Search Engine Optimization

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Search Engine OptimizationSearch engine optimization (SEO) or search engine marketing is the practice of developing your website so it appears high up in search engine result pages. This topic is by far one of the most frustrating issues for online marketers for one particular reason – it takes time. Patience is not a common trait among business people and coming to grips with the amount of time it takes to get good natural search engine results can be painful. I still have difficulty dealing with it myself.

Why is there such a long wait?

Because the search engines, especially Google, deliberately set things up to work in a manner that rewards long term growth and no matter how great your website is if it only launched last month you won’t be getting much search traffic.

Google doesn’t want brand new websites with no history at the top of the results. Instead Google rewards websites that are well established and grow over a long period of time. Long in Internet years is as little as 12 months but we are better off talking in years, not months.

Consequently everything I’m going to teach you is sound practice as a long term SEO plan, don’t expect big results tomorrow, or even next month, you are going to have to be patient. The upside if you keep working for many months is that eventually you will enjoy a steady stream of targeted visitors coming from search engines that you don’t have to pay for. It will also be hard for you to lose your top rankings because you have the advantage of time compared to all the new websites coming online.

Example

Once more I’ll direct you to one of my business websites – www.BetterEdit.com. This site enjoys a steady stream of around 400 visitors per day and those are targeted visitors, many of whom are looking for what my business offers. I optimized the site for phrases like “essay editing” and “thesis proofreading” and a lot of my traffic comes directly from searches on Google or Yahoo! using those terms.

I started the site back in the year 2000 and now it’s one of the oldest and most established sites in the student editing and proofreading industry and is on the first page of results for hundreds of different search phrases. A new site trying to replicate this success would take months, probably years to even get close to my results. That is definitely a competitive advantage.

How To Optimize A Brand New Website – Niche Phrases

Most website owners have two or three key phrases that they would love to be the first result for in the search engines. This simply won’t happen for a brand new website and likely will never happen for businesses operating in highly competitive industries. Unless you have very little competition online your best hope is to initially chase secondary key phrases, or drill down your key phrases to match your niche exactly.

Take for example the phrase “marketing consultant”. This is a highly competitive term that will be very hard for a new business consultant to rank competitively for in search engines. The solution is to break it down further into phrases that refine the niche.

“small business marketing consultant”

“Sydney marketing consultant”

“chiropractic marketing consultant”

“Sydney chiropractic marketing consultant”

Being the first result for “Sydney chiropractic marketing consultant” could easily be achieved in the first few months of launching a website because there are not many other websites that optimize for that niche phrase.

Targeted Traffic

The traffic coming from secondary search terms won’t be significant but if you choose your niches carefully the traffic will be targeted and therefore much easier to convert into customers. Over time as your website matures you will start to make inroads into the primary keywords that will bring in waves of traffic, but that traffic will likely not be as targeted as your refined niche traffic, so will have lower conversion rates (it will be harder to get customers from that traffic).

How To Generate Keyword Phrases

If you have trouble coming up with key phrases for your business website try some of these techniques –

  • Ask your friends and family what they would put into a Google search if they were looking for what you offer.
  • Use wordtracker, a tool that monitors keywords people use when they search the web. It’s not a free service but worth the $10 if you what some reliable empirical data.
  • The Overture/Yahoo! keyword selector tool can show you how many people are searching for certain phrases. It’s a free service but only shows what people are searching on the Yahoo! search network, not Google.
  • If you have a handful of phrases but you don’t know which are the best to target use the Overture tool to get the numbers for the past month’s worth of search and pick the best three. Remember don’t pick the really popular terms just because you are tempted by the hundreds of thousands of searches being done. You definitely won’t be the only one optimizing for that term if there is so much traffic available.
  • Use the Google keyword selector tool in AdWords. Your data from any AdWord Pay-Per-Click campaigns (see the previous part of this course on PPC advertising) is great for your SEO as well because any phrases performing well in AdWords Ads are worth targeting in your organic search marketing efforts too. If you pay for a phrase and it works well, getting it for nothing from free search traffic is even better.
  • Find a competitor’s site and see what keywords they are using. In particular check what is in their title tags (that’s the name of the site in the top bar in the browser window). Don’t copy them blindly however as they may not be having much success with their website either – just use the key words for inspiration and head to Overture, Google or Wordtracker to figure out which phrases are working the best.
  • If your site has been online for at least a few months check your website statistics. Most website hosting packages come with a statistics package (if you have no idea, ask your IT person or website hosting company) and in there you will find the keyword phrases that people have already used to search and find your site.

Search Engine Optimisation Techniques

Once you have selected the 2-3 key search phrases you want your website to target it’s time to start putting into place sound SEO techniques. SEO is a complicated process that no one can ever be 100% certain will provide the results sought after. The reason is that the search engines don’t reveal their inner workings. SEO experts know a lot because they have tested and tested and tested to compete their way to the top of the search engines. There are endless materials you can study online, but you should trust only those that have proven results. There are a lot of claims being made online by people without proof of results.

