Webinar Series: Learn to SEO Like a Pro

Below you can watch a series of free webinars from SEO.com taught by our search engine optimization experts. Learn how to increase sales by boosting traffic to your website and improving where your business ranks in the all-important search engines.

This is an excellent opportunity to learn the latest techniques from our experienced SEOs, who will present about what they know best: Internet marketing. If you’re interested in learning how the best SEOs get better rankings for their clients, don’t miss this opportunity to have your questions answered by the professionals.

The topics of these webinars are:

  • Recorded Live Oct. 27:  Proving the Value of Search Engine Optimization (Completed) Watch Recording »
  • Recorded Live Nov. 10:  Is Your Website Attracting Visitors? (Completed) Watch Recording »
  • Recorded Live Nov. 17:  Creating Successful Landing Pages (Completed) Watch Recording »
  • Recorded Live Dec. 8: Double your Website Traffic in 2012 (Completed) Watch Recording »
  • Recorded Live Dec. 22: Use Google Analytics to Increase Sales (Completed) Watch Recording »

Proving the Value of Search Engine Optimization

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Webinar Transcription

Pat: Greetings, everyone. Thank you for joining us for today’s SEO.com webinar. We have a great presentation planned. My name’s Pat Parkinson. I’m here with Claye Stokes. Claye is a director of search engine optimization at SEO.com, and he has a ton of tips for both SEOs and marketing people alike today. If you are looking to boost your business through online marketing efforts, then you are definitely in the right place. How are you doing today, Claye?

Claye: Hey, I’m doing great. This is kind of a fun topic as an SEO agency to prove the value of search engine optimization. That’s one of the most important parts of our days as we work with clients. What you’ll get out of this presentation if you are an SEO professional: I hope your reports are going to be a little bit better after this—a little more focused and deliberate—and that you’ll really be able to show the value of your search engine optimization campaigns—not just simple reports, rankings, and things like that, but to prove that value to your clients. If you’re a business owner or a marketing manager, at the end of this presentation you are going to know what reports you should expect from your SEO teams if you want your SEO campaign to move in the right way; and that is, basically, to be profitable.

Claye: First of all, let’s talk about the usual reports that SEO people are used to looking at or used to providing. Those might include rank reports, traffic reports, and broad, aggregate eCommerce-type reports. What’s the typical reaction you get from a client or a business owner when they see these kinds of things—they’re bored out of their mind! They see, “Oh, so I’m ranking here, or I’m getting more traffic here… so what?” That’s the big question. “I see you’re doing a lot of things. You’re showing me a lot of numbers. But what does that actually mean?”

Proving the value of SEO goes far beyond those means to that end of moving the needle for a business or making a website profitable. You need to speak to what your client or what a business owner really values—those are the real benefits that they’re looking for. So that begs the question: what does matter—ROI? 99 percent of the time, that’s the stat that everyone’s looking for. That’s the whole reason SEO exists. It’s probably the reason you were hired. If you are a business or marketing manager, that’s the reason you’ve signed on for SEO in the first place.

Pat: What about that term “ROI?” It stands for return on investment, but in this arena, what does it mean? Are there different types of return that people can seek, or can you break that down a little bit?

Claye: Yeah, thanks Pat. That’s a great question. ROI can be analyzed on a lot of different levels. If you’re a CMO or a business owner, you might be considering ROI to be a statistic of all of your marketing efforts, both offline and online. From an SEO campaign perspective, it would basically be: if you’re spending $5,000 a month, or a year, or whatever on SEO, how much revenue are you getting in return as a direct result of spending that money.

Webinar Highlights

  • Getting a certain ranking or a certain number of links or types of links does not necessarily mean you are going to see good returns in revenue.
  • Knowing the demographics of those who “convert” on a product after looking at your site is crucial to knowing how successful your site is.
  • Analyzing your ROI separately for each demographic really helps you to focus your efforts—do this by using Google Analytics to track your cost-per-lead (CPL).
  • Phone call tracking can help you to determine which keywords convinced customers to call you. This helps you to attribute those leads in your SEO campaign and better calculate your CPL.
  • Assign a dollar value to each of your goals based on the type of lead you’re measuring.
  • Trend out your cost-per-lead on a monthly basis in order to determine trends in how well each type of lead is bringing revenue.
  • To get started: know your current SEO ROI, set some meaningful goals that will push you, and then commit to those goals and audit your efforts regularly to detect improvement
  • Web analytics tools include filters that can help you identify who arrived at your site through organic links vs. paid links, who sought out your brand name, who found you using a long search term vs. a short one, etc. Use the pipe symbol | to mean “or” when using these filters—it will help you to find various groups of keywords that customers might use to find your site.

