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Proven SEO Strategies: My Takeaways from David Jenyns SEO-Workshop #TheSEOMethod3

The SEO Method 3 - Workshop in the Philippines

The Presenters: David Jenyns, Dori Friend & Steve Ovens

SEO is dead… that’s what you might have heard many people say after the latest major Google changes.

Fact is, search engine optimisation was never more alive! High rankings in Google’s search results are becoming more and more valuable for any business – no matter if big or small!

Staying ahead of the SEO game is therefore a MUST if you don’t want your competitors to overtake you.

This is the reason why I decided to take a couple of days off, fly to the beautiful Philippines and attend David Jenyns latest SEO workshop called “TheSEOMethod3”.

And although I’ve been doing SEO for quite a few years now… the things I learned from the workshop were not only eye opening but also very actionable!

In this post I’m going to share with you my biggest takeaways and what you should be doing in 2013 to stay ahead of your competitors and generate traffic to you website by boosting your website up in Google & Co.

So let’s dive right into it and see what Dave and his team had to say…

Focus on the user because Search Engines don’t have credit cards

Wouldn’t it be great to get some #1 rankings in Google for your chosen keywords with little effort and in the shortest possible time?

This is exactly what all those get rich quick schemes are all about. And although some of them used to work pretty well… those days are over since Google’s latest Panda and Penguin updates (and Google’s zoo keeps growing!).

As Dave puts it: SEO is all about “what’s best for the user”. Make the dreams come true for your customer by building a real business!

One of my favourites quotes from Steve Ovens on this topic was this: “Search Engines can’t open their wallets and give you their credit card numbers… real people can!”

SEO – The technical part!

Next up was a session from Steve Ovens on how to do a technical SEO Audit, making sure you have done everything you can within your own (digital) four walls.

With a background in programming and software development he is the go-to person when it comes to the technical part of SEO. He is also an expert in marketing and SEO which gives him a unique combination of skills that you don’t find very often!

Steve pointed out that on page SEO is not just about putting your keywords in the right places. Here are a couple of things you should take care of when optimising your site for the search engines:

  1. Make sure your website is accessible either with “www” or without… BUT NOT BOTH! You can use <link rel=”canonical”> to tell Google how you want your website to be indexed. Having both options available might cause duplicate content issues and result in lower rankings.
  2. Ensure your website is loading as fast as possible. No one wants to wait more than a few seconds for your site to load. “Loading time” is also one of Google’s many ranking factors. So if your site is slow… fixing the issue might give you that bit of extra-juice you need!
  3. Avoid duplicate content! Not just in the content you create on your pages and blog posts but also in your Meta Tags (title, description & keywords). Best place to check for this: Google Webmaster Tools. Log into your account and go to Optimisation >> HTML Improvements. Google will show you any duplicate description or title tags!

I actually have an eCommerce client with exactly that problem. So Steve’s session on how to do a technical SEO audit came in pretty handy for me… Thanks Steve!

This rather technical part of SEO gets oftentimes overlooked but can have a significant impact on your search engine traffic.

In case you don’t understand any of the above issues. Don’t worry (I don’t like doing those things either). Just make sure you get someone who does know how to fix it!

If that sounds like you… give Steve a call and I’m sure he will be able to sort that out for you!

Link building the “natural way”

David Jenyns presenting at his SEO workshop #TheSEOMethod3

David Jenyns – Talking about Link Building

Google’s Penguin update is targeting low quality websites that are trying to fool Google by using artificial link building methods.

One of the most pressing questions in a post Penguin time is: How to build back links without triggering one of Google’s filters?

The answer is pretty simple and Dave has already said it back in 2010: Replicate what happens in nature!

Dave and Steve pulled out a case study and link analysis on ShoesOfPray.com. A website founded by an ex-Google employee. You can find the case study over at Dejan SEO’s blog. (If you’ve been following me on Twitter you might have already seen it.)

