Measuring & Identifying SEO Opportunity Webinar

Posted by roinah on Friday, December 9, 2011

The list below includes answers to questions we did not have an opportunity to cover during the Q&A session of this webinar. To review all questions discussed, please visit the archived webinar recording on Producers Exchange.


1) Where can I find the SEO Checklist? 
The SEO checklist is available on Producers Exchange at:http://bit.ly/euQzMT

2) Are "tags "in WordPress beneficial to SEO?

The way tags are set up by default in blogging software and the way most publishers tend to use them tend not to be that helpful for SEO. Often, publishers will create too many different tags that just repeat what's already in the article; each tag generates a new "tag" page but very few of those tag pages are strong enough by themselves to rank for their keyword. Generating a lot of pages that are light on "unique" content and that have no shot at ranking is generally a bad SEO tactic, so by default Wordpress puts a robots noindex directive on those pages anyway.

If you can accomplish your objective using Wordpress "categories" instead of "tags", that tends to help curb the tendency to create new pages that only contain one or two stories.

If you do want to try to get your tag pages to rank instead of your category pages (or your articles themselves), then there are a couple things you need to do: 1) Map your tags against your keyword strategy: limit yourself to a finite set of tags that you can rank for, rather than generating completely new tags for every post. If you do need a new tag, try to establish some rule of thumb where you don't use a tag unless the resulting tag page has at least 6-8 number of stories on it and the tag is a descriptive keyword people would actually use to search. 2) Once you've cleaned up all your tags and you're certain you don't have a duplicate content problem and you're not undermining the ranking potential of the actual articles, then you can remove "nofollow" from your meta robots tag.

In short: having more pages doesn't necessarily mean better rankings. It's better to have fewer but stronger pages than to create a tag schema that dilutes your site's PageRank across a lot of weak pages.


3) Do you have suggestions for determining keywords for a news site, where the content is constantly changing? For example: we have a lot of coverage of the war in Libya, but we are getting very little search traffic for that...is it worth to invest in that short-term keyword? Or should we be focusing on just a few long-term keywords?

News sites need a two-fold keyword approach: Targeting keywords for short-term news cycle traffic and then positioning themselves for long-term rankings.

For breaking news terms, the Google AdWords tool is not going to work well. Instead, you'll want to use something like the Google Trends tool to see what keyword version people are searching for. Quite a bit of that behavior is going to be determined by what phrases/headlines other news outlets are using.

Try Google Trends: http://www.google.com/trends?q=japan+tsunami%2C+japan+earthquake&ctab=0&geo=us&geor=all&date=mtd&sort=0

For breaking news, your objective is really to try to get into the Google News One-Box (where Google News results are pulled directly onto the top of the main results pages). Getting to the top of Google News can send a huge spike in traffic, but that dries up as fast as it came, so you can't rest your entire strategy on it.

That's why the short-term "chasing the news cycle" tactic should be part of a larger strategy of making sure your content is well positioned to keep drawing in traffic longer term.

Other than trying to get into Google News, the strategy for picking keywords isn't all that different than what I outlined in the blog posts: prioritize keywords to target based on the potential they have to drive traffic AND your site's ability to rank for those terms. That may mean targeting phrases deeper in the long tail, but where you can maintain rankings.

And keep in mind that picking the right keyword phrases to target is just one part of the optimization process.


4) Does Merlin Meta Data play a role in SEO? 
Yes!
For Producers and Stations who ingest their content into Merlin (for PBS.org), there is extra incentive to fill in your meta data fields because it can boost your SEO performance. Visit the link below for more details.

http://projects.pbs.org/confluence/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=22184199


5) What SEO Blogs do you recommend?

SEO Blogs and Resources – Melanie's recommended reading list

Google Webmaster Central: YouTube Channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/GoogleWebmasterHelp
Not a blog, but lots of basic SEO tips and Q&A from Google's anti-spam chief. If you have a question about SEO, odds are good that Matt's done a video about it.

The Official Google Blog - http://googleblog.blogspot.com/
News and updates about Google products and what they mean to users.

SEO Book - http://www.seobook.com/blog
Thought-leadership by Aaron Wall and other advanced SEOs.

Search Engine Watch - http://searchenginewatch.com/
Industry news and specific how-to's on a range of online marketing topics.

Search Engine Land - http://searchengineland.com/
Industry news, thoughts and how-to's related to search marketing.

Outspoken Media - http://outspokenmedia.com/blog/
Lots of great online marketing ideas presented in a fresh voice.

{ 4 comments... read them below or add one }

william smith said...

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is not just about ranking your business website to Australia's top 10 rankings for a particular niche related keyword. It is also about Brand marketing where you increase awareness of your online potential customers or clients about your business. SEO techniques are implemented to create your business identity as you gain popularity in your niche market.

Small Business Search Engine Optimisation

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