LEARNING THE ROPES OF SEO: A STARTUP GUIDE (PART 1)

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    Search engine optimization (SEO) is a household term that is used across the web.  It basically works to improve a website’s position in the results of a search engine, such as Google.  Since the websites that are higher in the results will get more visibility and subsequent “clicks” (website visitors), it pays to invest time and effort into SEO.

    As opposed to other forms of online marketing, it doesn’t cost anything when you do it yourself.  This means that you can learn how to implement SEO best practices on your site without a professional marketer/marketing company or advertising funds.

    How does it all work, though?  This three-part series will teach you the basics that you can implement immediately.

    Understanding SEO – What’s the Take-Home Point?

    Why do you want to optimize your website for search engines?  In 2011, there was an average of over 4.7 billion searches each day.

    It doesn’t matter how narrow the market is for your business or blog.  There are tens of thousands of searches each day in which your site can rank highly.

    Let’s pretend that you have an online store that sells lighting fixtures.  According to Google’s keyword tool, there are 673,000 global monthly searches for “lighting fixtures.”

    Imagine if your business was the top result in Google for that search term.  A study suggests that you would receive 18.2 percent of those visitors.  Second place in this result would have a click-through rate of 10.05 percent – and so on down the line.

    That means that your business would receive over 122,000 organic (natural, non-paid) visitors each month.  Compare that price (free) to the average cost per click of a paid search campaign (over $47,000), which was $0.39 according to a recent report.

    It’s not exactly a fair comparison – but it makes the point pretty clear.

    The Ultimate Goal

    Think about the difference that additional traffic could make for your business, blog, or other type of website.  If your website increases its visitors, that could lead to conversions: sales, social media followers, email subscribers, and more.

    The goal of SEO is to rank highly for keywords that relate to your business and your audience.  Once that happens, your website will practically market itself.

    Next to be covered is finding those keywords that can quickly improve your site in the rankings.  If you are spending time with the wrong keywords – or without an eye towards keywords at all – you are missing out on a great opportunity.  Finally, we will take a look at simple content marketing approaches that can easily make a dent in SEO.

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