unbeatable seo tips

of 35 /35
KNOWING WHAT MATTERS Learn what it takes to compete online, beat down your competition & win! Unbeatable SEO Tips

Upload: alistair-lattimore

Post on 06-May-2015




2 download

Embed Size (px)


A collection of search engine optimisation tips covering off the following broad topics: Building A Strong Foundation Keyword Research Website Performance Great Content Rich Snippets Link Building Mobile Social Learn why getting the basics right is an absolute priority, allowing you to move into more advanced topics such as URL canonicalisation using rel="canonical" tags and HTTP 301 permanent redirects, outpacing competitors with great content, leverage rich snippets, website performance and more!


Page 1: Unbeatable SEO Tips


Learn what it takes to compete online, beat down your competition & win!

Unbeatable SEO Tips

Page 2: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Who is Mantra Group?

Mantra Group is the largest Australian based hotel operator, with properties in Australia, New Zealand and has recently expanded into Indonesia. Mantra Group has a 3 year pipeline to deliver 20 new properties into Indonesia and a further 20 properties into Thailand in the following 3 years.

Some interesting figures about the company:

• 110+ hotels

• Over $7 billion of assets under management

• 15000 rooms for sale every night of the week

• Employees ~4000 staff

• $500 million per annum turnover

Page 3: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Who is Alistair Lattimore?

Alistair Lattimore - Ecommerce Analyst• 9 years with Mantra Group• Software development background• Founding member digital/ecommerce team• Mad keen about search since 2003

I wear a few hats:• Search Engine Optimisation• Conversion Rate Optimisation• Product development• Analytics

http://www.convergentmedia.cohttp://au.linkedin.com/in/alistairlattimorehttp://google.com/+AlistairLattimore http://twitter.com/alattimore

Support my mo, http://mobro.co/alistairlattimore

Page 4: Unbeatable SEO Tips


Unbeatable SEO Tips

Building A Strong Foundation

Keyword Research

Website Performance

Great Content

Rich Snippets

Link Building



Download this deck, http://bit.ly/unbeatableseotips

Page 5: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Building A Strong Foundation

Read the manual

Google Webmaster Guidelines

• Design & Contentobvious site hierarchytext linksinformation rich

• Technicaluse robots.txt to block crawlersdon’t track crawlersdon’t allow ads to affect SEO

• Qualitymake pages primarily for users, don’t deceive themAvoid tricks, auto-generated content, link schemes, cloaking, sneaky redirects, hidden

text or links, doorway pages, scraped content, irrelevant keywords, malicious behaviour

Google SEO Starter Guidehttps://www.google.com/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdfhttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769?hl=en&ref_topic=2370419

Page 6: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Building A Strong Foundation

What do the search engines think?

Google Webmaster Tools, http://www.google.com/webmasters/

Fast and easy to verify your site, https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35179?hl=en

Tonnes of useful tools and invaluable insight

Page 7: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Building A Strong Foundation

Controlling the bots

Use robots.txt to control what URLs search engines are allowed to crawl with a website.

If search engines can’t crawl it, they can’t index it & therefore it can’t rank.

Use Google Webmaster Tools Crawl->Blocked URLs report to quickly check how many URLs are blocked.

Page 8: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Building A Strong Foundation

XML Sitemaps

Back in 2006 Google, Microsoft & Yahoo! jointly announced a XML sitemap protocol.

XML sitemaps are a way for a website to tell search engines what content they’d like crawled and indexed.

Be aware, it is a hint or suggestion not a directive that they must obey.

Popular content management systems can generate them out of the box, some require plugins or they can also be created using a website crawler such as Xenu Link Sleuth.

Notify search engines about them via their webmaster console or via robots.txt files.

Submit several smaller XML sitemaps for different sections of your site to help understand indexing problems.

