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Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day

ISBN: 978-0-471-78753-2
336 pages
June 2006
Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day (0471787531) cover image


Influence search engine results and bring targeted traffic to your Web site with an hour a day of search engine optimization (SEO). Drawing on years of experience as successful SEO consultants, Jennifer Grappone and Gradiva Couzin provide detailed, practical, and often surprisingly simple techniques for improving results. Their simple strategies include setting SEO goals, site optimization, developing and implementing a strategy that might include both free and paid efforts, and tools for monitoring trends, measuring the competition, and tracking results.
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Table of Contents


Part I Foundation.

Chapter 1 Clarify Your Goals.

What Is SEO?

Do I Need to Perform SEO for My Website?

What Are the Overall Goals of My Business?

What Function Does My Website Serve?

How Is My Website Connecting with the Goals of My Business?

The SEO You Have, Not the One You Want.

Some Interim Solutions.

Who Do I Want to Visit My Website?

What Do I Want Visitors to Do on My Website?

Which Pages Do I Most Want My Website Visitors to See?

How Will I Measure the Success of This SEO Campaign?

Tracking Lets You Drop the Duds.

Tracking Will Help You Keep Your Job.

Tracking Helps You Stay Up-to-Date.

Chapter 2 Customize Your Approach.

It’s Your SEO Plan.



Large Organization.

Small Organization.




Chapter 3 Eternal Truths of SEO.

Robots Deliver.

Search Results Are Blended.



Site Feeds.

Meta Search Engines.

Algorithms Change.

Humans Are Smart—Computers Aren’t.

Text Matters.

Keyword Selection Is Key.

It’s Not Just about Rank.

Ranks Change.

A Holistic Approach Helps.

Search Engines Don’t Like Tricks.

SEO Is Not Brain Surgery.

Chapter 4 How the Search Engines Work Right Now.

In Pursuit of Right Now.

Google Basics.

The Best of the Rest: Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Ask.





Organic Ranking Factors.

Paid Placement.

Pay-per-Click Advertising.

Paid Inclusion.

SEO Trendspotting.

Part II Strategy.

Chapter 5 Get Your Team on Board.

The Challenge of SEO Team Building.

Marketing, Sales, and Public Relations.

Marketing: VIPs of SEO.

Selling SEO to Sales.

SEO and Public Relations Can Relate.

IT, Webmasters, and Programmers.

Communicating with IT.

The IT Workload Conundrum.

How SEO Benefits IT.

Graphic Designers.

Value Graphics.

Educate and Empower.

Make It Official.

Writers and Editors.

Executives and Product Managers.

Chapter 6 Your One-Month Prep: Baseline and Keywords.

Your SEO Idea Bank.

Week 1: Keywords.

Monday: Your Keyword Gut Check.

Tuesday: Resources to Expand and Enhance the List.

Wednesday Keyword Data Tools.

Thursday: Keyword Data Gathering.

Friday: Your Short List.

Week 2: Baseline Assessment.

Monday: Conversions.

Tuesday: Ranks.

Wednesday: Indexed Pages.

Thursday: Inbound Links.

Friday: Site Assessment.

Week 3: Competition.

Monday: Identify Your Top Five Competitors.

Tuesday: Snooping Tools and Techniques.

Wednesday: Assess On-Page Factors.

Thursday: Assess Off-Page Factors.

Friday: Paid Competition.

Week 4: Baseline Monthly Report.

Monday: Keywords, Landing Pages, and Competition.

Tuesday: Site Visibility.

Wednesday: Conversions and Red Flags.

Thursday: Personalize.

Friday: Quick Reference.

Part III Your SEO Plan.

Chapter 7 Month One: Kick It into Gear.

Week 1: Basic Site Optimization.

Monday: Page Titles.

Tuesday: Meta Tags.

Wednesday: Robot Walk-Through.

Thursday: Site Text.

Friday: Implementation.

Week 2: Link Building.

Monday: Your Existing Links.

Tuesday: Submit to Directories.

Wednesday: Surf for More Link Opportunities.

Thursday: The Art of Link Letters.

Friday: Submittals and E-mails.

Week 3: Set Up Your PPC Account.

Monday: Study Hall.

Tuesday: Prep Your PPC Keywords.

Wednesday: Write Your Ad Text.

Thursday: Enter Your Data into the PPC System.

Friday: Turn On Your PPC Campaign.

Week 4: Visibility Check and Monthly Reporting.

Monday: Check Organic Status.

Tuesday: Check Links.

Wednesday: Check Conversions.

Thursday: Monitor PPC Ads.

Friday: Action Items.

