Posted By MDS Strategic Digital Marketing on 12/12/2018

SEO Fundamentals: Crawl, Walk, Run.


Presented at the CHPRMS 2018 Fall Conference in Charleston, SC.

1. SEO Fundamentals: Crawl, Walk, Run Mark Samber, PhD MDS Strategic Digital Marketing, LLC mark@mds-strategic.com CHPRMS Fall 2018 Conference Francis Marion Hotel Charleston, SC

2. About Me • 20 year veteran of web marketing • AMC health system digital marketing leadership • Extensive agency experience • Advised over 3 dozen organizations on SEO strategy • Performed more than 50 SEO site audits • Built SEO practice from the ground-up at a leading healthcare marketing agency

3. SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of optimizing page rankings for your content on Google (and Bing’s) organic search results pages. What is SEO?

4. SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page and is what you want to optimize the rank of your pages. What is SERP?

5. Anatomy of a Google Search Results Page (SERP) • Google Local Pack • Google Ads • Organic Results • Knowledge graph • AdWords ads • Shopping ads • Featured snippets (also known as 'answer boxes') • Image results • Video results • Site Links • News stories • There are 24 distinct types of information Google can put on a SERP page—it’s not just 10 blue links!

6. What is SEM? SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is the process of gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines. It is sometimes also referred to as PPC (Pay Per Click) Source: Search Engine Land

7. The SEO “Sweet Spot” What People Search For Your Web Content Maximize This Align these Branded v. Non-Branded Long Tail v. Fat Tail 4 Billion Google Searches Per Day! 46,296 searches per second

8. There are well over 200 variables in the Googlebot algorithm, however we can prioritize what really matters How Does Google Rank Sites?

9. What SEO is Not Keyword Density Query Freshness Social Media Likes Great Content A Magic Potion

10. Crawl Mastering the basics is essential to any SEO plan

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12. Hierarchy of SEO Needs Run Walk Crawl Social Local/Mobile Off-page Strategy Keyword Mapping UX/Technology Content

13. Why Aren’t You Being Found? • 55% of pages don’t have a single backlink • 91% of pages don’t get ANY Organic Traffic

14. But Search is Indispensable Source: 2014 Google study on Internet Search • 77% of patients use search prior to scheduling an appointment • 75% of search paths are for symptoms or conditions • Only 19% of searches are for a branded term

15. First Conduct An Audit • Audit your technical implementation • Audit your content • Audit your backlinks • Audit your site traffic • Audit your keyword performance

16. Next, Generate Good Original Content • Long form is better • Keep the writing to an audience appropriate level • Break up topics • Focus on Site Structure • Focus on Simplified Navigation • Don’t create pages of links

17. Finally, Fix Your Technical Issues • Metadata • Sitemaps & Robots.txt • Redirects • Canonicals • Images & Page loads • Code issues • Anything that’s a red flag

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19. Good SEO Practice Requires A Multidisciplinary Team Of Writers, Designers, Developers, and SEO Experts

20. Walk Get these things right to advance your SEO performance

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22. Keys to Success 1. Begin cultivating and nurturing Off-page Authority 2. Build a targeted Keyword Plan & Content Strategy 3. Focus on mobile & desktop content improvements

23. Focus on Off-Site Authority Building Backlink analysis & opportunity • Toxic link identification for de-indexing • Brand mentions that are and are not linking

24. Focus on Site Structure

25. Create a Keyword Strategy & Content Plan • Identify Pages you want to rank high • Identify keywords and phrases you want to rank for • Focus on Branded vs. Non-Branded Terms • Easy to rank for Branded • Consider SEM companion campaign either defensively/offensively • Consider long-tail terms for non-branded queries

26. Content Plan Plans start with topics and pages to rank and conclude with recommendations for meta data

27. Long Tail Search • Knee Pain has over 514 query variations

28. But Vary The Query Slightly

29. Run Advanced practices for accelerating your site’s SERP performance

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31. To Be Exceptional at SEO You Need to Focus On 7 Things 1. Schema – expanded search results, voice results, directory listings 2. Reputation 3. Listings Management 4. Social & Link Building 5. Mobile Performance 6. Continuous Content Improvements 7. Rank for long tail queries

32. Schema.org is the result of collaboration between Google, Bing,Yandex, andYahoo! to help you provide the information their search engines need to understand your content and provide the best search results possible at this time. Source: Moz What is Schema?

33. Everything Important is Built On Schema • Ratings • Location Listings • Directory Information • Voice Search • Expanded SERP Features • Events

34. You Can’t Come Up in Voice Search Without Good Schema

35. Schema Can Help You Write Content KneeBody Part Joint painSymptom OrthopedistDoctor torn meniscusCondition arthroscopic surgeryTreatment Outpatient surgery centerLocation Orthopedic Associates, IncOrganization 9A - 5PHours MedicaidInsurance Use schema tags to provide an outline for your prose.

36. But…there’s two ways of doing Schema • Html microdata • JSON-LD

37. Focus on Local & Mobile Search Ratings and Directories

38. Local SEO & Listings Management

39. Strive for a broad cross-section of SERP features Site Links Local Pack Knowledge Graph News Featured Snippets Video Reviews Maximize SERP Visibility

40. • Bid on Brand keywords for amplification of organic traffic • Defensive posturing against competitors for strategic keywords • Competitive brand bidding (but not on mobile) Coordinate SEM Campaigns

41. Great On-Page Content that’s Relevant and Authoritative Well-managed Off–Page/Back Links Flawlessly Executed Technical Factors Strong User Experience and Site Performance SEO is About Consistently and Continuously …

42. 7 Things You Should Take Away From This Talk 1. SEO is not a ”set it and forget it” exercise 2. It takes a team approach 3. It’s part art and part science 4. There are no guarantees you’ll rank for meaningful non-branded terms 5. SEO and SEM go hand-in-glove 6. It’s probably the most important marketing activity you can do 7. Odds are you’re not investing enough in it

43. Final Thought • Being Exceptionally Good At SEO Means You’re Good At Everything Else • UX • Accessibility • CMS Implementation (technology) • Content • Social

44. Tools & Resources Some Free Resources! There are dozens more

45. Thank You! Mark Samber, PhD mark@mds-strategic.com @mds-strategic