Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the process of improving the visibility and page ranking of a web page in search engines. It shouldn’t even have to be explained how important ranking on search engines is, if you’re using the web at all (which obviously you are) then you should already know. To realize the importance of ranking higher and ranking on the first page, here are some search engine statistics from SEO Book:

Search Engine Rank – Percentage of clicks

  1. 42.13%, 2,075,765 clicks
  2. 11.90%, 586,100 clicks
  3. 8.50%, 418,643 clicks
  4. 6.06%, 298,532 clicks
  5. 4.92%, 242,169 clicks
  6. 4.05%, 199,541 clicks
  7. 3.41%, 168,080 clicks
  8. 3.01%, 148,489 clicks
  9. 2.85%, 140,356 clicks
  10. 2.99%, 147,551 clicks

1st page totals: 89.82%, 4,425,226 clicks
2nd page totals: 10.18%, 501,397 clicks

Organic Traffic

On Page SEO

On page SEO refers to tactics taken on your website to enhance your search engine ranking. Here is a checklist of on page SEO factors that I’ve compiled:

  1. Domain Name
  2. Page Title
  3. Metatags
    1. Description
    2. Keywords
    3. Canonical
  4. Heading Tags (1-4; 1 and 2 are key)
  5. Strong Tags
  6. Emphasis Tags
  7. Alt Tags
  8. Title Tags
  9. Site Architecture
    1. Click-Depth
    2. Link Location
    3. Keyword Location
  10. Anchor Text
  11. Link Text
  12. Internal Linking
  13. External Linking
  14. File Naming Conventions
  15. Keyword Density
  16. Keyword Variations
  17. Freshness of Content
  18. Robot File

Backlinks

Backlinks are a very strong influence on your search engine ranking. When a website links back to your web page, it’s looked at as a vote for how valuable your website is. The higher a page ranks and how relevant it is to your content determines how much “link juice” the search engines will then give your website.

A way to find quality backlinks is to find out who’s linking back to your competitors. Do a Google search for your keywords and take the url’s of the top sites showing up. Head over to Yahoo! and search “link:URLOfYourCompetitor.com” and it will return the web pages that have links back to your competitors domain.

*Using Yahoo! here instead of Google because Yahoo! tends to return most, if not all, of the links back to a site where as Google has been known to only show a small percentage

Word Of Mouth

Social Networks

Social results also appear for Google search results. Aside from a direct result on search engine rankings for your site, it still improves search engine visibility for your website. Google Search melds the Google Web, Image, Video, News, Blogs as well as other search results into one page of relevant information. Owning your social profiles and capitalizing on the search engine rankings that they can offer you can help you be very successful. Key accounts that I create are Twitter, YouTube, Digg and Facebook.

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking is a way for people to save, manage, organize, share and search links to online resources, web pages, documents, etc. Unlike the “favorites” that you save in your browser, these bookmarks are saved on the Internet which makes them available to you from any computer with Internet access and allows you to share your favorite resources with others online who have similar interests.
Social bookmarking is beneficial because it helps spread content across the web, the more a web page gets bookmarked on a certain site, the more it will be featured to people searching for that relevant content. This gives you the opportunity to have your quality content spread quickly throughout the community, increasing backlinks from other sites and driving traffic to your site.
Having your site bookmarked across these social bookmarking sites also helps get your pages indexed by the search engines faster and earns you some link juice to increase your search engine rankings.

Here are four of the more popular social bookmarking sites:

  • Digg
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit

Directory Submissions and Article Marketing

Writing articles and submitting them to other websites is a great way to build backlinks and spread entry points to your website. These pages typically rank well in search engines themselves and since you’re writing the article, will be highly relevant to the topic you are targeting for your website. Here is a list of some article directories you can submit your writing to:

  1. Ezine Articles
  2. Articles Base
  3. Buzzle
  4. iSnare
  5. GO Articles
  6. Article Alley
  7. Article Dashboard
  8. WordPress (Create your own sideblog)
  9. Blogger (Create your own sideblog)
  10. Weebly
  11. Squidoo
  12. Jaiku
  13. Articles Base
  14. Ultimate Article Directory

Paid Traffic: Pay Per Click (PPC)

PPC traffic is generated by advertising campaigns that you pay for on other websites. The name references the business model of paying for every time a visitor clicks on your ad to go to your website. Google Adwords is the PPC tool of Google and probably the most popular, but you can also run PPC campaigns on Facebook and elsewhere. The advantage to using Google is of course that it’s the most popular search engine, and the benefit of a Facebook PPC campaign is how targeted you can make your ads based on all the specific information people offer to Facebook on their profiles.

I don’t recommend PPC campaigns because you can get pretty good results rather quickly with organic searches if you’re dedicated and know what you’re doing or hire someone who does. But if you feel that a PPC campaign may help jump start your traffic or sales, it can be beneficial to run a campaign while you build your organic results.

Relevant Resources

http://tresnicmedia.com/seo/on-page-seo-checklist/http://tresnicmedia.com/seo/on-page-seo-checklist/