• M.A. in public administration and B.A. in journalism
• Writer/ presenter/ practitioner on marketing and eMarketing for continuing education and lifelong learning
What is SEO?
• Search engine optimization is the science/art of increasing your search ranking position.
• People search, or Google, information by searching for a certain word or phrase. In the business, that word or phrase is called a “keyword” or “keyword phrase” because it is the focal point around which a search ranking is built.
• When someone searches, or Googles, a certain word or phrase, a series of web pages appear. Having your web page appear in the top ten returns is pretty much critical to gaining attention. The percentage of people who then look at the second, third and additional pages of returns is very slight, so much so that appearing in the top ten positions is the ballgame.*
*LERN eMarketing Manual
Poll Question 1
Why do SEO?
• People online are confused. If they have a question that we have the answer to, we want them to find us.
• All search engines use social media signals (how current your content is, the frequency to which you get linked to) in their ranking processes
• 78% of Internet users do product research online* • 89% of Americans search the Internet before making a
purchase* • When they search for eMarketing for lifelong learning, I
want them to find LERN.
* Inbound 2012, Gary Vaynerchuck
And they do find LERN
But why does it work?
• 78% of Internet users do product research online
• 89% of people in the US search the Internet before making a purchase*
* Vaynerchuck, 2012
Think about it
• If nearly 90% of people who are going to purchase a conference/seminar/course are going to search the Internet before they do, don’t you want to be at the top of the search ranking?
The effectiveness of SEO for our field has been established
• Jacob Ensign and Jon Horn, working for the Paralegal Certificate program
offered by the continuing education unit at Emory University in Atlanta, researched 20 different possible promotion techniques (radio advertising, online advertising, etc.) and found that increasing the search position of their website was the most effective strategy to increase registrations and income.
• They found that a one-position improvement in the average search engine rank (for example, ranking 3rd instead of 4th) for paralegal-related search terms correlated to approximately 7.5 additional registrations.
• Subsequently, they launched an initiative to redesign the program’s website so that it includes better optimization features. The redesign launched and in two months resulted in a 64% increase in the number of visitors to their website and a 51% increase in our conversion rate.
• With each registration worth over $5,000, improving the search position rank just one position resulted in additional lifetime income of close to a quarter of a million dollars.
Three things to focus on in SEO
• Keywords – where to find them, and where to put them
• Link building – how to get other sites to link to you and why you need to do this
• The role of social media
• Search engines have changed the way people shop.
• People use search engines to find products or services by typing in keywords relevant to what they are looking for.
Poll Question 2
Generate a list of keywords
• Talk to your customers – what do they search for?
• Look at your competitors’ sites
• Add geographic variations (i.e. Ann Arbor art classes)
• Take everything and enter them into Google AdWords Keyword Tool
Look for keywords with low competition, but higher number of searches
You can find your rankings at googlerankings.com
Where do I use my keywords, once I’ve selected them?
• Every headline needs to have a keyword in it
• Every description and all “body” copy needs at least one keyword in it
• Include a keyword in your meta descriptions
What is a meta description? • The meta description tag serves the function
of advertising copy, drawing readers to a website from the results and thus, is an extremely important part of search marketing.
This is the meta description
Link building strategies
• Once your page is optimized, you want other sites to link to you.
• Inbound links are not just good for referral traffic, they now influence your rankings.
Ways to get others to link to you
• Produce quality content – Relevant information (i.e. blog posts on best practices, etc.) – Giveaways (i.e. white papers, eBooks, discounts)
• Ask people to share your links (one study showed when Twitter users asked others to “please retweet,” it resulted in 4X more retweets.)
• Outreach (i.e. get bloggers, journalists to write about you.) • Guest bloggers – when someone writes something for you,
they will share the link with their network. • Ask your satisfied customers to promote you, including
putting “share” buttons on your site.
Poll Question 3
Integrating SEO with social media marketing
• Both Google and Bing care about social media sharing when they determine rankings.
• The authority of those who share your stuff matters, too. – How many followers do they have?
– What is the quality of those followers?
• Get quality people to share your information
What platforms should we focus on?
• Top 3 most used social media sites are Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest*
• The sheer number of people who interact with these sites make them a marketing force that cannot be ignored.
• Two other networks that are a must are LinkedIn and YouTube.
*Direct Marketing News, April 6, 2012
Social media is a two-way street
• If you want others to share your information, you need to: – Share quality content
– Share (or retweet) quality content that your connections post
– Post often
What does a search-optimized site look like?
EXAMPLE Searched for “Ann Arbor art classes”
This ranked first in organic search
• “Art News” means this page is updated often (good content)
• Social media icons mean they have a presence there (customers can share)
• This link to an article written about the Center means that they have inbound links from independent sites (outreach)
• They use the words “art,” “classes,” and “Ann Arbor” often.