Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of designing web-sites that are able to rank well at search engines. Say you want to sell some shoes to people on the Internet. The first thing you do is register a domain, say shoesforsale.com, and then you have to write some content for the site.
If you're designing that site to rank well at the search engines then you first have to decide which keywords you would prefer to rank for. The logical choice when you're selling shoes is the word 'shoes'. But of course, there are a million other terms people use to search where they might actually be looking to buy shoes, like 'nike air' or 'buy footwear'.
So search engine optimization consists broadly of three categories, keyword research, web-site construction, and engine marketing. The brief summaries of each area below will give you a solid jumping off point for the vast world of learning about SEO. All serious persons pursuing this type of marketing should become active members at WebmasterWorld.com
The best way to do keyword research is to use a pre-made tool or service. The best service online for keyword research is undoubtedly WordTracker.com - however, they also charge a subscription fee. There are some other options, such as Overture's keyword reporting tool, but no other tool has the depth and comprehensive nature of Wordtracker.
After you have a web site running, the other important place to look for keyword combinations that you might want to strengthen your rankings for is in your log files. Web server log files contain information about all of the people visiting your site, and include a 'referrer string' which give some information about the link that sent them to your site. A good deal of the time search engines include the search query used to find your site in the referral string, letting you know exactly how a specific visitor found you. Have a look at the engines, if you are ranked for that term at number 19, perhaps a little more optimization will bring you up to the top ten.
While volumes can be written about intelligent web-site construction, there is only one thing you really need to do to make a web-site that is search engine friendly: keep it simple. If you use basic coding, not autogenerated pages, you will have clean easy to read sites that search engines like. If you use a page generator or save normal files as html in a word processor like word, you will have code filled with unneeded junk, diluting the quality content that your text represents. This is SEO suicide. Only ever use clean code.
When you're making your site, use text to link to your subpages and subsections. If you use graphics instead, the search engine spider does not know anything extra about the link and what it represents. If you link to your subpage about nike shoes so that it shows up with the 'anchor text' being 'nike shoes', the search engine spider will associated the page your linking from, and the page you're linking to, with the phrase 'nike shoes'. This is essential in building your site.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing is about much more than search engine submissions. For the most part, submitting to search engines is an outdated practice, the major engines will find and spider your site based on links pointing to it from websites that they already have indexed. If this seems like a chicken and egg scenario, it's not really, all you need is one or two links from other web-sites to get indexed. The best way to get these links is to link out from your site to someone else, and then email that other site requesting a reciprocal link.
When linking between sites remember to follow the method you used in your site-construction. Try to receive links into your site from text links, not graphic links, as text contains information. The more links you are able to produce pointing to your site from the rest of the internet, the more important major search engines will consider your site, and in turn, the better they will rank it.
To learn more about each of these processes, and to master the money making opportunity they represent, sign up for our recommended affiliate program, then join the discussion over at WebmasterWorld.com, where you can learn details on everything you need to do to make money from search engine optimization.
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