Learn the secrets of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Learn the secrets of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and get your site to rank higher in search results. Sure you can hire an expensive SEO firm to do this, but we can teach you some of the basics so you can do some of it yourself.

Join Boston PHP and Greg Hill as we take you through what you ought to know about SEO and how you can do a lot of things now to improve your SEO ranking.

This was our #2 most voted on  Meetup Idea! 

  • All about SEO 
  • Proper use of HTML tags 
  • Studying and choosing keywords for your site 
  • Site URL structure and how you can fix it with ModRewrite 
  • Improving site navigation 
  • Use of robots.txt 
  • Jump starting your site with blogs, social media, and other programs 
  • Benefits of Webmaster Tools Accounts
  • Best practices and tips (what not to do) 
  • More...

While we certainly cant cover all SEO topics, we can cover the basics so you know what the heck your doing.

Bonus Topic (6-7pm): CSS Sprites

CSS sprites have long been used to cut down on load times, but they're also amazingly handy for building dynamic websites. Because the entire sprite is loaded at once, it's possible to swap out elements quickly, confident that the browser already has the image file in memory. And, using a transparent PNG image file and a little clever CSS, it's possible to build up dynamic images that look great and just take a few lines of code.

Join Chris Ladd as he will introduce CSS Sprites and give a practical use case building a simple calendar demo he calls littleCal. Which takes an arbitrary date and dynamically creates an iCal-ish calendar page, all from a 9k sprite file. At the end, he wil throw in a bit of javascript to take an arbitrary string, and create the DOM elements that make up the iCal sprite. He will provide take home code home so you can tinker with it. 

Topics covered would include:

  • Why sprites are a good idea.
  • A brief history of sprites, beginning with Mario.
  • Designing your sprites in photoshop.
  • A brief primer on the relevant CSS.
  • Building complicated things out of little pieces.
  • Gluing it all together with javascript.

Agenda:  
6:00 - 7:00 : Doors open, socializing, BoothCamp, CSS Sprites
7:00 - 7:15 : Announcements 
7:15 - 8:45 : Presentation 
8:45 - 9:00 : Questions
9:00 - ???? : Beers somewhere?

Join or login to comment.

  • Michael B.

    A Year of Tweaks to Google Search: Are You Fed Up? Read this...

    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/a_year_of_tweaks_to_google_search_are_you_fed_up.php

    December 21, 2011

  • Bob L.

    Excellent! I do wish Greg Hill had paced himself instead of using up 3/4 of the time on 1/2 of the presentation then having to rush.

    July 17, 2011

  • LarryC

    Both presentations were organized, easy to follow, unencumbered by extraneous information, and packed with useful information.

    [There was too much information in the main presentation for the allotted time, so it's good to have follow-up via the web.]

    July 17, 2011

  • Michael B.

    Slides and resources for CSS Sprites talk here: http://goo.gl/1JYxA

    July 17, 2011

  • Michael B.

    Slides and resources for SEO talk here: http://goo.gl/E7Jlr

    July 17, 2011

  • Michael B.

    I think this was a great event. The night started with free Pizza and socializing. Then Chris Ladd gave a great presentation on CSS sprites. After a short break, we awarded certificates to the five graduates of our PHP Percolate program.

    Greg Hill then gave an excellent talk on SEO with much clarity and humor. It was easy to follow, and you could tell that he is very passionate about this subject. I too wished the text on the slides we bigger and easier to read, but Greg made the slide available to people could follow along on their laptops. Greg took many questions, and then we gave away 12 'SEO Warrior' books from O'Reilly to lucky winners. We had approximately 20 people join us at the bar for more talk.

    I've been reading the feedback and hearing that everyone really liked the event. I think both our presenters did a great job and I look forward to watching the videos when they are published.

    Thanks again to Greg Hill and Chris Ladd for their support for Boston PHP.

    July 17, 2011

  • Ronnie S.

    Thanks Greg for your insight on the topic and tips on [Social Sharing Buttons on a Website]

    I didn't want to spam everyone but on the same topic I have a very cool document which I forgot to share, is named as [Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors], it comes in handy when thinking and doing SEO work I was not sure how to share it with the group as an attachment, so I uploaded it to my personal website and here is the link:
    http://www.ronniesaini.com/docs/SEO-Periodic-Table.pdf

    1 · July 15, 2011

  • Greg H.

    Sorry, I didn't make this very clear. The button clicks can influence rankings positively so having the buttons IS a good tactic. Without the buttons, there is no hope of receiving their benefit. It's like the lottery. If you don't buy a ticket, you can't win. :-)

    July 15, 2011

  • hk

    Thanks for the reply, and sorry for the double posting; meetup had incorrectly told me that posting wasn't working and told me to try again. Good to hear that it's not really a factor in SEO scoring, because, from personal exp. as a user who never presses any of those buttons, the number of button pushes isn't necessarily an accurate indicator of a page's popularity. The audience for the page might just be a lot of people like me, lol. If no SEO payoff, deploying w/o incl. count seems pointless?

    July 15, 2011

  • Greg H.

    Sorry, got cut off. Here's the rest:
    If the issue is user-oriented, then include the button but, in the case of Google +1 for example, you can exclude the count. On +1 under the Advanced Options deselect the "Include Count" option. Here is the +1 page where you can view this: http://www.google.com/intl/en/webmasters/+1/button/index.html

    July 15, 2011

  • Greg H.