XML Sitemaps, http://www.sitemaps.org/

Page 9: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Building A Strong Foundation

URL Canonicalisation

To a search engine, every variation in a URL is a different unique URL:

• http://domain.com/books • http://www.domain.com/books• https://www.domain.com/books• http://www.domain.com/books/• http://www.domain.com/Books• http://www.domain.com/books/?sort=price-asc

Tools to help address these issues:

• HTTP 301 permanent redirects• rel=“canonical” tag, https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/139394?hl=en

Page 10: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Building A Strong Foundation

rel=“canonical” tag

Ecommerce websites typically have lots of products, which typically means tools such as filtering or sorting to help users. Faceted navigation and helpful user tools can be tricky for search engines. Maximise high priority page equity by directing rel=“canonical” tags from URL variations into their respective base URLs.

rel=“canonical” tag, https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/139394?hl=en





Page 11: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Building A Strong Foundation


Ecommerce websites tend to have a lot of products, which then requires pagination.

Pagination, https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1663744

Page 12: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Keyword Research

Understand your customers

Keyword research allows you to understand how your customers actually search for your products/services.

Leverage keyword research to make better information architecture decisions, improveinternal navigation, align product categorisationto customer expectations.

It will uncover topics , sub-topics, related topicsand importantly unrelated topics, many of which will go untapped without investing inkeyword research.

Page 13: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Keyword Research

Tools, tools & more tools

Good keyword research is about going as broad and deep as you have the stomach for.

Leveraging multiple keyword research tools and different sources of data provides the best diversity. Remember, you can always ignore a keyword but if you don’t know it exists, you could be missing out on a pot of gold.

Google Analytics, http://www.google.com/analytics/ Google Webmaster Tools, http://www.google.com/webmasters/ Google AdWords Keyword Planner, http://adwords.google.com/keywordplanner Bing Webmaster Keyword Research, http://www.bing.com/toolbox/keywords Ubersuggest, http://ubersuggest.org/Soovle, http://soovle.com/ Keyword Snatcher, http://keywordsnatcher.com/HQ Suggest, http://www.hqsuggest.com/ SEM Rush, http://www.semrush.com/ WordStream, http://www.wordstream.com/

Page 14: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Website Performance

Website load time performance matters

April 2010, Google announced desktop load time performance was now a ranking factor

June 2013, Google announced mobile load time performance was soon to be a ranking factor

In addition to being on your search engine optimisation best practice road map, it is great for users.

Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, AOL, Amazon, Shopzilla and many more have case studies about the benefits.

• Phil Dixon, from Shopzilla, had the most takeaway statistics about the impact of performance on the bottom line. A year-long performance redesign resulted in a 5 second speed up (from ~7 seconds to ~2 seconds). This resulted in a 25% increase in page views, a 7-12% increase in revenue, and a 50% reduction in hardware. This last point shows the win-win of performance improvements, increasing revenue while driving down operating costs.

Page 15: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Website Performance

Best practice front end optimisation

Measure how well your site adheres to best practice guidelines using:• http://www.webpagetest.org• https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/• http://developer.yahoo.com/yslow/• http://gtmetrix.com

Best practice performance improvement items:• Enabled compression• Merge CSS files to reduce HTTP requests• Merge JavaScript files to reduce HTTP requests• Combine images into CSS sprites where ever possible to reduce HTTP requests• Configure HTTP caching so browsers don’t needlessly re-request the same assets over and

over• Use a Content Distribution Network (CDN) to bring resources closer to the user• …

Page 16: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Website Performance

It’s hard work, how about a tool?

Google are focused on speed, they’ve built and open sourced a tool named PageSpeed to make it simpler.

PageSpeed has been implemented for popular web servers:• Apache• Nginx• Microsoft IIS

If your hosting provider doesn’t support PageSpeed, Google provide it as a service as wellhttps://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/service/overview

Australian based startup Squixa and US based Cloudflare provide a similar service and supportGreat for complex implementationshttp://www.squixa.com/https://www.cloudflare.com/

Page 17: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Website Performance

SPDY (pronounced speedy)

SPDY is a networking protocol developed primarily by Google, is moving toward standardisation and looks as though it will be included in the HTTP 2.0 protocol.

It runs over HTTPS, supports HTTP header compression, out of order responses, multiplexed requests, server-side push and a raft of other optimisations.

Google tested the performance improvement of 77 web pages across 31 popular sites using a Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone and found a 23% improvement in mean load times across the sites.

