This is part 2 of a 3 part series. If you haven't read Part 1, please do so now.
Getting Started with Search Engine Optimization
You're now on your way to becoming a serious Search Engine Optimization Expert. No, I'm not exaggerating. The difference between you and the others out there 'learning' SEO is that i'm going to make sure you get your butt out there and get to work. With every website you build - you learn more than the average 'SEO.' Most of those experts don't do their own testing (you'll be doing this just by building your sites and managing them). They don't have the real world experience, but you will. You're about to dive into one of the most amazing traffic sources available. While everyone thinks they know what it takes for getting top rankings, you're going to do it.
What I want you to do is read this section and then go look at websites online (even while you read through each section). This will help solidify the knowledge you're digging into. It will help you see and understand what we're discussing here. It's going to help you learn faster so that you can start making money as soon as possible. While SEO Traffic is slow (as in it takes time to get it), it can be much quicker than the way other SEO's do it, if you simply follow the training in this module.
There's 2 factors in SEO.
1. On Page SEO Factors
2. Off Page SEO Factors
The On page factors are the most difficult to grasp for some, but we're going to go right through that and make sure you learn it quickly and easily.
The Off Page factors are actually more time consuming. Technically, Off Page factors are simply link building. We'll get into that shortly.
On Page SEO Factors
Domain: your domain can be the most important part of your site. Are you targeting a keyword in your domain or is it a general domain that you're simply using for branding? Using a keyword rich domain can help you rank high easier, but it's not always necessary, or efficient. We'll dig into this a little more later.
Structure of URL's: How are you going to structure your URL's? If you're using categories you want to be careful to not have too long of a URL. You always want to target keywords within your URL, even if your Domain already covers that keyword. For instance, http://bluewidgetsreview.com/blue-widget-5000x is a good, solid URL for targeting Blue Widgets and the actual product - blue widget 5000x. The keyword within the URL works great, so make sure you use your URL's wisely!
Page Title: The page title is, to me, the absolute most important aspect of your website. It tells google (during document analysis) what your website is about. It helps them understand it right off the bat, then they can analyze your content and so on. But having the keyword at the title says "Hey dude, this is what I want to rank for, k? Cool."
Description Meta Tag: You need to always make sure that your description meta tag is complete. I have been preaching this for years and the best way to use it is to sell with it. When google shows your site in their results they will either use your Description Meta Tag or simply find random text to show...that's not good. We want our description to be used and we want to use it to sell! "Find out why the Blue Widgets are the most amazing widgets ever produced! Get your 50% off coupon while supplies last!" ...see what you're able to do? You're literally creating an advertisement in the SERPS!
Keyword in Content: While it's not mandatory, Google wants to see your keyword appear on your content for that page in particular. This helps them make sure that you're not spamming and trying to manipulate their Search Engine listings (SERP's). Don't force the keyword in there many times over, simply make sure it appears a few times or so.
H1, H2, H3, etc: A lot of people will swear up and down that you NEED to have your keyword in a Headings tag (H1 = heading1 which is the largest, H6 is the smallest). This is not true at all. You can benefit with an H1 tag and slip a keyword in there (or a related term), but it's not mandatory.
Alt Text: Alt Text appears when you hover over an image. This helps Blind people out as they use Text-to-Speech readers to help them browse the web. But it also helps Google learn what your image is about, too.
Anchor Text in links: very important...using Keywords in your Anchor Text helps Google associate the site you're linking to with the actual content of that site. The same goes with sites linking to you!
As you can see, the On Page Factors are pretty simple.
We always want to make sure we choose a domain with the following:
a) Either it should be a keyword-rich domain name (so you can get higher rankings based on a specific product or niche), or...
b) A domain that is more generalized. Something that you can use to create an authority site.
I created this Domain Tutorial here if you want to learn more about choosing a good domain.
The structure of your URL's need to be focused on SEO. There's simply no other way to put it. You need to have your keywords within your URL's if at all possible (not always possible). Do your best and be sure not to make your URL's appear spammy!
This is the most important part of your website, in my opinion. It is the first thing Google sees and it tells them what you believe your site is about.