    It's a good question but it's more of a positioning/perception question vs. SEO. You may not want to signal to your users that your site or pages aren't popular. However, the search engine already know whether your site and pages are popular or not. The buttons won't likely diminish the page's performance but making them available to click could improve them (provided they're used). If the issue is user-oriented, then include the button but, in the case of Google +1 for example, you can excl

    July 15, 2011

  • hk

    Hi, Greg. Thanks for the discussion. I wasn't able to get a question in during your talk, but I was wondering about the buttons (Google's +1, Twitter's Tweet, LinkedIn, etc.) you suggested we add to pages ... Is there ever a case where adding such buttons hurts your score? Could zero or low number button result totals ever be worse (be penalized) versus having no buttons at all? Thanks.

    July 15, 2011

  • Greg H.

    When optimizing your title element, try & keep the keyword phrase at the start of the element & stick to one or two keyword phrases. Work in some compelling copy as well to improve clickthroughs. Example:
    Keyword Phrase | Learn how to optimize a title element at Example.com

    July 15, 2011

  • Greg H.

    Thanks all for the compliments & constructive feedback. It was a pleasure to be with my friends at BostonPHP. & thanks for the intelligent questions-many thanks to those who added to the session. I also want to add some clarfications/tips. Here's the first:

    July 15, 2011

  • Amy G.

    Great presentation! I took a lot away from this lecture and look forward to implementing some of these recommendations.

    July 15, 2011

  • AiliCF

    I wish the font size on the slides had been bigger. I wasn't even way in the back, and I found them basically unreadable. The content of the talk was good, though.

    July 14, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    This was my first meeting, and it was great, and I learned exactly what I came intending to learn! My only comment might be that the subject (SEO) is so large that it may have been better suited to break it up into a series of 2 or 3 meetings. Thanks again Boston PHP, it was a great event! Free pizza a bonus!!!!!

    July 14, 2011

  • Bobby C.

    Excellent presentation by Mr Greg Hill. SEO is constantly changing and it's great to get a refresher, or "mugging" as Greg put it :), from someone who knows what they're taking about and actually implements these tips and monitors the results!

    July 14, 2011

  • Steven G.

    Presentation a bit rambling. Too many specialized questions were answered, detracting from presenter's train of thought.

    Nevertheless, it was very valuable. I have already started implementing some of the ideas I learned at this talk.

    July 14, 2011

  • Max F.

    Really useful information yesterday, thanks!

    July 14, 2011

  • Andrew D.

    The slides are here: http://bit.ly/qT9NQz . Thanks for a great event Greg!

    July 14, 2011

  • Amy K.

    Thanks for another excellent BostonPHP Meetup! Greg Hill delivered an indepth presentation on SEO with quality questions asked and answered. Chris Ladd also hit a homerun with his CSS Sprites talk.

    July 14, 2011

  • Tim T.

    Well done!

    July 14, 2011

  • Heath C.

    Thought it was extremely informative and I plan on implementing everything into future and some present projects.

    July 14, 2011

  • Marissa M.

    Greg Hill of Excellira was fantastic. He offered a wealth of knowledge and a constant stream of quality tips for helping understanding search ranking and using that knowledge to improve web development for better SEO results. I loved that he emphasized the organic, customer-centric approach to building a good ranking that at its core serves the audience of the website. I caution my customers that eventually the search engines will figure out and negatively rank those sites that try to use shortcuts and hacks that don't really serve their customers. I did learn quite a few new things from his presentation that I intend to pass on to my customers.

    The presentation, as a reference document is fabulous, and I will refer back to it frequently, I'm sure. As a visual tool, however, it was difficult to read by the audience because of the density and small type. At one point during the presentation, even he said, "I can't read that." And he was standing at the front of the room.

    July 14, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Greg gave a great presentation! I took a lot of notes and look forward to implementing some recommendations right away.

    July 14, 2011

  • Nan H.

    FABULOUS information! I thought I knew a lot about SEO, but I knew almost nothing.

    July 14, 2011

  • Eric S.

    Kudos to Greg for his presentation and providing such a large group with a great resource that we can refer to afterwards. Another great evening with Boston PHP.

    July 14, 2011

  • Andrew

    it was great, i learned a lot and brought home some great tools!

    July 14, 2011

  • Josh

    Great gathering, you guys always do a great meetup!

    July 14, 2011

  • Holden S

    Thanks guys! very useful.

    July 13, 2011

  • Ronnie S.

    Meetup was definitely not to be missed, Greg was great with his presentation, answering the questions, it was definitely worth it

    July 13, 2011

  • Greg H.

    Hi Sue,
    No, the event is free.

    July 13, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi, is there a cost for this event?

    July 12, 2011

  • Michael B.

    Check this video out before attending the event: How Google's Panda Update Changed SEO Best Practices Forever. http://goo.gl/BeU2x

    2 · June 28, 2011

  • Chris R.

    Use Plug to connect with relevant people before, during and after the event! Plug connects you with people you should meet and gives you an easy way to get event info, follow the event conversation and share event happenings on twitter, facebook and LinkedIn. Visit http://GetPlug.com to sign up and download Plug mobile apps.

    May 17, 2011

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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