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Pointers on SEO – Where to Start?

>> Sunday, February 28, 2010

This post is by guest blogger, A.J. Wilcox SEO Team Leader for Orange Soda.com and I think that it is relevant to everyone with a website or blog. I hope you enjoy.

Pointers on SEO – Where to Start?

If you have started a blog or a website, you have likely said, “Now I need visitors – where do I start?” This is a great question. Even just a few years ago, the old adage, “if you build it, they will come” held true for the millions of websites out there. No matter what you did, someone would almost assuredly find your site. Now, with over a trillion pages out on the web, that is no longer true. In order for your site to get traffic now, you will rely on search engines to send people who are looking for your goods, services, or information. Optimizing your site for the search engines is called SEO (search engine optimization). Tune your website to have what the search engines want and they send you traffic relevant to your site.

I Have a Website… Now What?

There are two parts to the SEO equation:

1. On-site optimizations – this is your content. Search engines look for keywords in your content to see what each of your pages are about.

2. Off-site optimizations – the number of sites that link to yours, and the popularity of those sites reveal a lot about your site. The keywords they use to describe your content in the link also play a part. Encouraging people to link to your site, and providing content worthy of those links, will help your site in this part.

Both of these parts of the SEO equation have something in common – they keyword.

Importance of Keywords

SEO doesn’t exist without a keyword. Think about what your average visitor would type in order to arrive at your site. If you sell flowers in Phoenix, Arizona, you might consider terms like, “phoenix flowers, flowers in phoenix, and flower shops phoenix”. Take these ideas to Google’s keyword tool (first result when you Google keyword), and it will tell you which terms get the most search volume.

The more searches, the more opportunity to attract visitors.

Start Where You Control


I suggest starting where you have the most control – your own site. Take your most important pages, and select one keyword for each of them. This will make your pages more relevant when someone types in your exact targeted keyword. Consider creative ways of inserting this keyword into as many of the following places as you have access to:

· Your page title (very important)

· Your page meta description

· Page headlines and subheadings

· Actual content

· Descriptions of your images (image alt text)

Make sure it doesn’t sound like it was written for a search engines – a good litmus test would be if you would enjoy reading it yourself. Don’t make it too sparse, though, because someone who types “phoenix flowers” into a search engine will want to see that word on the website they visit.

Now Practice Patience

After you have made these keyword insertions, it could take upwards of a month for the search engines to notice (although it might be a couple days depending on the schedule of the search engines). After you’ve done this, you should be set up for some search engine traffic. Depending on how many other pages are targeting the same keyword, you will likely need to get people to link to you in order to break through your competitors. There are SEO firms that specialize in local online marketing that can assist you with your linkbuilding efforts – like OrangeSoda.com. Once you get traffic on your site, monetizing it is easy.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy some tips on how to network your blog.

5 comments:

Redbonegirl97,  said... February 28, 2010 at 9:41 AM  

I so desparatel need help with all of this. I still can't figure this stuff out.

Tiffany
http://liferequiresmorechocolate.blogspot.com/

Midday Escapades,  said... February 28, 2010 at 8:20 PM  

Oh man, when I hear SEO, I run the other way. I'm so confused about it all.

Thanks for linking up with Friday Follow! I am now your blog follower. It is a pleasure to meet ya and have a great week!

~ Lynn
http://www.middayescapades.com

A.J. Wilcox,  said... March 1, 2010 at 10:31 AM  

You guys are totally right - SEO is totally confusing at the start. Hopefully this guide helps you get started and gain a little bit of insight for starting. It's nice to break it down a bit. The nice thing about SEO is that there is a LOT of info out there offered for free because SEO guys like me want to make a name for themselves. :)

www.nelliebugs.com,  said... March 1, 2010 at 7:07 PM  

I just discovered your blog and am now following, hope you like mine and do the same!

Sadie@
nelliebugs-swaps.blogspot.com

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