Here's what the HTML code looks like:
Notice the <title>keyword</title>
This is what you must have on every site. If you use scripts like Wordpress - you simply fill in the data in the Admin Control panel for Site Title.
At the top of a Web Browser, this is what the title would show:
That's the result of your HTML Title tag. Again, if you use a script - you most likely will never need to touch the title tag within the code.
As I said above, your Meta Description is important. You definitely need to make sure you have a Description for your site and use this area to sell your site. Do a search and see what your competition is doing. It's very easy - simply do a search in Google and look at the results. Each listing should have the Title of the site and the listing below it, like this:
Some websites sell, some don't. Use yours wisely so that you attract more clicks!
Here's what the code looks like:
<meta name="description" content="Ready to learn what it takes to become a real Affiliate Marketing Professional? Learn Internet Marketing from the Pro's!" />
H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6 aka Headings
I usually find it easy to use these for keywords if the pages are targeted for that keyword. No need to force it in there, make it flow as it should. These are used to help separate content and give your website more structure and make the content flow nicely.
If you can get your keyword in there, great. If not, that's fine.
The content of your site is important. We need to remember one thing:
Your content is for your readers, NOT for the search engines. What's the point of a website if it's just to get ranked? Nothing, that's what. You need to write for your visitors so that you can convert them into buyers. That's your job, not just getting high rankings in the SERPS. While you shouldn't have any problem finding ways to get your keyword in there (since the page should be based on it anyways), there may be some situations where you cannot.
While you'll hear about people making their content "SEO friendly" or "keyword rich," they're doing it all wrong. I don't care if they rank #1 for "diet." They will not convert many visitors. There's absolutely no point in high rankings if your content cannot convert visits into sales.
It's fine to use keywords in your content as long as it's written with the reader in mind. But don't write for anything but those readers. We need sales. Not rankings. Sales.
Sorry for the repeated message, but it's very important. As much as I like high rankings, I like my money more.
When you prepare content for your site you can try to sprinkle in your keywords within that content. As a matter of fact, if the content is based on a page that's targeted for a keyword, it shouldn't be hard. But if you feel that you're forcing it, don't push it. Sell, sell, sell (just don't overdo it! ).
Off Site SEO
Off Site SEO is pretty simple. We're talking about getting links here.
Backlinks (aka links)
After we get our website completed, it's time for link building. This is my favorite part of the process because it's a bit more challenging. I'm going to teach you how to take advantage of many tools (paid tools, unfortunately, but I have discount links that are not affiliate links!) so that you can beat the heck out of the competition and get fast rankings!
Backlinks are the lifeblood of your rankings. I'm not going to say I know Google's Algorithm, but I will say that I've done enough testing with my own sites to prove that Links are probably 90% (or more) of what they use to rank your site!
You've probably come across tons of outbound links on websites that go to other sites based on the author's suggestions or maybe it was a link on a blogroll. These links are telling Google that this site (that the link is pointing to) must be important.
As an affiliate, it's tough to get links to your site if it's not an authoritative site (a site that has authority on a certain subject... in other words, a site that a lot of people trust and feel like it's a very important site on that subject). You might start out building basic review sites. Unfortunately, those don't get many links.
But let's pretend that you have built a blog about making candles. You blog about once a day, so you can build up some good content over a few month's time. People are finally starting to take notice and they start linking to you. Someone might link to a blog post about banana scented candles that you made a post about, from Twitter. Then you post a video on YouTube.com and even more people start linking to that video, which actually links to you. You've created a nice little site that's now automatically building links for you.
Here's what your links might look like:
This link will eventually get followed by Google and they will analyze the anchor text ("orange scented candles" is the anchor text). They'll realize that the page that was linked to must be about orange scented candles and will then look at the content and analyze the page. If they agree, they'll start ranking it. Pretty cool, right?
The more links you get with that anchor text, the more Google believes your site is important for that search term. So when someone does a search in their site for "orange scented candles" - you may come up on the front page eventually! This means more visitors, which equals more opportunities for conversions
Here's what a basic HTML link looks like:
<a href="http://www.affiliit.com">affiliate marketing</a>
The code is pointing to affiliit.com's home page and using "affiliate marketing" in the anchor text so that Google knows what the site is about. Now only the person posting the link has control over what goes in the anchor text. If that's you, great! That means you can use whatever you would like. If not, too bad. It's not in your control unless you can ask them to change it.
