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Improve Your Rank: SEO Success Factors

Search Engine Land's SEO Periodic Table

Image of the SEO Periodic Table from SearchEngineLand.com gives you an overview of SEO principals and practices.

Do you have a well designed website but you struggle to get people to come? The old adage, “Build it and they will come.” doesn’t apply so much to the internet like it does in the brick and mortar world. With almost 4 billion websites competing for the attention of the internet’s patrons, you have to compete for visitors to achieve success with your website. Armed with knowledge of what exactly SEO is and how you can use it to optimize your site’s content will help you get visitors, and the right ones at that, coming to your site in droves. Join us to learn what things you can control and improve your rank with the Search Engines.

Course Description and Prerequisites

With over 200 ranking factors in Google’s algorithms, optimizing your website’s rank can be daunting. However, by focusing on the most important ranking factors and learning the basic principles of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you can improve your position in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Content is king and you will learn to optimize and structure your site’s content, and explore technical factors that make a difference, all while improving your user experience. In addition, you will learn how to setup your site with Google’s Search Console and use other online SEO tools to evaluate and improve your standing in the Google index and drive more traffic to your site. Prerequisite: Basic computer and Internet skills

Day One: Improve Your Rank: SEO Success Factors

You have no doubt heard much about SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, and you probably know it is important for your website. But is it something you can do yourself, or do you need to hire someone to do it for you? The answer depends on your comfort level with working on your website and understanding the basic principles of SEO. In this class you will be introduced to the main concepts of SEO so you understand the big picture of what it is all about. You have heard Content is King, and that really is the basic premise. You just need to learn what you can do to create great content as well as a great user experience for your customers and how to communicate what your site is all about to the search engines. This class will help you improve your rank by showing you how to optimize your content and communicate to Google and Bing what your site is all about.

Day One Outline Register CFU Outline PDF
  1. What is SEO?

    1. Definitions
      1. Search Engine Optimization
      2. Active marketing, through content optimization, to obtain traffic from free, organic search engine indexes
      3. A process of creating great content for your users in a way that communicates your relevant topics to search engines for indexing
    2. Search Engines
      1. Purpose
        1. Crawling and indexing
        2. Providing answers
      2. Ranking
        1. Relevance
        2. Popularity
      3. Search Types
        1. Transactional queries
        2. Informational queries
        3. Navigational queries
  2. Research and Preparation

    1. Choosing Keywords or Phrases
      1. Is the keyword relevant to your website's content?
      2. Will searchers find what they are looking for on your site when they search using these keywords?
      3. Will they be happy with what they find?
      4. Will this traffic result in financial rewards or other organizational goals?
    2. Online Research Tools
      1. Search volume data
      2. Keyword ranking difficulty
      3. Estimated click-through rate
      4. Competitiveness
      5. Other keyword ideas
    3. Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
      1. Know your competitors and where they rank
      2. Advertising saturation to judge keyword value
      3. Structured data and local business
    4. Long Tail Keyword Demand
      1. Popular search terms - 30%
      2. Unique or custom tailored search terms - 70-%
      3. Long Tail keywords convert better
  3. Creating Great Content

    1. Create Unique AND Accurate Page Titles
      1. Accurately describe the page's content
      2. Create unique title tags for each page
      3. Use brief, but descriptive titles
    2. Make use of the "description" meta tag
      1. Accurately summarize the page's content
      2. Use unique descriptions for each page
    3. Improve the structure of your URLs
      1. Use words in URLs
      2. Create a simple directory structure
      3. Provide one version of a URL to reach a document
    4. Make your site easier to navigate
      1. Create a naturally flowing hierarchy
      2. Use mostly text for navigation
      3. Put an HTML site map page on your site, and use an XML Sitemap file
      4. Have a useful 404 page
    5. Offer quality content and services
      1. Write easy-to-read text
      2. Stay organized around the topic
      3. Create fresh, unique content
      4. Create content primarily for your users, not search engines
    6. Write better anchor text
      1. Choose descriptive text
      2. Write concise text
      3. Format links so they're easy to spot
      4. Think about anchor text for internal links too
    7. Optimize your use of images
      1. Use brief, but descriptive filenames and alt text
      2. Supply alt text when using images as links
      3. Supply an Image Sitemap file
    8. Use heading tags appropriately
      1. Imagine you're writing an outline
      2. Use headings sparingly across the page
    9. Make effective use of robots.txt
      1. Use more secure methods for sensitive content
    10. Be aware of rel="nofollow" for links
      1. Combat comment spam with "nofollow"
      2. About using "nofollow" for individual contents, whole pages, etc.
    11. Promote your website in the right ways
      1. Know about social media sites
      2. Reach out to those in your site's related community
  4. Impact of Great Content

    1. Traits of Best Possible Results
      1. Easy to use, navigate, and understand
      2. Provide direct, actionable information relevant to the query
      3. Professionally designed and accessible to modern browsers
      4. Deliver high quality, legitimate, credible content
    2. Thoughtful, Empathetic User Experience
      1. Positive ser perception
      2. Sharing
      3. Bookmarking
      4. Return visits
      5. Inbound links
      6. Longer engagement
    3. Signals of Quality Content
      1. Engagement metrics
      2. Machine learning
      3. Linking patterns
    4. Link Signals Used Search Engines
      1. Global popularity
      2. Local/Topic-specific popularity
      3. Anchor text
      4. TrustRank
      5. Link neighborhood
      6. Freshness
      7. Social sharing
    5. Link Acquisition Methods
      1. "Natural" editorial links
      2. Manual "outreach" link building
      3. Self-created, non-editorial
    6. Link Value Signals
      1. Ranking for relevant search terms
      2. MozRank popularity
      3. Domain authority
      4. Competitor's backlinks
      5. Number of links on a page
      6. Potential referral traffic
    7. Link Building Strategies
      1. Get your customers to link to you
      2. Build a company blog; make it a valuable, informative, and entertaining resource
      3. Create content that inspires viral sharing and natural linking (linkbait)
      4. Be newsworthy
  5. SEO Tracking Metrics

    1. Search Engine Share of Referring Visits (monthly by % and #)
      1. Direct Navigation: Typed in traffic, bookmarks, email links without tracking codes, etc.
      2. Referral Traffic: From links across the web or in trackable email, promotional, and branding campaign links
      3. Search Traffic: Queries that sent traffic from any major or minor web search engine
    2. Search Engine Referrals
      1. Compare performance vs. market share
      2. Get visibility into potential drops
      3. Uncover strategic value
    3. Visits Referred by Specific Search Engine Terms and Phrases
      1. Potentially under-optimized keywords
      2. Changing keyword trends
      3. Seasonality issues
      4. Keyword ranking consistency
    4. Conversion Rate by Search Query Term/Phrase
      1. Find keywords with high conversion rate where you can improve in rank
      2. Find landing pages that can be improved for user experience
    5. Number of pages receiving at least one visit from search engines
      1. Compare total pages with 1 visitor to total pages indexed
      2. Analyze for potential longtail search success
  6. SEO Tools

    1. Answer The Public
    2. SEO Periodic Table
    3. SEO Success Pyramid
    4. Google SEO Starter Guide
    5. Google Search Console
    6. XML Sitemap Generator
    7. Google 404 Page Tool
    8. Google AdWords Keyword Planner
    9. Bing Webmaster Tools
    10. Google Analytics
    11. Google My Business
    12. Google PageSpeed Insights
    13. MOZ Open Site Explorer
    14. MOZ Keyword Explorer