SEO Best Practices – Cyber Symposium 2012 Presentation

Last Friday I was given the opportunity to speak to a group of legal professionals at a cyber conference held at Thanksgiving Point. It was a lot of fun and I got to meet a lot of really cool and really smart lawyers. I was thinking today that I don’t post enough on this site since the majority of my blogging happens over on the SEO.com blog, so I’d put together a quick post outlining what I spoke about and embed my slide deck.

At the conference, I spoke about two main topics… gaining visibility in the traditional search engine results pages and gaining visibility in the localized search engine results pages.

Traditional SEO

There are four components to traditional SEO, they are as follows: Site Architecture, Content, Links, and Social.

Site Architecture

Having a properly structured website is incredibly important to help the search engines efficiently crawl each page of your website and associate those pages with a set of keywords. To improve your crawlability, you should be cautious when setting up your robots.txt file and meta robots tags. You also should have a well throughout and laid out site hierarchy. You should have both XML and HTML sitemaps and internal links.

Content

Content is what drives SEO. You can have a solid site structure, back links, and social shares, but without content, it isn’t going to matter a whole lot. When building out your content, make sure it has a purpose. Who is the content for? Is it to generate leads (targeting prospects)? Is it to engage promoters to help build links or generate shares? Is it for both?

You also need to strategically place keywords in your content so the search engines can know what your pages are about. These should live in your title tags, headings, and content.

Links

In most cases, links are votes for your website. He who has the most links wins… well, they used to, or maybe they still do :)

There are three different types of link building, first, link attraction, second, link creation, and third link requests. Each has their strength and their place in an SEO campaign, so please make sure to execute the proper link building types based on a proper gap analysis.

Social

Social shares are also votes for your website which is why is is critical that you build social sharing right into your business, including your website. You need to make it STUPID SIMPLE for your visitors to share your content across the most popular social networks.

You should also use social to build relationships with other human beings. Build real friendships, talk to them about other things than business. Share their content and in turn, they will share yours.

Local SEO

There are also four components to a localized SEO effort, they are as follows: Maps Setup & Optimization, NAP, Citations, and Supporting Website Content.

Maps Setup & Optimization

The first component to your local SEO efforts is making sure that your Google+ Local (Google Maps) listing and Bing Maps listing are set up, optimized, and fully fleshed out.

NAP

When setting up your maps, building citations, and generating supporting website content, you want to make sure your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) are all consistent. 123 N. vs 123 North are looked at differently and could negatively impact your local efforts.

Citations

Just like links are votes for websites in traditional SEO, citations are votes for maps pages. Citations are any external reference to your business that includes your business name, address, and phone number. These can be social profiles like those on Yelp and Foursquare, blog posts, or business directories.

Supporting Website Content

The last component of localized SEO is making sure you have supporting content on your website. If you run a law office in Orem, UT and one in Salt Lake, UT, you need to have a webpage dedicated to each of the locations that include information about that location (don’t forget your NAP).

Well, that’s my quick 700 word summary of my presentation. You can view my slide deck below. Please feel free to leave any questions or comments you may have in the section below.

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