Here my takeaways from this session:

On Page:

  • don’t over optimise your website (no keyword stuffing!)
  • choose your anchor text wisely, particular for internal links
  • creat internal links that make sense to the user
  • if you have any links (i.e. footer links) that are only for Google & Co – remove them!

Off Page:

  • vary the anchor text (this is THE most important thing to avoid the Penguin)
  • use mainly your websites URL and/or your brand name as anchor text
  • get links from a variety of sources (blogs, articles, forums, comments, directories etc.)
  • share your best content freely and the links will come “automagically” :-), even better: forget about SEO and just focus on building a quality website that people love (and want to link to!)

Dave also runs a professional SEO company. So in case your business needs help with online marketing contact Dave and his team over at Melbourne SEO Services.

Blog Networks – Moving to the dark side of Google!

Dori Friend from SEONitro.com talking about Blog Networks

Dori Friend from SEONitro.com – Blog Network Expert

When it comes to blog or link networks, there is only one person you really need to talk to… Dori Friend! She’s been building blog networks for almost 10 years.

Yes.. she does wear a very “black hat” when it comes to SEO and you want to be very careful if you are planning to get involved with building your own blog network.

In case you decide to go that path, here is what Dori suggests:
  1. Don’t share your network with anyone else! That’s what killed other networks (such as BMR). You want to have full control!
  2. Build quality sites that would be able to pass a manual review. If Google ever suspects you to have your own network they will first do a manual review. If your sites can pass that review you will almost always be save!
  3. Don’t spam your money site with exact match anchor text links coming from your own network. Apply the same rules that apply for “white hat” SEO outlined by Dave and link back with your URL and/or your brand name as the link text!
  4. My tip: See your network as an opportunity for guest posting where the only difference is that you own all the sites! You would not submit low quality articles to other peoples blogs, would you? So why do it with your own network!! Try to stay as “white” as possible, even if you are doing “black” things :-)

 

If you are new to SEO and creating blog networks I would highly recommend you don’t do this yourself. Get in touch with Dori and she’ll be able to build the network for you.

That way you can be sure that you don’t make any mistakes that could not only cost you a lot of time and money (that might be wasted) but also get you penalised by the search engines.

How I got lucky!

At the end of the workshop Dave, Steve and Dori where also giving away prices for the best feedback and takeaways from the day.

As it turns out my feedback was apparently pretty useful and I ended up winning – AWESOME!

Here is what I won: An SEO Audit for one of my websites by Steve, 5 buffer sites from Dori and a one-on-one coaching session with Dave… THANKS GUYS! I really appreciate this.

Some last words…

SEO has changed…that’s for sure. To be able to rank well in search engines it’s important to stay up to date with all the latest changes.

One good way of doing this is by attending SEO seminars and workshops. Make sure you learn from people that actually “walk the talk” and not just teach what they have heard!

That was exactly the reason I decided to attend Dave’s workshop in the Philippines.

So in case you did not get a chance to take a few days off in oder to fly to the Philippines and attend Dave’s workshop… there is good news!

The entire workshop will be available as a video download and instead of spending thousands of dollars for flights and accommodation you can just purchase the video version and get the exact same information without leaving your home.

Just get in touch with Dave and I am sure he will be happy to notify you as soon as the digital version is available.

Note: I’ve seen all of his SEO workshops and also his Outsourcing workshop and I can assure you: Dave really knows his stuff. He is not only teaching it… he is LIVING IT! And on top of that he’s a nice guy too :-)

Any questions? What’s your experience with the latest Google changes? Been hit by Panda or Penguin? Leave a comment and let me know what you think. You can also contact me and my team over at PerthSEOCompany.net – Happy to meet with you over a cup of coffee if you are in the Perth area.

Remember: I’m here to help!