Is Your Website Attracting Visitors?

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Webinar Transcription

Pat: Greetings, everyone. Thank you for joining us today for the SEO.com webinar. We have a great presentation planned. Rich Harding has prepared an excellent presentation about how to attract more visitors to your website. How are you doing today, Rich?

Rich: I’m doing great, Pat. Just excited to be here.

Pat: Why don’t you tell us a little about what you’re going to be talking about today, if you would.

Rich: I’m going to be talking about: Are you attracting visitors to your website? It’s part of a series that we’re doing right now. For those of you who joined us last week, we had Claye with us who dove into analytics and measuring and reporting different metrics, and this goes hand-in-hand with that.

For those of you following us on Twitter, make sure you follow us at AshSEOWebinar. You can certainly submit any questions that you have on Twitter, or if you’re joining us online, you can submit any questions there. We usually do a Q&A at the end, but feel free to submit questions at any time.

Just a note for those of you who join us from week to week, we’ve gotten feedback that we tend to run these a little too long, so we’ve cut this one a little bit shorter. It will be a little broad, which means a lot of you may have questions, so don’t be afraid to pipe in.

Pat: Thank you Rich. Shall we get started?

Rich: Yes. Let’s go ahead and jump right into this.

Pat: Attracting visitors to your website. Where do we begin?

Rich: Well, the first thing you want to look at … is measuring growth. When measuring visitors to your website, and setting goals and metrics, you want to make sure that you are really channeling the different e-roads that are coming in: inbound or outbound marketing. Obviously with SEO you want to be measuring organic traffic as well as paid search. Email marketing. Social media is obviously huge these days, as well as if you’re a local business focusing on places, maps. And this is across not just Google, but across the different search engines.

Breaking down what you’re measuring with this incoming traffic—you want to make sure that you’re really looking at your year-over-year and month-over-month traffic. When measuring those, you want to take into consideration seasonal traffic. Just because you may see traffic going down, particularly late spring or late summer—you want to make sure you’re keeping an eye on that. And just because it is going down, a good way to measure growth in a company is to watch that month-over-month and year-over-year traffic. Like you see graphed here—which shows actual year-to-year numbers of a client—you can see that even though last year’s traffic was down, this year it’s spiking quite well.

With that traffic, obviously you’re going to want to be measuring click-through rate, and with that click-through rate, how do your new visitors, um, what are your bounce rates like, if your bounce—

Pat: Whoa. I wonder if you’re getting ahead of everybody. Can you tell us a little bit, Rich, about what click-through rate is and bounce rate is?

Rich: With your click-through rate, you’re looking at your visitors that are actually clicking through to your website versus the impressions or the looks that potential visitors may be getting through search engine results. And with that, when you follow it through to your analytics, you’re going to want to pay very, very close attention to new visitors. Are you a business model that is focusing on revenue and ROI, or are you more of a business model that is focusing on retargeting, or maybe resale. And coming along with that are the bounce rates: the bounce rate is how quickly does someone leave your site? They come in and hit your homepage, and they immediately feel like you don’t offer what they are looking for. They are going to turn around and bounce right back to the search engine. If you’re looking at bounce rates, and they’re 60-70 percent or higher, then you want to make sure you’re targeting the right traffic.

Pat: So, you’re going to tell us a little bit about how to improve click-through rate and how to improve the bounce rate.

Rich: That’s exactly right.

Webinar Highlights

  • Make certain you’re communicating to your target audience. They have to see immediately that you provide the product or service they are looking for, or they’ll leave. This is done by using the right key phrases that will catch their attention.
  • Web analytics can help you determine what key phrases get search engine hits and customers’ attention.
  • Design your website around your customers, not you. Make it clear where they should go. Put a call to action right on the homepage or landing page in an obvious place.
  • Constantly test your website—your customers’ tastes will change and the market will change, which will require you to evolve along with those changes.
  • Particularly test the colors and images that immediately catch visitors’ eyes when they come to your site.
  • Seek user reviews voraciously—they will help you more than almost anything else to increase your rankings, improve your brand image, and get people talking about you positively.
  • Videos and infographics are easily sharable through social media and will create conversation about your business.
  • Bad press is an opportunity. If your company reaches out through social media to resolve a complaint, it will look really good to other customers.
  • If you have a solid product and/or service, people will talk about your product. Encouraging them to do so will make your business visible and boost its rankings.
  • You need to at least be on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. These are essential social media platforms to be on and engage in.

Creating Successful Landing Pages

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Webinar Transcription

Pat: Greetings, everyone. Thank you for joining us for today’s SEO.com webinar. We have a great presentation planned today about creating successful landing pages. It’s another installment in our “Learn to SEO Like a Pro” webinar series. I’m here with Tyson Hymas. How are you, Tyson?

