Google SEO for Dummies

On Wednesday, March 22nd, marketing communications industry expert, Freddy Nager, visited the Annenberg Digital Lounge to dish SEO and Google Analytics knowledge, showing us how the beast works from the inside out. During the workshop, he provided us with a few tips to help our own sites soar in the rankings.

Here are my top 7 takeaways from the Annenberg Digital Lounge workshop that really helped to dumb the whole confounded process down:

1. Make Your Website Crawl-able

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You have to Allow good things to happen to you – let Big Bro (Google Spider) crawl through your website and find good reasons to promote it in search – if you don’t manually do this for your site, you’ll never be found!

2. Link Juice is Good Juice

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You want big, powerful sites like ESPN, NBC, Hollywood Reporter and USC to link back to your website. Every single link back gives your site more “juice”. Google Spider won’t drink link juice from social media websites (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook), so ensure that your corporate partners or outlets featuring your content are linking back to your website on their native sites.

3. Paying For It Is So Wrong

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Never pay for the Big Juice Guys or for PR agencies to build farms to link back to your little site – if Google finds out, you’re toast (Like, they’ll actually disappear you from Search, dude). It happened to J.C. Penny; don’t let it happen to you.

4. Moz is Your Friend

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Nager recommends a sneaky little SEO site called Moz that offers free SEO tools for the aspiring webmaster including rank tracking, link building and website auditing. I’m bookmarking these for later.

5. Abandoned Sites Sink Ships

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If you don’t update your site regularly (every day, every few days, at least every week), you’ll slowly start to sink in Google Search. Link juice can only get you so far. Publishing “Best of the Day” or themed daily articles/posts is a solid way to stay afloat!

6. Save The Best for Your Site

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Engagement on social is nice (It’s always a thrill to see that someone Expanded your tweet, right?) and while it might do well to build share of heart/share of mind among your clients, customers or consumers, it won’t boost your ranking in search a lick. Get your audiences to click through to your site (and spend some time on each page) by holding the good videos, text and other rich media from social.

7. Create Content Everyone Wants to Link To

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Let others do the work for you – create and share content that hundreds (if not thousands) of others would be inclined to link back to. Tech bloggers will link back to that video of you dropping the new 9.7-inch iPad from 10 stories up. Fan sites will link back to your exclusive interview with Selena Gomez. Travel booking agencies will link back to your quirky, original photo tour of LA beaches (There’s an idea, feel free to steal it). Don’t just save the best for your site – give the world a reason to talk about it, too.

Have you learned something new that could help your site rise in search? What have you tried that never worked?

Sound off below!
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