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					Search Engine Optimisation
Getting better search engine results
         the ‘natural’ way



           Karin Elgin Nijhuis
        TEAM Tourism Consulting

     E-marketing for Tourism Destinations
 ETC and UNWTO, Budapest, 16-17 June 2008
Agenda

1.    How crawler-based search engines work
2.    What search engine optimisation is
3.    What search results pages show
4.    Do’s and don’ts
5.    ‘White hat ’versus‘ black hat’ techniques
6.    Targeting search terms
7.    Optimising text and meta data
8.    More do’s and don’ts – careful when redesigning
9.    Further information
10.   Discussion on HTML Title
Karin Elgin Nijhuis, TEAM Tourism Consulting
• TEAM
   –   Consultancy for tourism Destinations
   –   E-business specialists
   –   Clients – global, national, regional and local
   –   Manage the www.etcnewmedia.com site for ETC –
       consumer trends in new media in 50 markets
• Karin Elgin Nijhuis
   –   Former Internet Consultant and Head Consultancy & Projects
       Department of Media & Information Service
       Netherlands Board of Tourism and Congresses (NBTC)
   –   Working as consultant since 2004, TEAM associate
   –   Managing editor and co-author UNWTO book
       Evaluating and Optimising Websites – The Destination
       Web Watch (2005)
   –   Editor and co-author, UNWTO Handbook on E-Marketing
       for Tourism Destinations (2008)
 Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation
The process of
- paying attention to the critical success factors and
- of choosing targeted keywords or keyword phrases and
- ensuring that the site appears high in the rankings when those
  keyword phrases are used
The process of
- improving the volume and
- quality of traffic
to a website from search engines via the
‘natural’ (‘organic’ or ‘algorithmic’) way

Paid Listings is advertising; paying for a keyword or combination
of keywords which is relevant for the business. Pay-Per-Click
(PPC) charges the advertiser for each time a user actually clicks
to the site.
Search Engine Optimisation

SEO requires an understanding of:

•   How search algorithms may work – drawing conclusions
    based on search engine rankings and experience

•   How people using the web might search
    For example, more than half now use 3 words or more

•   How a website’s coding, content, presentation and
    structure may influence the ability of search engines to
    navigate and parse (‘spider’ or ‘crawl’) and index
    content
Crawler-Based Search Engines


To index a website, a robot or crawler follows links
  between web pages, and caches page text,
  content and other text or HTML based
  information.

When a web user enters a search word or phrase,
 all pages containing the word or or phrase will
 be returned in an order determined by the
 algorithm (ranking) process.
Search Result Pages

Entries shown in search result pages (SERPs)
usually comprise a combination of:

• The HTML Title, also referred to as meta title or
  title tag)
  <title>your text</title>
  Clickable link in SERPs
• The Description I.e. the content of the meta tag
  Description
 <meta name=“description” content=“your text”>
• The page URL
• Part of the text contained in the page itself
Search Engine Optimisation

• How this combination appears may have a
  major impact on whether the searcher clicks on
  the entry

• Google and Yahoo differ in approach

• Monitor how your pages appear in search result
  pages and adjust the meta and/or page text

• Use web analytics to track and trace traffic from
  search engines against targets and trends
Do’s and Don’t’s
• Website and coding should be search engine
  friendly and without barriers to crawlers
  Potential barriers include:
  – Mark-up code (HTML, XHTML etc.) which does not
    validate to W3C WAI recommendations
  – Flash introductions and Flash navigation
  – Javascript (used for f.e. dropdown menus)
  – Complex database URLs. These should be masked by
    conventional URL formats
  – Frames construction
  – Redirects and linking multiple domain names to one
    website

• Solve these issues before embarking on SEO
Search Engine Optimisation

Simple tests

• Check whether the deepest pages of your site
  are indexed by pasting a block of text within
  inverted commas into the search engine

• Check mark-up code for potential errors at
  http://validator.3c.org
Search Engine Optimisation

‘White hat’ versus ‘black hat’
Do’s and don’ts
= what search engines want
= what makes searchers happy when they view the
  pages returned
= websites filled with good, relevant and useful content
= what search engine ranking algorithms are based on
= the recognition ‘white hat’ search engine optimisers
  aim to achieve
Search Engine Optimisation


‘White hat’ versus ‘black hat’
Black hat techniques include:
• Hidden text
• Keyword ‘stuffing’
• ‘Gateway’ or ‘cloaking’ pages
• ‘Link farms’
Basic rule: no content, coding or links that have as the
  only purpose ranking pages higher
Targeting Search Terms
Useful tools for discovering search terms people use:
• Google Adwords keyword tool
• Yahoo! Search Marketing keyword suggestion tool
  (Note: was Overture)
• Keyword Discovery www.keyworddiscovery.com
• Word Tracker        www.wordtracker.com
Targeting Search Terms
• Check the comparative competition level: look for search
  terms that have a higher ratio of searches to number of pages
  returned

• Check top ranking sites for each term: how well they are
  optimised and how easy would it be to challenge their
  position?

• Check the link popularity of these top ranking sites and check
  value in GoogleRankings or similar tools

• Develop an understanding of the words visitors to your
  destination have used: use visitor surveys and the search
  function in your site

• Select two or three relevant search terms per page:
  geographically specific, achievable, likely to produce site
  visitors who will turn into destination visitors
Targeting Search Terms

Pick the ‘low hanging fruit’
Optimising text and meta data
Step 1:
• Write the text page intended for the site user
Step 2:
• Re-edit so that your target search terms appear two-three times in the
   text as high up the page as possible
• Try to include them in the anchor text and in headings and
   subheadings (using HTML code <h1> and <h2>)
• Do not forget to offer the destination name on the page
Step 3:
• Edit the HTML Title tag (approximately 10-65 characters) to include the
   target terms for that page
Step 4:
• Edit the meta tag Description and repeat the target terms
Step 5:
• Add to the meta tag Keywords the search terms and other words that
   appear on the page
• Add target search terms to alternate text (alt tags) for a (preferably
   clickable) graphic on the page
More Do’s and Don’t’s

• Optimise different language versions for each language
  separately
• Develop keyword-rich anchor text links within the site
  Wrong: Click here to book your castle accommodation
  Right: Book castle accommodation in Schotland now
• Add a sitemap based on text links

Develop ranking and authority status by
• Frequently updating your site
• Developing inbound links
More Do’s and Don’t’s

Take care when redesigning your site

• Do not change your domain name

• Keep page URLs the same where possible

• Keep important and optimised text

• Keep well optimised meta data the same if possible

• Confer with your webmaster as to implementing
  redirects and landing pages
Further information

A selection from the many useful
   forums and sites where
   techniques are discussed:
• www.google.com/webmasters
• www.searchenginwatch.com
• www.highrankings.com
Search Result Heat Map




 Nielsen, J. (2006), F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content
 www. useit.com/alertbox/reading_pattern.html
Search Engine Optimisation


Discussion

The HTML Title tag is one of the most important
factors in achieving high search engine rankings

And it should drive traffic to your site, so:

How do you make choices as to the HTML Title?
Search Engine Optimisation


    How do you make choices as to the HTML
                     Title?

-    Stress the authority of the site by a sentence
     like “Official website of the […] Tourist Board”?
-    Name DMO (for reasons of branding)
     + keywords?
-    Keywords + name DMO?
-    Compelling sentence or call to action?
-    Other considerations?
Thank you for your attenton




           Karin Elgin Nijhuis
    KarinNijhuis@team-tourism.com

				
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