Cheers,

Fabian

Comments

  1. Hi Fabian,

    Great article and great site, lots of useful tips. I am particularly interested in this piece of advice:

    “Avoid duplicate content! Not just in the content you create on your pages and blog posts but also in your Meta Tags (title, description & keywords). Best place to check for this: Google Webmaster Tools. Log into your account and go to Optimisation >> HTML Improvements. Google will show you any duplicate description or title tags!”

    I am new to the department and we have 15 active brands, each with websites and digital magazines…absolute nightmare trying to work my way through the minefield that is our old SEO activity.

    We have now stopped the archaic technique of posting loads of press releases onto our sites, however, after a quick search of just one of our sites http://www.manufacturingdigital.com (as advised above) I can see we still ave lots of duplicate meta descriptions, short meta descriptions and duplicate title tags. It looks as though a lot of these are hangovers from the PR days, but im sure not all of them.

    Basically I was looking for some advise, should I remove all of the offending pages and links? would that improve our rank? or should we move forward, reeducating editors to be more specific with meta tags, and more cautious of duplication?

    I appreciate any advise on this issue…and of course would be willing to provide some links to your site

    Regards

    Tom

    • Hi Tom,

      Thanks for the feedback on my site. Glad to hear you got something out of it!

      As to your questions, to be able to give you some qualified advice I’d have to dig a little deeper and take a closer look into your Webmasters account as well as your site. However, here is what I would suggest based on the information you have provided.

      Publishing press releases is not necessarily a bad thing in terms of SEO. It’s all about balance. If publishing press releases is all you do… then YES, that’s a problem. But if they only count for 1-5% of the content you’ve published I wouldn’t worry too much about taking them down!

      Ask yourself this: Does the press release provide value to my readers? If yes… leave it. If no, take it down!

      Taking down a lot of pages/URLs can cause lots of other problems with Google & Co. If you do so, make sure you do proper redirection, using 301 redirects etc.. Otherwise you will get plenty of messages from Google in your Webmasters account about crawling errors, 404 errors and broken links on your site. This can do more damage than most people think – in particular for bigger sites like yours (currently 30,000+ pages indexed by Google).

      A smarter way for you to consider might be to tell Google not to index those pages. You can do this by using the robot meta tag “no index” >> META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX”.

      Here is why this is “smart”: You avoid all problems that can occur when taking down pages/URL’s. You solve the duplicate content problem because you have told Google not to index those pages and thus Google will not show them in the search results. And best of all: You can still use those pages to drive Page Rank to your money pages by using internal links (= page rank sculpting!).

      Even if a page is set to “no index” Google still indexes the page but just does not show it in the search results. This means in return that you can fire a lot of internal link-juice from those pages to your money pages which will pass on Page Rank! Just make sure you don’t add the “nofollow” tag… otherwise those internal links won’t do anything really :-)

      With regards to the duplicate and short meta tags I’d go through them one by one. If they are short – write longer once. If they are duplicates – rewrite them and make them unique. I know this can take a lot of time but the rewards will be well worth it!

      Hope that helps…

      Fabian

  2. Thanks for your support Fabian and thanks for making the trip. Was awesome having you there and really look forward to working more closely together – we can start with our one-on-one consult :)

    • No worries Mate!

      Learned heaps. Met some awesome people. Plus caught some waves too :-)

      Thanks again and I’m looking forward to our Skype session

  3. Great work Fab, dont forget to keep some trade secrets up your sleeve, you’ll put us out of business :o)

    • Thanks Cecil! Appreciate your feedback.

      Don’t think we’ll ever run out of work. Look around – all I can see is people/websites that need our help :-)

  4. Hi Fabian
    it was a GREAT day wasn’t it. Congrats on winning the competition. Maybe see you there for SEO method 4?

    • Hi Lesley,

      yea.. it was great! Good to meet you in the Philippines. SEO Method 4 sounds good :-)

      Thanks for dropping by. Hope all is well at your end!

      Cheers
      Fabian

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