SEO 101 Back to Basics

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This is a transcript from our 101st Internet Marketing Podcast(2nd page).

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[podcast]http://ewebstyle.podomatic.com/enclosure/2011-04-28T20_26_51-07_00.mp3[/podcast]

SEO 101 Back to Basics
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SEO 101 Back to Basics

Chris:                           That’s keyword because in terms of SEO and the basics, you know, we always say this. Real estate is about location, location, location. That’s some old joke or fact or —

 

Paul:                            Yes.

 

Chris:                           — something, and search engine optimization, even pay per click, all internet marketing is about keywords —

 

Paul:                            Keywords.

 

Chris:                           — keywords, keywords.

 

Paul:                            Yes.

 

Chris:                           So step 1 is keywords. Now, when somebody comes in the door, we’re not like, “Hey, what are your keywords?”

 

Paul:                            Yeah.

 

Chris:                           Of course, you know, we engage them. You need a website, of course, and those kinds of things, things that they’ll really be able to focus on and understand. But we really want to identify their keywords. And we actually do that here with two questions that we think are really effective and that is, what makes your business the most money? And frankly, a lot of business owners don’t know the answer to that, haven’t really thought about it or they know it, they just don’t know it off the tip of their tongue because they haven’t thought about it recently.

 

And what do you sell the most? Because sometimes what you sell the most, that may be the thing that keeps your doors open, if you will. You don’t make that much money and you sell a whole lot of it so it’s a significant source of income for you. So you want to make sure you’re selling, you’re promoting, and this is where the keywords come in, what you sell the most and — excuse me — and you also want to make sure that you’re focusing on what makes you the most money.

 

Paul:                            Yes.

 

Chris:                           So absolutely, without a doubt, keywords, keywords, keywords.

 

Paul:                            Exactly. That makes perfect sense. So a quick example for us.

 

Chris:                           Yeah.

 

Paul:                            We sell websites more than we sell anything else ’cause everybody needs a website, but websites are a one-time — a one-time —

 

Chris:                           Opportunity.

 

Paul:                            — opportunity.

 

Chris:                           Right.

 

Paul:                            You know, internet marketing gives us continual opportunity so a quick example for us. We sell websites one time. We do internet marketing. More profit potential there.

 

Chris:                           Yup.

 

Paul:                            Very quick answer. I don’t think you could be looking at what’s your keywords when you’re doing a keyword selection. We’ve talked about this before. Long tail or short tail. Have a good mix. Which ones you want to go after.

 

Chris:                           Oh, oh, oh. I got —

 

Paul:                            Which ones you want to go after.

 

Chris:                           I got a question.

 

Paul:                            What’s that?

 

Chris:                           What’s long tail and short tail?

 

Paul:                            Long tail. Yeah, a simple way, a common way that it has been described as basically keywords with lots of words. There is a much more technical definition of it, but that’s the simple to say it. So I’d say I consider long tail anything with plus — three plus key — I’d say plus three.

 

Chris:                           Three words and a keyword.

 

Paul:                            Yeah.

 

Chris:                           So for those again we are doing SEO 101. A keyword isn’t necessarily one word.

 

Paul:                            Yes.

 

Chris:                           Right? It’s a collection. It’s a keyword phrase really. So internet marketing would be a keyword that we might target. Internet marketing Houston would be a keyword that we would definitely target. And then —

 

Paul:                            Houston Texas internet marketing could be another keyword.

 

Chris:                           And you see that’s getting longer and really the term long tail comes from the bell curve of what people are likely to search for. They’re less likely actually to search for internet marketing Houston Texas.

 

Paul:                            Yes.

 

Chris:                           They’re more likely to start at internet marketing. So that’s where that kind of long tail comes in. it’s from the extended tail of the bell curve.

 

Paul:                            And personally, I think that — and I’ve seen my own search habits change. When I first started searching, I would search Houston plumber. That was it. Now, I tend to search like I speak and I talk and I write. So I’m looking for Houston plumber near Richmond and Shepherd that can handle clogged drain. That’s the kind of searches that I do.

