SEO 101 – the basics of how to get to the top of the search engines

Written by Rob Rawson

By Rob Rawson

Search Engine Optimization (commonly referred to as SEO) is one ofrepparttar best waysto get traffic to your site. The best thing about SEO is thatrepparttar 105921 traffic you get is free! If you manage to get top ten listings in a major search engine like Google, you can get hundreds or even thousands of visitors to your site. Depending on your site’s subject matter, you might even be able to start earning a significant income purely fromrepparttar 105922 popularity of your site. For example, if you have a site on jokes you might be able to get a substantial amount of traffic, but you’re unlikely to earn a huge income. Onrepparttar 105923 other hand, if you have a top ranking site on Google forrepparttar 105924 keyword phrase “web hosting”, you’ll be able to earn at least $1-2 million (probably more like $3-4 million) per year from that site alone. However, to get intorepparttar 105925 top 10 in Google forrepparttar 105926 phrase “web hosting” is extremely difficult, you would need to be a search engine pro to do it - even then, it might take you two years to get there with a team of 5 people working aroundrepparttar 105927 clock. A profitable site will be based on a good keyword phrase, a good topic (or subject material) and be different enough to stand out fromrepparttar 105928 competition. If you can combine these elements successfully you’ll increase you chances of turning a profit from your site. Keep in mind that there are a number of niche areas where there is not so much competition but stillrepparttar 105929 opportunity to make a decent profit. There are hundreds of such areas where you haverepparttar 105930 potential to earn $500-2000 per month.We’ll talk about keyword research and finding profitable niche areas in later issues, but for now, let’s look atrepparttar 105931 basics of how to get a site torepparttar 105932 top ofrepparttar 105933 search engines.

I’m going to focus on SEO for Google because it’srepparttar 105934 largest (andrepparttar 105935 best) search engine which will generaterepparttar 105936 most traffic, especially if you can master all ofrepparttar 105937 right optimization methods. Google has a very complicated system for determining which sites make it torepparttar 105938 top ofrepparttar 105939 search engine. There are manyfactors involved and there is no precise formula. A further consideration isthat Google often changes its formula so you can’t rely on it beingrepparttar 105940 same from month to month. However, there are a few key factors which are unlikely to change dramatically: Keywords phrases should be one ofrepparttar 105941 most important considerations when you are optimizing your site (remember that for each page ofrepparttar 105942 site you should concentrate on one or two keyword phrases). Keyword phrases (which you want to get torepparttar 105943 top ofrepparttar 105944 search engine for)should be well researched. For more information on researching keywords, have a look at where you can find links to useful keyword tools. Key factors for getting torepparttar 105945 top of Google: The keyword phrase inrepparttar 105946 title ofrepparttar 105947 page - you should haverepparttar 105948 phrase inrepparttar 105949 title ofrepparttar 105950 page. The keyword phrase inrepparttar 105951 text ofrepparttar 105952 page – you wantrepparttar 105953 keyword phrase to be uprepparttar 105954 top ofrepparttar 105955 page, preferably as high uprepparttar 105956 top ofrepparttar 105957 code onrepparttar 105958 page as possible. You also wantrepparttar 105959 phrase repeated a few times onrepparttar 105960 page. Don’t worry about how many times, just at least 3-4 times and more if you think it fits in naturally withrepparttar 105961 content ofrepparttar 105962 page. Includerepparttar 105963 keyword phrase in a large font heading with H1 tags (this may make a small difference). Links into your site from other sites (covered in more detail below). Links within your site (covered below). Links to other sites (covered below). Links into your site from other sites This is probablyrepparttar 105964 most important factor for getting good search engine listings. You need to have good links coming into your site from other sites.

