Wordpress.org is still the best CMS/website platform for SEO.
For examples we will be using Wordpress - if you don’t use it, same rules apply.
● Cheap & easy hosting for non-tech
● Unlimited number of powerful plugins
for SEO to save you a ton of time / $$
● Tons of online documentation
● Open source so no official support BUT
premium themes / plugins often have
● Its often exploited so you need to keep
your version updated
● A little less user friendly than some
paid CMS platforms
● A lot of the stuff in a typical SEO audit is not actually important
○ html/css - not a ranking factor
○ page load time - not a ranking factor
○ schema errors and warnings - not a ranking factor
● But some things ARE important
● The slides below are technical items that should be addressed. Due to
time constraints, we aren’t going to discuss all of them but are leaving
them in for you to get definitions later. Be sure to also consult the provided
● Checklist https://goo.gl/gvroQT
It is best practise that your site has a Verified Google Search Console Account
(formerly Google Webmaster Tools) & Google Analytics Account. These accounts
provide valuable information on site performance and SEO issues that may arise such
as traffic insights, crawl errors or broken pages.
An xml sitemap is used by search engines to crawl your site and an html sitemap is used by
humans to search the pages on your site. XML sitemaps should also be submitted to Google
Search Console so that search engines can
● Find your site quickly
● Find all of your site.
● Yoast SEO Plugin will automatically create your sitemap and you just need to submit it
through Google Search Console
Meta Robots are instructions that you can provide to search engines on some things to do
when the bots are crawling a web page. It is advised to set up Meta Robots with the
following configuration for ranking pages:
<meta name="robots" content="noodp, noydir, index, follow, archive">
This configuration tells search engines to index the page, follow the links, archive the page,
and when displaying the page in search results to not use descriptions from the Yahoo or
Search engines prefer websites that have security measures in place. The preferred url by
search engines is a secured url using https://. In our testing we have found that https is a
For best practice SEO and for the sake of canonical/duplicate content issues, the non www.
domain record, as shown below, should redirect to the www. record on the website.
A robots.txt file is used to prevent search engines from finding and crawling pages that you
do not want indexed, for example, admin pages.
● Schema Markup, sometimes referred to as Rich Snippets, is markup language inside a
webpage that is only viewed by search engines.
● You mark up key information about your pages with special
● Could include things like products, industry category, location, operating hours, contact
details, event info, business description, reviews etc.
● Schema Markup helps search engines understand the content on a page and allows for
rich, engaging organic search results for your brand.
● We have tested schema and found it to be a ranking factor.
● Open Graph adds metadata to your pages and posts to control how those pages and
posts appear in social media when your content is shared.
● The use of Open Graph has been shown to increase Click Through Rates, thus driving
more traffic to a site.
● Open Graph also appears to be an important first step in indexing and rank.
Rel=Publisher is a tag that associates your content with your brand. It is important that when
you write quality content, Google is able to easily attribute that content to your brand.
Rel=Publisher is a link between your content and your Google My Business Page. Having
Rel=Publisher on your site will improve your brand search results.
Rel=Canonical is a tag which establishes the preferred url for a webpage and its content.
Rel=Canonical consolidates external links pointing to a webpage ensuring that the target
webpage gets credit for all links pointing to it. Rel=Canonical solves any potential duplicate
content issues within a website or in syndicated content. Additionally, Rel=Canonical
provides a level of security against certain negative SEO attacks. We recommend
implementing Rel=Canonical on every page on a website.
500 errors are server side errors and often indicate serious server issues. These errors
should be addressed immediately.
404 errors are ‘page not founds’ on your website. 404 pages need a 301 redirect pointing
search engines to the new/correct pages
302 redirects are temporary redirects and should be changed by a developer to 301’s.
A broken link on your site can negatively effect your SEO. If there are links on your site, both
internal and external, that when clicked arrive at a 404 error page then these need to be
While page load time is certainly a factor for user experience, our testing has shown that it is
not a direct ranking factor. It appears that ranking is actually tied into the metric Time to First
Byte (TTFB). You can see your current TTFB in the column below called ‘First Byte.’ Free
Tool: webpagetest.org (First Byte, First View under .5s)
As of April 21, 2015, Google has added a mobile friendly component to their algorithm to
display mobile friendly sites in search results. It is therefore imperative that sites are mobile
Recently Google released AMP, Accelerated Mobile Pages, and recommends that sites
begin developing AMP pages for their mobile sites. We have tested AMP pages and have
determined that they are currently not a ranking factor. We suggest implementing AMP if
you have content that you are trying to get pickup in Google News or other news outlets.
