Who among us doesn’t want to increase traffic to his website or blog (assuming he has one of course). No matter what we are dealing with and what our goal is – be it to increase revenue, forward messages or to win immortal fame – more visitors is the key to success. And if the desire is intensive traffic, SEO (short for Search Engine Optimization) is the most important thing to bear in the mind.
No, SEO does not make the traditional means of marketing, advertising and public relations obsolete. On the contrary – it breeds them and increases their effectiveness. On the other hand, for those who cannot afford to spend much on traditional methods, SEO world serve as a cheap and profitable alternative.
Some nuances before you start
Organic results of search engines are not the only source of traffic and not always the best source. Promotion is not a magic solution, certainly not when you want to get a large chunk of traffic immediately. On the other hand, promotion is a good investment medium on a long term. If you work properly, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor for a long time, with minimum maintenance.
This series of articles will not make you a SEO professional, but it can be a good opportunity to jump into the water, or to sort out what you may already know.
What’s on the series?
During the next two weeks we will publish ten short articles (including this one). Each article will focus on the subject, concept or task related to promoting your site. We’ll try to explain simply the main things you should know, and if necessary show you sources where you can find more information.
Content is the King
What’s the most important thing when you promote a website? Almost anyone you ask will tell you: links.
Well, yes, to get high rankings in Google search results (which is the main thing that should interest you if you want to achieve progress), your site should really get a lot of inbound links – preferably from big authority sites dealing with a niche closely related to the niche of your site.
On the other hand, links are only part of the picture and they’re not the first thing to deal with. In fact, we’ll get back to them during the next week, towards the end of this series.
Google’s algorithm nowadays gives different priorities to hundreds of parameters (“Signals”) when it tries to determine how relevant or important a website or page is. And because Google is, first of all, a textual search engine, the most important thing to Google is the text. This is what Google really means when it uses its worn out phrase invented by Bill Gates: “content is the king”. The text is not always the most important thing on your Web site – but it is always the most important thing to Google.
From Content to Keywords
In the last chapter of the series we will discuss text optimization, that is, the proper way to write texts that are loved by the human reader as well as Google. This time however, we will concentrate on the most important component of any website: keywords.
These are the words you want to rank for in Google. For example, if you own a virtual pharmacy, you probably want to be ranked for words and phrases (terms) as “aspirin”, “drugs” or “pharmacy”.
Practically, it is much easier – especially for a new site – to get into the results for lengthy or complex expressions, like “a New York night pharmacy” or “buying Paracetamol online” and many other variations on the main keyword. Total search volume for these words and phrases cumulatively is significantly higher.
The implication of such an approach is creating more textual content on your website, such that will make you appear in Google search results more often for different terms. Even if your long term goal is to be ranked high for competitive keywords that bring you lots of traffic – there is no reason why you shouldn’t get quality traffic for complex expressions in the short and the medium term.
Words and phrases for which you want to be ranked are those that bring most of your investment value. You can go on looking for keywords with high search volume; such keywords will generally be much more competitive. Or, you can choose words that will bring you a little less traffic but the competition on them wouldn’t be as high. Naturally, you can also combine these two approaches.
The process of finding the relevant words and phrases for your site and extraction of data (such as search frequency, competition, etc.) is known as “keyword research” or “niche research”.
This is one of the most important and complex practices in search engine optimization, and we cannot delve too much into this here. However, it is worth to mention that the most important tool you’ll use during keyword research is Google’s Adwords Tool. It doesn’t provide the exact numbers, but it can give a pretty good indication of the frequency of search words and phrases. You can get further information and tips regarding keyword research on SEO Tips website, unlike many others they choose an approach I find helpful – they provide you with the exact system, without skipping the important details.