Top 8 Search Engine Marketing Techniques

Thankfully in a sea of unverified opinions there are a handful of tried and tested techniques that work. Below are the top 8 techniques you need to know in order to optimize your website for the search engines. These techniques have been proven to work time and time again and are recommended by virtually all the SEO experts.

These need to become part of your “inner knowledge” so they remain in your conscious whenever you build and market a website. They are not too complicated and if all you do is work tirelessly on these 8 methods each and every month your website will get results in search engines, I guarantee it.

Below I’ve listed the techniques in brief because it would take a new article (or two) to cover the techniques. However luckily for you I’ve already written a two-part article series that covers these techniques in more detail. Head over to my blog, Entrepreneur’s Journey, and read part one and two of the Top 8 Search Engine Marketing Techniques for more education.

Part 1: The Top SEO On-Page Techniques
Part 2: The Top SEO Off-Page Techniques

    On-Page Techniques – these are changes you make to your own website. You have 100% percent control of these elements.

  1. Title Tags
  2. Keyword Density
  3. Site Structure
  4. Internal Links
  5. Off-Page Techniques – these are things other websites do to your website. You can’t control these elements but you can manipulate and encourage them.

  6. Links and PageRank
  7. Page Reputation
  8. Anchor Text
  9. Link Popularity

The Complete Picture

You now have a complete picture of online marketing. You know why the web works for business and why you need to be online. You know your website must build relationships. You know autoresponders are vital to create these relationships and establish communication channels. And finally you know the two best ways to get people to visit your website – Pay-Per-Click advertising and the top 8 natural search engine optimization techniques that improve your organic search engine rankings.

Next Up – Blogs

In the second-last installment of this course I want to introduce you to a relatively new tool available to online marketers – blogs. Blogs and blogging have made it so easy for an independent small business person to create a dynamic website with little technical skill. Blogs are built for search engines, are one of the best communication tools available to “talk” naturally to your potential customers and build relationships like no “normal” website ever could. I love blogging and I expect once you read the next part of the series you will be very excited about it too.

Yaro Starak

About Yaro

Yaro Starak is an Internet business and blogging expert. He runs the successful Internet business blog - http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com and teaches about how to make money from blogging at http://www.blogmastermind.com.

You can contact Yaro at - http://ReplytoYaro.com

Comments

  1. This is an awesome article. You definitely have some great tips and pointers that will help me improve my site. Thanks for the information and keep up the great work!!

  2. A great post about everything needed for the start of SEO. SEO is an ongoing work and this post is a great start.

  3. Excellent article! I think it is very appropriate that you have the “Title Tag” listed as #1 because so many people simply put the name of their website in the title tag which does next to nothing in terms of bringing in visitors to a site. I learned this the hard way but once I added my primary keyword phrases to the title tag, my search engine rankings were clearly improved in a very short period of time.

  4. Really interesting stuff for beginner’s. Meanwhile you can also read several articles, and tutorials on http://www.seochat.com.

  5. Yaro,

    Thanks for the great post. Also, thanks for the newsletter the other day. I implemented your “Related Posts” plugin for WordPress. It works great!

    You can see it here: My blog

  6. Great post Yaro. People ignore the basics. One site I worked with changed their Title tag only and went to the first page of Google because they already had strong PageRank.

  7. I would reccommend to use Overture instead of Wordtracker if you are looking for keywords in other languageses.

  8. Yes and ok Yaro, but if a customer go to a seo agency with a brand new site and thei axpected to see thei site after 2-3 month on organic search, what do you suggest to say at this customers about years to see results on Google ?

    thanks for your suggest

    Posizionamento siti web sui motori di ricerca

  9. “Find a competitor’s site and see what keywords they are using. In particular check what is in their title tags (that’s the name of the site in the top bar in the browser window). Don’t copy them blindly however as they may not be having much success with their website either – just use the key words for inspiration and head to Overture, Google or Wordtracker to figure out which phrases are working the best.”

    I have seldom seen people say this but it is very effective in keeping an eye out on your competitors.

  10. Really, very good information on SEO.

  11. Very nice tips, these tips can really help a lot.

  12. thanks for the tips! just bookmarked 🙂

  13. Very helpful tips and a complete guide especially for beginners in search engine marketing. Keep it up!

  14. thanks for the great SEO tips! I am always looking for new ways to help my clients get ranked highly in the search engines.

  15. good introduction to SEO . 1 Thing SEO is results are not paid for versus SEM PPC or adwords

  16. I really appreciate your post. I mainly liked the ideas about search engine optimization for a brand new website. Keywords analysis play an important role in the optimization of a new site. If we have better analyze the keyword, we can achieve better and quick results.

  17. It’s a hard work of search engine optimization so we have wait so long. The post is pratical for SEO. I like it.

  18. Fatih SANTALU says

    nice post and thank you.great staff.