Search Engine Optimization is a method of manipulating search engine results torank your pages higher and get more traffic. While most experts categorize SEOto black hat and white hat (sometimes gray hat), I would argue that all SEO isequal. The difference is how you get back-links – whether you spam or not. Inthis report I will not teach you to spam and stick to what is called white hat SEO(with a little bit of grey hat for that extra flavor ;))
There's on page SEO and off page SEO. The former is what you do on yourwebsite to increase your rankings (that is, your content and site structure), thelatter is link building.
On Page SEO :
There are just a few elements of on page SEO, and they arguably have littleinfluence to your rankings (as opposed to back-links), however they are so easyto implement that there's no reason not to. These are the musts to have on your page:
Page title – make sure to have your keyword in the title while also making itattractive to the user. There's no use of a listing if nobody's gonna click it. Thinkof it as an ad headline.
Meta description – while it doesn't have a direct impact on your rankings, it'simportant to have an attractive description because that's what the users will see.In other words, it's your ad. Make sure to have the keyword here too, otherwisethe search engines will not display it.
H1 heading – make sure to have the keyword in the heading (<h1> tag). because structurally it tells what the page is about and it makes easier for the search engines to understand what your page is about. While you can rank a page relatively easy even without h1 tags, let's not make it harder than it has to be.
The content – make sure to mention the keyword in your content. The rule ofthumb is to let the copy flow naturally without worrying about keyword density. Ifyou are worried, include the keyword near the beginning of the content, once ortwice in the middle (depending on the length) and near the end.
Website Structure – your website must have a logical structure and has to beeasy to navigate. A quick and dirty solution without having to worry about it isusing Wordpress. Here are some guidelines for your site's structure:
- Identify categories. Preferably they should be keywords (use a keyword tool for ideas). Each category should be listed in a sidebar or a menu.
- If there are a lot of categories and it makes sense, you can have sub-categories. However, try to limit the level to 1 (i.e. Sub-categories without further sub-categories within them).
- A currently opened category should list all pages under it. If there are too many pages to list, implement pagination. The links to the pages must have the target keywords as anchor text.
- The most important pages should be listed in the menu or sidebar on every page of the site. That way you make use the ranking power of the site itself to increase the rankings of those pages.
- Always link back to the home page with the main keyword as anchor text (as opposed to “Home” - unless you want to rank for the keyword “home”).
Age of your domain – this is perhaps the most significant on-page SEO factorthat can help with your rankings by itself. The website's age is one of the mostimportant factors that Google takes into account as well as it allows you to bemore aggressive with link building. So when starting a new site, look for olddomain on auction. There are several domain auctions out there (Go Daddy Auctions, Snapnames, Pool, Namejet – to name a few). And there are thousands upon thousands of expired domains in different niches that you can buy for aslittle as $10. I recommend doing this for any new project you do as it will helpyour SEO a lot.
Off Page SEO (Link Building) :
Now this is where the magic happens. If we take the on page SEO for granted,all SEO can be summed up into getting as many quality links as needed. Assuch, all SEO tips and techniques come down to link building.
But first, let me define what is a quality back-link. There are 2 important factorsas far as votes for your page (i.e. links from other sites):
An important note is that at least as of writing this relevance is not that importantof a factor and links that are considered important, still help your rankingregardless of the relevance of the page they're on. However, many expertsbelieve that Google is moving towards relevance and it makes sense to aim forrelevant back-links. Another reason why it makes sense is that you're likely to getmore direct traffic from relevant sites than irrelevant.
The importance of a page is simply defined by PageRank. The higher it is, themore important the page is. Note that there's a common misconception toassume a home page PageRank of a site to be the PageRank of the whole site.There's no such thing and every single page has its own PageRank. So justbecause you get a link from a random page without a PR on a site with a highhome page PR, doesn't mean you get any benefit from it. That doesn't mean thatyou don't get it either, but you should always look for the PR of that particularpage and not other pages.
Also, keep in mind that the PR you see in Google Toolbar, is not an actual PRand is rather a snapshot of the actual PR at some time in the past. This snapshot is updated every few months. That means a page with a PR may havea different PR in reality, and more importantly, a page without a PR may actuallyhave one.
