So, it is good that finally the title of this blog post has moved your attention from television to something else. When you start learning about search engine optimization and how to implement that on your small website, you get confused and tend to lose focus a bit. It is all some alien talk for you and being a couch potato you are obviously not interested in learning new things that involves lot of reading and on top of that on a computer. So this article is for those lazy people who want to get it all concise and under one hood.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is both an art and a science packed together. According to SEO industry expert and leading technologist Danny Sullivan phrase “Search Engine Optimization” came to use during 1997. In good old days when spamming was not a big problem Search Engine Algorithms relied heavily on web-master provided data like meta description, meta keywords and index files and sitemaps. Ranking manipulation and abuse forced search engines to change their algorithms to rank ‘good websites’ before bad ones. Nowadays prominence of a website is calculated using complex mathematical algorithms that are not easy to manipulate. Google uses more than 200 factors to give a page-rank to a website and its ranking in search engine results.
What do you need to know about SEO?
When people talk about SEO and SEM they tend to mix things up a bit. Search Engine Optimization is different from Search Engine Marketing in many ways. One method costs you nothing if you intend to do it on your own and the other may cost you money every time someone clicks on your advertisement in search engine results. So what is your goal and why do you need SEO and why it is more preferable than paid Pay-Per-Click SEM programmes?
If you are a true couch potato and doesn’t want to move your lazy ass a bit and still want some good healthy traffic to your website that help you market your product, sell something or just get the traffic for the sake of it, SEO is not for you. PPP programmes offered by Google Adwords may be is the right solution for you but it is not free like SEO and in no way a permanent solution to get more traffic to your website. The day you stop your PPP advertising campaign traffic may reduce pathetically and it also doesn’t get you any long term “link juice” advantages.
Than why do we need SEM?
In some cases SEO can not help you because you can’t get your website on the first page of google or yahoo overnight. When time is more important than money SEM gives you better results compared to SEO. Say for an trade fair website SEO is not necessary at all. Trade Fair is going to run for 3 days and event is just 10 days from now than SEO can’t help you there, and it is also meaning less as website is going to shut down once the event is over. For a politicians election campaign SEM surely is a better solution compared to SEO.
It is also very useful when the return of investment ratio is very high and you are selling some product or service on your website. You are a hosting company and if you spend $50 a day and get 10 registrations worth $50 from that campaign it is better than waiting for SEO done and your website ranking higher than your competitors. When either “Time” or “Return of Investment” is more important than money SEM is right solution for you.
DOs and DON’Ts of SEO
It is quoted million times about search engine optimization that “Content is King”. If you have good quality, relevant and original content on your website that is related to the product or service you are selling and is optimized for the user/reader and not only the search engines it is the best start. Most of the search engines rank original content above duplicate or derived versions of originals. Those who originally create the content and publish them using proper license they benefit the most from it. If it is published with license like one provided by Creative Commons, you are not only get the benefits of original content but also free backlinks to your website.
Building new content is as important as optimizing content that already is there on your website for sometime now. If you have a very old domain and website it is ranked higher because of age factor but content may be outdated or not optimized for search engines. Link building and getting good quality links from clean neighbourhood is very important but content is always king. If you don’t provide quality information about the subject of your expertise or your niche it is all meaning less as user/reader is not going to stay on your site for long. Good content also helps you engage your user and motivate them to interact more on your website giving you more traffic and backlinks.
Don’t be too optimistic about results especially when you are targeting high traffic keywords where competition is already fierce and you need to work really hard to penetrate on first or second page of google or yahoo results. Getting traffic from this kind of keywords should be your ultimate goal but in contrast to that I advice you to target simple low density, low traffic keywords when your site is repetitively new on internet. It is more realistic approach and may help you more to achieve long term targets. It also may help you with initial research and development works.
For this purpose you can use google alerts for your keywords. Set an google alert for a keyword or keyphrase and get all the published articles to your mailbox. It helps you get in touch with happening in your field as well as enhance your knowledge and may inform you about updates and what people are publishing in your area or expertise. It may also help you publish new and unique content more frequently to your website. It may also help you to stay in touch with your market.
You should always avoid Black Hat Techniques for SEO as improved search engine algorithms are more accurate about results now and may ban your website from appearing into search results. Keywords stuffing and using excessive and unnecessary keywords and very long descriptions may impose some search engine ban on your website. Fake backlinks, back links from search farms and internal search spamming should be avoided like bubonic plague.
Search Engine Optimization Resources
How to choose an SEO Service Provider
Good SEO requires more patience than power, time than money and understanding than knowledge. It is a long term process and most lazy couch potatoes may lose the enthusiasm even before they begin the SEO study and implementation for their website. It requires lot of understanding and may take your precise time you spend to watch the idiot box endlessly and tirelessly. So what is the solution? Outsource your SEO related work, Get a good SEO service provider for your website. But choosing right service provider or as difficult as doing it all by yourself. What should you keep in mind before outsourcing your seo related works? Following are few guidelines that may help you with this. You should get a provider that provides the following services:
- Benchmarking determing goals and pre-research before starting actual SEO work
- Content and Design Consulting (On-Page SEO)
- Keyword Research and Content optimization
- Studying your competition and competitors website
- Installing Google Analytics, ranking reports and website analysis
- Search Engine Submissions and Search Engine audits
- Creating and Submitting XML sitemaps to search engines
- Ethical link building, directory submissions, forum posting, article submissions and press releases
- Managing paid inclusion and Pay-Per-Click programmes like Google Adwords
- Creating and optimizing original content and blogging
- Providing post optimization support
In second article in this series we are going to show you how practically you can use “Couch Potato SEO” techniques for link building without leaving your couch. So stay tuned for more easy seo tips and tricks delivered to you for free.