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Learning SEO from the Experts

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LEARNING SEO FROM THE EXPERTS SEO How to Master Every Aspect of Search Engine Optimization for Business Success A publication of A Publication of CONVERTIN G TO A N AG IL E S TA R T UP


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learning seo from the experts 2 3 LEARNING SEO FROM THE EXPERTS Curated by Anum Hussain CONTENTS Anum Hussain is an inbound marketer at HubSpot focused on generating leads for the HubSpot sales team through top-of- KEYWORDS: UNDERSTANDING THE FUNDAMENTALS the-funnel marketing strategies -- visual /7 anum hussain, hubspot and written content creation, social media, and blogging. She is an active writer for Mastering on-page seo /12 the HubSpot Internet Marketing Blog, has Greg shuey, seo.com previously written for the Boston Globe and LinkedIn, and also maintains her own blog as a media wizard at anumhussain.com. Follow me on twitter @anummedia IN PARTNERSHIP WITH understanding off-page seo /21 rebecca churt, hubspot the right way to build links /26 stephanie chang, distilled Unfunnel.com is a network that exists to incentivize and rewards other like-minded web professionals for spreading awareness How social media influences seo about agile business strategies. We believe dharmesh shah, HubSpot /38 in working smarter - not harder. By uniting top forward-thinking professionals, we can how to increase clicks in serp /53 educate startups and create a movement that rand fishkin, seomoz can change the world together. Share This Ebook! Follow US on twitter @UNFUNNEL Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 4 “ Solve for the -Dharmesh Shah ” Search engines have become a core resource for individuals looking for a business, product, or service. Over the years, online search has reduced the need for traditional means of searching, such as Yellow Pages. 5 CHAPTER 1 KEYWORDS: UNDERTSANDING FUNDAMENTALS Your business needs to adapt to the changes of the new consumer searching landscape. In the words of HubSpot CTO Dharmesh Shah, “Solve Anum Hussain, HubSpot for the humans!” Businesses no longer need to spend thousands of dollars on advertising in directories and magazines. Every business with a website has the potential to get found by more customers online through search engine optimization (SEO) and inbound marketing. Whether you have already invested in an SEO strategy or are just getting started, this ebook will help you gain a stronger understanding of all aspects in the SEO process. The ideas, best practices, and examples all Share This Ebook! come from top SEO experts. Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 6 7 SEO Basics: Understanding Keywords Why Do Keywords Matter? Once upon a time, marketers focused on strategizing which keywords to Keywords or key phrases are simply the search terms someone types into place across their web presence in order to increase their rankings in a a search engine, such as Google or Bing, when they are looking for certain search engine results page (SERP). information. People are constantly using keywords: whether they are in But the world of search engine optimization has been changing drastically search for a specific product or just browsing to conduct personal research. -- particularly with the constant changes Google has been making to its search algorithm over the past year. And all that emphasis you put on keyword research and selection, in other words on-page SEO, is only worth 25% of what actually impacts your spot in SERP. The only problem is, you can’t truly master the other 75% -- off-page SEO discussed later in this guide -- until you understand and master the basics. 95% of the U.S. Internet browsing population accesses search engines each 25% month. Furthermore, the U.S. online population makes an average of 37 Off-Page SEO 75% Share This Ebook! Where Can I Learn SEO from the Experts? search engine visits per person per month. On-Page SEO That’s a whole lot of time spent searching various keyword and key phrase combinations! Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 8 Determine Your Keywords Keywords are at the heart of SEO, and selecting the right ones can make or break your SEO strategy. Compile a list of about ten keywords associated with your product or services. Plug these keywords into Google’s Keyword Tool, and find variations that make sense for your business. 9 Track Your Keyword Success Now that you know what keywords to implement in your marketing strategy, be sure to follow their progress and ensure they’re returning the value you want from them. Let’s use HubSpot’s keyword tool to demonstrate how this process might look like. The software continuously analyzes your keyword performance to show you what keywords you’re ranking for, what the cost-per-click (CPC) for those keywords are -- so you know how much you’re saving -- and how many visits you’re sending to your website thanks to these keywords and/ or key phrases. Use search volume and competition as a good measure for determing what you can easily attack. But never settle on a list of 10-15 keywords, as the old ways taught. Start with a small list, but continuously adapt and analyze your choices as your business grows and adapts. Share This Ebook! Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 10 11 What is On-Page SEO? In the history of search engine optimization, the rank of a piece of content CHAPTER 2 mastering on-page seo Greg Shuey, SEO.com in search engine results has typically come down to two key drivers: relevancy and authority built through content on your website. When optimizing your content, focus your copy on specific keywords that match what people are searching for online. The first rule of on-page SEO is to think about what your target users might be searching for and make sure those keywords are on the page. This increases the likelihood of reaching those users as they go to Google, Bing or other search engines. That being said, on-page SEO is basically about two things: 1 2 Share This Ebook! Picking the best keywords around which to base each of your pages Making it clear to search engines that your page revolves around those keywords Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 12 13 On-Page Optimization: The Old Way On-Page Optimization: The New Way Search engine algorithms rank web pages based on numerous factors. Marketers should still be using keywords. The basic premise is that a page will show up in search engine results But rather than littering them throughout every aspect of your page, think because the website has a page that mentions the searched for terms. Of about the value you want each page to provide, and which keywords match course, many websites use the same keywords on the same page. that value. And rather than repeating the same word over and over again, Hundreds of tools are littered across the web that allow you to measure the keyword density of a page. Some of them teach that more is better. As a result, webmasters would crank out keyword-stuffed text that was not interesting and/or provided a horrible user experience. These keywords would be stuffed in various places, including: The URL The page title The meta description tag you should use a diverse set of related keywords to help you rank for a variety of long tail keywords. For example: Link vs links Build vs building The on-page headings Strategy vs strategies Aggressively Also rank for a verity of lateral keywords. throughout the page Such tactics even ended up stripping out important keyword variations -so the page wouldn’t rank as well, or at all, for the related keywords. For example: Lawyer vs attorney Dentist vs oral surgeon SEO vs inbound marketing Share This Ebook! Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 14 The Core Components of On-Page SEO Meta Tags 15 Title Tags & Meta Descriptions Title tags and Meta descriptions are two of the most important tags when it comes to SEO and enticing potential visitors to click through to your Meta tags are the official data tags for each web page that are found inbetween the open and closing head tags in the HTML code. The most popular Meta tags are the title tag, meta description, and keyword tag. These tags alert search engines with relevant information describing the content of the page, which helps the search engines decide if your website is an appropriate listing in response to a particular search query. website. A title tag is an HTML tag which contains a sentence of text describing the contents of its associated webpage. These tags are the first aspect of your page that a search engine crawler – (crawlers are what search engines use to analyze the content of a site in response to a search to then present the best results) comes across when visiting your website, so it’s important to make a good first impression by optimizing them with your keywords and brand. Titles generally run about 77 characters, so make sure to easy each character wisely. Meta descriptions are what appear on SERP describing the content of the page being linked to. While these descriptions are not used by the search engines to determine relevance, they are used by your visitors to determine said relevancy and entice them to click – think about when you search! You almost always read the description of each link before deciding to click, right? Or at least skim. Make sure you include your keywords and the main TIP: Meta descriptions generally run about 160 characters. Don’t only use those characters well, but stick to that limit so that when the description Share This Ebook! appears in Google it’s not cut off with ellipses! Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 16 Content 17 Localization On-page content is a critical component of on-page Where appropriate, you should add localization. This is extremely SEO. Content is what the search engine crawlers important to businesses who offer products and services to a specific need to associate your page with a set of keywords geographic region. If you are an attorney, you’ll want to have a page and/or key phrases. Without it, crawlers are left in of content set up for each location you service. When building your the dark as to what your page is about. content, you’ll want to include localized keywords so that the search When building your content, it’s important to remember to give the crawlers enough to bite into. A hundred words typically isn’t enough copy for these crawlers to read and understand what the content is about. And this content shouldn’t be stuffed with keywords either, as some search engines (as you’ll learn in later sections) punish engines know you have offices and operate in certain locations. Quick Action Items for Local Businesses If you are a local business, be sure to optimize your location easily and quickly with the following tools: websites for keyword stuffing. . oogle Places G Instead, you should write about your product or service or idea naturally, .Bing Local and let your keyword variations naturally fall into place. If that doesn’t happen, go back and spring in some variations into the content so that the same message gets across, just optimized! Y . ahoo Local Listings Streamline Your SEO Efforts To help keep track your on-page optimization efforts, HubSpot built an easy-to-use template that you can download here. Use it to continuously improve your on-page SEO, making it a streamlined Share This Ebook! process so it can become integrated into your natural routine. Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 18 19 What is Off-Page SEO? Off-page SEO is all about building online authority – trust and reputation – CHAPTER 3 for your website. Off-page SEO has long been defined by the quantity, quality, and relevance undERstandING OFF-PAGE SEO of links to your website that establish your SEO authority and ultimately influence your search results ranking. Authority historically was established as other websites linked to you; building your link portfolio. The problem, however, was that authority was almost entirely defined by just links. Essentially, off-page SEO used to be a fancy word for “getting more links,” Rebecca Churt, HUBSPOT but now it should focus on earning links through multiple channels instead. Understandably, it will require a paradigm shift to stop thinking about offpage as just link “building” and instead as link “earning.” Your site’s authority is only partly based on analysis of the sites that link to you. Off-page SEO is more than just link building (link building itself will be discussed more in the next chapter). The way you diversify authority for your website is through the conversations people are having about your brand and the references they make to it. A diversified link portfolio should look something like what I detail throughout this chapter. Share This Ebook! Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 20 21 Co-Marketing Link Building Co-marketing defines the efforts of lots of cross promoting, networking and Link building is essentially the practice of building inbound links to help community building. It’s a partnership between two or more companies give your website authority. The modern efforts of “earning” links are in which both companies jointly market each other’s content, products or discussed more in the next chapter. services. Compelling Content Yes, optimizing for off-page SEO is still about content marketing. After all, without content it’s hard to earn those links. The best way to earn relevant links from other sites to yours is to create unique, relevant content that The great thing about co-marketing is, like the idea with guest posting, that you have access to another company’s social networks, prospects, leads and/or customers, which ultimately increases your reach. And what better than to have one or more companies brag about the content that you are creating, especially since it benefits them too? It’s brilliant. can quickly gain popularity online, particularly with your target audience. The more useful, relevant and compelling your content is, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable and link to it. should be easily sharable which combined with solid on-page SEO best practices makes for awesome “link bait.” Link Bait: Any content that is ' and ultimately solve a problem or answer a question. That content then also ' surmises your ideal customer. Content must also be authentic and unique, ' Your content must align with your target audience – that persona that created for the purpose of attracting multiple readers & Share This Ebook! prompting those readers to reshare or link to that content. Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 22 23 Social Media Social media hasn’t always been on the radar as part of off-page SEO. When it first came to surface it was often being used inappropriately (still CHAPTER 4 is by some today). Users or businesses thought to basically spam social networks and followers instead of putting real thought and work behind it. To them social media was just one more way to get links. Social media in some way is the new forums or blog commenting with an opportunity to have real conversations. Read more about how social media impacts SEO in the chapter by THE RIGHT WAY TO BUILD LINKS Dharmesh Shah! PR Stephanie Chang, Distilled When you think of PR you may think of it as just an announcement that blasts multiple new sources. However, well planned and optimized PR can be awesome for your SEO efforts. PR should promote genuine and ethical dialogue driven content to improve a brand’s organic search engine results. Effective PR outreach should include more than the traditional publication channels. Your strategy should include outreach to bloggers, industry influencers, and social media leaders. Share This Ebook! Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 24 Why Search Engines Care About Links Search engine algorithms rank web pages based on numerous factors. The Value of A Link The value of a link serves two major benefits: The basic premise is that a page will show up in search engine results because the website had mentioned the terms that were being searched 1 for on the website page. Of course, many websites use the same keywords 1 The quantity of links that point to 2 The quality of links that point to Links increase the authority and trustworthiness of a page to search engines, which increases the overall authority of that website. on the same page. But in order for search engines to determine how these pages should be ranked, they take into consideration two major factors: 25 2 Links help search engines connect the relevancy of a page with specific keywords -- based on the keywords that are used in a link’s anchor text. that page and site. that page and site. Anchor text is the clickable text on a hyperlink. For example, let’s say hypothetically a page was linked to in one of the following ways: Bob’s Hardware Store versus The more trustworthy your page appears to be, the higher your page will rank in search engine results (See search ranking factors for more details). Share This Ebook! Buy power tools at Bob’s Hardware Store The second link with the targeted keyword “power tools” will likely rank higher in the search engines. Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 26 The Wrong Way to Build Links 27 Directories The initial purpose of search engines counting the quantity and quality of links linking back to any webpage was to ensure that only those pages providing valuable and trustworthy content to their users would be ranked highly in the search engine results. The Problem with Directories A good directory’s intent is to categorize the internet into different Unfortunately, this provided opportunities to game the system and find categories/subcategories, while providing links to good websites in those easier, quicker solutions to build massive quantities of links back to categories. Although there are legitimate directory websites, many were webpagesin order to rank highly for different search results. built solely for the purpose of building links back to webpages without To better understand the true power of link building, let’s review the sneaky consideration of link quality. This is the wrong way to build links. and quick link-building tactics some sites employed, and how search Several studies have shown that in the past year, search engines (especially ' ' Share This Ebook! How the Search Engines Fixed It ' ' ' ' engines developed algorithmic changes to combat it. Google) have started removing free directories from their index. This means that the links gained from those directories are no longer counted towards a website’s overall link quality/quantity count! This also implies that relying on directories to build links to a website is a short-term strategy -- especially since Google has started taking action on both directories and the websites that have relied on this tactic to rank highly in the search engine results. Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 28 Paid Links 29 Article Marketing The Problem with Paid Links The Problem with Article Marketing Paid links are links garnered in exchange for payment. They may include Article marketing involves writing one unique article, and then rearranging a larger network of link buyers and sellers usually involving a link network the words to transform that one article into multiple versions. This or a group of low-quality sites that link to a specific webpage to increase rearranged article will then be placed on different, usually low-quality the authority of a website. Other times, there may be a reciprocal linking article sites with highly optimized anchor text links. program, where a group of websites link to one another. This tactic helped a website from being penalized by search engines for Paid links are like paying someone to be your wingman to impress a girl duplicate content (the exact same content across lots of different sites), and rather than having a genuine friend by your side who can vouch for how boosted both page strength and relevance. great you really are! How the Search Engines Fixed It How the Search Engines Fixed It The search engines now identify low quality content through user All the aforementioned methodologies go against search engine engagement, and by correlating website features. Networks of sites where guidelines, specifically Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, and can result in you can place this kind of content are even easier for them to identify. As a severe consequences. Search engines are able to spot these types of link marketer, the primary warning sign should be sites where you can post your building activities by detecting website registration connections or finding content with no editorial oversight from the website owner. websites that follow specific linking patterns. Share This Ebook! Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 30 Consequences of Low-Quality Link Building Tactics 31 Google’s Search Algorithm There are signs that low-quality link building tactics, such as the three just mentioned, will remain a short-term strategy. It’s clear that search engines don’t like ranking websites that take actions purely for the purpose of Over the past two years, there have been advances to search engine algorithms that specifically target websites involved in these low-quality link building strategies. Google has launched two major algorithmic changes. ranking and not for benefit of the user’s experience. Or in Dharmesh Shah’s 1 words, for the “humans.” Over time, search engine algorithms have also become increasingly complex to fight what search engines view as spammy tactics that try to game their system. Panda Panda was designed to target low-quality sites, such as article marketing sites. This update was significant because it affected approximately 12% of all search results and shifted the viability of low-quality content sites who had depended on these link building tactics as their business model. “ SEO is not about optimizing for search engines, it’s about optimizing for humans. ” -Dharmesh Shah Share This Ebook! 2 Penguin Penguin targeted over-optimized websites, such those that had too much keyword-based anchor text -- especially from low-quality sites. It also further targeted sites involved in link building schemes, such as the ones previously mentioned. Both Penguin and Panda are periodically refreshed. These major algorithmic changes force sites to focus on organic methods for garnering links. Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 32 The Right Way to Build Links Modern link building focuses on high-quality, original content that provides 33 Product Launches Building anticipating around a product launch inspires people to talk about your business, which can lead to links to your site. value to users and incorporates an involved audience. Although this type of link building isn’t easy nor quick, it is the best safeguard against future search engine algorithms, as authoritative, wellmanaged websites are the type of sites that search engines want to see rank highly in their results. Guest Blogging Creating valuable content for other websites provides an easy to link back to your business -- be sure to provide the guest site with beneficial content, and don’t bury the entire post in links. High-quality, unique content on a website that builds links can come in many forms, such as: Link building can also come from building a targeted and involved community. The more regular visitors a site has, and the more passionate those fans are, the more likely webpages will be read, shared, and linked to. Company Blogs A perfect example is My Starbuck’s Idea, where users can pitch ideas about the next Starbuck’s offering. Write appealing content that other people will WANT to link to. Visual Content Powerful, unique, or even comical, images lead people to link to your website. This includes video content as well! Share This Ebook! Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 34 35 How Social Media Influences SEO As mentioned earlier in this guide, SEO has a lot to do with relevancy and CHAPTER 5 how social media influences seo authority. But recently, things have changed a bit. More and more, search engines have begun to incorporate social context into their search results. And it’s high time we dived into what role social context is playing in SEO, and how marketers can adjust their strategies to match the changing character of search. So without further ado, let’s get into the nitty gritty of what’s being called “social search” and learn how it affects marketers. Dharmesh Shah, HUBSPOT Share This Ebook! Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 36 37 Examples of Social Search What is Social Search? “Social search” is an evolving term for the way in which search engines factor a user’s social network -- also referred to as social graph -- into how 1 Google+ Your World results are displayed after a search query. In social search, content that has a social connection to you in some way is prioritized. A social connection could mean someone you are linked to via Facebook, Twitter, or any other major social network. Alternately, some forms of social search prioritize content that has been shared by social media influencers, even if those experts aren’t directly tied to you. between Google search results and the Google Plus social network that, when activated, prioritizes content that has been shared or received a +1 by your Google network. In addition to Google Plus Your World, Google social search results from multiple networks are now mixed throughout your results based on their ' relevance; and content with ties to your network are displayed with a higher ' ' Share This Ebook! In early 2012, Google unveiled Google Plus Your World, a unique integration relevance than their counterparts. Searchers only see social search results when they are logged into Google and have their social networks connected. Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 38 2 Bing Social Search 39 3 Facebook Social Search In summer of 2012, Bing announced a new version of its search engine. It Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has indicated that he’s interested in included an entirely new layout that closely integrates a searcher’s social launching a social search engine powered by Facebook user activity. He network into the results displayed for a given search term. explained, “Search engines are really evolving towards giving you a set of According to Bing, the social results -- which include the ability to directly ask advice from your Facebook network -- “complement the standard search results without compromising them, offering you the chance to start answers… like, I have a specific question, answer this question for me. And when you think about it from that perspective, Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer a lot of the questions that people have.” a conversation and get advice from your friends, experts and enthusiasts According to Zuckerberg, Facebook handles close to 1 billion search right within the search experience.” queries per day already. Many of these searches are for individuals or company pages, but the potential exists for inquiries related to decisionmaking or reviews. Share This Ebook! Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 40 Social Search and Inbound Marketing Even if the social search playing field hasn’t been completely defined yet, one of the key takeaways from the early actions of Google, Bing, and Facebook is that as marketers, we need to start seeing our search engine optimization strategy and our social media strategy as utterly intertwined. 41 Audit Your Existing Strengths Take a look at your top ranking and most shared content. Is there overlap? If you’ve found a type of content that is simultaneously strong in search and frequently shared, it’s worth optimizing that content even further. Here’s how you can do just that. Update Company Profiles Step 1 Make sure your social media tools are informed by your SEO tools. The best way to come out on top of social search is to have a fully integrated marketing platform where social media and SEO are fully linked. Ha, of course we’d say that -- we sell that platform. Truly though, having a blog with built-in social sharing and as-you-type SEO recommendations definitely helps. With or without that kind of technology, however, there are some steps you can take to leverage the growing use of social search. If, as in the example above, I search Bing for “Inbound Marketing,” a few things will happen. 