Jun 22 2011

Start-Up and Small Business Succint SEO Guide: Learn the Basics First

AnnexCore

Since start-ups are time consuming enough, and running your own business is pretty time intensive as well, I decided to make a quick-read for all you entrepreneurs out there. Hopefully I can remove a lot of the noise and direct in the right direction while providing you the 80/20 of SEO.

Search engine optimization often seems more advance then it really is, I honestly think you can teach anyone to handle this job, but some qualities such as effectiveness and creativity are harder to impart. So let’s start with the basics …

Basic building blocks of SEO

If you didn’t know SEO essentially consist of two major things: content and links. Each can be broken into it’s own science, but I don’t plan on doing that today. Let’s start with content.

What is Content?

What I mean by content is everything that’s on your website. The title, words that are bold, the paragraphs describing your company, your ideas, your tutorials, etc… Within the content you try to position in keywords or phrases that are relevant to your consumer base, for instance this blog aims are keywords such as eCommerce, and Trends in eCommerce. So once you discover your keywords you can come up with a proper content strategy to fit into your information architecture.

How to discover your sites keywords

The first method most beginners should already know about is Google Keyword Tool. Using this tool you can either type in a Keyword such as eCommerce and discover phrases and other keywords users search with with that term. The second way to use this tool is input your competitor’s website URL into the designated field, and come up with all the keywords they use. Also some other free methods provided by Google are Insights, Sets, and Correlate. I suggest you read up on the function of these, I’ll try to produce some more guides on uses for these next month.

To expand your list of keywords use services such as SpyFu, or Wordtracker to expand your list of keywords. I would recommend the use of these services only after you’ve mastered the options in the above paragraph.

The third method is connect Google Analytics to your website, and it will harvest a list of keywords and phrases that were used to find your website through search. Here is a example from our Analytics data.

Now to the second building block of SEO – Links.

What make links so important?

Links, Backlinks, Link Backs, etc… are all basically the same thing. When some other website includes a link to another website like I just did, it does a few things. First when Google’s spiders are indexing my website, they’ll also follow that link and discover that website as well. It’s almost like vouching for that website, this is important if you have a High PR(page rank) website linking to you. That High PR website will be passing some of it’s credibility on to your website. Beyond building trust for your website by linking to it, a website can link with specific anchor text, for example Web Development, which tells Google this website has something to do with Web Development. Usually you’ll want to write anchor text with the keywords you’ve researched by now, but natural links don’t always follow ideals.

By the way Page Rank (PR) is something Google supposedly scores your website by, but there is no official place to check from Google to find out what it is. Just do a search for Page Rank Checker, some people will try to charge, mainly because they probably put in a lot of work to match Google Ranking system.

So like people you want to be only associated with Good people and note bad websites.

Often finding places to link to your website can be difficult, that’s why I’ve automated my backlink data gathering, so I can discover prospects.

In Ending …

I hope these two concepts help unravel the mystery of Search Engine Optimization. There are plenty of sources out there to optimize your content, and obtaining links so for now I will let Google help you discover more or you can hire us to Optimize your website for you.

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