One Keyword / Topic = One Page
You must designate a specific page for each top level keyword - Most sites fail right here
Secondary Keywords and Variations follow top level keywords
- You will often win secondary keywords and variations by virtue of winning the top level
- However, if you don’t have a specific page chosen for a “must win” keyword you will
probably never win it (or the secondary keywords either)
To get secondary keywords, look at related searches
On Page Ranking Consists of 4 Elements
● Exact matches
● Variations of your keyword
● Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)
● Word Count
● The trick is figuring out “how much”
Rough & Dirty Approach to On Page
- Top 4 Places for your Target Keyword
This works for less competitive terms. Yoast’s Page Analysis will help you get to this level,
1. Meta Title (page title that search engines see)
3. H1 (page title that humans see)
4. Body Copy
● Your Meta Title and H1 should be the same
● You should only have one H1 on a page
Other Places Google Looks for Keywords on a
● H2s, H3s, H4s
● Image Alt tags and image file names
● Bold and Italic text
● On page anchor text
● Meta description (not actually a ranking factor but good for Click Through Rate)
I. h1 Page Title - Sustainability Podcast
A. h2 Sub Heading - Sustainable Business Podcast
1. h3 Smaller Subheading - Interviews with sustainable entrepreneurs
a. Body copy
2. h3 Smaller Subheading
a. Bulleted List
B. h2 Sub Heading - The Ultimate Green Podcast
1. Body Copy
The Scientific Approach to On Page
This is best for more competitive terms
● The secret to ranking is hiding in plain site
● Google shows you what pages it is rewarding for each keyword
● You just need to count keyword placement and frequency on top ranking pages
● Sounds easier than it is - It’s a lot of data
● We will take you through a tool we use to do this - it’s not publically available :-(
● SEO Quake is a free tool that can get you started
Motorcycle Course Nova Scotia
Internal linking is vital
In the next section we will discuss off page link building,
but first- getting your internal linking in order.
Backlinks - What is it? Why do you want it?
Backlink Outreach Process
● What kinds of sites do you need links from? (stick to your niche)
● Research and create a list (sites & emails, Google search is the easiest)
○ - GreenMe “Lisa Jaspers”
● Create an email template
○ Often you will need to offer an incentive for the link
■ An article from another site you contribute to (not your own)
■ Free product
■ Money to compensate for website admin work
■ A really nice review somewhere online
■ Boosting a post about them through your social media
● No response? - Follow up email (but don’t be to annoying)
Think Laterally - Only limited by your creativity
● Anything you have to offer can be leveraged into getting backlinks (think of it like
● Here are a few other ideas;
○ The Roundup: Review businesses in your niche - Do outreach to them
○ The Scholarship: A good one if you’re funded (.edu links!)
○ Charity Drive: Collection Event - Create a page - Outreach to local community
groups and the charity the collection is for - Get links from their online events
○ Shareable rich content: Infographics, interactive maps, Google surveys -
Outreach to sites whose audiences fit the content
Next Best Links to Build
Links you can build yourself on other platforms
- Own your brand name on web 2.0s
- Wordpress.com, tumblr, issuu
- https://goo.gl/2idrNE https://goo.gl/iGCkxo
- Put your Name, Address, Phone, Email, Website, Description
- Niche Relevant web 2.0s
- Reddit, Academia.edu, kinja
- Write relevant articles and build a presence on these sites
- https://goo.gl/jrJ49L https://goo.gl/fzAvLk
- Don’t start linking until the account is established
- Niche Directories / Citation Sites
Anchor Text in Linking
So- someone has agreed to give you a link! How should it look?
- Page Title/Post Title Your green lifestyle guide for Berlin and beyond
- Naked http://www.greenmeberlin.com/podcast/
- Brand GreenMe Berlin
- Keyword + Brand Sustainability Podcast, GreenMe Berlin
- Partial + Podcast
USE EXACT MATCH ANCHOR TEXT SPARINGLY Sustainability Podcast
● People don’t want to link to product pages
○ Write useful content that will benefit your site and that people feel better about
● Avoid fiverr, bulk backlinks
● Don’t do reciprocal links (I link to you, you link to me)
● Don’t set up link wheels (I link to you, you link to Bob, Bob links to me)
Encourage links to your blogs which THEN link to target pages
Take Away Pack hvseo.co/dnx
● Slide Deck
● Technical SEO Checklist & Guide
● SEO Writing Guide
● DIY SEO Guide
● Other Bonus Guides