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SEO On A Budget Presentation – Jenny Munn – Digital Atlanta 2011

SEO on a budget

SEO seminar with Jenny Munn.

I recently attended Jenny Munn’s “SEO On A Budget” presentation during Digital Atlanta last week. Munn gave an informative talk, chock full of tips and techniques for those new to the world of SEO.

What is SEO? Search engine optimization is a way to make sure your web site appears in search engines when people are looking for your type of business or service. There are no guarantees with SEO and algorithms are always changing with search engines, but there are some basic ways to improve your web site search ranking.

Munn was right on when she said “there is so much information out there about SEO, that people can get paralysis with analysis.” I was pleased to learn many things about the SEO and am ready to further optimize my site and those of my clients.

Munn offers a three-phase approach to get started with SEO. Her bite-sized tips are great for small businesses who want to improve their web site search appearance without being overwhelmed with data.

Phase 1
– keyword research – a keyword is usually a key phrase of 2-3 words that people search to find your type of product or service
– competitor research
– title tags and descriptions

Phase 2
– on-page optimization
– understand anchor text
– Google Analytics
– commit to blogging

Phase 3
– create content pages
– backlinking strategy
– advanced social media strategy & execution
– creating linkbait

Keyword Research

Brainstorm a list of keyword prospects. NOTE: keywords are not your company name or name (unless you are a brand or celebrity.)

Google has a free keyword tool – look for keywords with low competition and high searches.

Create an Excel spreadsheet with your keywords. The order of the words is important as well as using singular and plural keywords. Log out of Google for an objective search result.

If you are a small business, utilize location as part of your keywords. IT is impossible to compete with large corporations on common keywords. They have entire departments staffed in IT, marketing, blogging, social media, content creation and pay-per-click advertising. You can stand out locally.

Keyword Research Mistakes

– Trying to rank for 100 keywords (pick 5 – 15)
– Selecting many keywords per page (no more than 2 keywords per page)
– Not knowing keyword competition
– Choosing keywords that have no relevance to web site.

1) Write down all of the web site pages that you have.
2) Pick 1-2 keywords for each page.
3) Map out pages/keyword strategy.
4) Any other popular keywords – optimize blog posts for specific topics.

Title Tages and Descriptions

Is your web site current in design and navigation? Or is it five years old and has no social buttons or updated material? Make sure your web site is presentable before you optimize with SEO.

Once your web site is updated, fill out title tags and descriptions first. You have 60-70 characters in the title tag. If you are using WordPress (which is recommended for ease of use) get the All in One SEO plug-in to easily add Title and Description tags to pages/posts.

Optimize Web Pages

Focus on 1-2 keywords (key phrases) per page.
Start with your home page.
If you have a blog, this gives you additional opportunities to talk about specific topics/keywords.
Prioritize and assign keywords to specific web site pages.
You optimize web pages, not web sites. Search engines examine each page – which is why blogs are extremely helpful with SEO.

Place keywords in the Headline (first), once or twice per paragraph in the body. Write for the reader and try to keep the keywords naturally flowing in the text. It is tough to balance the creative message with the keywords. Include keywords in image ALT tags and anchor text. Use anchor text in a call to action. Google likes anchor text links.

Link Building

Half of SEO = your efforts to optimize your site and content. The other half? Links that point to your site. Google sees credibility in people linking back to your site. Build links where you can – in directories, press release sites, etc. Guest blogging can link back to your site as well as anytime someone else references your site.

Key Takeaway

Just get started. A halfway optimized page is better than a non-optimized page! Learn as you go, check YouTube for how-to videos and Google for SEO articles.