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Search Engine Optimization

Assuming you want your website to appear higher in search engines (and why wouldn’t you!?), Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is something you’ll have to think about — it’s the art of getting your site on page 1 of search results.

SEO takes time, it’s not going to happen overnight, but it’s vital to work on, as around 98% of clicks go to sites on that magical first page.

Content, content, content

Good content is vital. Content is what occupies people on your site, so it’s got to be interesting, useful and (from a search engine’s point of view) unique. Readable content which keeps people on your site is going to make sure they return, tell people about your site, and buy your products.

Keep your content relevant — search engines ‘read’ your content, so don’t go and confuse them by writing about seemingly random topics — if you are a wedding photographer, don’t write about how to tile a roof!

Keep pages topic specific, and also try and keep your content fresh — search engines don’t like dormant content…

Site Structure

Search engines scour the web, following links and reading your site. You therefore need to make sure your site is ‘readable’ for them. This requires good site structure and internal linking. If you want to highlight a particular page, then make sure there are a number of links to it, so that the search engine finds it repeatedly. A simple hierarchy of pages is a good way to achieve a simple site structure.

Make sure your URL structure is good too. A URL such as ‘www.yourdomainname.com/gallery’ is far better than ‘www.yourdomainname.com/view/pg206/pics’.

Keywords

‘Keywords’ are the key words that you want your site to appear in the search engines for. You might want to have a few different ones, and one ‘keyword’ can actually be a few words together. Be experimental with your choices, and put them through the Keyword Generator tool in Google AdWords, to check traffic and competition levels. If you run a SEO company, probably best not to target ‘SEO Company’ as your only keyword, as competition will be very high — try ‘seo company in [location]’ or ‘Best Local SEO company’ — this will also help you appear in ‘long-tail searches’ (most people won’t search for ‘seo company’, they’ll search for ‘seo company in xxx’ or similar).

Once you have a few keywords, make sure you use them correctly. Place them in URLs (up to 30 characters), meta description (up to 70 characters — this is what shows up in search result pages) and in your page headings (H1, H2 etc). They also need to be placed in your content, with a ‘keyword density’ of 2–4%

Links

Links are the roads which search engines use to travel around the internet. Pages with no links from them get search bots stuck, and pages with no links to them are very difficult for search engines (and people!) to find!

It’s generally best to have the term in the link related to the page you are linking to — ‘click here’ isn’t a great hyperlink, as its non-descriptive. Having said that, Google is getting smarter about ‘over-SEO’d’ pages, and so do mix up the words you use in a link now and again. Internal links are vital, but so are links from external sources — this tells the search engines that you’re a trusted and useful site.

Whilst link directories were a popular source of links, search engines are becoming more wise to them, and so they become less useful. One of the best ways to gain links is through guest posting on other people’s sites. Not only do you get links back, but you increase your exposure on other sites, can show yourself off as an ‘expert’ and is a great way of building a community around your product. Make sure that links back to you are ‘follow’ links, and contribute only unique content — it’s polite!

Good product will often generate its own links back to you without much effort on your part, assuming people want to talk about it!

Resources

Here are some great resources to help you benefit from SEO — search for them on Google!

Google Analytics

Google Analytics tells you nearly everything you need to know about your site — visitor numbers, visit length, how they travel through your site and where they leave from. Use this to tailor your site to make it perform better!

Google Ads

Work out your keywords, and buy traffic if you wish.

SEOMoz — www.seomoz.org

Find out where you place in search engines, and for what search terms

Mozbar — from www.seomoz.org

Mozbar helps you analyse links — getting links from pages with higher Page Ranks is great for your site!

SEOMoz Beginners Guide to SEO — http://www.seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-seo

An excellent, in-depth guide for getting all geeky about SEO!

SEObook.com On Page SEO Guide — http://www.seobook.com/learn-seo/on-page-seo.php

Guide to increasing your on-page SEO

Getting traffic from Google is the goal of many internet marketers. Whether your site is about something as popular as weight loss or something more unique like mosquito nets, you can gain traffic from Google. Since this is the biggest source of traffic online, it’s important to understand how you can get your website listed high in the Google rankings.

If your site is listed on the first page of Google, you can see more traffic than using any other source. To get listed high with this search engine you need the right onsite search engine optimization (SEO) and you need the right off site SEO. This means you have to build backlinks to your website or blog, and a diverse link profile can make a huge difference.

Three Important Tips for Building Your Link Profile

1. Vary the Anchor Text

As you build backlinks, you will have the opportunity to use anchor text. This is the text that is actually clickable and will lead to your website.

If you use the same keyword within the text every single time, you may end up penalized by Google. You need to vary the anchor text and only use the main keyword about 50% of the time. The other 50% of the time, you should use similar keywords, but not the same phrase.

2. Use Different Types

Some marketers only use one type of backlinks, like profile backlinks or social backlinks. This is a very dangerous practice … you need to vary the backlinks you create. Some need to be from profiles or social sites, but you also need some from other sources. You want these to vary in the type of site they come from, but also in the quality or the page rank.

If all you build is low quality links with, you won’t get the power you are looking for. Getting just a few 30 to 60 DA backlinks can make a huge difference with the ranking of your site. You don’t need as many high page rank links as you do lower ones to gain the ranking you desire.

3. Build them Overtime

The final thing you must do when trying to gain Google ranking is build your links over time. You have to make sure you don’t build them too fast because they need to look natural. If you build too many links in a short amount of time, you might find yourself struggling to get any type of ranking. Build around 10 links a day and you will find that your site will rank well and stay there.

By using these three tips, you can really start to build a diverse link profile. This can help you gain the ranking you desire for your website or blog, which will lead to more traffic. Make sure you build your links in a natural way and take your time. You’ll gain the traffic that will lead to the profits you desire.



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