We'll dig into Link Building a bit more later on. For now just remember the basics that we went over.
1. Keywords are the lifeblood of Search Engines!
Keywords are to Search Engines as Water is to life. Without keywords you can't find anything on a search engine. That's just a fact of life. Every time you search on Google - you have to use a "search query" aka Keyword. These keywords (sometimes called Key Phrases) are the actual "questions" you ask Google so they can find the right results for you (not always perfect, which is why they change their algorithm for their Search Engine (to serve better results based on your query/search).
This means that you need to be pretty specific when searching for a product or website (etc).
For instance, if you wanted to search for "ford" but you really want to find a 2001 Ford F-150, you're probably not going to get great results back. Try for yourself and you'll see that most of the top results will be based on the Ford Motor Company, whereas other results will be based on actual Ford Dealerships. If you wanted to find a 2001 ford f-150, you need to be specific. That's just how Google works.
Let's say that you looking for Gerald Ford (ex-US President) and put in Ford... well, you're probably not going to get very good results here either. While Google does use "Google Suggestions" to help us out with better search queries (keywords to search for), some people don't realize this and are very broad in their search. Google needs good keywords, so remember this.
2. Why do we need Keywords for SEO or PPC?
Good question, glad you asked
If we own a Website we need Google to be able to find us based on certain Keywords. For instance, let's say we have a website based on BlueWidgetReview.com ...
We chose this domain because we know that the keyword Blue Widget Review get a lot of searches for this product and we know that the domain was available (exact match domain; read below). This domain is based on the Keyword, but we still need Google to get a better understanding of what the site is about, so we need to use our Keyword(s) on our website and in our content.
TITLE: our website title is one of the most important places to use our MAIN Keyword(s). We need our Website title to have this keyword in it, but we also want it to look natural. So, let's say our title tag looked like:
<title>Blue Widget Review - Read the truth about Blue Widgets!
URL: having our keyword within the URL somewhere is also good. Let's say we want to target Green Widget Review -- we'd do this:
Dashes work great in the URL for the pages, although I don't recommend dashes in the Domain (blue-widget-review.com is a no no, in my opinion) if you can. It looks spammy to real users.
LINKS: we need our keywords in our anchor text so that Google knows what our website is about. This means inbound links (from other sites to ours).
If we wanted our site to rank high for "green widget review" (without quotes), we'd use the following code:
<a href="http://www.bluewidgetreview.com/green-widget-review.html">Green Widget Review</a>
When we build links (backlinks) we make sure that we spread our keywords around. We don't want to build 1,000 links and have them all pointing to the same page and same anchor text (keyword). We want to diversify the links and make sure that if we have 10 keywords - they're all pretty even.
Note: we won't always have the opportunity to get anchor text in our links, so some sites will force us to use http://site.com ...this is fine! Get the link
CONTENT: we need to make sure our content is relevant to the Keywords we're targeting (trying to rank for). If we're targeting best water filtering system, our content needs to be able water filters, somehow.
Always use content that is somewhat relevant to your keywords!
3. Keyword Match Types
There's a lot of different types of keywords out there and different ways of explaining them. So let's start with the basics:
Broad Match Keywords: this was discussed above. Using broad keywords is when you're looking for Gerald Ford and you simply enter "ford" into the search engines (without quotes). Going broad can be good with some products/niches, but usually ends up causing more frustration for most people, which in turn leads to more searches.
A good example of using a broad keyword would be to search for:
But this keyword can also end up showing results for
f-150 ford truck
truck ford f-150
f-150 truck ford
These are all different keywords (technically), but by using broad match Google is not 100% sure what you're looking for and wants to use these words in any arrangement and will result in the same findings.
This can be problematic since the rearranged words might end up being for terms completely different. They're not super-targeted keywords, either.
Be very careful when going after Broad keywords. Let's say you wanted to sell a Ford F-150 Truck and you spent your hard earned money to target this keyword? What a waste! Especially since you're selling a 2010 Red 4 Door Ford F-150 Truck V8 .
