SEO, or if you prefer the tongue-tying Search Engine Optimization, is all about getting search engines (SEs) to find you. If folks type in a keyword or phrase and don't find you, you may as well not have a website at all. Really.
Ideally you should employ SEO techniques before you even set up your site. If you already have a site, you probably should go back and fix some things. Make it a priority.
Some methods cost money. Some methods cost time. Only you can decide what is your priority. My belief is that you can always earn cash, you can't earn or make more time. So I'm willing to spend a little to help further my goal to make money online.
There are a lot of keyword experts out there, but you don't need an SEO expert for everything. There are some things you should do on your own. But remember, its not like flipping a switch. Performing a few of these SEO techniques won't make your site jump to the top of the list overnight. Everything about the search engines (SEs) takes time.
For one thing, brand new sites haven't been indexed yet, so the SEs don't even know you're there. But even after that its not so quick. For one thing the SEs prefer older sites over new sites. Age is an indicator of a known, responsible site. Think of it like kids. As they grow older they become more trustworthy. The SEs are all about trustworthiness.
- Niche Keywords - Or long tail keywords if you prefer. But ranking for the keyword 'cars' is next to impossible. But 'used cars', or 'used cars in Atlanta', or 'really awesome cars that are also cheap' would be easier. But you're keywords also need to have value so don't pick something that no one ever searches for. I'll write more about keyword selection later.
- Localize Your Keywords - If you are selling a product or service that sells to the general public on the local level, your keywords should reflect that. Savvy SE users search that way. If I'm not familiar with flowers, I might type "flower shops in Detroit" to get a list that I can actually use rather than just "flower shops" which would return results that are less useful to me.
- Don't ignore metadata - Metadata is the part of the html of your site that tells the SEs what your site is about. The keywords you're targeting, your description of each page, and the title of your page.
- Put Your Main Keyword(s) In Your Domain Name - Even if it is a long, clunky name, its better than a domain name that doesn't tell the SEs or your potential customers/readers what your site is about.
- Sign Up For Google Analytics - Its free and its the best. Learn where your web page visitors are coming from and how long they stay. There is, quite literally, more information here than anyone needs, but you do need some of it.
- Placement Of Keywords - Use your targeted keyword for each page in the first and last sentence of the page. The SEs give special importance to the beginning and end of a page.
- Be Aware Of Keyword Density - Too few and the SEs don't know what your page is about. Too many and its barely readable. Don't keyword stuff. Just write naturally and sprinkle keywords throughout.
- Register With The SEs - This one is controversial. The major SEs have a very simple way to let them know that you've got a new site. After all, they can't be expected to find all of the millions of pages that are created every day. But many SEO experts insist that registering with the SEs somehow increase the length of time it will take to be found... Go figure.
That'll do for now. I'll have another list of SEO techniques that you're sure to love soon...