Join Brad Batesole for an in-depth discussion in this video Essential optimization techniques, part of Online Marketing Foundations (2014).
- Truthfully, SEO is an ongoing effort. There isn't one specific tactic you can implement at the start to succeed at the race. It will require many factors to be evaluated, tweaked, and then refined. With that said, there's still a handful of variables that are absolutely essential to your success. I'm going to focus on these key areas for now to give you a solid foundation for your continued effort. So, first off, search engines are built around their ability to index pages, so it's very important that your site is accessible to crawlers, and that crawlers can get to every page on your site.
Here, you can see our homepage at the top and then the links that we have on our homepage are represented by the second line of pages. Here, these pages might be things like About Us, Services, Locations, and Contact. If we have, for example, multiple locations we would place those under the locations page and create a unique page for each one. A deep structure looks more like this. As you can see, some content is buried deep within the site. This means a user has to click more times to arrive at the content.
This also means Google has to travel further through your site map to index the content, and the further Google goes, the less value it's applying to each page, right? It simply sees them as less important. One other thing that is important to pay attention to is siloed content. In this site map you'll see here we have a page and it's subpages off to the side. There's no direct link from the homepage, or any page for that matter, to this content. This suggests to Google if it can't even find it, that it's not really important to you.
There are exceptions to every rule. In some situations there are simply too many categories to show them all at one level. In other cases, showing specific topics too soon will just confuse your audience, and users will understand your offerings much better if you include some intermediary category pages to establish context. Focus on building a site that's easy to navigate for a users. With your most important content linked clearly and prominently. Next, be sure to look at how your URLs are named. It's a great idea to have natural language URLs free of any extensions.
If you have an E-Commerce site, a URL of clothingsite.com/mens/ pants/denim-jeans is going to be much better than clothingsite.com/productid=123. Along that same concept, be sure your title tags are unique to each individual page and include a clear topic. Don't start your title tags with your domain name. Simply append that to the end. Be sure each page has a unique meta description. Google often uses the meta description as the short text visible in search results.
Don't just list key words here. Create a meaningful sentence or two that will entice the visitor to click. Next, make sure you're taking advantage of heading tags. These are the H one, H two, and H three tags. You always want your heading tags to appear in order on your page, and you should only have one heading one tag. Avoid your heading one tag to say things like about us or contact us. Instead, focus on the core topic for that page. Check that every image on your website has a well defined name and an alt tag description. No need to keyword stuff in your tags, just make them natural and relevant to the user, and Google will reward you.
Finally, be sure to use a sitemap both in HTML and XML format along with a well defined robots.txt file. I also recommend signing up for Google Webmaster Tools. It's a great dashboard that will help you inspect the overall SEO health of your site. You'll find the free signup at Google.com/Webmasters. Use the dashboard to review how many pages have been crawled and indexed, see a list of crawlers, and identify any HTML improvements Google recommends for you. If you have a moderately sized site, check out the tool Screaming Frog SEO Spider at screamingfrog.co.uk.
You can crawl your site just a search engine would, see a list of any broken links along with an output of all your heading one tags, meta descriptions, and title tags. Work through each page on your site to make sure it's technically sound.
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- What is online marketing?
- What makes a website effective?
- Working with a designer or developer
- Creating engaging web copy
- Understanding online analytics
- Using goal and event tracking
- Exploring the conversion funnel
- Defining key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Understanding SEO techniques
- Conducting keyword research
- Creating a content strategy
- Leveraging local SEO
- Understanding who's on social media
- Marketing with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest
- Creating compelling video marketing campaigns
- Building an email marketing plan
- Measuring the success of your marketing efforts
- Setting up a blog
- Running A/B marketing tests
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 03/08/2016. What changed?
A: We updated six movies to keep current with the latest interfaces in Google Tag Manager, Google Keyword Planner, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Brad also added one new tutorial on setting up a blog.
Q. This course was updated 03/21/2017. What changed?
A. The following topics were updated: installing Google Tag Manager, using goal tracking, looking at a conversion funnel, looking at attribution models, leveraging local SEO, introduction to search and display, launching display search ads, and deciding to use remarketing.