SEO For Success

Jul 21, 2010

SEO for Success from Merge Web on Vimeo.

Getting your website to the front page of Google goes far beyond fixing your page tags. Join Merge as we take a deeper look into SEO and breakdown the best practices that will lead you to search engine success.


Adam Landrum: Well thank you all again for joining us. We are going to be discussing SEO for Success. My name is Adam Landrum. I’m President and Chief Web Strategist here at Merge. And as we get started, let’s just do a quick overview. We’ll have about 30 minutes of presentation and then we will have a Q&A time really throughout the presentation.

Every participant is muted. But you can still ask questions by clicking on the question box. And if I see that has come up and if that’s a good time to stop, then I’ll try to answer the question there on the spot. Obviously, you can also save your questions toward the end. And if it’s not a good time for me to address a certain question, then I might save it for the end and follow it back up at the end of the presentation.

What we’re going to be looking at today are the major elements for successful SEO. We hope that you’ll find that overall SEO isn’t mysterious. I’ve been doing this for eight or nine years now, and we got great results for a lot of our clients eight years ago, and they’re still at the top of their search engine results. And so it’s really not that serious or that mysterious.

Also, everything I learned in the web I learned in the first year. Or I should say about 90 percent of what I’ve learned in the web I learned in the first year. It took about eight years to learn the last 10 percent. And hopefully that’s what I’m going to show you today. It’s that you can really learn about 80 to 90 percent of SEO in this webinar. And the last 10 percent it might take you five years to learn. But if you can get the 80 or 90 percent right, you’ll be all set.

I hope that you’re going to take what you learned today and then go back to your organizations and get more results. And whether it’s a talk, a webinar, or a book that I’m reading, I hope I can just pull one good nugget out of it. And I hope you get lots of good nuggets today. But if you can get one good nugget, I think that would be a success.

Andrew just asked if this will be available for download. Yes, it will. It will be a video that we’ll post up on our page later. But if you want to take notes, I’d recommend doing that because you might not come back for the video unless you’ve got the chance.

So let’s just jump in to demystifying SEO. Okay. I don’t know if you’ve heard these terms, but there are probably two camps to this: you have white hat SEO and that’s the ethical good guys’ side, and then you have black hat, that’s the unethical. And you may have heard terms such as—you have to do some “server cloaking” and some “doorway pages” and some “keyword stuffing” and “invisible text stuff” , where you have a white background and you stuff a bunch of keywords on that background then you make the text light so the user can’t read it. You have link farms or link exchanges where one page or one website will just have thousands and thousands of links to your keywords. There are various assortments of black hat techniques. We aren’t going to be talking about that. You can have great success just doing white hats, which is the common sense, very practical approach to SEO.

So overall, there are about five key elements of SEO and that’s where we’re going to be looking at today. And I’ll jump into this. The five key elements are, first of all, the keyword research. And I’ll dive into each one of these in subsequent screens here. Then you have keyword prominence and you have keyword density. So you can see it’s a lot about keywords obviously. Then you can have link building for incoming links. And lastly, you have copywriting. So these are the five different elements of SEO that we’ll be discussing today. And let’s go ahead and just jump into the keyword research.

This is sort of obvious, but if you don’t target the right keyword, then you’ll optimize your website for the wrong thing. So let’s say you’re selling purple shoes. And somehow you go off on a tangent and you optimize your site for yellow shoes. Well, are you going to get purple shoe traffic? No. You’re going to get yellow shoe traffic. Obviously, that’s sort of an elementary example, but nonetheless that’s really what happens.

Another analogy is like cooking. If you don’t have the freshest, best ingredients, then it’s sort of garbage in and garbage out. It’s not going to be that great of a meal. And the same is true with what you start with an SEO. You have to have good keywords, the right target. And two main factors with that revolve around competitiveness and relevance. So is the keyword phrase that you’re targeting—or phrases, I should say, you’re targeting are they competitive? And then two, are they relevant? So again, if you’re selling purple shoes and you’re targeting yellow shoes, then that’s not very relevant.

 I’ll give you an example of competitiveness, too. In the world of Google and search engines, you have some phrases that are ultra competitive. And so take life insurance, for instance, which we’ll jump into here. You can see under the bar when you do search how many possible pages are available. So you have 116 million pages for life insurance. So what that tells us is that this is an extremely, extremely competitive search term. And if you look in the results below, you can see who you’re going up against. You’re going up against MetLife.

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