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What is SEO?

By Don Henderson Volume II Webdesign, SEO
Visitor state of mind is extremely important to consider.
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This is a portion of the complete article. Click here to download the full article in PDF format.

Do you have a business but little knowledge how to market it? Do you need deeper understanding of and a plan of action for Search Engine Optimization? This article is for you.

SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization” and has been explained to mean hundreds of different ideas; many incorrect. SEO is the expression of three concepts:

  1. Correct choice of keyword phrases (one or more words) that relate to your business;
  2. World‑class content;
  3. Backlinks.

That’s it, but in those three concepts much requisite thought and work is essential..

Correct Choice of Keyword Phrases

If you get this wrong, none of your other efforts matter. Also, while you may think you know the correct keywords that relate to your business, how do you know people are actually typing those phrases into search engines to find you? People type in “car insurance” not “auto warranty.”

The very first step in any online venture is finding keyword phrases that people in your industry are typing in to search engines or at least are thinking about in relation to your business. A primary source of this information is the Google Adwords’ Keyword Planner. It is part of Adwords so you’ll have to have an Adwords account, but you don’t have to use Adwords to use the tool. This tool will show you monthly traffic for various keyword phrases you type in, which gives you actionable insight about what words you put in the copy of your web pages, your blog posts and your email communications.

Spend the most time doing this activity. One best practice is to try to find longer phrases that have significant traffic. Think about it: the more words a person types into a search engine the closer they are to purchasing. The fewer words a visitor types the less likely they are to purchase. Your goal is to find the longest phrase, or what’s called the “longest tail” keyword phrase list you can find that has traffic, and ignore shorter phrases regardless of the enticing amount of traffic they report.

In many competitive markets success can be tough. Your next job is to think and search for these long-tail phrases continuously and relentlessly.

World‑class Content

Google wants only the best websites at the top of their search engine results (SERPS). Only the best. Pause for a moment and consider the size of Google, and the task of presenting the very best website for every single topic on the planet. Google’s main goal is displaying the best websites in every SERP every single time for every single person. And they’re extremely serious about this.

You could have what you believe to be the best website on your topic of choice. Say you have a website on rebounding, a form of jumping on a small trampoline-like device that provides surprising health benefits. It Rebounding machinecould be extremely useful, have tons of great content with the latest research and contain highly-researched keyword phrases you know have traffic going to them. Yet Google doesn’t rank your page on the first page of its SERPs. Why?

From Google’s perspective, there are dozens of similar sites, with similar research and similar navigability. Google uses a combination of algorithms and human evaluation to decide page one organic listings, and Google’s algorithms and rules change all the time.

So how do you get on page one for competitive keyword phrases in the free “organic” listing section? Two ways: aggregate top ten analysis and backlinking.

Aggregate Top Ten Analysis

Aggregate top ten analysis is likely the most difficult part of SEO, and the part that requires the most thought and innovation.

Your website sells rebounding equipment, parts and related products. Let’s say you have done your analysis and found there’s an acceptable amount of traffic to the keyword phrase “benefits of rebounding” and since it’s a three-word phrase, it is more likely the visitor audience is looking to make a purchase. When you look at the top ten results for “benefits of rebounding” you find pages that fill the first results that are technical and informative. Your job at this point is to build a website landing page for this search term that aggregates all the best parts of each of the top ten websites without plagiarizing. If you can do that, you have the highest likelihood of achieving a first page search engine result for your keyword phrase.

However that is not the final piece. There is one more step . . .

How To Get Backlinks

Because the task of deciding which websites are the very best for the millions of different topics in existence is so daunting, Google has turned this task back to its audience for help. This is called backlinking. A backlink is simply a link from one website to yours, for whatever reason. You could have mutual interests, or the owner of the other website found your content particularly relevant and interesting and linked to it. Google sees it as a “vote” for your website and your content.

There have been many that have tried to fool Google with fake backlinks from irrelevant websites called “link farms” and this practice is still continued by unknowledgeable SEO workers, especially overseas. Google became wise to this a decade ago and now penalizes websites that are linked to such online properties.

Obtaining legitimate backlinks takes work and must be done with full legitimacy. Reach out and propose links to website owners for genuine reasons. Link to websites that are ancillary, corollary, associated, correspondent or that have content that is beneficially related to your website audience. Do this and Google may reward you with first page positioning because few webmasters and business owners go to this level of effort.

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This was a portion of the article. Click here to download the full article in PDF format.

What is  SEO? - Part 1
Questions or comments?  Contact us today:
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See Our Blog Entry: “Why First Page Search Engine Ranking is Not Enough
See Our Blog Entry: “Online Marketing Primer

About DONH Consulting

Don Henderson - director of DONH Consulting is an Internet Marketing Specialist with over ten years Internet management and marketing experience. He has managed dozens of Internet development and marketing projects and has experience in product management and business planning.

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