 

Chris:                           That would definitely be long tail.

 

Paul:                            Yeah. Or clogged drain repair specialist Houston plumber, you know. That’s how I typically search. And what I would — I will tell anybody, you can go after Houston plumber and everybody wants to be on the first page for Houston plumber. But I — and I’ll say this to anybody, I believe and I’ve seen this — actually, I’ve seen this in —

 

Chris:                           With our clients.

 

Paul:                            Yeah — that — the Houston plumber will be a good term, but if you add up all of your long tail keywords, it’s of more value to you than your short tail keywords.

 

Chris:                           Yup.

 

Paul:                            And somebody even asked a question, “How do we go after long tail?” and I’m not sure if I answered it or somebody else answered it on our Facebook or I emailed this. But that’s a great question and we’ll get into it later. But make the — think about it. Long tail, short tail, which ones should you go after? Should I have a mix? So that’s keywords.

 

Chris:                           All right. What’s the next thing? I actually added one and —

 

Paul:                            And one other thing I want to talk about real quick —

 

Chris:                           Yeah.

 

Paul:                            — you look into your keyword — this is a phrase that I — a term that I just kind of made up, your keyword yield. You know, what — now, you’ve chosen your keywords, what are they bringing you? So you should constantly monitor which keywords are bringing traffic, which ones are not? All right, next.

 

Chris:                           And then on top of that, we would actually say you take it one step further. Yes, they’re bringing in traffic. Are they closing?

 

Paul:                            Yes.

 

Chris:                           But that’s — that’s related to SEVO, search engine visitor optimization. That’s a phrase that we’ve kind of come up with and it’s really a focus that we have here. Go back and listen to our previous podcasts in order to figure out exactly what SEVO is and how you can apply it. The next thing that we’ll actually do is — you know, again, we’re still talking about websites. We’re talking about keywords. Now, we’ve really identified probably a key — keyword, the keyword that we really want to go after, and we want to start thinking about a domain, right?

 

Paul:                            Okay.

 

Chris:                           That’s the next thing. Now, even though Google has come out recently and said that they’re not — they’re going to reduce the amount of credit they give to keywords in a domain name, and are we going to change our name away from something that’s keyword rich or when we’re starting a new company, are we not going to target keyword rich?

 

Paul:                            Exactly. You know, if Houston web designer was available, we’d buy it today.

 

Chris:                           Exactly.

 

Paul:                            Seriously.

 

Chris:                           I’ve got a — and there’s a great example and I’m sure this company — their name came from keyword — Need Computer Help?

 

Paul:                            Oh, yeah, the guy who — yeah, yeah.

 

Chris:                           He is in my networking group, right? And it’s an organization where you can go and do computer consulting work for them. It’s kind of a franchise situation and the name is Need Computer Help?

 

Paul:                            You know what? I looked up yesterday, what is gluten?

 

Chris:                           And you found WhatIsGluten.com?

 

Paul:                            .com, yeah. Perfect. I was like, what is on number one? It’s a — it’s not — it’s a protein that is heavily —

 

Chris:                           I’m only asking ’cause I know Marcus is like gluten — he’s already looking about this —

 

Paul:                            Oh, yeah.

 

Paul:                            It’s a protein that is found in cereal grains like wheat and what other cereal grains there are ’cause I don’t know.

 

Chris:                           Isn’t it one of the key — like key proteins in your body?

 

Paul:                            Yeah, it’s found all throughout your body, but what happens is there’s a lot of times when it gets out — by itself is not a problem, but when it attaches to other proteins, it’s hard for your body to break it down.

 

Chris:                           Oh, wow.

 

Paul:                            So I was trying to figure out. I was often hearing everything is gluten-free. So what is gluten? That’s a great example. So even though Google says, “Hey, buying a keyword rich domain is not…” they’re going to reduce that, I would still do it.

 

Chris:                           Yeah, absolutely.

 

Paul:                            Until they say, “It’s not effective.”

 

Chris:                           And even then —

 

Paul:                            Yeah.

