Search Engine Optimization
SEO Training: What you need to know about SEO
What You Need To Know About Search Engine Optimization
This free SEO training will talk about the basics of how to properly optimize your pages for search engines.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) may sound like a highly technical term, but it is one that you should familiarize yourself with if you plan to do any internet marketing. It focuses on optimizing your web pages, which will help you get free traffic. Free is the best traffic you can get!
So, what is SEO?
In simple terms, SEO is what you can do to give your website a better chance of being listed with higher rankings than other websites on search engines. The factors change constantly, especially with Google. You will need to stay updated on their stipulations and be aware of changes. A few of the ways they consider ranking is by the content, design, meta tags, and link popularity quality.
Few people are aware that SEO has existed since search engines were created. Naturally, search engines want to make their website linking relevant for their audience.
The algorithms shift as necessary to ensure that the best content is ranked highest. Otherwise, your content may become outdated as far as the rankings are concerned.
For example, in the past Google would rank based on keywords in your content. Websites started oversaturating their sites with repetitive keywords. And while this method worked then, Google recognized this as a method that was a loophole of sorts and did not provide the best content sites for topics.
They changed their algorithms to search sites for organic content and to pass over those sites that overused keywords.
Do You Really Need to Understand SEO?
If you are going to be effective with internet marketing, you absolutely need to understand SEO. Most importantly, it is a free way to get traffic to your website. Although it may not be the most stable avenue as search engines will change their rankings, it is necessary to keep up with it and change as needed. SEO can provide the highest profit because the traffic is free. Let me explain. Traffic is golden and absolutely necessary because obviously you need customers. If you aren’t getting charged for traffic, every bit of money you get from higher rankings is 100 percent profit. So as an internet marketer, you can see why it’s important to work hard towards optimizing your website, blog, or articles.
For any online business, including mine, it is necessary to get ranked high for your product, your brand, or any related keywords. We want to be ranked with the term “Free Internet Marketing”. When someone searches for these keywords, we want to be the first thing they see. It could do more harm than good if you are not ranked. If customers who find your website are not getting directed to your company site, then they are probably reading about it on a blog or some other website. This could be a good or bad thing depending on what is being said on those sites.
There Are Multiple Avenues of SEO
SEO may still seem confusing to you, which may be because there are several types. You need to have a goal and then it will be easier to determine which application and marketing mediums will be best to optimize your pages.
- Articles (leveraging someone else’s website)
I will discuss these items in detail within this training and expand on complementary techniques and strategies that will help to advance your rankings with search engines. Additionally, I’ll discuss research components–which is where it all starts.
If everything sounds like it makes sense so far, that’s great. But, before you start on any optimization you need to conduct research. This will impact your market reach, otherwise all of your attempts at optimization will be futile. You need to research both your market and keywords.
If you can align your SEO efforts with your market and keyword audience you find that success comes faster and is much more stable.
Without duplicating an amazing resource that is already available, you should check out the following getting started guide focused on research (market & keyword):
I’m going to show you how to perform keyword research on specific data, which you will need to do before you even begin to create content within your website, blog, or article.
Article marketing is slightly different as you need to find keywords that have less than 5,000 quoted results in Google. There is a way you may not have to fit in this criteria. Generally with SEO you can use multiple keywords to attempt to optimize pages.
If you can target keywords that don’t have as much competition, it’s the easiest way to get ranked. However, you should also target keywords that will get traffic to your site as well. If you don’t have traffic, why invest time and energy into optimizing an entire page. Take some time to research the real traffic volume of keywords. There are several keyword research tools out there today. The two tools that I use are
Google’s keyword research tool they have just replaced this tool with “keyword planner”(free) (I am not a fan)
Jaaxy’s keyword research tool. (Paid)
Jaaxy’s tool is well worth paying for, this tool has helped me find multiple diamonds in the rough.
Play around with the keyword tools a little. Notice anything?
If you did, you will have noticed that the longer the keywords the less competition they have…but also the less traffic. That is OK. The good part about this is that the longer the keyword is, the more relevant it becomes and the easier it becomes to target your audience with a specific sales message!
Anyways, back to the keywords. Kyle created an excellent tutorial outlining how to take a completely broad keyword and break it down to find longer-tailed, highly relevant search terms (which would be great for SEO). Learning How to Master Keyword Research
Copywriting is an important part of your website content. There are phrases and words, when put together in the right context can lead to increasing your rankings with major search engines. Of course, you can’t write content without doing your research to find out which keywords should be used. We will explain that more as we go on.