Already has support in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 and is available today for the Apache web server, https://developers.google.com/speed/spdy/

Page 18: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Great Content


What sort of characteristics to underwhelming, lack lustre pages have:

• Little to no content• Duplicate content/product descriptions from manufacturer• 1 or very few photos• Small or low quality photos• No zoom feature on photos• No 360 degree panorama photos• No video• No virtual tours• No reputable third party reinforcements from noteworthy businesses/people• No customer reviews• ...

Page 19: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Great Content

Outpace your competition

Remember, search engines rank content – preferably high quality content.

Review the type and quality of content your key competitors are producing, now work out how to do it better!

Critically review what content you’re currently producing, do you have gaps over your competitors – if so fill them.

Market leaders like Amazon have drawn a line through many of the underwhelming points, great content, endorsements, customer reviews, recognition programs for top community members, lots of photos, zoom functionality, 360 degree panorama, video to accompany the photos with real people providing product descriptions, interviews with book authors, it just keeps going.

Could you be asking your customers for action shots of their purchase (ie: customers wearing jean X, cut Y, size Z), how about 15 second video captured on an iPhone of your customers kids loving their latest toy.

Think long and hard about the things that make you purchase online & why – can you achieve similar?

Page 20: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Rich Snippets

Rich what, speak English.

Page 21: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Rich Snippets

Why use rich snippets?

Search engine optimisation is about getting more traffic, you can do that by:

• increasing your rankings• improving the quality of your <title> tag• improve the quality of <meta> descriptions • stand out visually using rich snippets

Rich snippets don’t improve your ranking but they sure make your site stand out in the search results! Cyrus Shepardimproved the CTR of his sites content by 35% by testing his author photo, http://moz.com/blog/google-author-photos

Page 22: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Rich Snippets

Eye Tracking

US based eye tracking company LookTracker perform eye tracking on lots of interfaces, Toshiba, Dell, NetFlix, Disney, Walmart, ESPN, Target and many more, http://www.looktracker.com

Page 23: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Rich Snippets

Structured mark up comes in various forms

Google, Microsoft & Yahoo! all support schema.org to varying degrees.

Google currently augments their search results with the following structured mark up:• reviews• recipes• events• music• video,• people• products• businesses/organisations

Google Webmaster Structured Data Testing Tool, http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets

Rich Snippets, https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/99170?hl=en

Page 24: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Link Building

Links, the equity of the internet

Google Penguin was released in April 2012, it detects low quality, irrelevant links and over-optimised anchor text.

Risky scalable link building tactics from low quality, irrelevant websites:• bulk directory submission• forum signature spam• comment spam• article marketing

Similarly, unnatural volumes of highly commercial anchor text such as:• car insurance• sydney hotels• cheap credit cardsonce a go-to tactic now for easily rankings, puts an entire website at risk when taken too far.

Page 25: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Link Building

Link building ideas

Building links can seem difficult at first, however once you’ve had some success – it’ll begin to flow.

Link Building Strategies, http://pointblankseo.com/link-building-strategies

Page 26: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Link Building

Link research tools

Link research tools allow you to dig into the link profile of any website, your own or a competitor. Pull your competitors link building strategies apart, use it against them to dominate the search results.

Google Webmasters, http://www.google.com/webmasters/ Bing Webmasters, http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmasterYandex Webmasters, http://webmaster.yandex.com/Majestic SEO, http://www.majesticseo.com/ Open Site Explorer, http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/ Ahrefs, https://ahrefs.com/Link Research Tools, http://www.linkresearchtools.com/ Citation Labs Broken Link Builder, http://brokenlinkbuilding.com/Citation Labs Link Prospector, http://linkprospector.citationlabs.com/ Outdated Content Finder, http://www.greenlaneseo.com/outdated-content-finder/

Review your own link profile for risky, remember Google Penguin.

Page 27: Unbeatable SEO Tips


Mobile is here to stay, it’s time to pay attention

July 2013, Google CEO Larry Page stated that over 1.5 million Android devices are being activated per day globally.

Australia has the sixth highest smartphone penetration in the world at ~65%.

90%+ use mobile internet daily.

With the except of Norway (48%), between 50%-70% ofthe smartphone users within the top 10 counties use theirsmartphone daily within their favourite search engine.

