Being listed on organic search engines is free in contrast to PPC search listings where you pay for being listed.
A high ranking is crucial to getting free traffic to your site. Only about 10% of all searchers bother to look beyond the top 30 listed results and only about 35% bother to look beyond the top 10 results.
You can of course use paid search to drive traffic to your site but that does as it sounds cost money so why not trying to get it for free if you can?
That said, PPC search engines are definitely worth considering and goes hand-in-hand with search engine optimization to increase traffic to your site.
Search Engine Optimization Process
The key ingredients in search engine optimization is:
Lets take a closer look at the steps:
Keyword research is the foundation of search engine optimization and if done wrong you surely fail to reach a high ranking. The main parts of keyword research is to find relevant keywords with high search volumes and low competition.
This is not as easy as it sounds. There are some free tools that can be used but i personally don't bother to use them because i find keyword research so important and i find that i'm still unsure wether or not i selected the right keyword after spending countless hours.
I prefer to use WordTracker, Keyword Discovery and Keyword Elite for my keyword research. WebCEO also have a very useful keyword research module if you don't want to spend money on specialized keyword research tools.
You can read more about keyword research in these articles.
Next step in search engine optimization is to update your web pages according to your keywords. This mainly consists of.
- Updating META Tags with your keyword rich text
- Update your web copy to include your keyword
Updating META tags are easy and is preferrably done with a software like WebCEO so you don't have to know how HTML code works. With WebCEO all you have to know is how to type in text (mainly keywords) in a form and WebCEO writes the code for you.
Updating the body text is also easy. You can use any web editor, text editor. You can also update the body text in WebCEO in a breeze.
Before you optimize your web pages you should check the quality. Bad quality such as for example dead links can have a huge impact on your ranking. I use WebCEO to go through the whole web site continously to identify dead links and other problems such as for example missing images. There are other tools that can do it but WebCEO works perfectly fine for me because i only click the start button and then watch TV or do somehting else.
Submit site to search engines
Next step in search engine optimization is to let the search engines know about it. This is usually not needed if your web site already is indexed but it doesn't hurt. Just read the submission guidelines before you submit.
There is nothing magical about submitting an url to a search engine. Usually the search engine will find your page anyway if you organized your site correctly with for example a site map and don't make it to "deep".
WebCEO have functionality where you either automatically or semi-automatically can submit your site to search engines and directories but i rarely use it other than when i forgotten the url to the search engines submit pages.
Besides submitting your site to the search engines i recommend you submit to the Yahoo and DMOZ directories as well. This is potentially very important for your ranking because Google and other search engines "trust" these directories and a link from them is worth a lot. DMOZ is free to submit to and Yahoo have both a free and a "expedited" verison where you have to pay.
Build link popularity
Next step in search engine optimization is to build link popularity. Both link quantity and link quality are important factors to consider building links popularity. Link quality is mainly defined by
- Link relevancy
- Anchor text in link
- How trusted the linking site is by the search engines
The link quality is more important than the quantity of links
Don't fall for those FFA (free for all links) programs because they only offer poor quality links that are useless or in the end can hurt your ranking in worst case.
Besides link building you should consider to use PPC search engines to drive traffic to your site in the early stages.
It is important to promote the web site in the right order when you start a new site.
- Submit your site to the Yahoo directory
- Buy high quality links from a link broker (optional)
- Submit your site to the search engines
- Use PPC search engines in the beginning to "buy" traffic until you have enough organic traffic (or continue to buy traffic if you want)
WebCEO and SEO Elite both have powerful functionality to identify possible link partners. Many of them will not require a reciprocal link.
Analysis and corrective actions
The next step in search engine optimization is to analyze your result and take corrective actions if the result is not acceptable.
On-page optimization can affect conversion rate so you also need to follow up the conversion rate in addition to your ranking on the search engines.
Checking ranking can be tedious but there are luckily software such as WebCEO and SEO Elite that can do it for you automatically. You can also fins numerous free tools on the web that can check the ranking but you can't control which search engines (data center) they take information from so the result might fluctuate. The free tools don't register the result over time and make graphs so you have to do this by yourself.
About 80% of search engine optimization is non-technical work. The remaining 20% requires a little technical understanding but it's not advanced at all.
The most important think in search engine optimization is actually link building and the most desirable skills for that is to be able to socialize with other web masters.