Search Engine Optimization Tutorial

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Learn Search Engine Optimization SEO

We’re offering a free how-to on search engine optimization! This tutorial includes detailed tips and tools for long-term success.

Before we get started, here’s a lesson on the importance and benefits of SEO. SEO is the science of increasing traffic to your website by improving internal and external factors influencing ranking in search results. The objective of SEO is to increase a website’s traffic counts, and ultimately conversions, by crafting relevant and compelling content that is worthy of higher search engine ranking for your target audience placing you ahead of your competition.

During this tutorial you’ll learn ranking methodologies to follow so you can beat your competition in obtaining traffic for desired keywords.

e Seo Branding’ approach targets improving rankings by using a “beat the leader” approach to keyword selection and content structures. Proper organic search engine optimization requires that you outsmart your competition, so knowing the best keywords and criteria used by your competition is vital. Our step-by-step framework for search engine optimization involves:

Select keywords
Competitor keywords
Combine keywords
Add Keywords
Submit pages to search engines
Engagement objectives
Check search engine rankings
Link building

Our free SEO tips and advice coupled with our supplemental optimization services can result in a website capable of nurturing desired revenue goals while achieving higher search engine rankings in the organic sections of search engine results pages. Let’s get started!

Step 1: How to select keywords

The first step to SEO is to generate an initial list of words. Choose wisely. These keywords should be a short list of what your website is trying to promote and other words related to your industry. These words will provide the jumpstart you need to choose the right keywords for the site’s organic search engine optimization campaign.

Once you have the list, you’ll want to read through the site to see how it has used the keywords that you have chosen and to gather ideas for additional keywords. The keywords chosen may be broad terms which may or may not work for your particular site. Specialized words or phrases that will enable the site to have top SEO ranking and will deliver qualified traffic.

We recommend Wordtracker and the Keyword Discovery tools to refine your keyword list.

Now that you have a list of keywords you need to adapt them for your target audience.

Step 2: How to identify competitor keywords

To help in this keyword analysis effort, here’s a few SEO tips, advice and tools to research the competition.

Enter one of your keywords into the search box of the search engine of your choice to determine the sites with the top search engine placement for this word. You are aiming for keywords that are frequently used by your target audience, but do not have many competing pages.

Next, use different keyword patterns and titles for the major pages in your site, and submit each individual URL to get all of the different keywords and titles added to the search engine. The goal of search engine optimization is to be found for many keyword searches, so have each page cater to different keywords.

It’s also helpful to find out how many pages your competitors have indexed in the major search engines. This will help you figure out how much content with competitive keywords you will need on your site.

Step 3: How to combine keywords

At this stage, you should have a lengthy list of keywords and phrases and be ready to test them.

Sort the keywords and phrases in descending order of their perceived importance such as how likely it is that they will be used by visitors as search words and generate traffic. Be sure to identify two-word or three-word (and sometimes longer) phrases, if applicable.

It is also important that you add words to help clarify the use of your keywords. For example, “capital” can have very different meanings — such as intellectual capital, state capital, capital letters, venture capital, etc. So a keyword or two that helps the search engines learn the context of your keywords will help raise your search engine placement.

We also recommend, incorporating and repeating your keywords in the content within a reasonable sentence construct and appropriate context.

For best results, avoid the overuse or stuffing of keywords, keywords that do not relate to the content of the site, colored text on same-color background and duplicating pages with different URLs.

Step 4: Adding keywords to your content

Placing the keywords in the right locations with natural and reasonable frequency is critical for search engine optimization. Secondly, quality content, appropriately structured, with natural characteristics for the keywords is needed in order to be seen as a subject matter expert by the search engines.

Thoughtful design and content of your website may very well need to be restructured and expanded. Clean, optimized video and graphics are highly recommended. Avoid pop-up windows (you may use lightboxes), restrict the scope of forms except where really needed, and make JavaScript and CSS files combined, compressed and external to the source code. Always have a natural amount of content, always use a HTML and XML site map, solve obvious coding and performance problems first and by all means keep it simple.

So where do you add keywords? It is important that your page Title tag be as descriptive as possible of what the page is about, and that it contains your best keywords, typically fewer than 12 words total. Listings that include the best search terms in the Title and Meta Description tags have a better search engine ranking and a higher click-through rate than those that do not.

We recommend at least 500 words of clean, grammatically correct content for research-oriented pages and 300 words for shopping and product cases. You must also have your keywords appear as the most prominent (without excess) phrases on your pages. In many cases there are ways to do this that work well for whatever your page format or content, all of which is customized to the look-and-feel of the site.

Step 5: How to submit to search engines

Once the same words are in your Title, Meta Description and Meta Keywords tags, and also in other text such as Headings and ALT attributes, and displayed content, and you are satisfied with your results, you may submit your URLs to each major search engine.

For Google, use their Webmaster Tools page.

Allow anywhere from two days to weeks for each search engine submission to be indexed in each major search engine. If you do not show up within two weeks then resubmit, but allow at least two weeks between submissions. If you continue to miss the search engine ranking results you desire, then go back and review your keyword usage.

Step 6: Engagement Objectives

Personalization and result targeting changes in the search engine optimization world will significantly impact your SEO optimization efforts. The major issues are a result of changing technology in the areas of behavior-based search, intent-based search and blended search such as Google Universal. These technologies collectively impact search engine marketing and SEO in significant ways.

Behavior-based search is the tailoring of search results based upon the behavior of the searcher commonly tracked by the search engines as “web history”. To accommodate behavior-based searching, SEOs should “mention” many keywords in their content that are common to their target audience.

Intent-based search is the determination of the searcher’s intent, categorized as commerce (shopping) or research (hunting). Even without a Google sign-in, results are often targeted based upon the IP location of the searcher, and local results are given precedence. As such, sometimes a searcher from Boston will see different results than a searcher in San Diego for the same query. In this case the SEO should use keywords on the site that are local to their target audience.

Where engagement impacts search is blended search. Engaging elements such as video, images, maps, blogs, news and books embedded within your website will rank higher in the search results.

Once you identify opportunities to add engagement to your site, be sure to use SEO optimization selected keywords just as you would in any other content. It will contribute to content structure and theme, and it will certainly aid engagement.

Step 7: How to check your search engine ranking

It may take a few weeks for submitted website changes to become effective with the major search engines. In some cases, it may take several submissions before you get re-indexed. Visit the search engine that you care about most and see if you are registered by searching for your URL.

There is a very specialized high-tech market for search engine marketing tools that convert raw data into SEO intellectual capital that you can actually use. There is a clear difference between data and wisdom, and obviously SEO wisdom is learned, often the hard way.

Once you have your SEO ranking results, you can easily identify where you need to go back and resubmit your site and fine-tune your keywords.

Step 8: Link Attracting

Link tracking allows you to identify and choose possible sites that you will want as link partners once your site is content-rich and optimized. In essence, if enough quality sites link to you, then your site becomes a quality site by association. So you want the best sites, not the most, to link to you.

The number and authority of links to your site are factors in determining how well your site will rank with some search engines. Popularity is often measured by gauging PageRank associated with a particular keyword phrase, and impacts the ranking your site might have. Begin by developing links as soon as possible while adding engaging elements and keywords.

Want an assessment of your site or a price quote? Please consider having us help you with your website’s search engine marketing projects.