SEO, Traffic Building, and DotNetNuke - It's All About the Keywords and Content Baby
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results as opposed to search engine marketing (SEM) which deals with paid inclusion. Typically, the earlier (or higher) a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search and industry-specific vertical search engines. This gives a web site web presence.
In lesson 1 we covered gathering the free tools that you will need to analyze your current site, your page positions and keywords that visitors are using to find your site, and discovering prime keywords and phrases that will assist you in placing your content in higher search page rankings. If you have not yet read lesson 1, I encourage you to do so before reading this article.
In this article I will explain:
- How I setup your DotNetNuke pages utilizing the best use of the keywords and keyword phrases in my meta title tag, description, and keywords settings.
- How to match your page content to your targeted keywords and keyword phrases
- I will show you a free tool to check your keyword page density and compare it to your competition that has first page Google positioning.
We will continue using the example of my outdoors site - JustNorth.com and how in 3 weeks has shown a bounce rate reduction from 50% to 12.89% and a visitation increase of 39.5% simply by improving my content, page names, titles, descriptions, and keywords.
How I setup your DotNetNuke pages utilizing the best use of the keywords and keyword phrases in my meta title tag, description, and keywords settings
Now that I have gathered some data about the site using Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools it is time to get to work fine tuning my pages with the intent of creating more traffic.
Since JustNorth.com is primarily an outdoors content driven site, my goals were to:
- Find specific content subjects that would attract more visitation.
- Examine my current page names and decide if they were too general to allow me higher search page positioning within specific niches.
- Create new ways to attract authors and outdoor publishers that would create additional content for the site with the goal of creating more search engine traffic.
As mentioned in the previous article, I was not receiving good search engine placement on pages that were titled fishing, hunting and camping. These subjects were too general. Although these keywords rate very high in the Google Keyword Search Tool, there was way too much competition to ever allow me top ten page placement.
An additional problem was that I had these pages buried three links deep on my menu structure. Google did not consider these pages relevant due to the depth of the linking and most likely the search robots never accessed these pages.
How to match your page content to your targeted keywords and keyword phrases
My first step was to recreate these pages with titles that were specific to a niche and move them within the menu structure to a higher linking level. To accomplish this, I first turned to the Google keyword Search Tool to discover what additional keyword and keyword phrases that were receiving decent traffic for fishing.
The returned results showed me local and global search volume of visitors searching for specific keyword phrases.
The list was lengthy and I proceeded to add all the keyword phrases to Notepad that showed the largest volume of searches.
The next step was to fire up Google Analytics and observe the keywords and keyword phrases that were currently being used by our visitors and compare them to the list I received from the Google keyword Search Tool.
Once I discovered relevant matches between the two lists, the next step was to decide how to best utilize these matches and how to redo my fishing section to build traffic from the specific keyword phrases that I will utilize in my page title, page description, and page content.
As I previously mentioned, the JustNorth Outdoors site is an outdoors content driven site. So, the first plan of attack was to create a top link page with a high ranking keyword phrase that would attract visitors to this type of content. I opted for Outdoors Articles. With 24,700,000 returned Google results for Outdoors Articles it appeared to be a popular subject. My goal was to first optimize this page for high Google page position and then use it as a base page for the thousands of outdoor articles that would be individually optimized for additional relevant keywords and keyword phrases. Currently the JustNorth.com site is now in position 1 on page 1 for Outdoors Articles. Cool!
To setup this page in DotNetNuke, I went to page settings and added the needed title and description to the page and saved the changes. Although Google has acknowledged that they no longer use Meta keywords to evaluate page ranking, due to overuse and abuse by some webmasters, until DotNetNuke discontinues the option to add Meta keywords, until I am not convinced that Yahoo and Bing are still recognizing the Meta keyword tag, and because Google has left the door opened slightly on possible future use for Meta keywords, I still add Meta keyword tags for good measure.
At this point it is important to understand that you have two types of visitors to your page - The human visitor and the search engine spiders. It is very important that your use of your selected keyword or keyword phrase within your content is deemed by the search engines as human readable. But it is just as important that the search spiders can easily understand what your page is about by traversing the content to match keywords and keyword phrases that are relevant to a search request.