Here are the guidelines you must follow when getting back-links:
•Never SPAM. Nobody likes spammers and you should not be one whenbuilding links. While technically only e-mail spam is illegal, that doesn't meanyou should spam forums, blogs and other sites. If a website doesn't want tohave your links – don't push them.
•Make sure the page has a PR. However, even if it doesn't, still considergetting the link as it may have a PR in the future. A rule of thumb here is toconsider where in the hierarchy of the website the page is. If it's a page linkedfrom the home page, for example, it's likely that it does have a PR and isimportant. On the other hand, if the page is some obscure page that is hard tofind without having its url, you should probably not bother with it.
•Pay attention to other outgoing links. Your link shares the PR with otheroutgoing links on the same page, so the less of them there are, the better.Avoid pages with 100s of outgoing links, as you will get little benefit from themand Google might consider it a link farm (a “bad neighborhood”) and inextreme cases decrease your rankings by a notch rather than increasingthem. However, don't worry too much about it as bad incoming links rarelyhave significant negative influence (otherwise anyone would be able tosabotage their competitors by simply building some bad links for them).
•Try to get links closer to the top of the page (preferably in-content) ratherthan the footer or sidebar. While it doesn't have such a huge impact, it canhave a slightly better effect.
Where to Get Back-links?
Here are most of the places you need to know:
•You can get some, what I call, “filler links” (links of lower quality) from article directories, Web 2.0 sites, social bookmarks, blog comments, forum posts,classified ads, press releases, videos, etc. But again, don't spam. To be safe,stick to just article directories. All of these sites give you only low importanceback-links so it's natural to post low quality content. However if you do so, youend up spamming. That's a big no-no and the benefit you get is little. Instead,you should use these sites to market your site, but that's a subject for another report.
•Use your other sites! I can't believe how often this method is overlooked but itis. To tell you a secret, I've grown to have so many sites that I can rank formost keywords I want just by linking back from them. Linking to yourself isnatural thing to do and even Google agrees with that. An important point tonote is that if you create sites for SEO purposes (and you should do it ;))you should use different hosts/IPs as much as possible. Google “seohosting” for more information.
•You can buy high PR links. Keep in mind that this is considered as a no-no byGoogle and they recommend against it as well as may ban your site if theycatch you. On the other hand, you can buy links for traffic and nobody canenforce the site that sells you the link to use the nofollow attribute. If you canget both, traffic and SEO benefit, why not!
•You can exchange links. If you do it, use the 3 way exchange. That is, you getsomeone to link to you, but instead of linking back to them from the same site,you link from another. This is to avoid the reciprocal linking which searchengines de-value. Keep in mind that like buying links, exchanging links is also“grey-hat”.
•Buy other websites. If you don't have other websites yourself, buy them. Whilehigh traffic websites are expensive, you can find some low traffic websites witha good PR that would sell for cheap.
•Buy expired domains. You don't even have to buy a whole website, just adomain with age and PR is even cheaper and will have the same effect onceyou rebuild the site. You can retain the PR of an expired domain if you rebuild it as soon as you get it transferred to you. This is a very advanced technique so I suggest you to find more information about buying domains if you decide to try doing it.
•Guest posting can be a great source for high quality links as well as traffic.There are many high profile blogs in any niche and many of them are morethan welcome to publish guest posts. You can find them on Google bysearching for “write for us”, “guest post” and similar phrases. The key to keepin mind here is the quality of the content you can provide them.
•Release a free Wordpress theme. You don't have to know anything aboutdesign, just pay someone to do it and include your link in the footer. Submitthe theme to several theme directories you can find on Google. Now anyonewho uses it will automatically give you a back-link. You can release any themeor script this way but the reason I've chosen Wordpress themes is becausethe use of WP is growing every day and there are thousands of people lookingfor free themes – it's a great way to get potentially thousands of decent qualitylinks. The only limitation is that you can only do it with web design/marketingrelated sites.
I've tried to make this Post as short and to the point aspossible and basically condense all I know about SEO to these few pages. Ihope it helps you in your SEO endeavors. Good luck!
If you thing there is anything miss please post you comments.