I am attending a Google online marketing boot camp presented by ASPE over the next few days. This boot camp does not require any type of online marketing experience so there is a range of skill level among the small group attending.

Day one was more of an overview about SEO and in the days to follow we will be working more with the Google Analytics and AdWords tools. Here is a brief summary of the takeaways from day one.

Another great tip: check out the new eBook by Google called Zero Moment of Truth.

Google Boot Camp- Day 1

What is the goal of SEO?

•    The goal is to rank #1 for high volume relevant keywords.

•    No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google but a goal can be to rank in the top 3 search results.

•    Jumping from the second page position to the first page position can move pretty quickly, but to move to the number 1 position can be a long process. (Optimization can take days, months, or even years.)

Keywords:

•    Keyword rich URLS are important- your top keyword should always be in your url.

•    Use “-“  (a hyphen) not “_” (an underscore) to separate words in URL.

•    “40% of searches are re-searched again to refine a user’s search.”

For example “Training” and “Corporate Training”:

•    The word “Training” is too broad, you can get different search results such as training wheels or different types of training classes when you are looking for one particular class.

•    Make sure the keywords you are selecting are worth the effort and cost to compete for that traffic.

•    Don’t disregard low volume keywords if it could bring in revenue.

•    Choosing too many short, high volume words as targets may lead to never obtaining high rankings.

Ranking for Long Tail Keywords: It is easier to rank for long-tail terms by refining and adding more details.

For example: Cheap Florida Student Car Insurance instead of Student Car Insurance

•    Long tail keywords have less volume, but often drive more sales/leads

Long Tail Keywords: Study of 14 million Search Terms

-Top 100 terms comprise 5.7% of all search traffic

-Top 500 terms: 8.9% of the all search traffic

-Top 1,000 terms: 10.6% of the all search traffic

-Top 10,000 terms: 18.5% of all the search traffic.

So , even if you had a monopoly over the top 1,000 search terms across all search engines (which is impossible) you would still be missing out on 89.4% of all search traffic.

Relevancy:

“Your ultimate consumers are your users, not search engines.” You must write for the readers and not the search engine spiders.

– Make sure everything is relevant, Google AdWords Paid Search bidding system is not about who spends the most money. It is about relevant ads, relevant landing pages, and relevant keywords.

•    Google says the amount of content is not what is most important if it is not relevant.

Meta Data:

•    Google places less weight on meta tags but every description and title should be unique on every page.

•    Better descriptions lead to higher click through rate.

•    Use your meta description as a call to action!

Social Media:

Facebook Advanced Search is a new feature where you can now search for people, places, or things. On Facebook you can now see Bing web results.

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•    Since 2009 Google has begun using social media as a ranking factor. The Social rank algorithm has been updated frequently. Twitter and Facebook are weighted higher than other social websites but links from LinkedIn and Google+ are increasingly important.

•     Blogging and posting to all social platforms helps provide great back links as well.

•    Creating a Wikipedia page can also play a big factor in obtaining back links.

•    Including your social media icons or streams on your site can help give that particular page more weight.

Site Structure and Links:

•    Page strength can be passed from a high ranking page to another using an optimized site structure in conjunction with follow and no follow tags.

•    Pages closer to the .com navigation level are regarded as being more important. (meaning sub-pages in the navigation that are closer to the Home page)

•    Place links to key pages on home page of website.

•    Proper anchor text is essential to rank for target keywords.

•     Link building directories offer minimal impact. Article sites can provide more lift.

•    Good sources for links are: widgets, social profiles and press releases.

•    It is helpful for SEO to have a testimonial page or having testimonials placed throughout the site.

 

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