Crash Course in Search Engine Optimization

Many people think that link building is a very complicated procedure but in fact it is more tedious then complicated. The link building process is all about gathering the right data from your websites, organizing it and then optimizing the complete process. Gathering the data is simply finding keywords which relate to your website and organizing the keywords so that your website content, Meta tags and other content contain the keywords and are formatted correctly. I like using the term “optimizing” to refer to the complete process once completed and making sure that everything done has been completed correctly. This means that all links are formatted correctly pointing to the correct pages and finally indexed.

This process is important because when people type in a search phrase within the major search engines, the results displayed by the search engines have been selected by identifying keywords placed on specific web pages. The order or rank has been determined by popularity based on the number of links pointing to a website through optimized articles, press releases, social bookmarking and blog links. The good news is that we can control around 80% of the process by performing our research and selecting keywords which are relevant to our website. The more relevant our data, the more we can fine tune or optimization process.

I’ve put together a quick crash course for beginners which can help explain some of the important factors influencing search engine results page (SERP’s)

Keywords:

Choosing the right keywords is very important because it helps determine the relevancy of the website you are building a campaign for. For example, if the site is about used cars, then words like “Honda used cars, cheap used cars, local used car dealers) are all words that can be relevant to your website. The keywords will then be used within articles, press releases or any other content which is created for submission purposes. When search engines index these articles they will be able to determine the relevancy through the keyword usage.

Google Keywords Planner is a FREE keyword research tool to help you narrow down relevant keywords while searching monthly volume and trends.

Writing Content:

This process does take time as the content you are writing must contain the keywords and NOT be low quality. Low quality content will often get your account banned from many article directories or other submission websites. The higher the quality of content, the more views and shares it can achieve increasing the popularity of the article. The article is only useful if you have placed 2 one-way links within the resource box (often at the bottom of the article). These links will point to your website and should contain your keywords.

Submission Process:

The content is then submitted to different platforms on the internet. Many of these other websites have been marketing content for several years and have gained popularity so a link pointing to your website from these platforms can be great for increasing your SERP’s.  You have several directories, press release sites, blog’s and social bookmarking sites available which is why the process can take a very long time often a month or so to complete. The entire process might have to be done for several months to see any significant change in your rankings and there are several factors that determine how long it will take to see that change like…

  • Keyword competition
  • Quality of content
  • Indexing time (which can take longer than usual)
  • Competition and their link building campaigns
  • Frequency of submissions (# per day)
  • Diversity of links (article, blogs, press releases, etc)

Article Directories:

This is the most popular type of link building since it uses the popularity of existing directories which have been around for several years. Many of them have done quite well increasing in popularity and having a Google PR anywhere from 6-9. They have created a simple process to allow anyone to submit high quality content and in return you are allowed to place a maximum of 2 outbound links within the resource box. Many article directories over the years have gotten a bit strict because of WEBSPAM being submitted by visitors however if you follow the basic policies you’ll have no problem and gain some high quality back links in the process

  • High quality content
  • Minimum 500 words
  • Maximum 2 links in resource box
  • Don’t keyword stuff in article (use keyword more than 4 times)
  • Make relevant to category
  • Only use original well written content

Here is a List of Top 80 Do-Follow Article Directories

Press Releases:

For some time there has been debate on whether press release sites are actually indexed by Google and if they count as a back-link towards your website. Many people have often said NO and even Matt Cutts, the lead of web spam at Google has stated that press release websites don’t count as a link. However many people have done some case studies using press release websites and found that not only were high quality PR sites picked up by Google but they provided valuable link juice to the website they pointed to. With that said…

Writing press releases can be very effective and are considered valuable back-links. The different between press release sites and article directories is that PR websites are based on actual news stories. You need to write content which is in the form of a news bulletin. When you write content for submission in article directories you are essentially creative writing but when writing for PR websites you are reading over news stories and rewriting them in your own words.

