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search engine marketing explained

How to achieve high search engine ranking with economical search engine optimization - a simple process that anyone can learn in just one day.

Today You will learn ...

  • the simple step-by-step process to achieve top search engine rankings
  • how to find profitable keyphrases for your website
  • how to determine if it´s more economical to do all the seo work by yourself or if it would be better to hire a search engine optimization company.

Dear Colleaque,

search engine marketing (aka seo, search engine optimization or positioning) is a more or less complex process that involves chosing the right keyphrases for your website, analyzing your competitors, optimizing your web pages, your websites´s link structure and improving your website´s link popularity.

First of all You should understand that search engine marketing isn´t just a one-time effort. Your competition doesn´t sleep and the search engine´s ranking algorithms use to change frequently, so in order to keep your web pages in top positions, You´ll need to put a constant effort into marketing your website or pay someone to do it for You.

A word on ethical search engine optimization

Now that´s really a very controversially discussed topic and You shouldn´t care about the advice of self-proclaimed "ethical seo´s". The only thing that matters is that You only use techniques that won´t get Your website into trouble with the search engines.
Let´s simply take a quick look at Google´s guidelines and comments about search engine optimization companies:

In Google´s information for webmasters, we find the following important information:

"Many SEOs provide useful services for website owners, from writing copy to giving advice on site architecture and helping to find relevant directories to which a site can be submitted. However, there are a few unethical SEOs who have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to unfairly manipulate search engine results."

So - according the Google - writing [keyword targeted] copy, [optimizing] Your website´s architecture (includes internal linking) and submitting to relevant directories (to build link popularity) is absolutely o.k. But with that alone, you won´t achieve top search engine rankings for competitive keyphrases.

Unfortunately they don´t tell You what else You can do to achieve improved search engine ranking, but on this page, Google let´s You know what they consider to be "search engine spamming", being some of these techniques still used by some SEO´s. So don´t even think of using any of the following if You don´t want your site to get penalized (and dropped from the search engine):

  • Hidden text or links
  • Misleading or repeated words
  • Cloaked page
  • Deceptive redirects
  • Doorway pages
  • Duplicate site or pages

Ethical Search Engine Optimization, step-by-step

Before You start - a must-have free tool is Google´s toolbar, that You can download here. It shows You the PR (PageRank, explained later) and the number of backlinks of any web page You visit. There are a few more useful functions in it, but the two mentioned are the most important regarding search engine marketing.

On-Page Factors

1. Keywords and keyword rich pages

The first step is to choose the keywords (or better "keyphrases") for which You want to get high rankings. The following article explains how to choose the right keywords for which you should optimize your website. Target the wrong keyphrases and your search engine optimization efforts are doomed to fail.
Choosing the correct keywords for your site.

Armed with a list of potentially profitable keyphrases You head on to the next step, which is explained in the article: Creating Keyword Rich Pages: How to create pages which are designed to rank well in the search engines. An important on-page factor for improved search engine placement.

2. Website structure, linking your pages together

Link your web pages together in a way that not only users can easily access all of them but also the search engine´s spiders can find and index them. A good idea is to have a navigation bar at the top of each page (see above) and also links to other important pages of your website at the bottom and / or side menu.

It´s very important that You include the keywords of the target page in the hyperlink´s anchor text, because this tells the search engines what the target page is about. Most people fail in this point. For example: If you link back to Your website´s homepage from every other page using the anchor text "home", then your website will get the reputation for being about the topic "home". A wasted opportunity.

You may recognize on my site, that all links to my homepage use keyphrases (internet marketing ezine, website marketing tips, etc...).

Off-Page Factors

3. PageRank and Link Popularity

What the heck is PageRank (PR to it´s friends) ?
It´s Google´s system for ranking web pages or better: the importance that Google gives each individual web page on a scale from 0-10 (as shown in Google´s toolbar). Read Google´s explanation of PageRank here.

Link popularity is currently playing a very important role in the search engines´ ranking algorithms. Getting links to Your website to increase PR and link popularity is the most time consuming and boring part of the search engine marketing process. Especially when You are trying to achieve top positions for popular and high competitive keyphrases.

To find out how competitive a keyphrase is, search for it (with quotation marks around it) on Google and note down the number of results (= competiting pages). Visit the first 10 results and check their PR as well as how many backlinks they have (that´s what you need Google´s toolbar for). It´s important to know that Google shows only backlinks from pages with a PR of 4 and higher, so the actual link popularity of your competitors might be higher. To see all backlinks, use Axandra´s free link popularity checker that you can download here.

