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Old 05-13-2009, 05:37 AM
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Learn to “Do-It-Yourself” with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Three Easy Steps to Help you Increase your Website Traffic

Written by simplea2 on May 11th, 2009

Ranking high in Google’s search results is one of the most important aspects in the success of your online business.

You can either employ the service of a Search Engine Optimization company (SEO) to help you rank high with Google, or, if you have the time and the patients there are steps you can take your optimize your site on your own to acheive the same results.

Step 1: Keyword Research is Important!

You should ask yourself, what keywords would your customers type in to search engine to reach the types of products or services they are looking for, you need to match your key words for your website to what you come up with. A keyword can be one word (e.g. “optimization”), however, multiple keywords or keyword phrases are typically recommended because they tend to be more specific which makes it more likely that your website is what the customervisitor is looking for. For example if a person types in “SEO tools” he knows he is looking for a site that will have SEO tools on it.

To begin you should write down as many keywords as you can up with that relate to your web site or blog post and you should do this for each page of your website or your blog posts on your site. In most cases you should not use the same keywords for each of your web pages or blog posts, instead tailor your keywords separately for each page or post to get thethe best search engine optimization that you can. You should brain storm keywords that relate to your page or posts and then come up with a list of alternative words and phrases that can compliment your original set of keywords and keyword phrases. Many times it can be very profitable to consider using common misspellings of words or phrases in your page or post, this can allow you to catch the large amount of traffic that often misspells what they are searching for. You may also consider using geographical phrases if feel that they would be important to your customer (e.g. “Chicago Pizza”). It is also a smart and profitable idea to research competitors’ websites for keywords; it is always a good idea to know what your competitors are doing, especially the successful ones. How many keywords you should have per page or post can vary, with hot key words it is better to focus on just one or two keywords for any pages or posts that relate to the keywords, if there is not as much competition for keywords that you are going to use then you can use many more of them and still have good success. I would recommend not using more than around 20 or so for any one page.

Additionally you should think about choosing the two or three keyword phrases that you feel would be searched for the most often. However, you should also keep in mind that the more competition there is for a keyword or keyword phrase, the harder it will be to achieve top rankings and this is why I suggest focusing on one or two keywords per page or post if the keyword is a highly competitive one. For example, if you wanted to rank high in Google for the keyword “insurance”, you would have a very long road ahead of you. So remember, try your best to select two keyword phrases that are the most relevant to you business but that are neither too vague nor too competitive, it is also a good idea to have 2 or 3 words in each of your keyword phrases (e.g. “wedding limousine services”).

Once you have selected what you think are your two best keyword phrases, with 2 or 3 words, you can move on to your next step which will show you how to make some improvements to your home page.

Step 2: Web Copy

Web copy refers to all the words or text that you have on your website, if you didn’t already know that content is king in the world of search engines now is a good time to learn. It is extremely important to have quality content on your site in order to rank high and keep your visitors coming back. In addition, your keyword phrases need to be placed strategically on your webpage to convince Google that your content is highly relevant to those specific keywords. The more prominent they are the better. As important as search engine optimization is, it is just as important to realize that your visitors should come first so your content should be easy to find and follow.

Here’s how you can increase each keyword’s prominence:

• Place your keywords in headings, preferably at the beginning of the heading;

• Include keywords towards the top 20% of the page;

• Bold or italicize keywords where appropriate;

• Instead of having a link to another page that says “Click here to read more “, reword it to include your keywords, e.g. “read more about how you can generate more traffic”.

Another important tip you should follow is to also include the keywords you use in to your HTML “title tag”, this is another way to increase your search engine page rank and bring in new traffic. You can use your content management system to make these changes yourself, or if need be you can often ask your web developer to do it if you’re unsure how.
Once you have fine-tuned your home page and have it optimized you should consider adding fresh, new content, such as detailed descriptions of what your website has to offer your customer, a FAQs section and informative articles that discuss the products or services your website offers. If you don’t think you can or don’t want to write your own content there are some solutions. Many articles can be found in article directories which can be used on your site, often times you can find PLR content which you can claim as your own work (rewriting is highly suggested in this case).

It is also a good idea to remember that search engines can only read text, not pictures, so although using pictures can increase your ad clicks they will not help your search engine ratings. Often times web developers will embed words in to an image to try and improve the look of the website to its visitors, additionally they often use Flash for animation for the same reason, it should be noted that this presents problems with search engines rankings.

Step 3: Linking

Each link from another website to your website (not from your website) is considered by search engines as a vote of popularity for your business and will improve your rankings in the search results. However, it is the quality and not the quantity of the links that is important in relation to search engine rankings. Websites that contain your backlinks should be relevant to your industry or business and preferably be companies or websites that are highly regarded themselves. Ten quality links count far more than 500 links from arbitrary websites. Just as your social network offline can have a big impact on your income so to can your online social network have an effect on your income. You should brainstorm all the relevant websites that pertain to your industry or business and write then and ask them if they could provide a link to your website. Write a friendly email to each describing the benefit their visitors would get in knowing about your business, and request them to create a link to your website. Most people will not respond first time round so a follow-up phone call is usually required as well. This can be an important part of building your online network and dramatically increase your businesses profits.

How should you monitor your results?

Monitor your rankings in Google over the next few months by typing your chosen keywords into the search box, and recording your ranking. Also look at your hosting reports to understand what search terms your visitors are using to find your website. Keep tabs on your competitors as well, you may discover a keyword or phrase that is not being utilized and can offer you a wonderful opportunity to get more website traffic and increase your profits.

Ranking high in Google’s search results is important to any business and can play an important role when it comes to the success of your website.
When it comes to search engine optimization there are two options available to you, take the time to do your research and optimize your website yourself or if you are not comfortable doing this you can pay an SEO company to optimize your site for you.

James Bishop
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