Speaking at Evo Conference

Yesterday I spoke at the EVO conference in Park City. The conference is focused on the evolution of women in social media. I was invited to speak at the conference because of my SEO workshop I did last year for the eBay blogger ambassadors. Rachael Herrsher from Todaysmama.com is one of the people who started EVO, and was at eBay.

It was the first time I did such a long session on SEO. Don’t get me wrong, I can talk for hours, maybe even days about the subject, however, doing a workshop for 3 hours also meant I would need material to fill the time. Based on the opening night, I spent the whole morning prior to my workshop creating new slides. The opening Ignite speakers really  raised the bar, where I found myself short of great materials. Getting up at 5 am to put more together was hard, but I finalized a 130 page deck. (will later be added to this post!)

All the resources I used in the presentation can be found down here, for easy reference for the attendees and anybody else who is interested.

2 Most Important Aspects for SEO

  1. Discovery; If your content cannot be discovered or extracted by the search engine crawlers, you will not get any Search Engine Traffic.
  2. Relevancy; If your content is not relevant to the searchers users are looking for, your website will not rank high in the search engines.

Tactics to Improve SEO ranking aspects

Below you will find the screenshot of the framework I used in my presentation of the tactics how you can improve the SEO for your site. These make a nice acronym: LUMPS

  • Links; Internal and External Links
  • URL
  • Meta Tags; Page title & Meta Description
  • Page Content & Elements
  • Sitemaps

WordPress Plug-ins

  • SEO for WordPress by Yoast; WordPress SEO is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists today for WordPress.org users. It incorporates everything from a snippet preview that helps you optimize your page titles, meta descriptions and keywords to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between.
  • SEO Smart Links; SEO Smart Links can automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags on your blog.
  • SEO Slugs;  SEO Slugs plugin strips common words like “what”, “you” or “can” out of your post slug to make it more search engine friendly
  • WordPress Redirect plugin; Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, and generally tidy up any loose ends your site may have. This is particularly useful if you are migrating pages from an old website, or are changing the directory of your WordPress installation.

Other WordPress plugins I use on my site, which were not featured in my presentation:

  • Dagon html sitemap generator; This plugin creates a sitemap for your WordPress powered site. This is not just another XML sitemap plugin, but rather a true sitemap generator which is highly customizable from its own options page in the WordPress admin panel. Here is my sitemap
  • Enhanced WordPress contact form; You can simply set up a contact form on your blog using this plugin.
  • Google Analytics for WordPress; Google Analytics for WordPress is the most complete Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. Of course, you could just copy the tracking code into your theme and be done with it, but then you'd miss a whole lot of features that this plugin has to offer you. All the extra data this plugin can add to your tracking is what makes Google Analytics for WordPress into the most powerful tracking tool you've ever seen.
  • Simple Taxonomies; This plugin allows you to add taxonomies just by giving them a name in the backend. It then creates the taxonomy for you, provides a widget you can use to display a "taxonomy cloud" or a list of all the stuff in there, and it allows you to show the taxonomy contents at the end of posts and excerpts as well.
  • WP-Cache; WP-Cache is an extremely efficient WordPress page caching system to make your site much faster and responsive. It works by caching Worpress pages and storing them in a static file for serving future requests directly from the file rather than loading and compiling the whole PHP code and then building the page from the database. WP-Cache allows to serve hundred of times more pages per second, and to reduce the response time from several tenths of seconds to less than a millisecond.
  • WordPress Compression; This plugin allows your WordPress blog to output pages compressed in gzip format if a browser supports compression.
  • Cache Images; Cache Images is a plugin that gives users option to sideload images that are hosted on other domains to their own site. Sideloaded images are added to WordPress media library so you can use all tools related to images that you can use with images uploaded through WordPress. Image will be added as an attachment of first post where it is found, and every post where original URL is occurring will be updated with new URL. User can select from which domains to sideload images, including Blogger's domains.
  • WP-DBmanager; Allows you to optimize database, repair database, backup database, restore database, delete backup database , drop/empty tables and run selected queries. Supports automatic scheduling of backing up, optimizing and repairing of database.
  • Thesis OpenHook, if you are using Thesis as your theme, I can highly recommend the Thesis OpenHook plugin for extra functionality and flexibility
  • Genesis Simple Hooks, if you are using the Genesis framework as your theme, I can highly recommend this plugin for extra functionality and flexibility

Resources

Tools for researching the links on your website

Tools for Analytics, keyword research and free site metrics

Guidelines from the Search Engines

The highlights of the Google Webmaster Guidelines which were displayed in the slides are:

What To Do

•Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link
•Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content
•Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it
•Make sure that your <title> elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate
•Offer a site map to your users with links that point to the important parts of your site
•Make use of the robots.txt file on your web server

What To Avoid

•Don't deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users
Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or PageRank
•Avoid hidden text or hidden links
•Don't use cloaking or sneaky redirects
•Don't load pages with irrelevant keywords
•Don't create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content
•Avoid "doorway" pages created just for search engines, or other "cookie cutter" approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content. If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value

Blog Posts featured in my presentation

Where you can find me

The slides are included below here:

Comments

  1. Stacy says:

    Thank you so much for the BEST class at the whole conference! All that extra work paid off because those slides really helped us understand. Bloggers are so visual. Not only do you know what you are doing with SEO but you are an excellent speaker. Thanks!

    1. Dennis says:

      Thank you Stacy,
      I had a lot of fun to come to the EVO conference, and give you all a peek in my world.
      You all manage such interesting businesses, where I can learn from you how to manage the busy lives.

      I’m looking forward to come back next year!

      Thanks for your comment!

      Dennis

  2. I was at your Saturday seminar and I have to say it was the best one at the entire conference. I learned so much that I can apply to my blog to help grow my traffic. I can’t wait to get home and put it all to good use. Thank you for making SEO understandable to us non-tech people.

    1. Dennis says:

      Thank you for your nice comments Carolyn.
      I’m sorry I had to rush through the slides in my Saturday session. It was only 1 hour, where the materials were more for the 3 hour session. It’s tough to cut back the material to cramp it into 1 hour.

      I’m looking forward to come back next year, and learn more from all of you!

      Cheers

      Dennis

  3. Jane Bauer says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the best session ever at a conference. I’ve attended many conferences over my many years in corporate America but this one, which I attended for personal reasons, was the best ever. I took so many notes I had to fnd more notebooks. And a very big Thank you for posting the references, pages, etc.
    Now I will look indepth at each of the links to learn even more.
    Your session was very concise and easy to follow and I appreciated how you were flexible when someone asked a question.

    1. Dennis says:

      Thank you Jane,
      I had a lot of fun doing this.
      After I sat in the Ignite sessions the opening night, I wanted to step it up in quality of the slides and spent 4 more hours in creating the content. It’s nice to hear that everybody liked the materials, so my 5am wake up call was worth it :)

      I hope you can apply some of my tips, where your traffic will grow.
      Let me know if you make good progress, as I would be interesting to know how this session has helped you!

      Thank you

      Dennis

  4. [...] bonus for you guys? He is putting all some of his knowledge out for the world to see on his blog, The Next Corner, and sharing what he taught us at Evo. Go now and check it out…it’s that good that [...]

  5. [...] *the “SEO for Bloggers” session by eBay’s Director of SEO, Dennis Goedegebuure. Many found this hands-on, 3-hour workshop to be of great value, and now Dennis has made his material – including slides – available on his site. [...]

  6. [...] decision! Dennis Goedegebuure from eBay crammed everything a blogger needs to know about SEO into a one-hour workshop. My brain still [...]

  7. [...] EVO workshop Dennis Goedegebuure, who has been the SEO director at eBay for 9 years spoke about SEO for bloggers. Even though it’s directed to mom bloggers, these SEO principles apply to any blogger who [...]

  8. Thanks so much for bringing your expertise and fun personality to evo’11. We haven’t stopped hearing amazing comments about your workshop.

    We hope you’ll come back next year and bring the fam!

    In the meantime, I’m excited to check out your amazing slide deck and start applying your tips!

    Thanks, Dennis!

  9. kelly says:

    Slowly re-digesting all this fabulous & amazing information. You truly are a wealth of knowledge! I so enjoyed your workshop & am trying to implement the things you taught us.

  10. MusingMom6 says:

    I appreciate this! I can’t get to conferences and budget is too tight. I have implemented some of this and will definitely be working on the others.

    There is so much to learn when just starting out, baby steps :)

  11. [...] Just as in 2011, I promised to make the slides of my presentation; SEO for Bloggers; available after EVO 2012. The slides are embedded below here, where you can flip through the presentation. (find my blogpost on EVO 2011 here) [...]

  12. RaejeanRoberts says:

    Thanks for your class! I mostly learned how much I need to learn. I appreciate you sharing your slides and resources for us to refer back to as we study. Your enthusiasm makes SEO more interesting.

  13. [...] SEO for Bloggers – incredible resources! [...]