The whole online world is talking about search engine optimization (SEO). The content on your site needs to be SEO’d; the articles that you write or have written to create links needs to be SEO’d; even your social networking content, videos and blog entries need to be SEO’d. It’s definitely true; they do. So, let’s explore the concepts encapsulated by the terms “search engine optimization”.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
SEO is a generic term for the methods used to make your online content shine well with the major (and minor) search engines. You see, the vast majority of people surf online to gain information. Not for shopping, not for porn – for information. For that reason, major search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN have algorithms which determine which of the hundreds of millions of webpages most closely present the information searched for by any given surfer at any given time.
For example, if you enter a search for “healthy plants for humans to eat” in the MSN search box, it is the job of the fine folks at MSN to give you back relevant search results. You wouldn’t be pleased if when you entered “healthy plants for humans to eat”, it came back with results about the Chinese mistreating the Tibetans. Displeased, you would use a different search engine. For that reason, MSN has to have a way to scan the entire Internet for relevant information every time any individual enters a given search.
The way that they do it is by sending out what are called “spiders”. Search engine electronic spiders (algorithms) “crawl” the web at incredible speeds and present you as a searcher with fresh, accurate and concise information about what you are searching for.
When you employ search engine optimization techniques, you are putting out spider bait!
So, how do I create good spider bait?
It’s not that hard. You want to put out fresh, accurate and concise information – remember? So, you have to first discern exactly what you’re going to promote and who you are going to promote it to. The people that you are going to promote your product or service to are groups of people who share a common need for the same information. They are called “niches”. One niche is the group of people who are searching for information about healthy plants to eat. Another niche may be searching for ways to end the suffering in Tibet at the hands of the Chinese.
As an Internet marketer, it is your job to target specific niches with specific information that you believe will entice them to visit your site. You want to focus your material on specific “keywords” or “keyword phrases”. In the above example “healthy plants for humans to eat” is a keyword phrase. It is a phrase, that you as a marketer, are willing to bet that your niche will enter as a search topic on a major search engine. The keywords and keyword phrases that you choose are up to you. You can dictate them to the letter.
What is keyword saturation?
Good question. Keyword saturation rates are simply the amount of times a given keyword phrase appears in a given amount of content. For instance, if you have a 600 word article and you repeat the same keyword (singular) in that article 6 times, you will produce a keyword saturation rate of 1%. The amount of keyword saturation that is best is debatable. Some people say 3%, some say 6%. One thing is sure: you don’t want to flood your content with keywords. The spiders recognize this and label it as spamming. They don’t like it when you try to overfeed them and they will punish you with the bite of low rankings.
In a nutshell, you have to experiment with niches, relevant keywords, keyword phrases and keyword saturation rates. You have to have information to present to surfers that is concise, accurate and fresh. You have to determine your specific recipe for optimizing your content for search engine rankings. You the search engines to return your content on the first page of their results that they give to surfers. If you are page 2 or less, you are not going to get very many hits at all.
So, to summarize, you need to provide the world with great information about the keywords of your choosing. You need to target niches and give them what they desire (relevant information). When they read the information that you give them, they will be exposed to your marketing techniques (that’s several other articles!). At that point, it is possible to convert a visitor into a sale. That is where you make sweet cash! That’s the name of the game!
Begin your exploration and experimentation of search engine optimization (SEO) today. It gets easier the more you practice!