Search Engine Marketing Basics

SEO training at SMX Sydney
Hello my fellow SEO Brainiacs. Welcome to the very first post (first of many of course) here at SEO Brain. To get this show on the road I would like to go through the SMX Sydney bootcamp held recently which was a two day event with 16 topics. You’re probably wondering what these 16 topics are but I’m not going to say so you’ll have to stay tuned to find out. So this week’s topic is Search Engine Marketing Basics originally presented by Chris Sherman from Search Engine Land.

In the world of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) there are two types of listings, organic listings and paid listings. The search results highlighted in green usually located at the top and on the right hand side of the search results are known as paid listings while everything under these highlighted results are organic listings. So, what is SEO? Basically it is the art of tuning pages and websites to rank in the top search results for specific keywords. The search engine result page (SERP) is roughly made up of 50% paid listings and 50% organic listings.


SEO basics


Firstly, you may have already heard the saying “content is king” well this is true in the world of SEO. Basically, the content must solve the users search query or problem that they are searching an answer for. The content must be of quality which is even more important now due to the Google Panda update, so don’t use keyword stuffing when writing your content and keep your content original. Using these practices will enable you to get more conversions i.e. they download you white paper or like you on Facebook.

During you content writing process, make sure you stick to a single theme or topic and don’t diverge from your chosen theme. Write for both people and search engines, make sure you are aiming to solve the user’s problem while also keeping the search engine happy by optimizing your content for keywords in the body without making it too spammy.


Optimize important HTML Tags

Secondly, make sure you optimize the most important HTML tags. Title tags can be identified as the title displayed on top of the web browser. Meta data is still important but only the meta description as this will give your users a description of your site, however it won’t affect your SERP rankings. Don’t bother with meta tags as Google no longer uses this as a ranking factor due to the fact of over-spamming in the past. Header tags are important especially the (H1) tag as this describes what a specific section is about.

Optimize your links


Thirdly, optimize your links as they act as a quality indicator. Make sure you inter-link between your pages so all your pages can be found by crawlers. Optimize the anchor text of your link and make it clear to the search engine what the link is pointing to.


Avoid bad neighbourhood sites


During you link building process, avoid un-friendly search elements such as bad neighbourhood sites including porn or gambling sites. If you see a site with too much flash, images or javascript then don’t try to get a link from there as getting a link from here won’t help you. Basically, when you are link building try aiming for sites with a good balance of text and images. Link popularity is important as this refers to the amount of links pointing to your site, however you also have to keep in mind that it is better to have a bunch of unique domains with one link pointing to your site than one domain with 100 links pointing to your site. Another thing to keep in mind is link authority which refers a site with high Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA). Link building is a huge topic and I’ve barely scratched the surface with this paragraph so that’s why I will be dedicating a whole session just on linkbuilding so stay tuned.


White hat SEO & Black hat SEO


You may have heard of white hat SEO and Black hat SEO. So what is it exactly? Well, I’ll be going over this in my linkbuilding session but for now I’ll go over the definitions. White hat relates to the legitimate methods of making web pages “search-friendly” and is approved by search engines. On the other hand, Black hat is ethically wrong and aims to subvert people from finding good information on the web. They spam rather than try to solve the searcher’s intent and they do this by practicing illegitimate techniques such as cloaking. Again, I will be going over this in more detail during my upcoming linkbuilding post.


Top SEO tips


So to wrap up this post, here are some important tips to keep in mind:

1.Reciprocal linking can be good if both sites are authoritative. However, if this is not the case then avoid reciprocal linking.

2.Try and use your URLs everywhere you can (within reason of course) such as email signatures, profile information or anywhere crawlers may find them.

3.See out media coverage as these newspaper websites and reporters may create links for you. Take advantage of these sources and ask for URLS to be included.

Ok Brainiacs that just about wraps it up for this post, I hope you enjoyed it. Next time I will be talking about keyword research. Before I go here’s a question, which one is more important? Content or links? Write your answer below :) . Until next time, this is +Jahn Sapanlay signing out. Bye for now.

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