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Demystifying SEO – Search Engine Optimization on WordPress

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Demystifying SEO – Search Engine Optimization on WordPress

 

STAY AWAY FROM SEO "VOODOO-SPEAK"

Those who are billing top dollar to get your website noticed on Google, are constantly releasing self-promoting how-to articles and videos.  Once you have consumed even a small amount of their of content it is quite natural to conclude that search engine optimization is "scary, mysterious business".  Many folks just give up attempting to pull it off on their own.

After stumbling upon a few remarkable tools and easily bringing many client sites to rank: I finally realized that a lot of SEO "voodoo-speak" is nothing more than hype to scare you off.  The reality is: creating authority on Google is a LOT more straight-forward than we are normally led to believe.

In this tutorial I'm going to lay out a simplified road map for ranking in Google and discuss a few of the tools you will want to use.

 

BACKLINKS

The only way Google can tell if your content matters, is based on what other websites say about you.  The assumption is that other websites will voluntarily link to your website if you have something worthwhile to offer.  Theoretically: the more links you have coming to your website: the more value it has.

Because of this fact Search Engine Experts make a big deal about "back-links". Most tutorials stress the difficulty and importance of creating many one-way incoming links.  However in my real-world experience it is often a function of quality more than quantity.  

While having many links is always nice: it really boils down to the authority of the website that is linking to you.  In researching top ranking sites – I have found that a single link from a high-authority web site such as EHow.com can pull a website straight to the top of the results.

 

HOW GOOGLE DETERMINES AUTHORITY 

Why does Google consider these sites to be so valuable?  Because the content is being evaluated by a real human being rather than a "bot".  

Important web directories such as DMOZ.org and Yahoo also carry credibility for the same reason. To get listed: an editor must visit your website and check it out.

Getting ReTweeted on Twitter is extremely notable to Google because a real human being had to agree with you that your content was worth passing on.

 

WHAT KINDS OF LINKS HELP MOST?

A key success-factor involves the structure of the links.  If possible the clickable text for the incoming links should contain the keyword content that you want to rank under. The target page on your website should also be strong in relevant the keywords. 

 

USE A FREE BACKLINK CHECKING TOOL

SEOpen is a free addon for Mozilla Firefox that lets you see which websites are backlinking to your top competitors.  Those same sites may be worth focusing on when  it comes time to request your own backlinks.

 

ARTICLE KEYWORD DENSITY MYTHS

Forget about the good-old-days of search engine optimization when people thought you had to repeat those keywords over and over.  Google has gotten much smarter than that. Their bot will see that type of behavior as abuse.  Simply write a great article that is fit for human consumption and be sure your key words are mentioned at least once in the title and once in the first paragraph.  

Try to also have a link containing those same keywords pointed at a relevant offsite resource and include at least one image with a keyword-sensitive alt tag.

 

CATEGORIES: YOUR SECRET WEAPON

There is another POWERFUL tool which is overlooked in most SEO tutorials.  This is the fact that major web directories are such as DMOZ.org and Yahoo Directory are set up with categories: just like a good university library.  By organizing your content in appropriate categories – you make it very easy for Google to figure out what your material is all about.  

Having your article information organized in the blogging format – due to the fact that this means real human beings have the opportunity to comment on the content.

Simply go to DMOZ.org and type in your keywords: take a look at the results and find the closest match to your subject matter.  Then take a look at the categories DMOZ is using.  These are the categories YOU should also use on your own site. You can omit the more general levels because Google prefers a maximum of four category layers.

 

BUILD YOUR WEBSITE ON A CMS

Popular CMS (Content Management System) platforms, not only make it easy for you to change the material on your website without learning to code – they also come with built-in category features.  Stay away from old fashioned hardcoding when it comes to building your website.  Depending on your needs select a platform such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla.  

The most userfriendly for non-programmers is by far: WordPress with its point-and-click functionality.  However: in it's native state, WordPress is unfriendly for search engine categories.  Thousands of plugins exist that easily extend its capability's with features such as shopping carts and visitor statistics.  Search Engine plugins are available which "tweak" the WordPress program to support the ideal category structure.

When hiring a web developer ask how the CMS is used to handle search engine optimization.  If they know little or nothing about the role of categories in SEO, make sure that you your self will be effectively empowered to control the categories being used.

 

KEYWORD RESEARCH & COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE

The most important aspect of SEO comes down to keyword research and competitive reconnaissance. Don't just try to guess which words your clients will be searching for.  

The best tool for keyword research is called SpyFu.com   Simply run a search in Google for your niche and grab the URL of the top ranking sites and head over to SpyFu.com   Put those URLs into the search window and you can see which words they are spending the most money on.  You can bet these are some of the most profitable terms to go after when you are writing articles and arranging links.

 

STILL INTIMIDATED?

For those who are already familiar with the lingo of Search Engine Optimization, this article should be a breath of fresh air.  However for those who are new: a slight sense of feeling overwhelmed might be normal.  I can assure you that you simply have to learn by doing.

It's possible to take any of these concepts and find articles that elaborate even further in order to achieve greater clarification.  For example: Google – "How to get your website listed in DMOZ".  Try "Search Engine Categories in WordPress."

CashBoxHosting is a web design partner who can walk you through the process.  By simply doing it a couple of times you will start to approach your writing in the right way to get the desired visitors to your website.

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