Chapter 3 Web Marketing Fundamentals - Search Engine Marketing (SEO)

3.1 Introduction

Everyone interested in strategic marketing management is fascinated by a `big’ question in the field: how to increase sales of any business? There is nothing wrong in being motivated by a big question like this, but there are other important questions that many businesses are constantly ignoring. In this module, we will explore some basic web marketing principles and tools that may take your business to the next level. In addition to the outline and references listed here, you will also find some resources in Module 2.

SEO is the marketing channel that “brings potential customers to your site who want what you offer, but don’t know how to find you” (Whalen, 2009). Most of you are familiar with Google and different search engines (Bing, Yahoo, etc.) but let’s try to understand what are the benefits of optimize your website, your product offerings, or your web content for SEO purposes. There are many organic ways you can use to improve the ranking of your website. For instance, according to Moz (2020), optimizing title tags or creating eye-catching names for your webpage is a make or break factor - a site with a better title tag is likely to get more clicks. However, there are also a few SEO techniques (e.g., “black hat”) that are considered to be illegal and can hurt your website’s ranking (Moz, 2020; Wix, 2020).

Here are a few basic questions to ask yourself about your website when you get started (Google).

Is my website showing up on Google? Do I serve high-quality content to users? Is my local business showing up on Google? Is my content fast and easy to access on all devices? Is my website secure?

You can find additional getting started information on http://g.co/webmasters

Neil Patel’s Top 5 Seo Tips:

  1. Remove anything that slows down your site.

  2. Link to other websites with relevant content.

  3. Write for humans first, search engines second.

  4. Encourage other trustworthy sites to link to you.

  5. Have web analytics in place at the start …

The purpose of the following tutorial is to extract SEO insights using R. We will be retrieving links, title tags, and other types of SEO information from several homepages. You may also use Screaming Frog, SEMrush, or Moz for this task. However, why not using R if it is for free.

Let’s start with Google’s basic SEO definition (available at https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en)

“A title tag tells both users and search engines what the topic of a particular page is. The title tag should be placed within the head element of the HTML document. You should create a unique title for each page on your site.”

3.2 Check list for Week 2 (individual work due by 9/04/2020; group work due by 9/08/2020)

  • Form groups (2-3 students per group)
  • Install Tableau on your own laptop/PC
  • Discussion Questions - (Individual work)
  • Assignment 1 Web marketing channel analytics (group work) - due by 9/08

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is creating a good title tag so important? According to Google, what are some good practices? Please refer to the intro below:

Reference: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en

  1. What is your favorite brand? Who is your favorite brand’s biggest competitor? Use the gudelines given by Moz (2020) to evaluate the meta title tag of your favorite brand and that of your favorite brand’s biggest competitor. The guidelines are available in the 2nd section of the following article.

Moz, 2020 “How do I write a good title tag?” Available here: https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag

Reference: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en

  1. Refer to the following technical SEO tutorial (https://rpubs.com/utjimmyx/seobasics) I developed recently and explain which title tag you like the best. Why? Use the criteria available here (Moz 2020).

Moz, 2020 “How do I write a good title tag?” Available here: https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag

  1. Refer to the marketing tools/technologies you identified in week 1 and report your learning progress. What resources do you need to achieve the goal? Make sure your goal is achievable in about 10 to 12 weeks. You will be expected to report your learning progress in a biweekly basis.

Assignment 1 Web marketing channel analytics (group work) - due by 9/08

  1. Perform a on-site SEO analysis and report the findings (about 200 words).

A meta title tag “determines the display title in SERPs, and is a search visitor’s first experience of your site” (Moz 2019).

Examine the title tag of your project client and that of your client’s three biggest competitors using buzzstream or totheweb.com.

Please use the criteria available here (https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag) to examine if any of the title tags you identified above does not follow the best practice.

References

https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag

http://tools.buzzstream.com/meta-tag-extractor

https://totheweb.com/learning_center/tool-test-google-title-meta-description-lengths/

  1. Examine your client’s website using Moz keyword explorer (see the tutorial in Canvas) and report your findings (about 300 words).

  2. Perform a competitive website analysis (see the tutorial in Canvas) and report your findings (about 200 words)

References Whalen, 2009. Organic SEO As Another Marketing Channel https://searchengineland.com/organic-seo-as-another-marketing-channel-25376

Ducttapemarketing. SEO Is An Integral Marketing Channel http://ducttapemarketing.com/google-seo-part-of-marketing/

3.3 Readings & resources:

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en

Moz Keyword Explorer

https://moz.com/help/keyword-explorer https://moz.com/explorer

7 Ways to Better Integrate SEO Across Your Marketing Channels https://www.digitalcurrent.com/blog/integrate-seo-into-your-business-marketing/

Whalen, 2009. Organic SEO As Another Marketing Channel https://searchengineland.com/organic-seo-as-another-marketing-channel-25376

Ducttapemarketing. SEO Is An Integral Marketing Channel http://ducttapemarketing.com/google-seo-part-of-marketing/

Use SEO and PPC Together For Maximum SERP Real Estate https://www.brightedge.com/blog/use-seo-and-ppc-together-maximum-serp-real-estate

Technical SEO (for those of you who would like to dig deeper):

Analyzing your SEO strategies with R - https://rpubs.com/utjimmyx/seobasics

An Introduction to Python for Technical SEO https://www.searchenginejournal.com/top-enterprise-seo-platform-tools-review/327031/

How and Why You Should Learn Python for SEO

https://www.jcchouinard.com/why-learn-python-for-seo/

https://github.com/StanGirard/seo-audits-toolkit