Have you ever heard of the word SEO being mentioned so often but you don't really know what it stands for? SEO which is short for Search Engine Optimization is basically a type of web design that uses Search Engine to drive visitors to a particular website. This is typically the method used by many Internet Marketing professionals out there to drive traffic to their website.
Let me give you an example. Let us say that you wanted to buy a pair of Nike shoes and you stay in the US. You decided to check out the item on the Internet. So typically what you do would be to go to your computer, open up a Browser (Internet Explorer or Google Chrome for example) and type in your favorite Search Engine's URL. Then you would type in words like "Nike shoes for sale USA" in the search bar and click on the Search button. Notice the search result that the search engine returns? Ever wondered how the search engines found these websites and why do some websites comes out in the first page of the search result while some comes out last?
Let's turn the table around. Let's say you are seller of Nike Sports Shoes and you would like to put your wares on the Internet. Where would you like your website to show up when your customers search in Search Engine? I am sure, if you are like me, you would want your website to come out as the first search result, if not first at least in the first page?!
This is where mastering Search Engine Optimization or SEO comes in play. SEO is the most important skill an Internet Marketer should learn, practice and master. It is a skill that could easily be learn and mastered and if incorporated into the design of your website, increases your chances of getting targeted visitors to your website and converting them into sales shoot up. Apart from that, most Internet Marketing and online business owners who practices these techniques often are able to cut advertising cost by folds, which again turn these expenses into profit for you.
So have I got your attention yet? If yes, let me move on by showing you 5 easy to follow tips that will get you started in mastering SEO skill in no time.
Tip #1: Research, research and Research!
This is by far the first and most important step in starting up any business, not only online businesses but it applies to offline (traditional) businesses too. Doing market research before you even start building your website will save you lots of time, effort and money in the long run. This step may be time-consuming, but it will be well worth it in the end.
Tip #2: Do Not Research Blindly
Researching blindly is like finding a needle in a haystack. I normally equate blind researching to searching and not researching. How do they defer? Let me quote from dictionary.com. "Searching: to explore or examine in order to discover" and "Researching: diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject in order to discover or revise facts, theories or applications". Therefore, which one would you prefer doing? Do you want to "explore and examine" the World Wide Web or would you prefer to find correct and exact information that would do your product, website and business justice? So how does one do effective researching you may ask? Well these are the core components you need to have in your research.
Tip #3: Planning and Design (Component 1)
In planning, ask questions like who are your target audience or which audience are you targeting or what type of audience are you targeting to visit your website. The more you know about the group or type of audience you are targeting the better off are you. Also keep in mind that it is very important to keep your website user-friendly. The easier your visitor is able to navigate your website, they happier they would be. This also means that they will spend more time on your website, increasing your chances of converting them from browsers to customers. You should also NOT overload your website with pictures or graphics. Choose designs that are attractive and pleasant to the eyes. Use visual graphic sparingly and strive on improving content which includes keywords as much as possible.
Tip #4: Make a List of Possible Keywords (Component 2)
Keywords are vitally important because it is what "web crawlers" latch themselves to when they rank websites in the search engine. Web crawlers are computer programs that methodically scan or "crawls" through Internet pages to create an index of the data it's looking for. When the web crawlers visit a webpage, it "reads" the visible texts, hyperlinks and content of the various tags used in the website such as keywords. The search engine will then categorize, index and rank these websites.
When a user type in words in the search box of a search engine and click on the Search button, the search engine will scan through its database of indexes and returns a list of websites that matches what the user is looking for. Therefore the more keywords you have in your website, they higher your ranking will be in the search engine's database index which translate to your website being shown as the first few result in the first page. Use tools like Google AdWords and Google itself to find and confirm your keywords.
Tip #5: Check Out Your Competitors (Component 3)
Always keep a close watch over your competitors in the market. You can do this by visiting their websites and checking out the keywords they use. Avoid using keywords used by your competitor(s), but try out similar keywords. Again, use tools like Google AdWords to help you out. This will raise you above your competitors. In my next post, I will share with you how to use Google AdWords tool and Google effectively.
To your online success!
Lai Ling L
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