Introduction to SEO

In the first training module I discussed traffic, and the role that backlinks play in driving traffic to our websites. One point I want to emphasize again in this module is that we're not going for a brute force approach when it comes to backlinks. To maximize our results we want good quality backlinks that are relevant to the content that they link to, that content should be optimized for the keywords we are tring to rank for, and those keywords should be capable of driving enough traffic to make the effort worth our while.

Quality > Quantity!

Relevance - The Importance of Keywords

To clarify again how backlinks drive traffic to our websites - they make the content that they link to have more authority in the search engines for the keywords that the content is optimised for. If that content can obtain enough good quality backlinks to surpass the sites that are currently ranking for the keywords in question, then those content pages will rank higher in the search engines. Assuming those keywords actually get searched on - with a higher ranking, those pages should get a higher portion of the search traffic.

So one thing to be mindful of before we even start thinking about backlinks, is that we are focusing our efforts on keywords that can actually provide an amount of traffic that can help us reach our goals. Current estimates suggest that the number #1 ranking entry for any search term in Google will get around 41% of the search volume. Lets round that down to 40% for simplicity and run a few numbers just to give you a concrete example of the importance of keywords.

Let's assume we're building a website that makes money from AdSense, and that we get an average of $0.10 per click, and that 1% of all search engine traffic makes a click. If we wanted to make $3 per day from this website we would need 3000 visitors per day from search traffic. So how can we achieve that? Well, we may find a particular keyword that is searched on 8,000 times per day, and if we could just rank number #1 from that keyword we might expect to get around 3,200 visitors each day - mission accomplished! However, it is rarely that easy...

There are several factors to consider. First of all, we're assuming we can actually rank number #1 for that keyword. Remember that ranking in the search engines means doing better than the sites that are already ranking. Later in this module I will show you how to exactly analyse the competition for a keyword in a way that will allow you assess its difficulty but just bear that in mind for now.

The second important factor when it comes to keywords is search volume - how many times that keyword is searched on every day. There may be many keywords that are relevant to your website that have very weak competition in the serps. With a little bit of good content, and some backlink work with the help of IMAutomator you could probably rank number #1 in a short space of time but if those keywords are not searched on then that effort is wasted because you still won't get any traffic!

Keyword research is SO important and I'm going to dedicate a section of this module just to keyword research with the help of a video. I wanted to emphasise its importance from the beginning because many people do a lot of work to build backlinks that have very little benefit because the keywords they're targetting are ineffective, or worse still, they are not even doing any keyword research at all in which case the backlinks really offer no benefit at all!

SEO Basics - On-Page Optimization

Alright so we understand that keywords are important so at this point I'm going to assume that you've got some keywords in mind that you want to rank for. Now there are several strategies when it comes to ranking and some of them can be very complex but for simplicity I'm going to assume that with any particular piece of content you are trying to rank for ONE keyword only. Also, when I say 'keyword', that really means a keyword phrase. For example, 'social bookmarking software' is a phrase that I might try and rank the IMAutomator website for but I just use the singular form, keyword - it's quicker to type!

There are two types of SEO - on page and off page. On page is everything you do to the web page that you wish to rank. Off page means everything you do outside of that page and basically means backlink building. As explained in module 1, if you build backlinks to content that is not well optimised then those backlinks have little effect. Don't bother bookmarking rubbish content on your website - it won't help you!

For best results, start with real content - a blog post, an article, a video, a page describing a product you are trying to sell etc. Now what you need to do is ensure that your keyword appears in pertinent places within that content page:

There are other creative ways you can use keywords but covering those basics should be enough for most purposes. It's worth noting that unless you're going for a keyword with particularly weak competition, then the work you do on building backlinks will have a far greater effect than the on-page SEO.

Off-Page SEO - Backlinks!

Now that you understand how important keywords are (choosing them will be covered in a separate section), and have implemented your on-page SEO, the work on building backlinks begins. I'm going to stop this article here and cover backlinks in a separate article as there is a lot to cover!

In this article I have given you the basics of SEO and it should be all you need to know to make good use of the IMAutomator tools. However if you want to go deeper into the topic of SEO then by far the best resource of the subject is the SEO Book which is no longer just a book. It is now an in-depth training program with over 100 modules but it is not cheap!

Tags: seo, search engine optimization, keyword research, backlinks

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