You want those links to be from popular sites that also have lots of links coming into them. Google uses a Page Rank system which is a rough measure of how many links are coming into your site. You want links from sites that have good Page Rank. Creating 50 of your own sites and interlinking them won’t increase your page ranking. How do you get links from other sites? The main ways are to: Create a great site that people naturally want to link to, Get an affiliate program so people can link to your site and get paid, swap links with other sites, get listed in directories such as and buy links from people who have sites with a high PR (Page Rank). Again, we’ll be talking about this in more depth in another issue ofrepparttar 105965 newsletter. The most important consideration with incoming links is that you need to haverepparttar 105966 keyword phrase inrepparttar 105967 link that directs traffic to you your site. Getting listed in directories such as DMOZ (Open Directory Project) can also help you significantly in getting a good search engine ranking in Google. Links within your site

It helps once again if you haverepparttar 105968 keyword phrase inrepparttar 105969 links to each page of your site. For example, let’s say you have a site on baby products and you have one page where you are trying to optimize forrepparttar 105970 keyword phrase “cheap baby supplies”. You should make sure that links that come into that page haverepparttar 105971 phrase “cheap baby supplies” so that your links look like this: Click here for cheap baby supplies

Links to other sites You can improve your page rank if you link to other sites that have high search engine listings forrepparttar 105972 phrase that you are trying to optimize for. Note: it can also hinder if you link to pages that are off-topic. For example, you don’t want to link to a chemical arms factory from your baby supplies site. Some other things you don’t want to do (and some things that make no difference at all) are: - Repeatingrepparttar 105973 keyword phrase multiple times onrepparttar 105974 page unless it makes contextual sense. - Placing hidden links on your site – for example, links that arerepparttar 105975 same color asrepparttar 105976 background ofrepparttar 105977 page won’t be recognized by Google. - Optimizing your site too carefully – if it’s obvious that you have optimized your site for Google (for example, if all your incoming links userepparttar 105978 same keyword phrase) you may be penalized. Google looks for sites that are more ‘natural’ in their structure, so if all links lookrepparttar 105979 same this won’t look like an organic site to Google robots and you may be penalized for it. - Despite popular opinion, Meta tags don’t really help at all. However,repparttar 105980 description tag is important because that isrepparttar 105981 description that will appear in your listing on Google. Finally, you may have heard of people using automated pages and or ‘cloaked pages’ to get high search engine rankings in Google. Personally, I don’t believein taking this approach as it’s a non-sustainable way of getting high search engine rankings (that’s not say that some people who aren’t very successful at it). I know of atleast 3 highly successful companies who generate automated pages using this software This is a sneaky way to make it torepparttar 105982 top of ofrepparttar 105983 search engine rankings, but it can work; one guy I know is earning several million dollars per year using this technique. So it can work, but as I mentioned before, I don’t think it’s sustainable andrepparttar 105984 Google engine doesn’t take kindly to it.

Using ClickTracks

Written by Philippa Gamse, CMC

Part 1: Getting Started

If you're just getting started with ClickTracks, you'll find it's a very versatile tool. It presents information by overlaying it on your actual Web pages. It also allows you to create reports "onrepparttar fly" so that you can look at your visitors' behaviour on your site in very different and detailed ways.

But if analyzing Web metrics is new to you,repparttar 105920 charts, figures and mass of potential data can still be quite overwhelming. It's helpful to have some starting points and questions in mind as you studyrepparttar 105921 reports so that you can findrepparttar 105922 most useful information.

This article offers some ideas and examples to spark your thinking:

Navigation Report

This report shows you (among other things) how many visitors clicked on each link, and how long they spent on this page.

If you have links that receive few or no clicks:

* Isrepparttar 105923 link image orrepparttar 105924 link text too small? * Is it in a colour that doesn't show up well or could pose problems for visitors with visual impairments? * Is it badly placed or hard to find onrepparttar 105925 page? * Is it too far down? - checkrepparttar 105926 time spent onrepparttar 105927 page to get an idea of whether * visitors are reading most or all ofrepparttar 105928 content. Remember thatrepparttar 105929 first screenful ofrepparttar 105930 page hasrepparttar 105931 best chance of being seen.

