Author: Paul Flyer
For as many opinions that exist about search engine optimization there are as many diverse approaches. However, no matter the approach, some things remain constant, if not somewhat contradictory. Below is a list of ten things beginners should understand about search engine optimization. Some of these items are contradictory pairs but are equally true. All of them are true no matter ones approach.
1) There is no formula. Many make the mistake that with a magic number of pages and a magic number of links, traffic will come pouring into a website. Such thinking fails to consider the particular marketplace. No one “formula” works across the board.
2) There are key steps to accomplish. There are two key steps that every search engine optimizer needs to do well. First, create structurally sound web pages that are reader (i.e. human) accessible yet search engine friendly. Second, create links back to the website with keyword focused anchor text. These are the basics and are often called onpage optimization and offpage optimization.
3) It is hard. Marketers will try to sell you products that guarantee top positions in Google. There is no guarantee. An automated product will not get you there. It takes work and it is hard sometimes. It is hard because of competition. It is hard because it takes skill. It is hard because it takes perseverance.
4) It is easy. Armed with a solid knowledge of SEO and the understanding that it is niche markets that work the best, anyone can create a website that is well optimized and gains lots of traffic. The web has an almost infinite amount of markets. Most of them are not well optimized. If you can find them, then it is easy.
5) It’s about usability. Websites that are well structured and user friendly tend to leave a positive image in a persons mind. Content aside, do you bookmark crappy, frustrating sites? Or do you bookmark websites that are easy to use and handy? Good usability leads to repeat visitors which can lead to all sorts of possibilities.
6) Its about value. Similar question as above, but consider the content. Do you bookmarked sites with crappy content or good content? What value does your website provide? Create value and a visitor base will surely follow.
7) It’s about relationships. What is a link? A link is a relationship. How are relationships created? Sometimes they are asked for (Hey, would you link to me?), often times the value of the content and the ease of usability generate an unspoken but linked relationship.
8) It’s about competition. This gets back to whether SEO is easy or hard. Though its not just about the amount of competition. Is the competition putting into practice search engine optimization? If yes, then the competition is tough. If no, then the competition is weak no matter how much of it there is.
9) Page Structure is the foundation. Sound onpage optimization won’t do squat in competitive environments. However, don’t forget the usability issue. In non-competitive environments plus a handful of links, this is all you need.
10) Links build the house. Develop a sound and smart link building campaign. If there is anything that makes SEO hard it is this point. Don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t be afraid to make yourself known. Don’t be afraid to link to others.