October Meeting Wrapup

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Presentation
from Mike Myers — Highlights

Mike Myers, local search engine optimization (SEO) expert, talked to the group about how to be sure your website gets found. He emphasized that SEO is not a one-time task, it’s an ongoing process, best implemented as you build your site. Search engine results that previously took two or three years to achieve can now be attained in less than an hour if you know what you are doing. For example a video on YouTube can spread in 30 minutes if it’s labeled correctly.

How do you get started?

  • Figure out who you want to reach
  • Keyword phrases: what search terms do people use to find you?

Keyword Phrases

  • It’s best to use long-tail keyword phrases; in Mike’s example:music vs. memphis music vs. memphis rap music, Memphis rap music would be the long-tail keyword. It’s more specific to the content and much easier to gain traction with search engines.

How do you use keywords?

  • The primary keyword phrase you want to be found for should be the first words in the page title, as search engines look at the first words first. Make it a 100-percent match to your keyword phrase.
  • Use keywords as well in the description and also put them at the beginning; search engines are different in what they look for and how they handle this, but using them first will ensure that your post is found by each.
  • Use keywords at three times in the first paragraph, once in a bold font and in subheadings.
  • If you use keywords in this way, you are branding yourself, which is beneficial even if the reader does not click.

Other tips

  • Use different variations on your keyword phrase
  • Be sure your keyword phrase is in your domain name; best if it’s a 100-percent match
  • Put keyword phrases at the beginning of the page, as search engines look at the beginning, then stop.
  • Use your keyword phrase in the html code. I did a view source on a site dedicated to clean water and found this:
    . Smart.

  • Photos: be sure to use the alt text and make your filenames keyword; instead of photo001.jpg, use keyword-phrase.jpg and be sure to fill in the description of the photo.
  • Get content toward the top of the page. Search engines don’t read the entire page.
  • Always search for your site; don’t go directly to it. More searches for your site means more traffic, which helps your search engine response position. Google keeps up with how many people click on results, how many people view that as the most relevant result.
  • Avoid duplicate content – snatching content from two different pages will get your penalized as Google looks for fresh, content and valuable information. This also affects trust, which search engines consider as well.

Thanks, Mike for the great info; I’m sure we will talk more about SEO and someone mentioned the possibility of working through an SEO case study together. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Other info from our October meeting:

StudioPress.com – home of Genesis theme framework and child themes.

Next month: show and tell. Be ready to tell the group about your favorite plugin(s).

Also, we breezed through the WordPress admin area pretty quickly; if there is anything I didn’t make clear or you have more questions, let me know.

For those new to the group, this site is our group playground; so if you’re interested in being involved, email Beth for a username and password; If you’re a programmer or developer and you’d like access to the admin area to edit code, let me know that, otherwise I’ll add you as an editor. Info on WordPress roles and capabilities here.

See you in November!