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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips

It will take a while to get a decent amount of traffic from the search engines. The search engines do not like NEW websites. They like more established sites that have a lot of people linking to them, hence proving that they are reputable. This is why getting links from other bloggers, directories, other web sites that have a good reputation in the search engines’ eyes is very important. As your blog begins to grow by having more pages and more links the search engines will begin to send you more and more traffic. This is a good thing!! But, as I mentioned earlier, they are very wary of new websites – so time will be your ally when it comes to the search engines.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an science/art (depending on who you ask) that focuses on getting your website or blog to the top of the search engine listings. Being at the top of Google’s results for any decent keywords can be a great source of traffic and the greatest part about it is that it is FREE TRAFFIC!!!
I am not going to get deep into SEO much here, there are far more thorough books about it  but as your blog grows you should try to learn more about it, as it will only help you by knowing more. Just like most of the things you will learn while blogging, you don’t need to be an expert at it – just having a working knowledge will provide great results.

The thing to remember about the search engines (especially Google) is that they are trying to create a perfect system where any searcher can find exactly what they want. Google wants to display the most relevant websites to their searchers. They will never have a perfect system, but they probably won’t stop trying. If you can keep this in mind, it will be very helpful when you are trying to optimize your blog. Don’t waste your time trying to trick them, they will figure it out and will punish you for it. Just focus on making it very clear to them what your site is all about and writing great content for your reader and the rest will take care of itself.
So, let’s get to some SEO. These are some of the most important (in my opinion) pieces of SEO that every beginner should know. If you do these right, you will be much better off than most people who don’t know anything about SEO.

1. Title Tags

This may be the single most important part of on-page SEO. The title tag of your website is what shows up in the top of your browser window. It is also one of the most important determining factors that the search engines use to determine what your site is about.


In the above picture you can see that the title tag is “Christian Personal Finance – Financial help, debt help…” You WILL want to make sure that your title tags contain the keywords that you want to rank for in the search engines. If your site is about rock climbing, you will not want to have “welcome to Bill’s blog” in the title tags. Something better would be “Rock climbing 101 | the best rock climbing techniques”

2. Anchor Text

Anchor text – the text that people use when linking. For instance, if I created a link for a great search engine you can see that the link will go to Google. “great search engine” is the anchor text. The anchor text is a big deal, because it tells the search engines what other sites say your site is about. Google really places a lot of importance on what words are in the anchor text. Obviously, you will not be able to control how other people link to your site all of the time. But, for those times that you can, you should use your keywords when possible. Linking to other pages and posts on your website, directory submissions, blog carnivals, and your signature line in forums all may be good places to make sure you get your keywords in your anchor text.

3. Keyword Research

If you are trying to get traffic from search engines, it is always a good idea to know what people are searching for before you start writing. I often use Aaron Wall’s keyword tool and run some keyword ideas through it to get estimates of how many people are searching for them.

4. Get links

We already lightly discussed the importance of links coming into your blog. Other that the great benefit they play in improving your search rankings, they also send visitors to your site. It is an obvious benefit, but often overlooked by people focusing on SEO. If you get a link from a blog that gets a lot of visitors, you could see a huge traffic spike from it. If you get links from lots of blogs, you could and will see visitors coming from most of them. Maybe not a bunch, but as you get more and more links, you will see more visitors coming. The bottom line about link-building is that you have to create something great that people want to link to. If you can consistently do that, many other things will fall into place.

Need more?

This is really just scratching the surface of SEO, and honestly if you really want to do well with it I would suggest hiring someone to help you with it.

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