In this article, you’ll find all the basic information concerning SEO or Search Engine Optimization. If you are new to this subject, you might have noticed that there is a huge wealth of information of SEO available online and it can be quite overwhelming. In this article, I explain only the most essential, bare-bones factors for optimizing web-pages. In other words: Everything you need to know to start out and nothing more.
SEO is such a hot topic for one simple reason: More visitors means more money for almost every online business. And many, many visitors find online businesses and websites in general via search engines. This is why everyone who is selling something (even if it’s just ad-space on a blog) is scrambling to rank well in search engine results. If you have ads on a website, being on the first page of results for a popular search term or being on the second page can mean the difference between making good money and making nothing at all. [Google Dilemma, link coming soon]
Search engine optimization is the term used to describe all methods that you can use for your website to make sure it gets better rankings in SERP (search engine results pages).
Google, and every other search engine for that matter, works with a complex algorithm to determine what sites to show and in which order. The exact algorithm is kept under wraps to minimize abuse, but many important factors in search engine ranking are known.
When reading about SEO, just make sure you don’t lose sight of the most fundamental principle underlying every search-engine: The goal of every search engine is to serve up the most relevant and interesting results, matching what the user is looking for as perfectly as possible.
For this reason, SEO lesson number one is: Real content always has the best chances with search engines. If you have a hollow shell of a site, offering nothing of interest, you can SEO the crap out of it, but you’ll never get many visitors and the visitors you do get won’t stay.
With that out of the way, here are the most important SEO factors to consider:
Admittedly, the above list is barely scratching the surface of all the SEO possibilities open to you. There are many more factors playing into search engine ranking and there is much more to learn. However, the four factors listed are, broadly, the most important that you need to consider if you want to give your website a chance to get listed near the front of any results-page.
I will be addressing many of the further details of SEO in future posts. Until then, check out these useful resources on SEO:
SEObook – The classic. Check out their Firefox toolbar.
Matt Cutts – Google info straight from the horse’s mouth.
SEO 2.0 – Lot’s of SEO info from all angles. Entertaining read, too.
Wolf-Howl – My other favourite, next to SEO 2.0.
I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better marketer and product creator. Read more about my story here.
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