There are so many great resources for this topic. I’m collecting online articles/post on my Delicious page, so please refer to those and the additional resources posted below.
And even more great information adopted from Web Analytics 2.0 (thank you Avinash Kaushik!)
So the million dollar question that everyone wants to know the answer to, is how do I improve my organic search results? Here’s some help:
- Make sure website is easily indexable by the automated robots
- Ensure URL structure is clean
- Ensure content on each page is relevant and uses the right keywords
- Ensure photos, graphics, images, etc. also embed keywords
- Get links in and links out of your site
I have also written a post about SEO and PR and why they should be “bed buddies”. That post focuses more on the last bullet above.
Essentially, Google likes to see links with other sites; most importantly, links TO your site from other popular, or highly ranked sites. This in fact, makes you that much more popular.
Feels very high school, non? Hang out with the popular kids and you, yourself, will become more popular.
Planning & Managing SEO
The following steps are taken from Dave Chaffey’s Internet Marketing book.
1. Submission – in Google, use the “add URL” feature.
2. Index inclusion – not all pages in a site are indexed in search engines, it’s up to you to decide which pages should be indexed. Review web analytics to determine most visited pages, and which pages receive traffic from search engines.
3. Keyphrase analysis – Chaffey calls keyphrase analysis the “key” to successful SEM. This is, after all, what search engines are looking for: to match keyphrases with content sites. Chaffey also tells us that Google shows favourtism to “keyphrases” and not just “keywords” which is critical to keep in mind, but almost always overlooked. Here’s an example of how I would consider keywords vs keyphrases for my own blog, My Picky Kid.
- keyword: picky eaters
- keyphrase: recipes for picky eaters
4. On page optimization – Google looks for the occurrence of search terms in body copy. And lots of it. A caveat however,
Google goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a page and examines all aspects of the page’s content (and the content of the pages linking to it) to determine if it’s a good match for your query.
So think of it like this. You can’t just go around saying, “hey I’m popular. I’m popular!”, it has to be proven by your (equally or more) popular circle of friends.
5. External linking – this has been covered here and in my other PR & SEO posting. Start making friends. Fast.
6. Internal link structure – I think Chaffey sums this up nicely.
A meshed structure with lots of interlinks can work better than a simple hierarchy.
With internal links, you should also include important keyphrases used by searchers, not just keywords. Optimize your site for your regular site users!
Final thoughts on SEO
Analyzing your SEO will help you to determine how well your organic search efforts are comparing to your paid search efforts. If your paid search results are much higher than organic, this might indicate an over-reliance on paid. Overall, the most effective search strategy is a “portfolio” strategy: this means, optimize for all search engines and combine both paid and organic in your efforts.
A great example of SEO in today’s current news topics is related to the controversy around the Ground Zero Mosque. From CBC’s Spark, listen to an interview by Nora Young with Kelly McBride.