1) Bing will give me traditional search results. 2) Bing will show me friends who have written or shared “inbound marketing” content. 3) Bing will bring in “People Who Know” who include the keyword “inbound marketing” in their profile or frequently shared content. For the latter circumstance, it doesn’t hurt to put your main keywords as part of your company’s profile online. The combination of that profile and the strength of your content and shares will add up. Share This Ebook! Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 42 Make Your Top Keywords Social Make a list of the keywords for which you want to rank highly. Does the content you share on social media and your blog cover those keywords? Zero in on one or two of your most desirable keywords and find ways to make content under those keywords more shareable. Step 2 43 Find and encourage your social media influencers. The reason social is such a natural extension of search is that it adds both relevancy and authority. Think about this: According to Nielsen Research 92% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from friends and family more than any form of advertising. This is up from 74% in 2007. At a bare minimum, include social sharing buttons on your content. Beyond As recommendations from peers become more prominent online, the that you may want to experiment with encouraging social sharing through influence they levy will weigh more heavily into activity on search and social pay-by-tweet downloads or using easy share links throughout your posts, sites combined. For this reason, it’s wise to start thinking of your company or like in this example. organization’s fans as extensions of your inbound marketing team. Find Your Influencers Spend some time to get to know the people who consistently share your content. Pull together a list of contacts with more than a thousand followers and a history of engagement in your content. Knowing your social media influencers will help you expand your reach online and ultimately increase the rate at which your content gets found online. Share This Ebook! Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 44 Nurture Your Influencers Step 3 45 Watch for changing factors in social search. Once you’ve discovered your evangelists, think about ways to nurture and encourage them. At the simplest (and possibly most meaningful) level, find a way to thank them While there are a few core principles at work in social search, individual for spreading the word about your company. As a second step, consider inviting factors will continue to develop in the near future. As you’re considering them to a special open-house or providing them sneak peeks of upcoming news or the social channels you use, think about the role each plays in your search announcements. The HubSpot software allows you to easily compile a smart list of engine of choice. social media influencers in order to nurture through email communication. Don’t Rule Out Google+ When Google+ first entered the social media space, many marketers wondered if it was really worth diverting marketing attention into yet another social network. Forbes magazine’s Paul Tassi even wrote it in a eulogy last year. But when the parent company of said social network is the biggest search engine in the world and starts to integrate its content into search results, it’s worth dipping a toe in the water. My advice? Take these quick steps to create and optimize your Google+ page and then experiment Note: Be careful when nurturing your influencers that you are not offering them with how content does on it. benefits in exchange for talking about your company. That’s not inboundy at all and really questionable, ethically. In fact, in some cases, it may even be illegal. Share This Ebook! Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 46 Don’t Rule Out Bing Step 4 47 Remember the golen rule. Not only did Bing account for 30% of all searches the springof 2012, Bing also has a more diverse social search offering than any other search engine. With Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Klout and Foursquare tied in, Bing may give social active companies an edge. Keep Your Facebook Pages Active Years ago, when HubSpot first started teaching people about search engine optimization, one rule was essential: Above all else, create good, useful content. The rest will follow. From Panda to Penguin, and everything else you’ve learned from the previous experts, search has changed quite a bit in the last few years, but that cardinal rule has held strong. While search is clearly not Facebook’s Even with the rapidly growing influence social sharing has on search primary purpose yet, Facebook does results, the good news is if you’re creating good content, you’re already have a team of engineers, including half-way there. Useful content is by nature more search-friendly than sales- former Google engineer Lars oriented content. It is also more likely to be shared. The increasingly formal Rasmussen, working on an improved relationship between search and social is really just a natural extension to search engine for the site. Futhermore, what has always been true -- content that is relevant and can be trusted data from HubSpot’s social media as authoritative will continue to drive both your search and social media scientist Dan Zarrella even shows marketing. that there’s a relationship between Facebook shares and link building -a major aspect of off-page SEO! Share This Ebook! Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 48 49 The Search Ranking Myth CHAPTER 6 how to increase clicks in SERP Historically, traffic from search engines has been about a very singular pursuit -- that of rankings. While you want to land on the first page, there’s much more to optimizing for SERP placement. Higher rankings lead to more clicks and visits from interested searchers, and that search traffic is uniquely valuable because of its high relevancy and timeliness -- people search when they’re interested or ready to perform an action. However, in the last few years, the relentless focus on rankings alone has ignored the reality of change in the world of search results, and the value of Rand Fishkin, SEOMOZ Share This Ebook! clickthrough rate (CTR). Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 50 51 The Value of Ranking CTR Today, queries don’t just return a list of ten blue, ordered links. They return results with images, videos, profile pictures, and all manner of meta data Improve Rank CTR with Author Images that help searchers choose the best result. Ranking #1 years ago brought ~40% of the traffic to a particular query results page. Today, that figure is less than 20%. Meanwhile, rankings in lower In order to see an author image appear in Google search, you need to have “authorship.” Here’s how to do it: positions have gained some of those clicks. Here’s a few reasons why: 1 google+ Make sure your Google+ profile page has a profile photo that is a recognizable headshot. 2 Make sure you have an email address (for example, jdoe@ hubspot.com) on the same domain as your content (hubspot.com). If you don’t have an email address on the same domain, Google has an alternative method for linking your content to your Google+ IMAGES profile. Learn how here. 3 In the “About” section of your Google+ profile, add that email address so it’s easier for Google to associate your Google+ account with your domain. DATE 4 In addition, make sure each article you publish on that domain has a clear byline identifying you as the author (for example, “By John Doe” or “Author: John Doe”). Share This Ebook! Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 52 5 Furthermore, make sure that byline name matches the name on your Google+ profile. The Holistic View of Search Rankings When optimizing for search Visit Google’s Authorship page, and submit your email address to 7 traffic today, marketers can’t Google. Regardless of the number of articles you publish on this s think just about rankings, they domain, you’ll only need to go through this process once. 6 53 need to be holistic in their In the “About” section of your Google+ profile, make sure the profile discovery box, “Help others discover my profile in search,” is checked. approach to the visibility and appearance of listings. Google+ author profiles, as explained, can make headshots appear alongside descriptions. Video XML Sitemaps can be used to show a video capture image. Rich snippets protocols can be applied Once Google approves your authorship request, your Google+ profile will update with the domain on which you’re a content contributor in the to e-commerce listings for pricing, availability, quantity and other consumerfriendly details. And these are only the tip of the iceberg. “Contributor to” section of your Google+ profile. By default, it will also A marketer who dives deep on this topic can find dozens of opportunities automatically make your email address visible to the public. If you want to to enhance their listing and earn more traffic. Because these days, it’s not keep your email address private on your page, you can change its visibility enough to rank. Marketers need to earn their clicks. here. You may also receive an email confirmation from Google once your request for Authorship has been approved. Share This Ebook! Share This Ebook!


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learning seo from the experts 54 55 s yellow pages Conclusion and additional resources The world of search began a long time ago. Where we once upon a time used Yellow Pages as our search tool of choice, we’ve now transitioned to search engines. And after reading through each chapter in this guide, you should have a start-to-finish understanding of every aspect of search engine optimization. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that all this won’t come together with a snap of a finger! Tackle one chapter at a time. Start by understanding what SEO involves and what it takes. Then work on on-page SEO until it’s fully integrated into your efforts. After that, you can expand on your SEO strategy with off-page tactics and truly start seeing the full picture come together for success. Happy optimizing! Share This Ebook! Share This Ebook!


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56 ABOUT US Unfunnel.com is a network that exists to incentivize and reward other like-minded web professionals for spreading awareness about agile business strategies. We believe in working smarter not harder. By uniting top forward-thinking professionals, we can educate startups and create a movement that can change the world together. Get your assessment with an inbound marketing specialist Liked what you read? Why not sign up for a free Inbound Marketing Assessment? Share This Ebook! A Publication of CONVERTIN G TO A N AG IL E S TA R T UP


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