Starting with SEO

SEO stands for search engine optimisation, it’s not very exciting but it’s a subject you really can’t avoid if you want to be successful online.  Basically it means optimising your site in order to attract the most relevant traffic to your site. It’s also a difficult balancing act, if you optimize your site too much it could get penalized by the search engines particularly Google.  Too little and you’ll simply not receive any traffic from them.

There are some basic tasks that you can do that are essential and pretty safe.  For a start you should try and target keywords on both your site and individual pages and posts.    Say you had a site about dieting,  which also promoted dieting products – here you should choose your keywords carefully.  Using a keyword tool, there’s one free called keyword planner on the Google site – pick phrases that relate to the content on each page and try to target that phrase.

You should include the selected phrase in the Title and use the phrase a couple of times during the content.  Make sure you don’t overdo the use as this will count against you.  Putting links and relative images with related keywords will help boost your rankings for that keyword.  Don’t imagine you’ll be able to rank for a phrase like ‘lose weight’ easily as this is an incredibly competitive keyword to rank for.  Instead target slightly longer words which might bring you some quality traffic, the phrase ‘lose weight for holidays’ for example might bring you less traffic but still be profitable.

The other thing that has a significant effect on your rankings is the number of links pointing at each page.  This is where the difficulty takes place, without links from other sites pointing at your pages they will not rank at all.  Unfortunately Google says you can’t build or generate these links yourself – it’s a catch 22 situation, no-one will link to your site if they don’t see it, but without links none will ever visit.  In reality you have to make some effort to build links otherwise you’ll never get anywhere, but you have to be cautious.

Don’t build thousands of links from low quality websites, try and generate slow, relevant links on good authority sites.  Technically you’re not allowed to do anything, but writing for other sites, sponsoring posts or similar are possible as long as you do it carefully.  If you use proxy servers like this British one you can access sites in other countries whilst keeping your address private.

You can also use certain tools to build social networking links from sites like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit to help rank your sites.  Again don’t build these all from the same sort and be careful to change your IP address occasionally (see here)  so the links don’t get deleted.