SEO, or search engine optimization, is perhaps the most important way to get high-quality traffic. SEO traffic is usually very good, because people who are searching for something are often ready to buy.
Let’s say you create a review site that reviews several popular digital camera models. Would you rather have a visitor who clicks a link from another website out of curiosity, or would you rather have a visitor who has searched for “buy X model digital camera”? The person who has searched for “buy X model digital camera” is almost definitely ready to buy, or at least researching a potential purchase. But someone who clicked a link to your site from another site might not be very interested in digital cameras at all! They may have clicked the link simply because they were bored, or curious. Search engine traffic is golden, and it isn’t as hard to get as you think. There is a plethora of SEO guides out there that claim to be able to tell you how to get #1 rankings and bring in a ton of search engine visitors. But the truth is, it’s really not that difficult to get search engine traffic.
The most important factor in getting good search engine rankings is to create quality, unique content. Unique content can become a link magnet. If you create very high quality content, people will naturally link to it. Having plenty of high quality, on-topic, natural links back to your site is crucial for SEO.
The next most important thing is to get plenty of links to your site, as I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Search engines see links as meaning your site is quality. Website owners don’t generally link to sites they feel aren’t good. It’s also important that the sites you get links from are similar to yours in subject. If you are promoting a site full of digital camera reviews, you would want links from electronic sites, digital camera sites, and photography sites. You also want to use keywords to link to your site. Don’t link the text “click here” to your site, but link “digital camera reviews”. This is called anchor text, and it’s crucial.
Next, you need to look at the title of each page. The title is in the HTML document, between the “head” tags. The title of the page shows up at the top of your browser window when you visit a website, and it is also the next that is displayed as a link when your site is listed in the search engines.
The title serves two purposes for SEO:
1. It is very important to search rankings, because search engines assume that the title expresses the main point of a page.
2. It is what attracts visitors to click the link to visit your site when they see it in the SERPs.
Your title needs to contain at least one main keyword phrase, as well as be interesting enough to click. Your most important keyword phrase should be the first, because prominence is important. Search engines assume that the keywords that appear earlier are more important. You need to have a different title for every page on your site, and that title should relate to the topic of the page.
Let’s say you have a site about dog training.
Your home page title might be:
Dog Training Tips | How To Train Your Dog
Notice the pipe symbol (|) between the two phrases. This symbol is widely used by SEO experts to separate phrases. It’s not known why, but it seems to improve search rankings.
Other titles on the site might be:
Housebreaking a Puppy | How to Housebreak a Puppy | Teaching a Dog to Sit | How to Teach a Dog to Sit
You see how there are two keyword phrases there? And there are variations that are different, but have at least one or two words in common. That helps improve relevancy, while also making sure you aren’t over-optimizing your title. These titles are also very clickable. They don’t look spammy, or full of a bunch of keywords repeated over and over, and they tell a visitor exactly what they should expect to see on that page. If someone searches for “how to housebreak a puppy” and they see your housebreaking title, it looks like a perfect match to what they are looking for. Even if they searched for “tips for housebreaking a puppy”, yours would still appear to be very relevant.
Other important factors in SEO include:
1. Having keywords on the page. (But make sure you don’t repeat the same words too many times. A density of more than 5-10% is too much in most cases. In some cases, you can go up to 20%.)
2. Keywords in the domain name.
3. Keywords in the URL.
4. Keywords in H1, H2, H3 tags.
5. Keywords in bold, strong, italic, emphasis, and larger size.
6. Keywords in on site links and off site links.
As long as your pages appear pretty natural, you won’t have much to worry about. Just write as you would normally write, make sure your keywords are in your title, URL, and perhaps the domain name, and get keyword-rich links back from relevant sites.