Check Out Your Competition
The best way to get an idea of what sites you should model after is simply to research your site or product on a search engine. See which sites pop up and are listed high in the rankings. They’re doing something right if they have managed to get high rankings. What better way to leverage the competition than to take advantage of someone else’s efforts. You can use their content and improve upon it as you build your own website. (Do not plagiarize or copy verbatim. You should rewrite your own information.)
A Simple Way to Search:
If I wanted to get listed under the term “make money on the net” I would type in those keywords and see what sites show up. When searching, you need to use quotes around the keywords. Here is what I found when searching for “make money on the net”
Take a look at the ads first. These are tag lines for the website and the remaining content is usually drawn from meta tags, which is the description or name. It may also be part of the actual content, depending on which carries higher display relevance. Go ahead and visit one of the actual pages and to review further, run the content through Rapid Writer (This is a tool I use that is provided by Wealthy Affiliate) to determine the keyword density on those pages. The density should be between 2-5%, depending on the word count of the content. You can create your own original content as you do not want to copy anyone else’s work.
Make your content organic and original, while targeting the keywords in the same way as the top ranked listings. Of course, there are other people doing the same thing so this is not a guaranteed method to get ranked, but it is definitely necessary and is part of your overall marketing strategy. You need to be competitive.
Stay Updated on SEO changes
Google is always trying to stay one step ahead of SEO content writers and they change their algorithms on a regular basis so that the rankings can’t be manipulated as easily. Online marketers never know the details for their search ranking formula, therefore you need to stay as updated as possible to stay up with their changes. Each marketing campaign may require some trial and error as you find out what works best for your site.
SEO algorithms are constantly changing as search engines evolve. They all have different methods for ranking and those are also changing. Sometimes you will find something that yields great results, while other methods don’t seem to affect ranking. For example, you may write organic content with a 5% density of keywords and that may propel you to the top. The important thing to remember is that you need to constantly utilize different forms of testing. If you find something that works, keep doing it! In my training, I have an entire section dedicated to learning how to research SEO for both your audience keywords research.
Get Ranked With the Right Content
Your content is what will lead to higher search engine rankings. Once you take away all of the ads, graphics, etc. all that is left is plain and simple content. It can be time consuming to create SEO content, but just like everything in life, those who are willing to do what others won’t are the ones who will succeed.
The search engine spiders crawl over your words and content. If you can build content that is organic and has the right keywords, you can watch you page get higher rankings. I am going to go over some of the best ways to optimize your page so that it gets picked up by Google and other top search engines.
How Do You Write SEO-Friendly Content?
If you don’t have a website with content, you can’t get traffic to it. And, if you don’t get traffic, you cannot make money. You don’t have to be an experienced writer to put content together. The search engines are not grading your grammar or ability to tell a story. What search engines will do is search your content for keyword phrases.
Anytime you look at top natural listings and keyword search, you will find there is a certain percent used in the content. If you are looking for “free internet marketing” the top sites listed will have a several occurrences of the phrase in their content. Previously, you could overuse a keyword in your content and that would give you higher rankings. This could actual hurt your rankings now as they do not like overused keywords without supporting content.
SEO-friendly content is a mix of keyword density and supporting, organic, and relevant content. You may hear claims from marketers that they can manipulate rankings. In some cases like linking tactics, that may be true. But, the search engines are highly advanced now and they will pass over sites with keyword spam. Overusing keywords with very little content worked in the past, but is no longer an effective strategy.
In addition to creating organic content rich in keywords and phrases, you should write so that your words are easy for the average person on the internet to understand. The algorithms have touchy boundaries so it’s important to write organic content while using words dense in keywords, but also making sure they appear naturally in your content and do not seem artificially placed.
Keyword density of 2-5% seems to be the magic number marketers have found to be most effective. Of course, the more words your page contains, the lower your keyword percentage will be. Naturally, the more words your page has, the less the keyword percentages will be. Your target keywords should naturally flow with your writing. Again, I can’t emphasize enough how important testing is and I will discuss why later in the section.
The 5 Important Ranking Factors
When trying to get your page ranked, there are five important steps that need to be addressed regarding your primary target search terms. These factors are vital to getting ranked. In addition, they must also be offering consumer value. It is one thing to get ranked, but it is equally important (if not more so), to offer the consumer a good experience.