Obviously - in order to rank well, you must do it better than your competitors. There are several ways to get links from other websites, one very popular way is to exchange links with other related websites. If you want to get maximum benefit from your link exchanges, then You should carefully select your link partners and not just ask anyone who exchanges links.

What counts is the web page where your link will be placed. The higher its PR and the lower the number of links on that page, the greater the benefit for You. Be careful with websites that have a PR of 0 or show a grey PR bar in Google´s toolbar. They might be just brand new or might have been penalized. Linking to bad neighbourhood (i.e. penalized sites) can get your website penalized, too.

If your website is brand new and has a PR of 0 You might realize now that it can be difficult to get other people to exchange links with you, so what can You do in this case ? The following article gives You a step by step search engine marketing strategy for brand new websites:
Promoting a website from ground up.

When getting links to your website, make sure they are properly designed. Many people still do this wrong.

1) Link Design:
In order to tell the search engines what your pages are about you must use text links to point to your pages with your keyphrases included.

2) Diversifying link texts:
Using the same anchor text in all of your link exchanges may look like over-optimization (or SE spamming). Using secondary keyphrases prevents you from getting penalized and also gives you the chance to rank high for more keyphrases. For example I use three different phrases for my home page in link exchanges:

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3) Getting links from related pages:
Instead of chasing after every possible link, you should get links from related sites and your link should be placed on pages that appear in the search results for your chosen keyphrase.

4) unreciprocated links:
An unreciprocated link to your site is much more valuable than a link exchange. You can get unreciprocated links by posting in "search engine friendly" forums, writing articles for ezine publishers or simply purchase text link advertisement on other websites.

See article Improving link popularity to your site for more tips on the subject.

These are the basics You need to know about search engine marketing in order to achieve top search engine rankings for Your website.

For more information, important SEO news, website marketing tips and general business discussions, please subscribe to my newsletter. It´s an ad-free, monthly newsletter, dedicated to helping you succeed in your business venture and I´m sharing all my personal secrets and findings with my loyal subscribers.

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Guido W. Stiehle
(TheJungleMarketer)

P.S.: Below are the links to free SEO lessons. economical search engine optimization for "Do-it-yourself" search engine optimists ;o).

Index of Articles - free seo course

1) SEO Tools: Don't even think of doing your own search engine positioning unless you have these software programs with you.

2) Choosing the correct keywords for your site: Tells you how you can choose the keywords for which you should optimize your site. Target the wrong phrases and your search engine optimization efforts are doomed to fail.

3) The importance of having your own domain name: The reason why you need to have your own domain name in order to get achieve good search engine positioning.

4) Creating Keyword Rich Pages: How to create pages which are designed to rank well in the search engines. An important on-page factor for economical and ethical search engine optimization.

5) Creating a robots.txt file: How you can create a robots.txt file in order to prevent your site from being penalized for spamming by the search engines.

6) Software to help you create a robots.txt file: Describes a software which will automate the task of creating a robots.txt file.

7) Improving the Link Popularity of your site - Link popularity is becoming an increasingly important factor in search engine placement. Find out the methods you can use to improve the link popularity of your site, and know which methods you should not use. Incoming links from other websites tell the search engines what your web site is about.

8) Submitting your site to the Open Directory: Discover how you should submit your site to the Open Directory in order to get a high ranking in many of the major search engines. Google gives more importance for sites listed in the open directory and the pages there have all good PRs, so a free listing in this directory is definitely an important factor for economical search engine optimization.

9) Becoming an Open Directory Project Editor: Can't get your site listed in the Open Directory, no matter how hard you try? Find out how you can become an editor of the Open Directory and get your site an optimum listing in it.

10) Frames and Search Engines - Find out how to get good rankings in the search engines even if your site uses frames.

11) Page Cloaking - To Cloak or Not to Cloak - Find out what page cloaking is, how it is used, and whether or not you should actually use page cloaking. Can it hurt your rankings ? It´s surely not an ethical search eninge optimization technique.

12) Top 10 Search Engine Positioning Mistakes - The top mistakes that people make when they try to optimize their sites for the search engines. Avoid these mistakes to save yourself a lot of anguish and frustration in the long-run. A well planned strategy is an important factor of economical search engine optimization.

13) Glossary: Contains an explanation of commonly used terms in the world of search engine marketing.


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