This search engine optimization tutorial is designed to give you some tips for improving your rankings in search engines that you may be able to do yourself.Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of taking steps to assure that your site is placed higher in search engine results than your competitors' websites. Google, MSN and Yahoo have a hold on the vast majority of daily searches performed on the Internet. In fact, Google's market share of search is so large that most SEO tips are geared toward them.
Two Types of Search Engine ResultsThere are two basic types of search engine results - organic or natural, and paid. Getting listed on the first page of results is pretty much critical as most people who search the Web won't bother to look any farther than the first page of search engine results to find you.
You can pay for such high placement through Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising campaigns, such as Google AdWords or Yahoo Sponsored Search or Microsoft's adCenter. If you outbid your competitors your website can get placed on the first page of search results.
Organic search results are where your website ranks on its own - without ad payments. Getting your website placed in the top 10 search results for your targeted keywords can result in increased traffic to your website and consequently, increased sales for your home business. Organic search engine optimization, then focuses on improvements in your organic search rankings.
Organic SEO is Both an Art and a Science
Organic SEO of your website for improved search results is both an art and a science, but it's not rocket science. The science part of SEO lies largely in understanding the algorithms, or formulas, used by the search engines to determine where sites rank and making decisions on which keywords - terms or phrases people use to conduct a search - to target. The "art" portion of SEO is how you go about implementing techniques for search engines to find you.
Unfortunately, search engine algorithms change constantly and the search engines do what they can to keep their algorithms and techniques secret. While understanding the factors that are used for search rankings is akin to cracking a code, there is a wealth of information available on the web - some of it reliable and some of it not-so-reliable. The purpose of this search engine optimization tutorial is to provide you with the important basics of SEO in the form of ten tips you can do yourself.
Keyword research is the process of understanding what search terms or phrases your targeted site visitors might use to find you, and then selecting the right balance between keyword popularity - the number of times the word or phrase is used in a search - and competitiveness - the number of other websites that are trying to rank highly for those keywords, measured by the results returned by the search engine for the keyword phrase used. Finding frequently used keywords that relatively few sites are targeting is the challenge. It is the foundation for all SEO efforts and cannot be overlooked.
Do-it-Yourself or Hire an SEO Pro?
There's no question that an ethical, or "white hat" search engine optimization firm can work wonders for your website traffic. However, depending on your comfort level with HTML - the computer language used to create most website pages - there are a number of things you can do yourself to optimize your site for search and get more traffic without the expense of hiring someone to do it for you.
Taking your own steps to improve your site's search engine rankings will save you money. While you may not be able to do all the things an SEO professional could do, even with this search engine optimization tutorial, if you have a limited budget you'll want to do what you can to boost your site's traffic. Here are some SEO tips that most of you can probably do yourself.
10 DIY Quick Tips for SEO
Here are ten basic SEO tips included in the search engine optimization tutorial you might consider doing yourself to get better search rankings and increased site traffic:
- DIY SEO Tip 1 - Select the right keywords
- DIY SEO Tip 2 - Select the right domain name
- DIY SEO Tip 3 - Use keywords in file names and folders
- DIY SEO Tip 4 - Use your keywords in your page titles
- DIY SEO Tip 5 - Use keyword text in your navigation
- DIY SEO Tip 6 - Create useful keyword content - repeat often
- DIY SEO Tip 7 - Make keywords part of your META Description
- DIY SEO Tip 8 - Secure high quality incoming links
- DIY SEO Tip 9 - Use keyword text (not "click here") in your links
- DIY SEO Tip 10 - Create a site map
While there are other techniques an ethical SEO professional will use to boost your rankings, these 10 DIY SEO tips that form the basis for the search engine optimization tutorial will get you on the right track, even with a severely limited budget. Even eCommerce and other sites that are controlled by a content management system, which can create its own SEO challenges, can benefit by following these suggestions. And, if your keywords are highly competitive, you may not ever be able to rank in the top 10 search results, but you will move up in the rankings and you should find traffic to your site on the rise.
Patience and Persistence are SEO Virtues
Keep in mind that SEO takes time. You won't see improvements by following the tips in this tutorial overnight, so don't be discouraged if your traffic doesn't jump through the roof right away. And, don't expect to use this search engine optimization tutorial tips once and then forget about them. Make it a practice to keep these SEO tips in mind whenever you update your website, go through a redesign, or plan a new site. Also, keyword popularity and competitiveness changes over time, so revisit your targeted keywords periodically to see if they still draw traffic.
Search Engine Optimization Tutorial and the Bigger Picture
Search engine optimization is just one piece of a large set of tools you can use to promote your business online. See the Online Marketing Guide for additional ideas for building a well-rounded Internet marketing strategy.