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A Guide to SEO For Newbies

Aug 26, 2008
Google and other search engines are the gateway to your business, and getting high page ranks somewhere in the first page of listings, is important for driving business to your site. There are companies out there that will promise you the moon, the stars, and, by the way, page rankings so high that you'll cheerfully pay them hundreds of dollars every month for their services.

The best way is to try to get free organic website traffic, meaning when someone searches for a term or phrase in the search engine, those pages that come up are "organic" type listings. Being on page one is highly desirable as few people search beyond the first one or two pages listed. This is different than the paid ads you see on the right hand side of the page, other wise known as "pay per click" ads. Trying to get listed at a high page rank is known as search engine optimization or SEO and boils down to:

1. Content is key. Real content that is interesting for real people. Not just picking a keyword or phrase and writing a bunch of garbage that really makes no sense in order to trick the search engine spiders, otherwise known as keyword stuffing. You really don't want your keywords to be much above 2-4% of the overall content.

2. Link backs provide validation. The more links leading back to your site, particularly links that are in contextually appropriate content, the higher your page ranking will be. Ways to get these link backs range from link exchanges with other companies in related marketing niches, to having articles about the topic or niche you're selling to with links back to your site, to social networking sites and Squidoo Lenses.

3. Updated and fresh content. This is important both for your human visitors as well as the web spiders. When both see there's new content added at least 3 times a week, they will be more likely to come back more often. It takes an average of seven visits before someone will purchase a product or post on a forum, so it's important to give both reason to return to your site.

4. Navigational links that are clear and make sense from your main home page. There's nothing more frustrating than not being able to find what you are looking for easily, most visitors will leave quickly if it's seems too confusing to find what they are looking for.

5. Text means everything in web content. Search engine crawlers ignore Javascript, they disregard graphics, and until recently, they couldn't read text in Flash animations. If the search engine spiders can't read it, it doesn't help your page rankings.

The real secret to long term success with web site optimization is to make sure your site is usable and interesting, both to the search engine spiders and to your human visitors. Keep adding fresh content that makes them both want to come back for more, and your site will continue to grow in popularity with both.
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By Rachel Ray - Supplement household budgets by exploring various work at home tips and ideas, and increasing website traffic
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