It is important that you do not fall into the trap of what is known as "Keyword stuffing". Keyword stuffing refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords in an attempt to manipulate a site's ranking in Google's search results. Filling pages with keywords results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site's ranking. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.
With that in mind, I then proceeded to create my top content area for the page being sure to match the title and description keyword phrases that I used for the page settings. For good measure, I surrounded the top page content in HTML H1 tags to notify search engines that this was important content.
Search engines relate relevance to content that is surrounded by H1/H2/H3 HTML tags and content that is bolded. Take a moment to examine the articles page and, as a study lesson, try to determine what else on this page is placing it in a high search result position for the search term, Outdoors Articles.
Now that this page was setup properly and returning positive search results, I was ready to create the pages in the sub menu for fishing.
During my research on good keyword phrases, I determined that Outdoor Tips was another well searched phrase. I decided to create a page named Outdoor Tips and this would be the top menu page for my new fishing pages. As of this writing, the JustNorth Outdoor Tips returned results is in position 7 on page 1 of Google search results. More Cool!
The next step was to take my current fishing page (you know the old page that was getting no top 10 page ranking) and break it up into several pages that matched the keyword phrase results that I obtained from the Google Keyword Search Tool and Google Analytics. I then created these pages and placed them directly under the outdoor tips page in the navigation menu.
Now instead of a general fishing page that was buried three links deep, I broke up the pages into several well searched titles - Ice Fishing Tips, Openwater Fishing Tips, Salmon and Trout Fishing Tips, and Walleye Fishing Tips. I follow the same procedure on these pages as I did on the Outdoor article page by analyzing top search results and injecting these top searched keyword phrases into the title, description, and content. Please feel free to examine these pages.
The Free Tool
Now, I do not fully understand the exact algorithms that Google uses to get you on page 1 for every keyword (nobody does). If I did, I would have already been a multi-millionaire and retired by now.
That said, I can use all the help I can get. That is why I use the FireFox browser add-on named SearchStatus.
Among other features, SearchStatus gives me a quick snapshot of my page density for targeted keywords.
After you have installed SearchStatus as a FireFox add-on, by right mouse clicking in a blank area of your page, your FireFox menu will show a link to the SearchStatus page keyword density.
You simply enter the keyword phrase that you want to analyze.
And review the results.
If you have a good mix of using the keyword phrase in your Title, Body, H1/H2/H3 tags, Links, bold, Meta description, and Meta keywords there is a good chance that you are doing it right and will receive a higher search result ranking.
Another use for this tool is comparing your pages to your competition. If I am trying to get page 1 for a specific keyword phrase, I will Google that phrase and look for who is on page 1. I then go to their sites and run the SearchStatus keyword density checker on their pages. I then compare their results with the density results on my page and make any necessary adjustments.
Whew! That was a long lesson.
The point to this lesson is:
- You don't need to over complicate the procedure to gain positive search engine results.
- If you want to increase traffic to your site, you first need the tools in place to allow you to analyze visitor search behavior and be able to react to the current trends.
- Always going for top level keywords and keyword phrases does not always result in better search engine placement and many times it is a detriment to traffic building. Look for the niche phrases.
- Google Keyword Search Tool is your friend and use it often. Just because a keyword or keyword phrase is getting a high ranking this month does not mean it will hold the following month. I rate high now for Ice Fishing Tips but, in another month, nobody will be searching for that phrase. I best have additional content in place for the open water fishing season, come spring, if I want a continual flow of seasonal traffic.
The take-away in this lesson is to setup and begin using:
Google webmaster Tools
Google Keyword Search Tool
FireFox Add-on - SearchStatus
In the next lesson I will show you how I:
- Create my article content to capitalize on keywords and keyword phrases to produce even more targeted traffic.
- Use additional free tools to see a quick snapshot of my page placement in Google and other top search engines.
- Create Google Sitemap instances in Google Webmaster Tools
SEO Reference: Webinar featuring Tom Kraak from Seablick Consulting and Nik Kalyani from DNN Corp.
Wishing You Success,