 

Chris:                           — because then, you know, what is it — our SEVO we talked about continuity, right? So if somebody types in “What is gluten?” and they see three websites, the first three they’re going to see pretty quickly, and one of them says “WhatIsGluten.com” is kind of like WhatIsMyIP.com.

 

Paul:                            There you go.

 

Chris:                           We use that, right? So that actually is going to give credibility to the user. Even if Google doesn’t give value to it, the user is going to see it and say, “Hey, I need computer help.” Here is a company called NeedComputerHelp.com.

 

Paul:                            NeedComputerHelp, there you go.

 

Chris:                           Boom!

 

Paul:                            I want to know what is gluten? Hey, what is gluten? There it is.

 

Chris:                           And they must have the answer and a whole lot of ads I bet.

 

Paul:                            Yes.

 

[Laughter]

 

Chris:                           In the last podcast we talked about — or two podcasts ago about not having too many ads and I imagine the WhatIsGluten was —

 

Paul:                            It was aderrific, man.

 

Chris:                           Aderrific.

 

Paul:                            It’s like an ad seizure or something, flashing ads on. But — yeah. So if it’s available, buy it. Now, here’s what I think will happen. I don’t think people now will go out and purchase — you want to do SEO for a competitive term? Then go out and purchase a whole bunch of domains and redirect everything either to one domain or just — or maybe try to redirect into a few domains. I think you’re going to see a significant reduction in people using — or a reduction in the effectiveness of that strategy when Google reduces the domain name importance.

 

Chris:                           Yeah.

 

Paul:                            So it is still a viable strategy. I think it will become less viable in later years.

 

Chris:                           All right. What will we do next?

 

Paul:                            I’d say we look at your structure, your domain structure, you know — I’d say, do you have a site map? Easiest way to find out your domain structure. Internal linking. What pages are linked internally?

 

Chris:                           How are they linked —

 

Paul:                            How they are linked, what your filenames are. That’s a big —

 

Chris:                           Yeah.

 

Paul:                            — big part of it.

 

Chris:                           So you’ve got the domain name which could be WhatIisGluten, and you could have typed maybe “what is gluten and what products have it?”

 

Paul:                            Yeah.

 

Chris:                           And then they could have had WhatIsGluten.com/whatproductshaveit.html.

 

Paul:                            WhatIsGluten.com/glutenfreesnacks.

 

Chris:                           There you go.

 

Paul:                            ‘Cause I was looking at gluten-free snacks.

 

Chris:                           Yeah. So that’s about the URL structure and when we first get a client, we define — we actually define the URL structure from the keywords. So, hey, these are the 5, 10, 15 keywords we’re going to after. We usually work in about 15 keyword campaigns. We usually will target between two and three keywords per page and so now we — you know, ’cause they can usually clump together well enough. And then what we’ll end up doing is creating that URL structure and saying, “Okay, these pages need to be in these places.” And that’s what we do.

 

Next, we’ve got title tag review. So for each of those pages, the title tag — here’s a classic mistake people make. Every title tag on every page is — I don’t know.

 

Paul:                            As E-Webstyle.com.

 

Chris:                           Yeah. I was trying not to —

 

Paul:                            There you go.

 

Chris:                           I was trying to do a little more creative —

 

Paul:                            Which ours aren’t.

 

Chris:                           Yeah.

 

Paul:                            They better not be.

 

Chris:                           Yeah. It would be a little embarrassing. Oh, by the way, our blog, we have totally revamped our blog and you won’t be excited at all because it just looks like the rest of our website. It used to be — it’s a WordPress blog and it used to have kind of a traditional — we changed the top header and it had the default WordPress look and feel. And recently, we migrated it so that it now has the look and feel of the rest of our websites. So go check us out and give us some comments on that.

 

Yeah, so title tags. So the mistake is people put the company name — I don’t know — MD Anderson Cancer Research is on everything although cancer research is probably a pretty good term. But MD Anderson doesn’t really need to be there. Maybe for branding. It depends on how far along the company is. But really the title tag is where Google is — one of the premier places where Google says, “Hey, what information is on this page?” And the title tag, if the title tag says, “What is gluten?” then Google is like, “Oh, information about gluten is on this page.” So title tags are very important and you need to do those title tags well with your keywords.

