Tony Moreno asked:

Understanding SEO.

Most of the people who post here know what is, but as I learn more and more about it, I felt I needed to share my experience with beginners so they have an action plan to move forward.

SEO stands for search engine optimization…what the hell is that? This is how the search engines like yahoo, google, msn, index your site and rank it. To illustrate this, just do a search on google and see the results that come out on the left hand side of the page. That is called the natural search, not to get it mixed the sponsored links (pay per view).

Now, how does a website get the number 1 spot? Well, that’s every WEBMASTER’S DREAM. Why, because traffic from search engines are the most targeted (convert better in sales) and better yet, FREE.

SEO is complex and tedious, but worth it. It could take you at least 3-5 months of analyzing the engines and understanding SEO, but in the end, once you know how to do it, you’ll never look back.
In SEO there are two different tactics, white and black hat. I’m not going to talk about black hat tactics cause the can get you banned off the search engines. Many webmasters use them so they rank high quick but it’s considered cheating and if you get caught, you could be banned for life.

White hat tactics are legit and more fun because they do represent a challenge. Let’s get started then. If you are not a programmer it doesn’t really matter, everyone can do this.

Let’s assume that you already have a domain, hosting and a product or service. (By the way, this can work with affiliate links too) what is to do first:

Find the keyword or keyword phrases that best describe your product. For example if you are selling shoes for women, good keywords could be shoes for women, shoes for a woman, high heel shoes…
First think you have to look into is the source code of your site. You can access that by clicking on the view menu, scroll down where it says “source code” and release. Notice a notepad will html all over it.

Look for the following:

Title: This tag represents the title of your website. You must include your best keyword in the title of the site (by the way, to see the title of your tag you must look on your browser above the file, view…menus) Back to the shoes example, you could say “Fashion shoes for women, all sizes” that could be the title. No more than 60 characters.

Description: This must include a few benefits of your product. Something like “fashion shoes for women, high heels, and stilettos, all sizes and great prices” No more than 200 characters.
Keywords: This tag is not as important as people think it is. The search engines will not really look for this, so you can relax on this one. Just come up with 3 or 4 keywords and you are set.

H1 heading: Your site must have an h1 heading. The search engines love this so make sure you ad one. An h1 heading is a tag you use to type your biggest benefit. You can use the title or description here as well if you wish, but your main keyword must be there.

H2 Heading: These are subheadings… you can have up to 3. Similar to h1 headings but these focus on secondary benefits.

Keyword Density: or how often is your main keyword used in your site. You can calculate this by going to http://www.keyworddensity.com the ideal is to reach 7%, but if you can’t, aim for 4 or 5%.

This has covered just a tiny fraction of SEO. There’s also much more to it…link popularity is very important (this is how many sites link to yours). But you must first focus on on-page optimization (the steps I mention above) and once you are done, move forward.

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