Basic Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Fundamentals For Newbies

Posted on 11. Jan, 2013 by in Internet Marketing, Jewels of Wisdom

So you have been working on your products and websites now for a while and you want to start ramping up your traffic and getting more visibility in the search engines? In this post we’ll explore some of the fundamentals of Search engine Optimisation (SEO).

Although you most likely will not have the time to become an SEO expert (nor should you!), it helps to have an understanding of how it works and why it is important as part of your overall website marketing strategy.

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

SEO is getting your website structured in a way that is optimized for search engines to find your site when people type in the keyword. Eg., when people type in a keyword your site will appear on the left hand side of Google (organic searches).

If you look at any popular term, there are thousands and sometimes millions of searches on any particular term. If there are millions of pages on a term, how do you get to the top 10 searches? This can be very difficult. However, there are some things that can make it easy to get on the first page of Google for free,

What do Search Engines like? No-one knows the exact algorithms that search engines like Google and Yahoo use. However, we can make highly educated guesses on what factors they process when determining their search results.

Lets look at these in a little more detail:

  • Relevance!!!!! – the 3Rs – it’s very important – Relevance | Relevance | Relevance. Search engines want their user to have a good experience. When you type in a word, the stuff that comes back to you must be on topic and relevant to what you are looking for. If it doesn’t you’ll go somewhere else right!? The search engines are fanatical about this to give clients a good user experience. If your site is not providing a good user experience, they won’t put you up on the top of the search. They want the site to be relevant to the search term.
  • Reputation – what do other people on the internet say to you – also known as “wisdom of the crowd”. Do you have authority sites linking back to you? There was a social scientist who looked at crowds and how they operate when they had to make choices – he came to the conclusion that 80-90% of the time left to their own devices – the crowd will get it right.
  • Google has worked out that when people vote on the internet about what works for them and what doesn’t work – Google has worked out that they get it right. The more people who visit your site and the amount of backlinks to your site – Google deems this to be more relevant.

To see how well your site is SEO’ed, check out www.WebsiteGrader.com. You can check out your site or your competitor’s site and it will give you a ranking on how your site performs as far as your SEO is concerned. It talks about a bunch of things in detail – met tags, headings etc.

Its shows you where you are doing great and where you can improve.

If you are trying to rank for a keyword, you can look at your competitors and see ways of improving on what they are doing and get hints on how you can rank higher than them.

SEO On-Page / Off-page techniques

SEO requires both on-page and off-page techniques. They make your site visible and allows Google to judge the relevance. Here are the important on-page techniques:

  • Keyword in domain name – the phrase or keyword that you want to be known for. This is not always possible – because you want to be know for a number of things. Eg., in Andrew and Daryl – this is our phrase – we have www.andrewanddaryl.com – however, that is not always a practical thing to do. Our Internet Secrets is our other main site. We want to be known for Our Internet Secrets. “Internet Secrets” is the keyword we want to rank on. You need to do your research – how are people referring to your subject and the keywords they are using in this process
  • Relevant file names for each page
    • Have these relevant to the keyword on the page
    • Have the keyword in the page if you can
    • Keep in mind that Google is generally ranking a page – not a site – you can have multiple pages on your site ranking for different keywords – one might be ranking for one subject and another for another subject – so when looking for file names on your site – do they have your keywords in there as well.
  • Title tag
    • Talk to your techie about this – in the Title Tag – have your keywords in there.
  • Keywords in body copy
    • The words on your page should include your keywords – WARNING: don’t over do it – don’t put too much in there that is unnatural to try and trick the search engines. Google is smart and if the page is overloaded with keywords – you will be penalised for this.
    • Don’t put white keywords on a white background – Google knows this – and you will be penalised if you do this.
    • Use the keywords and key phrases as much as you can in a natural way.
  • Keywords in Heading tags (H1 to H6)
    • These are your headings – eg., headlines, subheads
    • Keywords in here is important – some of the copywriters might get the headline produced as a graphic – and when this is put into the copy – you need to be careful doing this because this may be seen by Google as a picture. When there is a picture – Google will see the tag behind the scene of the picture. So it is important that the tags are appropriately titled.
  • Good, fresh content
    • Content that is updated on a regular basis is what the search engines are looking for
    • Good, relevant and timely
    • The search engines know by the behaviour of the people coming to your search. Does it have some buzz around it, are people referring your site to other people.
    • Google don’t specifically tell people how they judge or rank a site.
    • What we are talking about here is from our observations for what is working.
  • Number of Google indexed pages
    • How big is your site
    • How many pages you have
    • This adds weight to the site
    • Do these pages link back to other pages – it’s all relevant
    • The pages are seen by Google.
    • We have a number of pages on OIS that are in the member’s area – and we don’t allow Google into that part of the site – it is blocked to Google. So we don’t have those pages indexed. The techies will know all about this.
    • If you index them and allow Google in there – the public will be able to see this. So make sure they are pages you want the public to see.
  • XML Sitemap
    • This makes your site visible to Google.
  • Site age
    • The older the site – the more weight it is given as an authority.
  • Visitor time and behaviour on site
    • If people stay a while – Google uses the wisdom of the crowd – if visitors are staying on your site for an extended period of time – the longer people are on your site – the more relevant your site must be.

These are some things you can do to help make your site more relevant to Google. Most techies, particularly SEO, they will do this basic stuff for you. You must be clear on what your keywords are and what you want to be ranked for. This is based on how your market refers to your topic. Go to the Google keyword tool to check this out.

Remember that this stuff works particularly well if you have an offline business or a geographical business. You can find out where the best use of your time is in terms of finding out where you can dominate on the free side of Google.

If you have a #1 on the free side – the CTR is about 40% – compared to 1-2% on the paid side – and up to 10% on the PPC side is exceptional.

This is worth considering in terms of selling info products, too.

Andrew and Daryl teach SEO principles in more detail (content, traffic and building a highly relevant site) at their 4 day workshop. The next one is in February from the 22-25th at Surfers Paradise on the gold Coast. If you’d like to learn directly from Andrew and Daryl, secure your tickets here!

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