Google Mobile Planet has amazing information about, http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/mobileplanet/

Page 28: Unbeatable SEO Tips


Options for delivering a great mobile web experience

Three common approaches that are used regularly around the internet:

• Responsive Web Design (recommended by Google & Bing)Responsive web design serves all devices (desktop/tablet/smartphone) on the same set of URLs, with each URL serving the same HTML to all devices and using just CSS to change how the page is rendered on the device.

• Dynamic ServingSites that dynamically serve all devices on the same set of URLs, but each URL serves different HTML (and CSS) depending on whether the user agent is a desktop or a mobile device.

• Mobile Specific WebsiteSites that have separate mobile and desktop URLs.

Page 29: Unbeatable SEO Tips


Finer Details

Allow Googlebot and Googlebot-Mobile to crawl both desktop and mobile content.

Responsive Web Design:Google recommend using a CSS media query such as the below to adapt the site design for a smartphone:

@media only screen and (max-width: 640px) {...}

Dynamic Serving:CMS should serve a HTTP Vary response header by user-agent

Mobile Specific Website:CMS should serve a HTTP Vary response header by user-agent on the conditional redirects

Implement desktop/mobile rel=“alternate” annotations, can be implemented in HTML or XML Sitemaps

Smartphone guidelines, https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites/details

Page 30: Unbeatable SEO Tips


Participate where your users participate

facebook has over 1.15 billion Monthly Active Users

Google+ has 540 million MAUs, over 300 millionMAU are within the stream and more than 1.5billion photos being uploaded per week.

Twitter recently passed 218 million MAUs

Over 50% of facebook and Twitter usage is via mobile

Social media doesn’t directly correlate tosearch engine rankings, however it representsa great awareness building tool which canbe leveraged to achieve outcomes that dodirectly help search engine rankings.

Page 31: Unbeatable SEO Tips


Google Personalised Search

Australian Bureau of Statistics data reveals there were 12.4 million internet subscribers at June 2013

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/mf/8153.0/

In February, an estimated 14% of visitors to www.mantra.com.au were logged into their Google Account


Content liked or shared by your Google+ social connections is elevated in the search results. Where your website might not stand a chance of ranking due to a highly competitive niche, suddenly your followers friends can potentially see your content!

Integrate Google+ and Google+ sharing into your online purchasing process. After customers have purchased something, ask them to tell their friends about the product via the payment confirmation page but share the product URL or product category URL – trying to increase the reach of those high value URLs throughout your customers social network.

Page 32: Unbeatable SEO Tips


Putting your best foot forward

Everyone is familiar with sharing content into a social network, whether it facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest or elsewhere.

Did you know that the biggest social networks provide opportunities to customise that sharing experience?

Facebook Open GraphTwitter Cards (photo, gallery, player, product, ..)Google+ Interactive Posts (buy, reserve, apply, confirm, ..)Pinterest Rich Pins (product, recipe, movie, article)

Surprise your users with customised sharing experiences, delight their followerswith a the best possible representation of your content, maximise the likelihood ofyour content being re-shared because it is relevant and visually engaging.

Page 33: Unbeatable SEO Tips


Twitter Cards

Twitter supports a number of different card formats:

• Summary Card (default)• Summary Card with Large Image• Photo Card• Gallery Card• App Card• App Installs and Deep-Linking• Player Card• Product Card

Twitter Cards documentation, https://dev.twitter.com/docs/cardsTwitter Card validator, https://dev.twitter.com/docs/cards/validation/validator

Page 34: Unbeatable SEO Tips


Enhance your customer data

People fill out a lot of information in their social profiles over time, many of which are happy to share it publicly.

What if you could mine your customers public social information, now you can!

FullContact provide an API, it allows you to enrich your existing customer information with public information your customers have shared in their various social accounts, http://www.fullcontact.com

Use this information to:• put together link building campaigns• increase social followers• find influencers that can increase the reach of your content

Page 35: Unbeatable SEO Tips

Thank You

Get In Contact:

[email protected]• http://au.linkedin.com/in/alistairlattimore • http://google.com/+AlistairLattimore • http://twitter.com/alattimore

Support my mo, http://mobro.co/alistairlattimore

Download this slide deck, http://bit.ly/unbeatableseotips