall volume of traffic your site receives also has importance to search.
  6. Social Graph Metrics (6%)
  7. Registration and Hosting Data (5%)

Content on sub-domains inherits some, but not all of the ranking power from the main domain.  Best advice here is that it's probably better than using a completely new domain.  If given a choice, go with a sub-domain of an existing site instead of starting a new domain.

Site Architecture
Be wary of link structure within your site.  Site structure matters.  Best practice is as follows:
  • Ideal structure:
    • Most "juice" flows to main page, and flows down from there
    • Link Sculpting: no-follow links no longer benefits the other links on a page.  The number of links on a page is important.  Be careful what you link to, and constrain yourself from linking to unnecessary pages.  Make sure the sites you refer to are trustworthy!

Substantive, unique content is most important (Remember that Content is King)
  • Internally directing links also helps.  Link within your site.  Focus links to main pages, and remember what we said about link sculpting.

Future Ranking Signals
Links should always be important, and will continue to be a major factor in ranking.
  • Obtaining links should continue to be your primary goal as a search marketer

Content Tactics
Great content promotes people to link to you.  This should be your number one goal.  
  • Target the "Linkerati", the people that link most often.  
  • Elicit emotions in your content.  Make them excited, angry, etc.

Main Idea
It's all about links.  Links build trust/authority for the host domain.  The best way to build links is to generate unique, original content