Beginner’s Guide to SEO

More and more businesses are realizing the power of online marketing to promote their products and services. But when everyone’s goal is to make it to the front page of Google results, how can you keep up with the competition?

Simple. Use SEO.

What is SEO? Why do you need it?

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization, one of the many forms on internet marketing strategy that you can use to increase visitors to your site. How? From the phrase itself, Search Engine Optimization considers how search engines, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, work, and uses this information to optimize content on their sites to make them more “search engine friendly”.

Search engines use complex mathematical algorithms to know which websites appear on the first page of search results. For instance, searching for the keyword “search engine optimization” on Google will give you the top websites that are optimized for that keyword. Usually these sites could be one of two things: they already have a lot of visitors, or they are implementing effective search engine optimization techniques to boost their page rankings.

Learning search engine optimization is a must in the digital age because let’s face it, you’re going to have a lot of competition out there. You’re not going to be the only one that sells Product A anymore, and you want to stand out from the rest. Search engine optimization gives you an edge if you are looking to promote your products or services online, and it does so in an “organic” way.

Common SEO Techniques

seo-techniquesSearch engine optimization may sound too technical, but the most common techniques used in search engine optimization are so simple you can get started right away. Here are three most common and effective ways to increase your page ranking:

Write quality content that contains a top keyword phrase. Initially you would need some research work to know which keyword phrases in your niche are the most searched for, and then keep using that exact phrase in your content. This may seem like a no-brainer, but believe me, I’ve seen sites with great quality content that do not rank well in Google results just because they didn’t focus on a keyword phrase.

Cross link between pages of your own site that provide relevant information. Link popularity is one of the key factors that help search engines determine the rankings of sites. By cross linking between your own content, you instantly boost the popularity of your links and help readers discover content that could be interesting to them. Just make sure your content is relevant, and don’t cross link on every page, or your links may become “diluted”.

Update your content regularly so search engines keep “crawling” your site. Search engines use a method called “crawling” to determine what a site is and what it talks about. If you write quality content that uses the keyword phrase “search engine optimization”, for example, search engines will index your site and show it when someone searches for that keyword. But your site will not stay there forever, as more and more people create websites that also talk about the same topic.

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO

black-hat seoSearch engine optimization is not only about enhancing websites for search engines, but also optimizing content for users so they stay interested and keep coming back for more.

Now because search engines use mathematical algorithms to determine the popularity of a site, it is possible for someone to cheat the system and use these techniques without actually having quality content, for instance. This is known as black hat SEO.

Black hat SEO uses techniques that deceive search engines into thinking that content in your website (if any) is actually related to a specific keyword phrase. This is common among “get rich quick” scam sites that need to have lots of visitors instantly so they can trick people into stealing their money. These sites eventually get caught, and search engines penalize them accordingly.

White hat SEO, on the other hand, is focused on the long run, and uses techniques that initially appeal to the readers, such as creating quality content with appropriate keywords, and then optimizing their websites for search engines. My SEO consulting only offers the best white hat SEO services out there, so your site can reach the front page of Google results.

There are other types of internet marketing out there, and as an Internet marketing consultant with more than 8 years in the field, I know which works where. But if you’re looking for an easy but effective way to get up to speed, then SEO is the way to go.

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