SEO Basics explained
Stop Eating Out – If you believe that’s what SEO stands for, then you are in the right place. First and foremost SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and not the above mentioned tag line. The text bellow is my personal take on SEO Basics, which I know helped me in all my online endeavors and will hopefully help you as well. These SEO Basics are aimed for people with NO experience whatsoever, or to those that are just starting out. Some “senior” members will not be wasting their time, but they will do some refurbishing of the basics. (The read is approximately 8 minutes long and well worth your time).
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization is a process, which a webmaster (creator of a web-page, preferably YOU) goes through in order to get his website ranking well (as high as possible) in the search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. I will cut out all the jibber jabber about the other SE (search engines) out and focus solely on Google. Why? Because you are here to get the BEST advice in order to achieve the BEST results possible. If the latter is not your intent, you can leave and go play with pennies. We will not miss you.
In order to please Google your sites need to “follow” some basic guidelines that are very easy and simple to follow, yet still 99.9% of the people try their utter best to cheat, scam, spam their way around “the big G” (a slang name for Google in some parts of the Internet marketing (IM) community) with the obvious outcome…FAILURE! These poor souls are the ones you keep meeting on the online forums that keep on wining and crying about “how Google did this … how they did that…why does Google hate me … etc.” Stay away from these people and you will be fine.
I know you would like to be (hopefully you already are) in the 0.1% of the webmasters that want to have a clean slate. Here are the fundamentals of good SEO that will get you there:
- Post original (unique) and quality content on your site IN RELATION to whatever the general niche/theme your site is about. The more the better, as long as it stays relevant. (ON-PAGE-SEO)
- Get relevant quality backlinks to ALL of your sites (not just the main site). If you are not familiar with the phrase “backlink” – “A backlink is a link pointing to your targeted url (www.yourdomain.com for example) from ANOTHER domain/url. There are a lot of ways to get backlinks (more on back-linking coming soon!) (OFF-PAGE-SEO)
- Use the correct META features (think of them as employee name tags, Google being the boss who never recognizes you without it). These features are TITLE, DESCRIPTION and TAGS. If you are using WordPress for instance you will have various plugins that let you edit them easily. I also encourage you to keep your title (title of your post/page) in your HEADER as well as in the URL itself. (ON-PAGE-SEO)
These are the 3 most fundamental and crucial things you must focus on, if you wish to rank well. More importantly, if you wish to rank well FOR A LONG TIME.
You can see the ON-PAGE and OFF-PAGE signs in the text above. You will hear a lot of these being mentioned in the forums/blogs/products regarding SEO. It just simply states that some factors are embedded ON the PAGE itself and some have no direct correlation to your pages code/content, so they are called OFF PAGE factors (backlinks being the dominant factor here).
The above mentioned fundamentals have all become a science of their own and will be discussed in extreme detail in other posts, but sticking to the basics let me just quickly explain the “game-plan”.
What is original (unique) and quality content?
The question is a rhetorical one. Original (unique) just means you (or your writer) need to write the content yourself from scratch. You cannot copy/paste the content from other online sources in any way. The content on your site will be protected, if anyone else tries to copy it later (Google has an integrated “first come first serve” feature in their algorithm. The G will also penalize anyone (including you, if you take a walk on the dark side) who copies other peoples content and place it on their sites. Trust me, you do not wish to be on the receiving end of the beating stick with a “G” engraved in it.
Regarding quality, it just means that the text should be well written, user friendly, without any grammar issues and most important aspect is that it ADDS VALUE. If you will just rewrite an article which is ranking high and you will post no additional value, there is a slim chance you will ever rank as high, let alone higher than the predecessor.
“Keep it clean, and no hitting below the belt!”
What are relevant quality backlinks?
I have already stated what a backlink is in the previous chapters. It’s the “relevant” part that a lot of people don’t understand (or don’t want to understand). To simplify :”A relevant backlink, is a link to your site from another site which theme/topic/niche Google (therefor the user) sees as being relevant to your content.”
If you are linking from a site, with 200 posts on Astronomy, to your site which is about baby strollers makes absolute no sense whatsoever. That backlink is useless and ads no value, neither to the recipient nor to the supplier. There is a very tiny amount of “power” (its called “Pagerank”) you will gain from such a link, but you should focus on building related backlinks which carry 10 if not 100x more power in the users and Googles eyes. You will (if you haven’t already) realize that the “eyes of the user” are pretty damn close to the “eyes of Google”, because the former are the guideline to the latter.
“I will take quality over quantity any day my friend.”
“I would rather send 5 lions into battle, than 1000 sheep”
These are the top 2 fundamentals in my book. I will discuss META features in another post altogether (it gets a bit technical, but not too much).
How can SEO help you?
You can treat SEO as “the free media exposure tool”, because there is no better traffic than organic traffic from searchers of the exact information you are providing on your sites. You need all the traffic you can get. Always prefer organic traffic to PAID traffic (also known as PPC) simply because its free and because of its longevity (you will not lose good ranking easily, if you follow everything you`ve learned here) because PPC funds can run out extremely fast these days, especially in the English speaking parts of the world. The reason for this is simply the fact that people can`t get of their lazy asses and write some quality content and rather just PAY for some ads to pop-up to innocent users, forcing them to look at misleading sales pitches or low quality content.
It doesn’t matter, if you aren’t starting from scratch and you already have a website. You can always add META tags and descriptions, as well as new quality backlinks and more relevant content. Creating content is by far the most time consuming of the tasks, but in the overall picture is also the most important (you will notice I cannot stress the relevance factor enough in all of my posts, but trust me when I say “Relevance is key!”)
If you, by any chance, don’t know what to optimize your content/site for in the first place (so you don’t have any sets of predetermined KEYWORDS you wish to rank for) please bookmark this page, or press the Like button on the side to keep in touch, because we are working on an entire post regarding “Keyword research” which will go into greater detail on how to effectively cope with this issue.
Buyseechs TOP 3 SEO Tips
1.) Write quality original relevant content – The more the better!
2.) Create quality backlinks from authority sites regarding your niche/topics to ALL your sites evenly (not just the main site)
3.) Optimize individual sites and treat them as single entities forming a giant site, as oppose to making many smaller sites (buying more domains etc.)
Feel free to post any questions regarding this topic in the comment section. I ensure you, that I will personally answer all related questions. More details on some of the topics within this article are on their way, so join me on my Facebook page (right sidebar) where we will post all the news regularly.
To your online success, Igor Buyseech