Chapter 8 Month Two: Establish the Habit.

Week 5: Site Structure Improvements.

Monday: The Spider’s-Eye View.

Tuesday: Shape Up Your Site Map.

Wednesday: Clean Up Ugly Listings.

Thursday: Your Robots.txt File.

Friday: PPC Quick Check.

Week 6: Conversion Tracking.

Monday: PPC Conversion Tracking.

Tuesday: Get to Know Your Basic Server Stats.

Wednesday: Tracking Online Conversions.

Thursday: Tracking Offline Conversions.

Friday: PPC Quick Check/Link Building.

Week 7: Research and Development.

Monday: SEO News and Trends.

Tuesday: Task Journal Investigation.

Wednesday: Explore Local/International Search.

Thursday Shopping and Media Search.

Friday: PPC Quick Check/Link Building.

Week 8: Visibility Check and Monthly Reporting.

Monday: Check Organic Status.

Tuesday: Check Links.

Wednesday: Check Conversions and Image Improvement.

Thursday: Monitor PPC Ads.

Friday: Action Items.

Chapter 9 Month Three: It’s a Way of Life.

Week 9: Build Content.

Monday: Discover Content You Already Have.

Tuesday: Develop New Content.

Wednesday: Optimize Non-HTML Documents.

Thursday: Content Thieves.

Friday: PPC Quick Check/Link Building.

Week 10: PPC and ROI.

Monday: PPC Sanity Check.

Tuesday: Organic Apples and Oranges.

Wednesday: A/B Testing.

Thursday: Close the PPC ROI Loop.

Friday: PPC Quick Check/Link Building.

Week 11: What’s Your Problem?

Monday: New Site, New Problems.

Tuesday: Copywriting to Improve Your Search Results Snippets.

Wednesday: Catch Up with Your Team.

Thursday: Fun Tools for Site Assessment.

Friday: PPC Quick Check/Link Building.

Week 12: Visibility Check and Quarterly Reporting.

Monday: Check Organic Status.

Tuesday: Check Links.

Wednesday: Check Conversions and Image Improvement.

Thursday: Monitor PPC Ads.

Friday: Action Items.

Moving On: Forging Your Own SEO Path.

Chapter 10 Extra Credit and Guilt-Free Slacking.

The Slacking Spectrum.

Ideas for Reducing Your SEO Workload.

The Extra Credit Continuum.

Day-by-Day Extra Credit Tasks.

Prep Month, Week 1, Tuesday: Internal Search Function.

Prep Month, Week 3, Friday: Checking Competitors’ Directory Presence.

Your SEO Plan, Week 4, Monday: Robots Visiting Your Site.

Your SEO Plan, Week 5, Tuesday: Google Sitemaps.

Your SEO Plan, Week 7, Tuesday: Task Journal Investigation.

Your SEO Plan, Week 9, Monday: Optimizing Press Releases.

Your SEO Plan, Week 9, Wednesday: How the Search Engines View Non-HTML Documents.

Your SEO Plan, Week 9, Thursday: Content Thieves.

Your SEO Plan, Week 12, Monday: Checking Additional Keywords.

Appendix A.



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Author Information

Jennifer Grappone is a Los Angeles–based search marketing consultant whose work has resulted in many targeted hits and happy clients in various industries including media, entertainment, software, and non-profit. Starting out as a writer/producer/director of industrial and corporate videos, Jennifer followed the dot-com boom and became a project manager for large-scale web development projects before working exclusively in SEO in 2000. Jennifer advocates a holistic approach to SEO, one that combines elements of good writing, usability, search-friendly site design, and link building. You can often find Jennifer hunched over a laptop in any number of wireless cafes in Northeast LA. Stop by and say hello!

Gradiva Couzin has been working in search marketing since its early days in 1998. Since then, she has improved the search presence of organizations ranging from small businesses working on a shoestring to Fortune 500 companies. Her SEO strategy creates win-win solutions by improving the match between searchers and websites. With a history as a civil engineer and experience in website and database development, Gradiva enjoys the technical side of SEO and loves to facilitate communication between techie and non-techie types. She is also an accomplished artist, painting oil portraits on commission. Gradiva lives and works in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights with her husband and two small children.

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Related Websites / Extra

Computer Outlook Radio Talk ShowVisit Computer Outlook and listen to the authors being interviewed about the book (it's the 8/2/06 broadcast).
Your SEO PlanPlease visit the authors' supporting web site for forums, templates, worksheets, and additional resources.
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SEO Worksheets
Download a zip file containing the SEO Worksheets in Excel and Word format.
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