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Search Engine Optimization. What is it?

Search Engine Optimization or S.E.O. for short is the process of driving traffic to a website. This is done by weighing the algorithmic (the "secret" engine formulae!!) search results in the particular sites favour. It should be noted that most of the search engines DO NOT disclose their algorithmic systems so any suggestions on this subject are the result of observation and experience rather than definite knowledge

It is generally accepted that a good search engine placement (i e the higher the position of the site in the engine's index) helps generate more traffic to your site. So the art is to get your site as high up the list as possible (preferably in the first five) of your particular niche.

We are talking here about the "organic" (free) listings rather than the paid advertising ones which are different subjects.

Often you will hear the terms "white hat" and "black hat" optimization techniques. Basically the difference is that the "white hat" techniques use the "friendly more open" actions to improve placement whereas the "black hat" techniques tend to be, how shall we put it, more deceptive?

There are two main driving forces which are conducive to getting high ranking among Search Engine keyword searches and these are:-

1) Ensuring that the website and advertising contain HIGH QUALITY and, very importantly, RELEVANT content appertaining to the particular subject matter. 2) Link Popularity

With the first method the best way to ensure high quality content is to provide SPECIFICALLY related subject matter to your website in the form of articles.

What you must avoid at all costs is the search engines removing your website because it is deemed to be using unrelated material in an attempt to boost the site's rating. Bear in mind that search engines are now getting very sophisticated so honesty is the best policy!! If your website is all about fishing then don't include information about making money. Unless of course you are promoting fishing as a money making possibility!

Perhaps I should make a point here that is often overlooked. As internet marketers we need the search engines but by the same token the search engines NEED US! Without us THEY wouldn't have any business. So play fair with the search engines and they will play fair with you.

I hope you get the picture.

Link Popularity.

What do we mean by link popularity?

Basically we are talking about "swapping" links to your website with other people's sites. A bit of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours"

As an example let us assume that you are marketing echo sounders to amateur yachtsmen (that should be yachtsperson really!) Besides your particular product there are many other products which are potentially of interest to yachting people (phew!I got round that one!!) Things such as charts, sails, wet weather gear, books and so on. Obviously the websites of these other products are being promoted so if you can come to an agreement with the other website owners to "swap" links then you have a win/win situation. Whilst a potential customer is looking for one product another in the same niche could be of interest and hence they click through. There are all sorts of possibilities with this arrangement. It can be just a straight swop or some form of affiliate (ie commission) basis if a person buys through the link. Just put your "thinking caps" on.

I think it should go without saying that you should check out any website first before you tie up with them. You don't want to be associated with anything underhand or even worse criminal!

So search the web for products which are in some way related to yours and contact the website owners to see if you can come to some equitable arrangement with them.

After having explained all that now a word of caution.

Do NOT get too hung up on search engine optimization.

Eh? You thought that was the be all and end all of internet marketing?

Wait a minute. Just think again.

What REALLY is the purpose of your internet marketing? Hopefully it is to sell products/services to a wide range of customers on a continuing basis.

So if you are getting good business through links from other sites and from your other forms of advertising why should you worry about your position on the search engine rankings?

I agree the higher you are the more likely you are to get increased business but if you think about it logically you could have top ranking in your niche and still not make many sales. S.E.O can only drive traffic to your site. It doesn't SELL anything.

The point I am trying to make is that some people are SO concerned about getting a high ranking that they overlook all other requirements such as building a list, maintaining good contact etc.

So by all means do everything to increase your image by Search Engine Optimization but don't forget all the other things that can make or break your internet marketing career.

To YOUR success John Beaumont Internet Marketer

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