If none ofrepparttar 105932 above seem true:

* Isrepparttar 105933 link text confusing - perhapsrepparttar 105934 wording is different or not included on other pages? * Isrepparttar 105935 link not attractive or engaging to your visitors? * Or, isrepparttar 105936 content behindrepparttar 105937 link simply not of interest?

Links that receive many clicks:

* Shouldrepparttar 105938 content behind this link be highlighted even more on your site, since it is clearly of interest?

Placements to think about:

* If you have an internal search engine on your site, is it linked in a prominent place on each page? * Featured products or other items - can you increaserepparttar 105939 clicks that they receive by improving their position?

Time spent onrepparttar 105940 page:

* Doesrepparttar 105941 average time on this page seem too short, especially ifrepparttar 105942 page is long? - checkrepparttar 105943 number of visitors who are exitingrepparttar 105944 site from this page. If a lot of people are spending a short time on a page and leaving, consider splittingrepparttar 105945 content across more pages:

* This can be especially helpful, e.g. when displaying a list of items for purchase - showing each on a separate page allows you to track which offerings arerepparttar 105946 most interesting to visitors, and to highlight them better

* Shortening pages also reducesrepparttar 105947 risk that visitors will miss items further down if they choose not to scroll

Search Report

This report showsrepparttar 105948 keywords and phrases that brought visitors to your site, broken down by individual search engines.

Which keywords or key phrases are most effective for you:

* Which search words or phrases drawrepparttar 105949 most traffic?

* Which search words or phrases result inrepparttar 105950 most time spent on your site? These arerepparttar 105951 visitors who are most engaged in your content, but what were they looking for when they came to you?

* Are there any surprises? Sometimes search engines pick up keywords from your site copy that you may not have thought of as significant - these can be valuable information about how your visitors describe or think about what you offer. A lot of demand for something on your site can give you ideas for enhancing or expanding your products and services.

Which search engines arerepparttar 105952 most effective?

* If your site is optimized for one search engine in particular, is that engine bringing you traffic? If you're paying for search engine optimization (other than pay per click), is your service providing a justifiable return on investment?

* If you have very effective keywords on one search engine, can you improve their position on others?

* Do you recognize your non search engine referrers?

* How are you linked to? Arerepparttar 105953 references to you legitimate? Are there sites that link to you that you're not comfortable with - either because they're not describing your site offerings correctly, or perhaps you simply don't want to be associated with them!

* Should you thankrepparttar 105954 referrer? Often, sites will link to you without letting you know. If you appreciate them for doing this, you can create an even stronger -and potentially more profitable relationship.

For help in creating specific ClickTracks reports, see Part 2: Labelling Options. For help in using ClickTracks to evaluate your "must-see" pages, see Part 3 of this series.

Part 2: Labelling Options

ClickTracks allows you to segment your visitors in many ways usingrepparttar 105955 "Create Labels" tool. You create instant reports to answer questions aboutrepparttar 105956 patterns of specific types of visitor, and track their responses to your site.

Here are some ideas for using this option:

Comparing Search Engine / Non Search Engine Traffic

Visitors come to your site either from search engines, from other sites that link to you, from e-mail marketing messages or e-zines, or perhaps from their own bookmarks.

Userepparttar 105957 ClickTracks "Create Labels" tool, and select "referred from any search engine" as your criteria to track all search engine visitors. Then, create another label usingrepparttar 105958 same criteria, but select "Inverse" to identify allrepparttar 105959 visitors not referred from a search engine.

Now you can investigate:

Are search engine visitors more responsive to your site than those who find you in other ways:

* Which type of visitor spends longer onrepparttar 105960 site?

* Which type of visitor is more likely to reach one of your "goal" or "must-see" pages? (see Part 3 of this series for more on this topic).

If you have very specific keywords, then probably search engines will produce your most valuable traffic.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use