Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical to the success of your online business. Here at Sucker Free Online Business, we are devoted to your success. Today I want to show you how to learn SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO is simply creating a webpage in a manner that search engines like google will want to rank them at or near the top of the search engine results page (SERP). The higher you are in a SERP the more traffic you are going to get. The more traffic you get, the more money you are capable of making. Traffic = money.
Practicing SEO is the art of learning what the search engines are looking for and putting it into practice. But be careful of tricks and schemes. Your primary concern should be helping your targeted audience.
Write for Humans
Remember that the number one reason you should be writing a webpage or blog post is to provide a human user with a solution to a problem (they want to buy something) or answer a question (how to learn SEO).
Years ago, a lot of marketers were employing techniques to trick the search engines into thinking their websites had more valuable content than they really did. Well, guess what happened. The search engines got smarter and began to rank the sites based on how helpful they really are to a user.
Old tricks like keyword stuffing, automated backlinks and shady traffic exchange programs are no longer useful for getting traffic to a website. In fact, those practices can now actually hurt your website’s rank.
Fortunately for me, I never relied on these types of behavior but a lot of people did. And unfortunately for someone who is newer in the trade, some products and programs such as Social Monkee and Google Sniper are still promoting these techniques.
One of the products that I use, support and promote is Wealthy Affiliate. Over there we have a saying, coined by one of the co-founders: Content is king.
A lot of poor products and training will promote the use of targeted “mini-sites”. Let’s say that I wanted to promote apples. What these other products would tell you to implement is:
- Find a product or service to promote (apples).
- Purchase a domain with the product in the domain name (whatisthebesttastingapple.com).
- Write a few pages of content about apples (green apples, red apples, tart apples, sweet apples).
- Have all of the content written in step 3 funnel to a sales page about the best apple I ever ate and sell them that apple.
After completing those four steps, you would leave that website out on the world wide web forever and it would funnel cash to you. This used to work quite well, but times have changed. Google (as well as other engines) now look for content that is updated regularly.
There is not much in the world that is static or unchanging. The search engines know this, and if your content is not evolving, they know that too and will consider your site obsolete and you will lose rank. That is why we 1) write for humans and 2) write regularly. A site with a lot of quality content, relevant to its keywords, is going to rank better than a “thin” site with just three or four pages, one of them being a sales page.
Website trust is just how much the search engines trust you. A brand new domain is typically not going to rank well until the search engines recognize that content is being created for it and updated regularly.
There is no magic number of days that this is. It just takes time, but if you consistently create content and update old content, the search engines will begin to trust you.
Keywords, quite simply, are the subject that we are writing about. In the above example, my keywords would be apple. But if I search the term “apple” in google, I get 1.5 billion results back.
Let’s assume that I already have a website which has gained some trust. Targeting a keyword with 1.5 billion results is likely not going to get me ranked very high for a long, long time. That’s where keyword research comes into play.
In order to do this we need to use a keyword research tool like Jaaxy or or the one included in a Wealthy Affiliate membership. Using the tool at Wealthy Affiliate I have come up with a good, longer keyword: “what is the best tasting apple”.
Although this particular term is searched far less, there are only 21 pages targeted at it. That gives me a very good chance to get ranked on page 1 near the top of its SERP.
While you want to use good quality keywords and keep your content focused on them for SEO, you want to avoid engaging in practices like keyword stuffing. This is again something that used to work, but does not anymore.
You want your keyword to be in the URL (not necessarily the domain) and you want to mention it in the first and last paragraph of your webpage. It is good, but not necessary, to bring it up naturally throughout your content. If it is used in an unnatural way, Google will likely spot it and not give you as good of a rank. You want to write the way you talk.
For example, if I was writing a page targeting my example above, “what is the best tasting apple”, I would not want to write like this:
What is the best tasting apple? What is the best tasting apple depends one what you think is the best tasting apple. What is the best tasting apple might be different to me than what is the best tasting apple to you. But when I think about what is the best tasting apple I like Gala apples.
That paragraph sounds forced and unnatural. Google would like consider it a keyword stuffed page.
One thing to note is that while it is important to target a specific keyword or phrase, don’t get too wrapped up about it. I use my keywords to drive a topic but rarely use them outside of the first and last paragraph. The search engines will find other keywords you never intended and get you rank that you didn’t even think of.
The bottom line is that you want traffic. SEO will help you get there and while keywords are an important aspect to that puzzle, I find a lot of people put too much emphasis on them.
Use of Images
The use of images is another important aspect of search engine optimization. It’s also important for your readers because humans are usually visual animals and a well place image may help them engage and better understand the content you are writing.
One of the primary things you want to leverage on images, though, is the alt tag.
The alt tag used to be primarily used for readers who for some reason could not view the image, whether it was because of a disability or if the image would not load for some reason. It would give them context about what the image was trying to display.
Today the search engines spiders read that alt tag to determine what the image is about. Having a strong alt tag (and one that contains your keyword) will help you with rank. It also helps with things like a Google Image Search.
Backlinks are invaluable for SEO, but I cannot stress one point enough. Never, ever, and I mean never purchase a backlink. Usually purchased backlinks are going to be automated in some way shape or form. They will wind up being low quality and will hurt your website’s rank.
Instead, you want to engage your audience. You need to figure out a way to inspire them to want to write their own blog post referencing your webpage or post it to social media such as Facebook or Twitter. Natural backlinks can greatly improve your SEO.
- Write about one specific topic (keyword)
- Include the keyword in the page or post’s title
- Include the keyword in the URL
- Include the keyword in an image’s alt tag
- Provide unique and quality content about a the subject (keyword)
- Engage your audiance and encourage them to give you quality backlinks
I hope you have enjoyed this article on how to learn SEO. If you have questions or tips or tricks on this subject, please let me know in the comments.