1. Target Keywords
You shouldn’t even start writing until you have target keywords for your post. These keywords are like fish bait and will determine the kind of “fish” you attract to your site. You need to make sure that your site is going to retain them once they are there. It should have good content and answer their questions. In other words, why use a keyword like “free internet marketing” to obtain a natural ranking when you won’t have answers or solutions for them once they get to your page. Research is again critical before you write. You should have checked target keywords before you started writing so that you know which ones are best. You can do this through multiple Keyword Tools My choice of weapon is Jaaxy’s Keyword Tool (It has super powers)
2. Keyword Placement
As if getting the right keywords wasn’t enough, there is a formula for their placement as well. Where you place keywords will impact your overall ranking. What is the formula? How do you know where to place them? I can tell you the secret so that you can obtain the best possible search engine ranking. Seriously, this formula approach is the secret! The Search Engines like it.
* The page title – within the tags of your page
* Page headline – The very first sentence on your page
* Content Sub-Heading – break up your content into headings
* Throughout content at 2-5% density – make sure your content makes sense!
3. Title Tags/Headline
Even though I mentioned this in the point above, I feel it deserves to have its’ own point. The title tag and page headline are the most important part of all of the ranking components. The title and the headline should address the customer, so they are both actually headlines. They shouldn’t be exactly the same and should give the customer an idea of what your website is going to offer them. The headline should be an answer to the reader’s question. The title tag and headline should address this search term in respect to showing visitors that you are going to answer their question.
Many experienced online marketers can easily submit 400-500 word articles that will provide the right mix of keywords with proper placement and be effective. However, for the beginner it’s best to play it safe and follow the rules while making your content rich in value. The point of SEO is to build traffic so if you have good content people will want to follow you or link to you because of the value of your information.
Google used to give content with the most keyword density the highest ranks. This created a flurry of nonsense content that used keywords in an unnatural way. Content should be organic and provide serious answers to consumer’s questions. You need to put yourself in the shoes of the person searching. The search engines have advanced to a much more comprehensive method of determining which content is fluff and which has solid info.
5. Related Content
It’s important to understand that search engines are more likely to give credence to content that is related to other material within their pages. This is indicative of “subject-matter expertism” which shows you are an expert on the topic and have several related pages.
Using content that is updated regularly also plays into the algorithms, so new, consistent content will help list your site in higher rankings. In addition to providing a basic understanding of your subject matter, you should provide advanced topics that will be understood only if your reader understands the basics. If you can occasionally cross-reference material in your core content it will give you links that are also recognized by the search engines.
There is an entire category at Wealthy Affiliate dedicated to Website Design and Development. Here you will find all the information you need on the actual creation of a page. Website Design and Development Category another effective training and much shorter. Must haves of a website
Are you getting the idea that being an expert is an important part of getting higher rankings? This is because Google and other Search Engines want to provide the best results to maintain their reputation for finding the best sites on any given topic. Building links is a way to get recognized as having expert content. If you can get related sites to link to you, they will recognize your site as one that provides value. An interesting fact about links is that Google places higher value on one way links, meaning that you are not trading links with another site. If you have sites linking to your site (and you don’t reciprocate) they determine your site to have value and not just an “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” I do not recommend link exchanges to other sites as it can do more harm than good.
Finding One Way Links
It’s easy to find relevant sites, but a lot harder to find sites that will send a one-way link to your site. I can show you different ways to get one-way links without too much effort. The most unlikely way to get links is to ask the website. If they even bother to respond, it is usually a no. They may also ask for a reciprocal link from your site to theirs which doesn’t help you as far as rankings are concerned.
There are 6 ways that are highly effective for obtaining one-way links:
(1) Relevant Forums
There are so many forums online, you couldn’t possibly reach all of them if you made it a full time job. Forums are a place where like-minded individuals gather online. When it comes to SEO, they have a very functional purpose. Forum sites generally receive high page rankings because so many other sites link to them.
You can take advantage of these forums by posting links to your website/blog on them within your signature (if allowed) and within your actual posts (if allowed). This is a great way to get one-way incoming links.
These are some ideas to get involved with forums:
* Simply search on google for forums in your niche. If you are in the food industry, you would want to type in a relative phrase that gets as close to your site content as possible. For example, “catering forum”, or “advertising agency forums”. You get the idea.