Tyson: I’m good, Pat. How are you?

Pat: Great. Tyson is an SEO manager at SEO.com, and he’s cobbled together a lot of great tips today for us about how to make our landing pages better. Is that correct?

Tyson: Yeah, it is. This is something that I really enjoy. A lot of it is on-site optimization—where to place certain elements on the page. The first optimization we’re going to go over is social networking. There are a lot of key elements we’re going to talk about here today that go into creating a successful landing page. We’re going to cover some of the main points.

First off, let’s talk about what a landing page is. It is a web page we create for the sole purpose of promoting a particular product or service and is designed to gather information from our visitors through a lead-generating form. Traffic to these particular pages are usually generated through email campaigns, PPC advertisements, or through search engine results directly.

With landing pages, we want to capture a certain demographic or targeted audience—someone who’s looking for something specific. We often see companies make the mistake where they send their visitors directly to the homepage from a social campaign or ad campaign. This leaves them navigating through the site trying to find what they’re looking for. This results in higher bounce rates and lower conversions, which is something we want to avoid. This is why we create landing pages.

When you create these landing pages, you want to offer the visitor something of value, whether it is a free webinar, a free website analysis, or an e-book of sorts. With that, and with the techniques we talk about today, we’ll hopefully turn that visitor into a lead and then into a customer. So, first we have to think about what we want visitors to do. Then we have to think: how are we going to make them do that? We’re supposed to help them find exactly what they’re looking for. This will keep them from bouncing from page to page on your site until they either find what they’re looking for or leave your site altogether. With these and other opportunities to generate leads, if optimized properly, we can tell visitors exactly what to do.

Pat: Excellent. You’re going to take us through some of the different elements of a landing page.

Tyson: Yes. There are several key elements we’re going to talk about. These are all essential to creating a successful landing page. First will be the title and the meta-description. Now, if you were listening last week, Rich Harding covered this and did a really good job. I’m just going to go over it again to refresh your memory, starting with the meta-description. This is a brief description of the page that the search engines pull from the page and display in the search results page. You want to write this correctly and properly so that you’re enticing visitors to visit your page. You want it to read naturally and include the particular keywords that you designate for this page, and you also want to include a clear call-to-action telling your visitors exactly what to do.

This is a key element: if you leave the meta-description blank, if you neglect to write this, the crawlers will simply pull a block of random content from the page that may not be useful to your users. They’ll read it and it won’t make sense necessarily. This is something that you don’t want to neglect and you do want to write. This element doesn’t necessarily help rankings directly, but it does help with the click-through rate. If you write it properly and include a clear call-to-action, it helps people to click through and visit your site more often.

Pat: Now, is changing your meta-description difficult?

Tyson: No, it’s not difficult at all. I’m not a web designer at all, and if I can do it, anybody can do it. It’s a simple change in your CMS. If you can’t figure it out yourself, hopefully you have a webmaster on hand you can talk to, and they can get it changed really easily.

Webinar Highlights

  • Title tags do improve rankings—they are the link back to your site from a search. They get cut off after 65 characters, so limit them to that number.
  • Use headers to tell visitors what each page is about at a glance.
  • Make sure headers include keywords, match the ad that brought visitors to the page, and encourage click-throughs.
  • For content, break up the page to make it easier to read: use shorter paragraphs, bulleted lists, and images to accomplish this. Also bold key ideas for readers who only skim the text.
  • Be descriptive in the writing and make sure the call-to-action is clear.
  • Encouraging visitors to share your page on their social media gives you a free army of marketers that will tell their friends about you at no cost to you.
  • Be careful with lead generation forms—asking for too much information will turn potential customers away, while asking for too little will result in a large number of dead-end leads. Find the right balance through testing.
  • Using a long-tail set of keywords in your title tag and/or primary header will help your page to show up in a variety of short-tail keyword searches.
  • You can have multiple calls to action, but don’t have more than three or four and space them out throughout the page. Make them look natural—only have one really stand out.
  • Calls to actions and box forms are best placed in the top-right corner because of the natural direction of reader’s eyes.

Double your Website Traffic in 2012

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Webinar Transcription

Pat: Hey, greetings, everyone. Thanks for joining us for the SEO.com webinar today. We’ve got a great presentation planned about a topic I’m sure every business owner out there cares about, and that is doubling your website traffic. We’re going to have a few tips today from SEO Manager David Malmborg about ways you could double your website traffic next year. David, how are you doing? Thanks for being with us today.

David: I’m doing well, thank you. It’s fun to be here.

