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SEO Best Practices with Web Content Management Brent Arrington, Services Developer, Hannon Hill Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director, Hannon Hill 2009 Cascade.

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Presentation on theme: "SEO Best Practices with Web Content Management Brent Arrington, Services Developer, Hannon Hill Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director, Hannon Hill 2009 Cascade."— Presentation transcript:

1 SEO Best Practices with Web Content Management Brent Arrington, Services Developer, Hannon Hill Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director, Hannon Hill 2009 Cascade Server User’s Conference

2 Agenda What is SEO? Why do you want to make SEO a priority? What things does SEO affect? How to do it What not to do 09/28/2009 Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

3 What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving website design, architecture, and content to increase traffic from organic search engine results. 09/28/2009 Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

4 Why do you want to make SEO a Priority? Majority of web traffic comes from search engines Effective SEO efforts will result in increased visibility and rank in search results which in turn, = more traffic! 09/28/2009 Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

5 What does SEO affect? 09/28/2009 Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer Location in search result listings Search result keywords for which your site shows up as a result The number of people visiting your site The number of people you are able to educate and/or convert as prospects.

6 09/28/2009 Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer What things affect SEO? Correlation levels between keywords, content, and site structure Number of links within your site Number of links to and from your site Links from sites to your own with a high Google PageRank Relevant naming of pages and content Site architecture Site design

7 09/28/2009 Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer What is Google PageRank? Google PageRank is a method used by Google to determine page importance or relevance for website pages.

8 How to do it 09/28/2009 Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

9 Fresh, Quality Content that is updated frequently 09/28/2009 Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer Search engines crawl sites and use a complex algorithm to determine things like quality/relevancy of content to keywords, other site copy, anchor text, etc. Cascade Server Solution – use Cascade’s reporting functionality to evaluate content age and last updates.

10 Metadata 09/28/2009 Metadata includes things like titles, display names, keywords, summaries, etc. System administrators and developers are able to create custom metadata fields to meet the specific needs of your organization. Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

11 Metadata continued… 09/28/2009 Let’s take a look at some specific metadata-related examples… – Metadata and Cascade assets – Creating and applying custom Metadata Sets – Asset factories and metadata Cascade Server Solution – Using Cascade’s custom metadata sets, you can place key metadata elements like Title, Display Name and Keywords in-line in the edit screens of pages, make specified metadata elements required, and create asset factories that prompt content contributors to add metadata to newly created pages. Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

12 Naming Conventions 09/28/2009 Page and folder names should clearly identify the content discussed in those pages and site sections. System names (which make up the content URL) should also correlate to page content and should be separated by a hyphen. i.e. - if you have a page for transfer student admissions: System Name- transfer-student-admissions URL - admissions.html Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

13 Naming Conventions Continued… 09/28/2009 In the previous example, the heading on the page may be “University ABC Transfer Student Admissions.” Search engines place more weight on tags, than they do tags, and so on. As an SEO best practice, put the most important headings in tags. Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

14 Naming Conventions Continued… 09/28/2009 As a best practice – all content, page titles, headings, system names, and display names should correlate to each other. Cascade Server Solution(s) – – use Asset Factory plug-ins to automatically create SEO- friendly page and folder names, based on title or display name. – use Cascade’s validation rules to require page titles, keywords, and/or other metadata. Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

15 Keywords 09/28/2009 Keywords are important both within Cascade and your content, and as they relate to the “outside” Web. Search engines analyze the density of keywords in-use on a site, and measure keyword use and saturation to further gauge content relevancy and correlation levels. Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

16 Keywords continued… 09/28/2009 In Cascade, keywords typically come in comma-separated lists entered at the page-level Use Google’s Keyword Tool and Analytics to identify keywords As a best practice – always include page metadata, including keywords, when creating and editing page content. Cascade Server Solution – use Cascade to create a shared library of researched and targeted keywords for your site and to require keywords with custom Metadata Sets. Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

17 Site architecture 09/28/2009 Setting up your site architecture in a logical, hierarchical format, allows for link concentration and importance to be properly spread around your site. Furthermore, a hierarchical folder structure concentrates more links back to your homepage, which typically results in a higher PageRank for your homepage. Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

18 Site architecture continued… 09/28/2009 Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer In the scenario above, your Company page’s PR would be increased by the external link, which in turn, would boost your Home page’s PR

19 Site architecture continued… 09/28/2009 As a best practice - place pages of lesser importance or relevancy further down your architectural ladder to give them less weight in affecting your site’s homepage PageRank and vise versa. Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

20 Alt Text 09/28/2009 ALT text for images, files, and tables is important for both SEO and web accessibility. Cascade Server Solution – use Cascade’s Asset Factories and custom Metadata Sets to require alt text and/or other metadata for tables, images, and files. Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

21 Linking 09/28/2009 Links are a huge part of SEO. When search engines crawl and index, links guide them in the direction to do so. External links are important, but don’t forget, internal links can count for just as much! Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

22 Linking Best Practices 09/28/2009 Link to content within your own site wherever it makes sense to do so. Partner up with other sites (where it makes sense to do so) with a high PageRank and garner linkbacks to your own site that will improve its PageRank. Use descriptive anchor text – i.e. not “click here” Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

23 Linking Best Practices continued… 09/28/2009 Cascade Server Solution – use Cascade’s link management and link checking to check broken site links regularly. Make sure you correct these errors. Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

24 Sitemaps and Site Indices 09/28/2009 Use Cascade Server to create a strong sitemap that you keep updated. Submit this sitemap to Google and republish it often. Cascade Server Solution – use Cascade to automate/auto-update sitemap and site index creation. Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

25 Web Design and SEO 09/28/2009 Good use of meta data (should be specific to each page’s content) Text > Graphics/Flash W3C Compliance “Shallow” directory structure Images optimized for file size/load time Avoid navigation generated by client-side script. CSS + static list elements > JavaScript Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

26 What NOT to do 09/28/2009 Keyword Stuffing Don’t hide text or links by making it match the background color or using hidden text. Don’t name pages with system names like “page-1.” Don’t link only to your homepage from internal pages. Links to the homepage are extremely important, but won’t help SEO when used on their own. Use shell or empty pages that house no useful content. Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

27 Summary 09/28/2009 Keep content fresh, relevant, and update it regularly. Put efforts towards ensuring high relevancy and correlation between page names, headings, titles, URLS, and keywords. Automate SEO processes with Cascade – create sitemaps, use Asset Factory plug-ins for naming conventions, and require users to enter metadata. Organize your site structure in a logical, hierarchical, and well-named way. Use internal links wherever possible and get links to and from your site externally. Make it easy for search engines to crawl and index your content with sitemaps and indexes. Use best practices in web design standards, and ensure alt text is used where applicable. Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer

28 Questions? 09/28/2009 Morgan Griffith, Marketing Director & Brent Arrington, Services Developer


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