* Once the results are returned, peruse through the forums and join any that relate to your industry. You need to check a couple of things: 1) The forum should not be private. This means that search engines may not find them. 2) Make sure they allow links within their signatures. Some forums allow you to put links in the posts, but some do not. If you can, this is a big plus. 3) Make sure the posts are available to the public and that they have a decent PR (download Google Toolbar to see the PR of sites)
* Your hyperlinks within the posts should contain the target keywords you are using. You will want to link the keyword text to your site. If you are targeting “crockpot recipes” on your website, you want this to be the text that links to your site.
Some industries have so many relevant forums that this can be a quick way to build your one-way links. One word of caution: avoid spam! This will get you kicked out of forums. (Yes, I speak from experience- I’ve come a long ways) Not only will your posts be deleted, but you will not be allowed to come back. Make sure that your posts give pertinent information and value.
(2) Getting in the News
We’re not talking MSNBC or the Today Show news, just regular online news sites that you can comment on and offer relevant information. I repeat, spam will get you nowhere and will hurt you instead. You should write with a value driven purpose, not for self-promotion, otherwise it will have a negative effect instead of a positive effect.
You can also find news sites or blogs that share content relevant to your site and make a post or comment that contributes value to the site. This is an opportunity to hyperlink or add your website address.
(3) Article Submission (writing relevant articles). Check out Article Marketing Tutorial
(4) Leveraging Social Mediums Check out Social Bookmarking Tutorial
(5) Website Directories
If you want a fast way to get a quick bump in your overall page rank, target some of the larger directories out there. Some of the top website directories are dmoz.org and dir.yahoo.com. If you do a search, you can easily find more directories. Any one-way links will be a great boost.
(6) Contacting High PR (Page Rank) Sites
This is a valuable way to get a lot of relevant one-way links, however it is also the most time consuming. If you can get links to your website that are rich in your niche, this will lead to improved rankings. You need to contact the owner of a website with an offer. To find their email go to WhoIs services at: http://who.godaddy.com/whoischeck.aspx. This method is not the best method for 90% of you. However, when done correct you can create great link power and JV opportunities.
Optimization & Monetization
Here’s the good part, the information that is likely to be the reason you are building traffic to your website. Ultimately, your goal is to make money, so you will want to set goals for each of your SEO campaigns. In order to reach this goal, your visitors must be interactive and the product or service depends on the purpose of your website.
These actions include:
1. Get the visitor to click
2. Get the visitor to buy
3. Get the visitor’s information
4. Get the visitor to spread the word
5. Get the visitor to leave feedback
Everyone will have different goals for their website and the content should be different based on that. One thing always remains the same—RELEVANCE. You need to understand why people are visiting your site in order to achieve success with any ACTION. Demographics are key as you should anticipate and answer any questions they have…and consider why they are coming to your site. Every action you perform will require different steps based accordingly.
Get them’ to CLICK
When you are trying to make a profit from your website, your goal is to get visitors to click on AdSense or another 3rd party ad program (people clicking ads on your site), or, you may want visitors to click on your affiliate links. How you place ads and links can determine their overall click-through rate.
Just like with newspapers, it is best to place ads above the “fold” of the page, and that you promote them in readable areas. People tend to read from left to right and ads that are either at the top (center) or to the left get the highest click-throughs. There is also a phrase “call to action” which means you asking the visitor to click on a link. For example, it might say “Click here to find out more.” Any linking text with this is called a “call-to-action link”. Again, I can’t emphasize enough, testing, testing, and testing. Always
Review your actions to see if you’re getting results. There are so many variations depending on content, audience, and images placement within in your site.
Get them’ to BUY SOMETHING
You may be familiar with the term “presell”. If you aren’t, it refers to “selling” something before it is actually purchased. A good analogy would be similar to going into an electronics store to purchase a camera. The sales affiliate would help you understand the different features and benefits of different cameras. They answer all of the questions you may have and help you find the best camera to suit your needs. So, put yourself in the consumer’s shoes and think about the questions you might have if you were purchasing an electronic or more specifically, a camera.
How many megapixels?
What can it be used for?
How much should I spend?
Does it come with a zoom lens?
How does it compare to other cameras in the price range?
Does the camera size matter?
What about batteries/memory?
Does it shoot video?
If you can create answers within your content, people will be buying like crazy!
Get there’ EMAIL Address
Make them an offer they cannot refuse. People will not share their information (their real info anyways), unless you are making an appealing offer on your page. This could be a bonus, a newsletter, a tool, or the ability to connect with you. Be personal, tell a story, and be real. An email list is a relationship so you should treat it like one.
