Learn SEO to Grow Your Website

Josh Cavin, Software Engineer

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21 Lessons (1h 25m)
    • 1. Trailer

      2:00
    • 2. Introduction - Why is SEO important?

      1:14
    • 3. Understanding how search engines work

      2:16
    • 4. Setup project website with weebly.com

      3:31
    • 5. Setup google analytics

      3:25
    • 6. Setup wemaster tools and review quick review of analytics

      7:16
    • 7. Deciding what keywords to choose

      2:04
    • 8. Keyword Selector

      3:21
    • 9. Keyword Rankings

      3:29
    • 10. Internal Linking Structure

      5:55
    • 11. Content, title tags, and meta tags

      8:01
    • 12. Indexing

      4:21
    • 13. Link Breakdown

      2:13
    • 14. Building Backlinks

      9:27
    • 15. Tracking Backlinks

      4:59
    • 16. Analyze SEO

      1:00
    • 17. Analyzing SEO Example

      3:08
    • 18. SEO HTML and Wordpress Website

      5:08
    • 19. Tips, Tricks, Things not to do

      2:56
    • 20. Words to know and class wrap up

      2:50
    • 21. Backlink Update

      6:09
26 students are watching this class

Project Description

Build a simple weebly website and search engine optimize it

Understanding how search engines work

  1. How does ranking a website work?

    It is a pretty simple concept, if you break it down into simple terms. I will use this analogy to help explain. 

    Say you are a yoga instructor. There are many yoga instructors out there as well. What makes you better (rank higher) than the others? Well you have a ton of referrals that say how great you are and these people are really into yoga as well. 

    The referral, in the web world is a link. The link in this case could say something like "yoga instructor" and send people from the referrers website to your website. That helps build your rankings for that keyword. We call these referrals, "backlinks". 

    It used to be back in the day that your website had a chance of ranking based on the fact that there were not that many competing websites. Rankings could be achieved through good onsite SEO. Now backlinks have become the strongest part of SEO and understanding how this works is crucial to your success. 

  2. Major search engines and their ranks

    Here are some of the major search engines you should rank for in order of importance. 

    • Google 66%
    • Bing 17%
    • Yahoo 11%
    • Ask 2%
    • AOL 1%

    The percentages represent 2013 Comscore rankings for Search Engine usage. As you can see that goolge is used by way more people then any other out there. This obviously means you want to focus your efforts on ranking for google, but do not over look the others. 

    Keep in mind that the search engines do not react exactly the same, Google is much tougher in ranking then say Yahoo. 

    - I have found that Google and AOL rank website similiar, same goes for Yahoo and Bing. 

  3. Search engine bots and spiders.

    Search engines have programmed algorithums that crawl over all the websites out there to rank them. These programs are referred to as bots or spiders and travel through links to absorb all the data of each page. 

    After the code is viewed and parsed the Search Engines assign rankings according the specific keywords. Lets call them 'bots' for now. These bots travel through links and are constanlty being updated. 

Measure current traffic before doing anything!

  1. Setup our project website

    Let's setup our website that we are going to tweaking and optimizing throughout the class. We are going to be using the Weebly to help with the creation of our website. Weebly is free, easy to use, and has some built in SEO functionality that we are going to need. 

    I know that many of us will have existing websites already. Don't worry all the skills you will learn can be applied to your own business or personal websites. 

    Follow these steps to setup a weebly website

    1. go to weebly.com
    2. On the left side, fill out your info and hit signup!
    3. Choose whatever theme you like
    4. Choose the first option - Use a subdomain of weebly.com -  for "Choose a website domain" 
    5. Watch the one minute video. 
    6. To publish your website (go live) there is a button in the top right.  Click publish to make our website live for the first time. 

    I encourage you guys to post your websites to the skillshare project gallery for community feedback

  2. Install analytics and get comfortable with using them

    A fundamental step that is overlooked by many companies and website owners is setting up analytics on their website before their SEO begins. You want to be able to record that your SEO efforts are working and have detailed website data is a must. 

    We are going to be using Google Analytics because it provides a great amount of reporting, easy to intstall, and is free.  Here are the steps to setup the google analytics account. 

