Students of UWM-SOIS SEO Class
Thank you for stopping by and visting SEO Done The Right Way. Outside of the classroom you will get the chance to work on search engine optimization and social media campaigns and as the course goes on, I will put up some of the best SEO resources and SEO tools around for you. Check back in frequently for updates. This page is dedicated to university grade SEO, specifically for the students of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies — the folks that are in my class.
The site itself is under construction because SEO Done The Right Way is in bad need of a few WordPress updates, but I will keep a running list of SEO textbooks, tools, tips, and journals articles listed here for you to check out. Please get familiar with the sites here. They are some of the best resources in the industry. I will be updating the SEO Resources Page very soon but I will add a few core resources and keep building from there.
SEO Industry News and Tools
Search Engine Round Table: A great all-around site for SEO news, gossip, tips and more. One of the best sites in the industry. This is not an SEO journal but it is a great place to start first thing in the morning for algorithm changes, indexing news, industry leaders, best practices and some excellent blogs.
Search Engine Land: This is more of a how-to site that features some great articles on both SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing). The latter just includes PPC and is a bit more broad. They have a great library and a load of SEO resources for the hungry student. Getting used to following search marketing news for is a good idea for the future practitioner and I do give extra credit for article write-ups.
Search Engine Watch: This is a really great site because it has a lot of SEO/PPC/ and SEM articles for students and practitioners. It is middle level in the professional spectrum and just a great site to keep track of.
Search Engine Journal: This site is a mix of news and tools. It is a bit more technical than the others and for you information retrieval folks out there it might be up your alley. Take a look and see what you can mine out of it.
SEO Tools: Basics and Keyword Tools
These are pretty similar but you will want to use Google Keyword Tool more than the others. The rest are free and really based on personal preference.
Google Keywords Tool: Bar none the best one out there in my book and it is basically free. I will be showing you how to use this one for keyword analysis and placement over the course of the semester and it is our main tool, however the others are quite valuable, too.
Wordtracker: Popular and powerful, Wordtracker has a great database and is highly accurate. There is a paid and a free version for you to use but take a look at it when you have a second.
Keyword Eye: This tool is great because if you have an SEO/SEM project in another country, you can figure out a more diverse array of rankings.
Keyword Spy: This gives you the ability to literally spy on competitor keywords without having a subscription to a major SEO suite.
SEO Traffic and Analysis
SEM Rush: This is up to the minute pricing and power of the words you use in your SEO strategy and probably one of my favorite sites and tools. Take a look.
There are more great sites that I will add later but let’s take a look at the best blogs to be reading.
Google Analytics: We will be using Google Analytics throughout the semester. It is a powerful tool and many of the expensive tracking tools for performance such as Omniture do not really touch it. It is free and powerful. Please make an account when you have a second. Also, there is a nice app you can download for your smartphone to track your SEO progress and SERPS (Search Engine Ranking Pages).
Google Webmaster Tools: Google Webmaster Tools is really the bread and butter of what we use daily in the industry. One wrong move or a parameter that is set poorly and things get tricky. This is one to make an account with and try to get as familiar with it as soon as possible. We will go over it in detail during the course.
Bing Webmaster Tools: It is not as powerful as the Google Webmaster Tools but it has some things that Google just doesn’t and it is one we will be using.
Majestic SEO: This is a powerful backlink checker that can help with your link-building campaign. I believe it is included in the SEO Quake Chrome and Firefox extensions but it is something to check out when you have a moment.
SEOMOZ: Both of the textbooks have the major player at SEO Moz, Mr. Rand Fishkin, one of the biggest players and most humble in the SEO field. Take a look at this site as soon as you have time. It is worth the free trial and if you purchased the extra textbook I believe there is an extension on the SEOMOZ tools.
Alexa: Possibly one of the best tools for traffic, I prefer it to other sites because the data is just better. It gives you an accurate picture of who is who in terms of web traffic but can be off (for example, take www.seodonetherightway.com vs. www.nickprieve.com: simple server maintenance for a few months knocked one ranking down and a few blog posts brought the other up). It is only good for three months or so because after that the data can really spike.
Web Browser Add-On’s for SEO
I will not kill your web browsers with add-ons but here is a short list of the ones I like. Because there is a penalty to them if used wrong, we will go over them in class a bit, thus there is not much explanation, just a link to the tools and roll with the idea that all of them is better than one of them.
SEOQUAKE: For Chrome and Firefox. Moderately difficult for some to use but very powerful. SEOQUAKE is probably one of my favorites.
SEOMOZ Toolbar: The other power tool I love to use. There are a lot of extensions out there to check out but these are the two I want us to get familiar with.
Textbooks for SEO
I figured we should have one main textbook and one supplemental textbook. They are both worth the investment and frankly there is not much out there for quality works that are not just self-promotion out there. These are two great books and they are required.
The Art of SEO by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Jessie Stricchiola and Rand Fishkin (Mar 24, 2012), ISBN 978-1449304218
The supplemental book is great for professional practice and preparing site audits but there are not as many SEO secrets as it would have us think.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Secrets [Paperback] Danny Dover (Author), Erik Dafforn (Author) ISBN:978-0470554180
Both of these are great works and there are a few other books to check out but I will be preparing snippets from them and uploading them to save on costs.
These three books are completely optional but I found a goldmine in them for information retrieval and information architecture. Read them if you really want to get the most bang for your SEO buck but they are not required. A book report on one of them is worth five percent extra credit if it is needed.
For right now, I just want you to follow Matt Cutts’ Blog (the head of the Google Web Spam Police and a major player in the field). It is the best out there but I will be able to add more to this as well.
I will add more but am holding off because some of the tactics put forward by SEO Bloggers are more or less self-promotion.
Here are some professional organizations. It is such a new field that they are really just forming. The same is true with conferences.
SEMPO: This really encompasses PPC,SEO, and Social Media but is a great resource and organization to belong to and get data from.
SCIP: Competitive intelligence and SEO are not directly related but you will be doing a lot of it and many SEO jobs can be gained through the organization. It is a good one to check out.
AMA: The American Marketing Association is respected and encompasses all forms of strategic marketing. Since this class is half business and half computer science, I would recommend joining at the student rate.
ASIST: Information retrieval is the bread and butter of the SEO business and there are not very many practioners out there with the kind of advantage in the field that SOIS students have. This is a great organization to belong to.
ACM: The Association for Computing Machinery has articles on algorithms and computer science long before the trade journals do. This is a great association to belong to and has a good deal of information for you.
Information Architecture Institute: This is a hybrid that offers classes but also has an active membership. SEO and Information Architecture go hand in hand and both are very important. If you have already taking IA coursework, you are in luck.
Helpful Tools & Resources