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DIY SEO Quickstart Guide
Basic Definition of SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a broad term for activities related to increasing the visibility and ranking position of a website and it's pages on search engines.
The activities involved in SEO range from improving your website loading speed, all the way to public relations and data analysis.
I have written this SEO Quickstart Guide in the hopes that it will shed light on the subject for those who are looking for a low-cost method to promoting their website.
SEO is Not
Despite what many 'SEO companies' may try to sell to you, top rankings on Google or any other search engine can NOT be guaranteed. Google changes it's algorithm for ranking pages on a weekly, if not daily basis and, at times, roll out updates that shake the very foundations of the SEO market.
Quick or Instant
Achieving high rankings is also never an overnight task - it requires persistence over time for best results of a solid position that is not easily stolen by a competitor.
To dispell one last myth, SEO on the basic to intermediate level is neither rocket science nor magic - you CAN do it yourself without paying anyone large monthly fees. Consultants do have their place, but are not mandatory for everybody that is looking to gain some exposure.
Last month, my 59 year old mother received about 10 000 page views on her website for her near-failing business, achieved simply by doing what is in this article. This resulted in her largest sale in over 3 years to a client halfway across the country.
Setting the foundations
As I have said, SEO is involves a broad range of activites, but for the purpose of this guide you need to be aware of:
- Content Creation
- Link building
- Social Media
In the rest of this article, I will explain each of these building blocks and provide you with some resources to help you. Once you have nailed these three, you should see a great increase in traffic to your website.
Google loves information
Content & Search Engines
Google and other search engines exist to profit of answering people questions and providing them with high quality, relevant and up to date information.
So, it is only common sense that you should do exactly that - persistently create well-written and informative information pages or blog articles related to your websites main focus.
What to Write About
Lets say you have a website from which you wish to sell kitchen equipment. Write articles to put on your website that answer common questions you may get from clients - such as "Choosing the right frying pan" or "How to sharpen a kitchen knife". Depending on your audience and products/services, you may want to head into more technical areas.
Another tip, is to write articles on the latest news in your industry - while not having to rewrite the news, you can provide some additional commentary and insight.
Although somewhat hard, try to write content that people will want to share with each other - this will help with link building as people may share your article on twitter or link to it from their website. More on that later.
How much should I write?
As a start, try to write 1-3 articles a week of 450-750 words. Try to maintain quality - do not add useless information to boost your word count at the detriment of the readers enjoyment.
What is Link Building?
Link building is an umbrella term for any method used to gain hyperlinks from other websites to yours. In a very simple sense, you could say that search engine count each link to your site as a 'vote'. However, not all links are created equally. If you are selling candy, a link on a low-ranking website about shoes will be no where near as much as a link from an higher or equal ranking website also about candy.
Not only will that link be worth more in a search engines eyes, but these links will also help drive more targeted traffic to your website when (or if) people click on them.
Now, lets cover some way that you can start building some links!
There are plenty of business directories on the net, and they will most likely allow you to provide a link to your website. Be weary though, if they request that you provide a link to their website in order to get listed - do not bother unless the directory is well known and very relevant to your websites field.
Article directories, such as squidoo, provide a great platform for you to publish content.
If you have contact with someone who has a related blog, offer to write a post for their blog. Usually you will be allowed to provide a link back to your website - or perhaps reference on of your own pages again.
Write EPIC content
Write some mind blowing content, and you may attract natural links from other people.
The human touch.
Chances are, you are already using facebook, twitter or linkedIn. These are great platforms for building your brand if used correctly. You can share your content, build connections with people in you industry and gain some links back. While links on twitter and facebook may not be worth too much, it is the possibility of other people sharing your posts to their follower and friends that you are looking for.
As you can tell by now, link building and content creation come together in social media. Engaging in social media can help build natural links to your site without putting direct effort beyond being a nice person and sharing your knowledge.
Each social network has its own ins-and-out, so I highly recommend you read up a bit on each to make the most of it.