    1. If you don't already have a gmail account, it will ask that you create one. 
    2. After creating an account, you will be asked to add a new account. (call it whatever the website will be called)
    3. Enter the website information and copy your tracking code. 
    4. Login to your weebly account and navigate to - Settings => SEO
    5. Paste the tracking code in the footer code box and click save

    I setup  a google analytics account from scratch in the lesson video. Please watch it if you need more direction. 

    I also mentioned Crazy Egg for help with conversion analytics. It is great for analyzing visitor behaviour.

    I am not in any way affiliated to either of these tools, just think they are great products. 

  3. Setup Google Webmaster Tools

    Google web master tools was created to help us website owners view the traffic and information that google perceives our website having. I used to not think very positvely of this tool because all the information provided could be bettered reported using other analytics.

    They have improved this over the years and give a few tools that really help. One of the major tools being,  the disavow function. 

    Use a meta tag to verify ownership of your website. After verified you can view all the tools available. I recommend take a good look at the search traffic tab. 

Choosing Keywords

  1. What are keywords?

    Keywords are individual or combined words that represent content of a page. In terms of search engines like Goolge keywords help with finding content that we are in search for. 

    A quick example of keywords would be a search in google for "yoga classes san clemente" 

    In terms of SEO, we can have rankings for all individual words and the whole combined set as well. 

  2. Figure out our customer and product

    A website can be about anything like a product, service, information...

    Lets keep things simple for now and say we are selling a service (yoga classes). Keyword selection has a few elements going on.  I thought it would be easier to understand if I bullet point them out for you. 

    1. What is our service. about?
    2. Who are the people searching for my service? 
    3. What keywords do they type in to search for that service?
    4. How much do those keywords get searched in the search engines
    5. How many websites are competing to rank for those keywords?
    6. How targeted are the keywords (will they create conversion)

    Try to use your marketing mind for the first three points. 

    1. Our service is about yoga and our location"San Clemente"
    2. People searching are either into yoga  already or maybe just into fitness and health
    3. Maybe they type in "yoga classes san clemente", "yoga school", "yoga instructor"

    Fot the next 4-6 points we can use tools to help determine these. Check out the next step for a breakdown on tools. 

  3. Keyword selection tools

    Here is a review on where we left off with selecting keywords 

    1. How much do those keywords get searched in the search engines
    2. How many websites are competing to rank for those keywords?
    3. How targeted are the keywords (will they create conversion)

    For number one we can use google adwords to help with finding out how much those keywords get searched. Since we already have a google account when we signed up for analytics we can just go to Google Adwords and follow the setup process. 

    The tool is called the Keyword Planner and can be accessed in the tools section of your google adwords. Keyword Planner, sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com. Click the Tools and Analysis drop-down menu and select "Keyword Planner." 

    I recommend to watch the video because this is better understood through watching. Type in some keywords that you came up with after thinking about your website is about and what your customer would search for keyword wise. 

    You have different filters you can use, but I would keep all these open to see all results. Click get ideas to see results. There will be displayed adgroups, which are groups of keywords that all are similiar, and the monthly searches. You will also see the competition ranking as well. The competition pertains to adwords, but can often be a good indicator of competition for organic traffic as well. 

    Organic traffic refers to the results to searches on search engines that are given through their search algorithms. Google adwords is a paid search result. Paid listing on Google search results are highlighted yellow if at the top and also display on the right hand side. 

    The key is finding something that is targeted, high traffic, and low competition. Sounds tough huh? It is, but this tool will help you get there. 

    I wanted to add another free keyword selection tool that some of you may find usefull. It is called wordtracker and provides a rough estimate of search keywords. 

  4. Track keyword rankings

    Your rankings for our weebly website should be not found because we just created the website. We must fill out content for the website to even be ranked. Most likely you will not rank for the words that you are targeting for seo in the beginning.

    It is still important that we setup the ranking tracker so, we can view our changes if any. If you are implementing an already existing website that has rankings, it is even more important that you get a baseline of where you are at before doing SEO. 

    In the video I used twitter.com as an example so we could get and idea of what a website with rankings could look like.

    Advanced Web Ranking is a great tool. They charge a one time fee, the program has a bunch of cool features, and  they offer a free trial for 30days. I am placing a link in the additional resources area of the project guide. 

    Another awesome tool, but is more expensive is Moz