Pat: I’ve seen the presentation. It looks like there’s a lot of interesting stuff in there. Why don’t you give us a little summary about what you’re going to be talking about today?

David: Well, the idea is that we’re going to double your website traffic in 2012, and that doesn’t come to anybody easily. We’ll go ahead and get into some of the details. I’ve got a great case study I want to share with you guys to show it can be done.

Pat: Great. Well, let’s get right into it then.

David: Sure. There are two ways to double your website traffic. The easy way is to add your analytics code twice to the same page so that you get two website counts for every visitor. It is not really doubling the traffic, but it doubles your numbers, so you can look good that way. That doesn’t really work. The other way is hard, and it really comes by a lot of work. You’ve got to do some work, you’ve got to do some more work, and finally you’ve got to work some more to get traffic to your website.

Pat: Hey, it’s a lot of work.

David: It is a lot of work, and that’s the thing. A lot of people say they’ll send traffic to a site, and you can get a lot of numbers, but is it the right traffic? Is it traffic that is beneficial to you? Really, the only way to get true traffic from people in your target audience who are truly interest in your product—to get fans to your site—comes by a lot of work.

Pat: Okay, great. [I’m leaving out Pat’s typical invite for questions on Twitter and so forth.] So, work, work, work. Where do we start?

David: Let me just go into one of the old adages I really like, and that is: If you always do what you have done, you’ll always get what you got. And I know you don’t like that phrase because it rubs against your grammar mentality, but it’s really true. And I think it speaks true for website marketing as well. If you’re going to continue doing what you’re doing with your website right now, you can really expect the same kind of traffic as you have been getting. If you do the same Internet marketing you did in 2011, unless something changes (and there can be offline changes, such as new product introductions, which can give you a boost), then you’re going to get the same results in 2012. Really what I want to instill in your mind is that you need to change it up a little bit in order to improve on your website traffic.

Pat: Okay, let me ask you a question.

David: Yeah.

Pat: I’m wondering what is it? Can you give me some examples of what I might be doing that I need to improve? This is a great quote, but what are a couple of things I’m doing that maybe I shouldn’t be doing anymore?

David: Well, I think you need to sit back and watch the rest of this webinar because that’s exactly what I’m going to be answering. I’ll be giving tips on what you can improve or add to your workload in order to increase your website traffic. Hopefully I can give you some tips and pointers on where to get started. Here is one my favorite slides as far as hard work. I come from a mining family. Here are some silver miners from the 19th century. Those guys put their lives on the line in order to get the silver or gold or whatever they were mining for. And really, if our goal is to double our website traffic, we’ve really got to put a lot of work into that.

So let’s get started. I want to introduce a case study to you. This case study comes from a good friend of mine who used to work here at SEO.com. He’s living the right way as far as Internet marketing goes. We have a lot of different discussions on things, and I really like what he’s doing. This is where it really was when he first started at this company: 500 visits a month to a certain portion of their site. Two months later, he had moved that up to 20,000 visits in a monthly span. That’s a 4,000 percent increase! Continuing to do a lot of the same stuff he was doing to improve website traffic, he actually moved that number. Six months later in November, that number was 60,000 visits. So, from 5,000 to 20,000 to 60,000 all within about eight month’s time—it really shows that you can improve your visits to a website. And how was all of this done?

Pat: Yes, how?

David: I’ll tell you right now. It was done by blogging. And that’s what I really want to get into. If you guys are doing blogging to your website, you really have a good chance of increasing visitors to your site every month. A blog is actually extremely important to a website. For site that don’t have a blog, really, what do they have?

Pat: They have a lot of promotion materials.

David: Yeah, they have a lot of promotion materials, but they have a website that stays the same. It doesn’t change. There’s nothing added to it. For the majority of websites, the products offered are the same over time as the year before and the year before. Without a blog or a news section, you find yourself with a website that doesn’t change over time. A website that doesn’t change doesn’t incite people to come to that site daily, weekly, or ever again, if they didn’t like your services.

Webinar Highlights

  • Sites that update often get more notice than static sites
  • Blogs help to generate interest in the product or service you offer
  • Don’t rely solely on hot culture topics in your blogs—talk about what you do
  • Create useful content that your target audience wants to see
  • Interview industry professionals and invite guest bloggers
  • Post consistently—around 4 to 5 times a week (and weekly newsletters also help)
  • Use graphics that convert a lot of data into something pleasing to look at and easy to read
  • Local news relevant to their industry really helps to attract potential customers
  • Find links applicable to your industry and post them in a news area
  • One idea: post a podcast every Monday, say “something awesome” every Wednesday, and provide a list of useful links every Friday, and put out one of each of these during the month: infographic, interview, news release, announcement

Use Google Analytics to Increase Sales

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