In search of…an education in search engine optimization…

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I’ve been struggling with my blog a bit of late. More specifically, I have been struggling with its purpose; capturing regular learnings about social media and digital platforms.

I haven’t done that much lately.

In all honesty, I think a bit of complacency and fatigue has set in – and that is never (ever!) a good thing.

So, I’m going to spend the next month or so trying to get a better understanding of search engine optimization (SEO) – something that I really want to know more about.

The plan is to share the useful parts of this self-guided education with you. That sound OK? Cool…let’s make a start…

In search of…an education in search engine optimization…
Part one – the basics

My objectives for this lesson:

– Understand exactly what SEO is and why it is important
– Get a better handle of keywords and the role they play
– Test out some basic tools and gauge effectiveness / usefulness

I started out by watching some videos on YouTube:

Both are worth a watch, but the following is a snapshot of what I found most useful / interesting.

Key learnings from video one

  • 80% of internet users click on the first three organic listings on Google
  • Keyword research is the first step in the process – Google has a free tool (AdWords) which can be used for this activity
  • Word Tracker is a paid for service that has been recommended to me by others of late, keen to try that out
  • SEO Book is a free tool that gives you some of the intelligence that Word Tracker provides
  • Competition analysis is an important early step – video one suggests finding out four key things about your competitors 
    • Find all your competitors to begin with
    • Find out how important these websites are
    • Find out link popularity
    • Find out the number of indexed pages 

(Note: the plan is to test my own blog using this technique in the next part of this series, so I am just going to continue gathering the theory for now)

  • Video one moves onto on page and off page optimization next – I will treat this element as a separate post too, but here are some interesting things I learnt in the on page department.
    • Your meta title is one of the first attributes search engines see (automatically I want to alter the meta title of this blog)
    • The proper keyword density and placement of keywords plays a big role (this is something I’ve never actively done before – I have to do my keyword analysis first – looking forward to trying that out)
    • I never really take the time to do this, but search engines won’t be able to find and index pictures you use unless you provide a description – these are called image Alt tags – add that to the list of things I need to learn more about 
    • Google Webmaster tools can tell you if there are any errors with your site / blog – I had never considered this either – more reading required!
  • Off page optimization is next up – I have intuitively done a few of the things listed here but there was one interesting technique I learnt about…
    • Link development – there are three types – one way, two way and three way links
    • Three way links are the most interesting for me as it involves re-routing reciprocal links back via 3rd party directory – is that ethical? Again, I need to understand this better.
  • The remainder of video one takes you through the importance of fresh and relevant content – for me, this has always been something I ‘got’ but perhaps didn’t consider all the bits that go before that
Key learnings from video two

This video literally takes you through two useful tools (I assume the other 18 are out there somewhere), but they are interesting.
  • Spy Fu is a solid free keyword research tool (need to spend some time on it)
  • Hit Tail is an analytics tools that I’ve never heard of before – the most useful element of this tool appears to be the ‘suggestions’ functionality
Well, I feel like I accomplished my mission for today – I learnt some new stuff, and am ready for a bit more digging next time.
Do you have any videos / resources you can point me to?
Is sharing this learning process useful to you?
Any feedback or direction would be great!
Adam
_________________
Note: I haven’t started applying any of these techniques to this blog yet but I will do before I get stuck into the next lesson.
Additional links:

6 Comments

  • Reply August 18, 2010

    DorleeM

    Thank you for sharing some of your learnings. I look forward to reading your upcoming posts on this topic.

    In the interim, there are two helpful tools I can share with you. One is the free website grader at http://websitegrader.com/

    You just enter you website address and it will give you the # of google indexed pages, readability level, # of inbound links, your twitter grade and your traffic rank.

    The second tool is the blog grader at http://blog.grader.com/

    This provides a free analysis of your blog vs that of other blogs; it also gives the search result position rankings, # of twitter mentions, facebook likes/shares for each one of the posts on your blog.

    The drawback with blog grader has been that it does not seem to update as often/well as the website grader.

  • Reply August 19, 2010

    Paul Sutton

    Wow, mate. What an almighty can of worms you’ve opened! I ran my own ecommerce website for 3 years and learned one hell of a lot about SEO. And yet I feel like I barely scratched the surface. For instance, Google takes into account over 100 variables in its algorithm…and they’re constantly changing. I ran a training session on this subject a couple of weeks back…but I think I scared everyone!

    That said, kudos for wanting to crack SEO. There’s a lot that we (as content creators) can do to assist clients simply by adjusting what we already do. I’ll pitch in where I can, mate, and any questions just shout. And good luck!!

  • Reply August 19, 2010

    Adam Vincenzini

    Thanks Paul – we’ve discussed it a bit of late and I think the time has come to at least try and extend the decent foundation knowledge we’ve accumulated over the last 12-18 months.
    I don’t think I’ll ever know it inside out, but having a dabble won’t hurt eh? 🙂

  • Reply August 19, 2010

    Olivia Hill

    Great post Adam. SEO is so very important and certainly something that I would like to know more about. I’ll definitely be following your journey.

  • Reply August 25, 2010

    mike

    Hi,

    You’ve got a very good weblog. a website that may be internet search engine friendly is essential to rank effectively in search engine. For that one really should employ a firm that is certainly experienced both in web designing and internet search engine optimization. One this kind of company is Cyberwebs-marketing.com.

    Thanks,

    Mike – creation site internet

  • Reply October 21, 2010

    Keyword Competition Analysis

    Wow, valuable information. thanks for sharing with us. I’m a seo analyst. I prepared some stuff about seo. you can check it here. keyword competition analysis

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