 Here are some tips on how to write an effective press release…

  • Write genuine headlines
  • Minimum 500 words
  • Use 5 w’s (who, what, where, why and when)
  • Write about popular news stories
  • Relate to your audience
  • No SPAM
  • Add relevant links pointing to your website

Blog Links and Comments:

Building back-links through blogs can be very effective if done the right way. Many people have used authority blogs within their niche to gain enormous amounts of traffic through simple commenting. The process is very simple; it involves finding authority blogs within your niche and placing valuable comments on the bottom of posts. For example, within the affiliate marketing niche there are many well established bloggers who are getting close to 10,000 visitors daily and taking advantage of this popularity can be your golden ticket. Here is what I try to do:

Find 4-5 authority blogs within your niche and sign up for their newsletter. Whenever they post new content on their blog you will be notified through an email. Read over the new post and gather some valuable information on what they wrote through research and brainstorming. Try to be the first to post a comment providing insight to the blog post. Many authority blogs do allow name, your website and your comment towards the bottom of the post. If you provide valuable comments, anyone commenting after you may agree with what you wrote and click on your name being redirected to your website. Now you’re probably wondering how this can help you and the answer is “traffic” since some of these blogs are getting thousands of visitors each day which can be free promotion for your blog.

  • Find relevant authority blogs in your niche
  • Provide use comments
  • Add link to your comments
  • Don’t SPAM
  • Read over post before commenting so your comments are relevant
  • If you can, do some research on blog post and provide insight to post
  • Be the first to comment

Example of typical comment form…

 

ADD_COMMENT

Social Bookmarking:

This is the new trend in building back-links because it’s easy and very effective. Every time you book mark a page within social networks you are essentially building a back link. You want to make sure that the social bookmarking site provides a “do-follow” link which means that when indexed by Google it does count as a link. Some sites have been known to provide “no-follow” to avoid people submitting SPAM but in most cases they are “do-follow”

The process is very easy because it involves setting up an account and submitting your URL as a social bookmark. You need to go to your web page and grab the complete URL of the page which then you submit to the social bookmarking site. Add a title, some tags and description. That’s it!

Here’s a tip, make sure the title of the link you are submitting matches the “keyword” you are trying to rank for in SERP’s. If my keyword is “used cars” the title of my bookmark will be exactly the same. Finally, make sure you submit it as a public link and DO NOT select private or it will not get indexed and found by Google and other search engines.

  • Use keyword in title, tags and description
  • Limit bookmarking to 25 links a day
  • Use a variety of social bookmarking sites
  • Add bookmarking button to your site for ease (optional)
  • No SPAM
  • Bookmark something very exciting so it can go viral

Here is a list of 30 Top Social Bookmarking websites

Forum Links:

This strategy to use forums to build links has been around for years and using “forums” for valuable back-links is something which came about by accident. Online forums have been around before Google and when search engines didn’t calculate importance of web pages based on linking and page rank (PR). Either way Google paying attention to back links has only helped those who have been posting in forums for years. Forums are an online community where people can post questions and find answers in different niches. There is a forum for everything like technology, SEO, dating, coding, adults, pets, computer hardware, software, cooking, etc. The strategy…

Setup an account and from within your control panel you can add a HTML signature link which will be included on the bottom of every post you make within the community. My suggestion is to add your “keyword” as your signature which links back to your website. Over the years many people have began to SPAM forums and you may have to post a few forum replies before having the privilege to add a signature.

  • Add keyword in signature
  • Provide valuable answers to questions within forum
  • No SPAM
  • No more then 10-15 forum posts a day (you might get tired and start providing low quality answers)
  • Only post in relevant forums
  • Follow signature rules always
  • Build a reputation for yourself which can be tons of FREE traffic

Type “your niche keyword name” +forum in Google to find relevant forums in your niche

The Indexing Period

Before wrapping up this post it’s important to mention that back-links will NOT be indexed immediately and can take up to two months before noticing a change in your rankings. The delay is because there are billions of websites which need to be indexed by Google and there are only a hand full which can be completed per day. Just be patient and don’t give up on your link building campaign. For statistics on your website, sign up for a Google Webmasters Tool account where you can find details on crawls, search inquiries and search terms that have been picked up by Google bots relevant to your URL.