The first session that I attended on Day 2 was SEO 101, which took a look at the fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In this session, Bruce Clay discussed how SEO can be used to increase website rankings on organic searches.
Clay began by discussing factors that are important for getting top rankings for organic searches:
- On-Page Factors: The site’s actual content (including tags: title, description, keyword, headings, body copy)
- Expertness: Do others believe I am an expert? PageRank increases when others link to your site (inbound links, outbound links and internal links)
- Copy writing: Structural content, sentence structure, word usage and clarification words
- Architecture of site: Must match structure and content of the site to the intent of the search query (ex: Shopping sites have more bullets and lists, while research sites have more sentences).
- Engagement Objects: Pieces of content that help the site’s ability to be ranked (video, images, maps, books, news, blogs, etc). Popular videos can really help rankings, so use these in order to move to the top of organic results. The more engaging the site is, the higher it will rank.
- Server/ Software Performance: Slow servers discourage spiders . So faster sites will rank higher.
6 Key Takeaways:
- Use Engagement tools: Video (flash) is a problem if used incorrectly because not all parts of Flash can be indexed. You should add tags to Flash so that they can be read by spiders.
- Don’t Use Paid Links: In Clay’s words, “Google has a vendetta against paid links.”
- Use Outbound Links: Link out to reference sites that are relevant to the page in order to be seen as an expert.
- Theme: Make sure that the search engines will understand what the whole site is about.
- Use Clarification words: These help search engines understand what the site is all about. Websites will not rank well for long-tail keywords if they do not do this.
- Localize to your subject: Geo-Targeting is hot. Clay expects localization to triple this year.