Pretty big difference, right? This is why we need to give Google (yes, even on OUR side of the search) what they need...better keywords!
So a broad match keyword would be like affiliit internet marketing training and could look like:
internet marketing training affiliit
internet training affiliit marketing
training affiliit marketing internet
They could pretty much be complete scrambled with no need to be in any particular order. Make sense?
"Phrase Match Keywords": (note the quotes around the keyword, these represent a phrase match keyword)
The Phrase Match wants an exact order, but unlike the Exact Match Type it can have words before and after:
best "affiliit internet marketing training"
"affiliit internet marketing training" sign up
clint lenard "affiliit internet marketing training" program
Notice how everything in the PHRASE (between quotes) never changes? They can have words before and after, but nothing in the phrase can change, unlike a broad match keyword.
[Exact Match Keywords]:(note the brackets around the keyword. This indicates an exact match type)
So with these keywords they will be exact, nothing more. Unlike broad, where the words can be scrambled, and unlike Phrase where the phrase stays exact, but words can be before or after (or both), the Exact Match Types cannot have anything before or after.
[affiliit internet marketing training]
These match types are important for Pay Per Click Advertising! While there's several other match types to use, we'll stick with these. Negative Match types and Exact Negatives are GREAT and should be a must-use for PPC.
4. Keyword Research Basics
While this might have been better used towards the beginning, I wanted you to put things together more like a puzzle, so I think that Keyword Research is that last corner piece that finally makes things click.
Keyword Research is simply looking for the best keywords to use for your website (or PPC campaign). There's no magic tools that will show you super converting keywords that have little competition, but some tools can definitely help you out in finding good keywords to target.
Our keywords will start from our heads. We want to build a seed list.
SEED LIST: This is the beginning of our research. We want to brain storm some keywords and start building this seed list so that we can target better keywords and a bigger, more focused list(s).
Let's say we want to promote Adrian Peterson Jersey's. Sounds easy, so let's go ahead and build a seed list:
adrian peterson jersey
adrian peterson uniform
adrian peterson oklahoma jersey
adrian peterson sooners jersey
adrian peterson oklahoma sooners jersey
adrian peterson oklahoma uniform
adrian peterson sooners uniform
adrian peterson oklahoma sooners uniform
adrian peterson vikings jersey
adrian peterson minnesota jersey
adrian peterson minnesota uniform
adrian peterson minnesota vikings jersey
adrian peterson minnesota vikings uniform
adrian peterson #28 jersey
adrian peterson 28 jersey
adrian peterson all day jersey
adrian all day peterson jersey
ad oklahoma sooners jersey
Now some of you might not know who Adrian Peterson is, but that's OK. I'm simply using his College (Oklahoma Sooners) and his Professional (Minnesota Vikings) teams to build my seed list. If I wanted to build a site or page based just on Adrian Peterson Jerseys, I'd say I pretty much just hit all of the main keywords right there!
But there's always going to be more, so let's go ahead and open up the Google Keyword Tool (GKT from here on out) and see what else might be there.
(if you don't already have an AdWords account I highly suggest getting one. It'll cost you $5.00 to sign up, but it's highly worth it for later use and you can get 800 results rather than 100)
In this tool you will enter in all the keywords above. Once that's done and the results come up, look towards the far left and check the boxes that say:
We'll use these as indicators for traffic estimates (how many searches the keyword(s) get per month).
Now we see a bunch of results and we want to start sorting and choosing the best Keywords to use.
At the top of the graph/list find the words GLOBAL MONTHLY SEARCHES and click it so that the highest number of searches come up to the top (give it a second).
Now you should see the word "jersey" come up with 20,400,000 and not much competition. Looks great, but remember what we were saying about being too broad? This is NOT a good keyword...it could be about New Jersey, Jersey Shore (show or the place), a name, etc. It's nowhere near what we want people to buy (adrian peterson jersey).
Skip those keywords that are too broad. More examples of useless (in our case) keywords:
nfl fantasy (not even relevant)
nhl jerseys (hockey?)
minn vikings schedule
mn vikings roster
reggie bush jersey
adrian peterson workout
Some keywords that are relevant but not useful (in our case) due to either HIGH COMPETITION or TOO BROAD:
cheap nfl jerseys
adrian peterson vikings
adrian peterson picture
While we are targeting people looking for specific (hint hint) nfl jerseys, we're not interested in keywords that have too much competition and not close enough to our keyword.