Get them’ to TELL THEIR FRIENDS
Repeat visitors are the best customers because they already have a history with you and likely had a positive experience. If you create good content that answers questions while being informative and provocative, you will find that people will be sharing your content. When people share, they naturally link to your site from others. This is golden as you have automatic traffic coming to your site. You should make it easy for people to share by providing links to via email, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media sites.
Get them’ to OFFER COMMENTS/CONTENT
The great thing about blogging formats is that it leaves room for people to leave comments, which equates to free content. Web pages that allow for content development, or web 2.0 (user-added contributions.) If you provide tools for people to create content within your website/blog, then you will get more points with Google and other search engines. It helps to keep your content updated and relevant. It may also expand your keyword phrase density, but how do you encourage visitors to comment? The easiest thing to do is simply ask. Usually, when you ask for feedback visitors will give it. The anonymity of the web allows people to freely give their opinion and they will volunteer it especially if asked. Another tactic is to provide value within your pages and be interesting. Keep your readers thinking and riding along with you. Just like a real life conversation, they will offer their own opinions and responses.
User Based Content
Web 2.0, also referred to as the Internet world with user generated content is still relevant. People want to speak their mind and offer their insight, opinions, reviews, and recommendations. They tend to naturally have a desire to interact with you. The potential to leverage visitors to optimize your pages is endless. Let them do additional work for you!
There are several ways in which you can incorporate Web 2.0 aspects into your pages to expand your content, and increase the “freshness” in the eyes of search engines (both of which are highly beneficial for SEO). They include:
- Add a forum to your page and leave it wide open. However, I would suggest requiring a login so that you can enjoy the benefits of both sides. Users will create content and you be able to build an email list by requiring posters to sign-up. You can get more information about adding forums to your website here:
- If your website is not already a blog, then creating a blog attached to your site is a good idea. Blogs allow your website to contain current information and allow visitors to interact with comments. The two best blog services I have discovered are.
Both of these systems are great! They both are a (CMS) Content Management System. This is a must to have while starting out no, actually even when you are a million dollar earner a CMS is the best. Go here to learn more about CMS.
- User Submitted Reviews are not only good for content, but they can help your visitors make better purchasing decisions. Your reviews, or reviews that you post from customers can often seem biased, so having reviews from your visitors that are unsolicited will offer people a balanced opinion of your products/services. Here are some scripts that can be programmed into your pages to add the user submitted review feature:
- Social Networking is one of the best ways to create your own social network in a niche that you are interested in. You can actually create your own social network without any programming experience. Social networks are a great way to generate content from users. However, I do not use this method anymore. The reason being is there is so much traffic and opportunity (for me) tapping into current social media. But for some of you this could be a gold mine for you.
**To add all of these you will need to know a certain level of programming or have access to a programmer. These are not necessary for creating quality SEO sites/blogs, however this can be great additions. I would revisit this option once you are up and functioning with your sites.
The End and Let’s Review Quickly
You should have a much better understanding of what SEO is and why it is vital to getting more traffic to your site. Some of the largest and prominent online companies rely heavily on SEO results.
SEO is free and there is room for up to 20 listings within the 1st page in most search engines. In this beginner tutorial course we covered:
* The correct keywords to target
* Following the correct content/copywriting “rules”
* Getting seen regularly by the search engines
* Getting incoming high PR links (“link juice”)
* Making $$$ from your SEO efforts
* Getting people to develop content for you (keeping your pages fresh…which Google and other SEO’s like)
You can build an elaborate business simply by utilizing Search Engine Optimization. There are billions of people searching on the internet each day and you only need to attract the smallest percentage of this through your SEO efforts. With these numbers in your favor, success is inevitable.
**Note: SEO in addition to any paid campaigns can also be highly beneficial. Creating sites for PPC with Search Engine Optimization in mind can increase traffic, and increase your Return on Investment as you will be getting FREE traffic.
Let me add that SEO is not a perfect system with a perfect formula. We know that the Search Engines are always changing their so called “Algorithms” and yes it is more than frustrating when this happens. That is why it is important to stay up with the changes because the ROI on SEO is 1000% plus for me. This is not to say that SEO is my only method of marketing. However, Seo is “Evergreen” and there is nothing like free.
Tell me what you think about SEO, how is it working for you? Do you have certain strategies that work?