 

Paul:                            Yes. And when we do give an analysis we always, hey, you want to have unique title tags for every page. I would not spend a ton of time on it, but I would do it. I’d give a nice — a one solid pass through your pages or just your title tags. Make sure you have — they’re geo targeted, have your location on it if you provide a local service. If you don’t, then don’t geo target them. That’s actually where you have geo targeted pages. But get it done. I wouldn’t spend a ton of time on it, but get it on.

 

Chris:                           Yup. And actually this list — I’m going to give you guys a little heads up. This list is literally a proposal that we just turned into Stephen F. Austin. And Stephen F. Austin —

 

Paul:                            Stephen F. Austin State University.

 

Chris:                           — State University is a university here in Texas and they’re working to do some keyword focused SEO. And they came — you know, part of their — part of the bid process, the request for a proposal process was to answer these questions. Do you guys look at your URL structure? Do you guys look at title tags? And so these are so fundamental that even a university who is looking to hire an expert such as us to do their search engine optimization is like, “Hey, I just want to make sure you guys do this.” There’s a little bit of irony there, right?

 

Paul:                            Yeah.

 

Chris:                           ‘Cause any SEO — like if their answer to any one of these questions were no, “Oh, no, we don’t bother to look at title tags,” you know —

 

Paul:                            Yeah, it looks like red flag.

 

Chris:                           — stop.

 

Paul:                            Red flag for real.

 

Chris:                           The next one they have is meta tag reviews. Now, meta tags used to have a huge value, right?

 

Paul:                            Yes.

 

Chris:                           It was — it was — and meta tags are hidden tags. There you are, meta tags, and the classics are keyword and description. And keyword is something that early on was a huge — like anybody who took the time to put keywords in their meta tag — keyword meta tag — yeah, that’s it.

 

Paul:                            Put keywords in there.

 

Chris:                           And the keyword meta tags. When they put their keywords in there, was like, “Hey,” you know, again, what is gluten? This website is about gluten. Well, people kind of figured that out and Google gave a lot of weight to it. So you could actually have a site selling puppy jugglers and you could put “what is gluten” in the meta tag for keywords and then somebody would type in “what is gluten” and Paul wouldn’t have found WhatIsGluten.com. He would have found Puppy Jugglers.

 

Paul:                            Which would have sucked.

 

Chris:                           Yeah. You would have watched the video.

 

Paul:                            I would have watched the video. Yeah, right, of course. That sounds awesome.

 

Chris:                           Videos not on this list, we’re going to have to add that.

 

Paul:                            So meta tags. Here’s another thing that I would say, get it done. Don’t spend a ton of time on it because they have kind of — they have also reduced the importance of meta tags.

 

Chris:                           Well, and that specifically the keywords. The description, on the other hand, from a SEVO perspective, search engine visitor optimization, again your goal is — we say that SEVO begins at SERP which is search is search engine results pages. So as soon as somebody does a search, they see the URL. So what is gluten, and then there’s text there. And if that text had read everything that’s dangerous about gluten and —

 

Paul:                            I’d be like, “Whoa!”

 

Chris:                           You would have clicked it, right?

 

Paul:                            Yeah.

 

Chris:                           Well, that text often comes from the — usually comes from the description meta tags.

 

Paul:                            Yes.

 

Chris:                           So you want that description meta tag to be kind of a selling process related to the keywords that you’re targeting on that page. So —

 

Paul:                            And if you don’t add a description meta tag, here’s what will happen, either they will skip it and not have anything under your listing —

 

Chris:                           Bad.

 

Paul:                            — which we saw yesterday or two days ago —

 

Chris:                           Yeah.

 

Paul:                            — or they will pull random text from your website. I’ve usually seen them pull random text. We saw a listing that had no description tag.

 

Chris:                           And remember, it had a description tag so this is like Google still —

 

Paul:                            Oh, yeah.

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