NOTE that if you wanted to build a website around Football Jerseys or Sports Jerseys, you could always target more difficult keywords for the front page (home page/index page) and then use the Adrian Peterson keywords for an inner page(s) [1 for college, 1 for nfl]. This is good if you want to take more time to rank for more keywords by building more pages, more content and more links (backlinks to your site).
Some iffy keywords that could be worth it:
"peterson jersey" -- wouldn't use this as the competition is VERY high
minnesota vikings apparel -- tough competition
adrian peterson vikings -- could be OK
Going through the list you may find a few more, just make sure they're low to medium competition and over 1,000 searches a month. Otherwise those keywords are useless in most cases.
The next search you want to try is going into the GKT and doing a simple search for:
Make sure to check the box that says:
Only show ideas closely related to my search terms
Now you'll get more relevant keywords to choose from. Make sure they're related to:
1. Adrian Peterson and/or OU (University of Oklahoma) and/or Minnesota Vikings fans
2. People who might be interested in Apparel (jerseys)
Remember that when you're doing Keyword Research you need to use your brain here, too.
Are the Keywords relevant?
Can they somehow be related to the original seed list or idea?
Is the competition low to medium? Higher is tougher to rank for!
Do these keywords appear to be "converting" keywords?
Are the keywords too broad or are they more focused? "laser targeted" is what are going to convert the best.
You can use other tools to help you out with this Keyword Research. These are some good paid tools, but not necessary to start making money.
MarketSamurai (uses data from Google, but it sorts it nicely)
4. 3 other "Types" of Keywords!
While we did discuss Match Types for keywords, now it's time to focus on 3 more "types" of keywords. The 3 stages of the Buying Cycle for Keywords are:
1. Browse Keywords: This is stage 1 where the user goes on Google.com and does a search for ford f-150 truck. They don't know the year or exact specs on the truck, they're just looking right now.
If they wanted to find information on houses in Las Vegas, Nevada, they'd put in a search like:
homes for sale las vegas
Pretty simple, right? They don't know any particulars, this is the first stage in the process in buying a product...or a home.
2. Research Keywords: Once they get more information about the trucks they will start doing more research on different specs, different colors, 2 door, 4 door...different years, etc.
With the house they may now have a better understanding of the locations or types of homes available, so now they're getting into the research mode.
homes for sale in south las vegas
houses for rent in henderson
3. Buyer Keywords: Now they're in the Buyer stage. They're going to do a search for a specific truck in a specific city, possibly landing on Auto Trader, eBay or Craigslist.
This time with the house they should have more information on the homes in vegas, the areas, etc.
2 story houses for sale in green valley las vegas
So let's do a simple example using Blue Widgets:
Stage 1 (Browse): blue widgets
- They're looking to see what comes up for the search term "blue widgets"
Stage 2 (Research): blue widget series xla
- They want to find more information about a more specific series of blue widgets
Stage 3 (Buyer): buy blue widget series xla 2200
or it could be: blue widget series xla 2200 discount
Stage 3 should be keywords that are truly focused on someone looking to purchase a product.
Brand keywords are great examples of Buyer Keywords. These keywords get searches based on a specific brand, which usually get searched by people who are interested in buying that brand. Imagine if you could rank for the keyword of a brand that is known to solve a problem. How about Proactiv, the skin care product that claims to solve acne and other skin problems. You could make a lot of money by simply ranking #1 for this product. We're talking thousands a day or more.
Not bad, right? Well, now think about every other product that exists to solve a problem. Technically, nearly every product was created to solve a problem in some way.
Ear Candy can solve the need to listen to music while "looking cool." OK, maybe that's a bad example, but they're stylish and they solve the problem of not being able to listen to music in privacy.
Viagra would be a major keyword to rank #1 for. How long has this product already been marketed for? Well, if you could rank in the top 3 you could make thousands a day for this keyword too.
Remember that Brand keywords can be very profitable and you should always try to rank for them if you can.
Let's go ahead and move on to Part 3 of our SEO Tutorial.