An introduction to SEO: Part 1
It amazes me what some people are prepared to pay for someone else to do a little work for them.
This is the case with SEO, when people say it, they make it sound as though it is some thing really technical, that takes a lot of specialist knowledge to do well, and more to the point if you want it done well, you have to pay for it, sometimes a heck of a lot of money.
When you Google “SEO services” the top site asks for a budget, the first price range is £500 – £1000, which is an awful lot of money for a service. It’s also a lot of money for some thing that most people can and should do themselves, I don’t know of any average self employed person who can afford that kind of layout for an SEO service.
So lets explode some myths about SEO :
“You have to pay to get a decent service” certainly not, the majority of SEO work can be done very cheaply for an hour a week, when it’s started it may take longer, but to maintain it takes very little time.
“SEO is a job for the experts” It certainly isn’t, the majority of paid SEO work is mostly done by people who have no knowledge of SEO at all, they are simply paid to perform a task, after being shown how to do it.
“I need to know how Google works” having a basic knowledge of how Google works may help you understand things better, but you do not need to know how it works, how many people out there drive a car and have no knowledge whatsoever about how the wheels are made to turn.
“I don’t have the time” Once the initial work is done, you only need to spend about an hour a week to work on SEO, this how SEO companies make their money, not on the first months work, but on the followin months when one person works on your sites SEO for about four hours in that month, is it really worth a minimum of £150 a week to pay someone to do that.
If all this sounds too easy, thats because it is !
Strange as it may sound, the first thing you need to do, is find out what your competitors are doing ! when you find out what has got them where they are, then you can plan to get your site where they are, and that is normally the top of page one on Google, impossible, well lets see.
If you are not using it, the first thing I would recommend is using Firefox as a browser, why? well because I use it all the time, and it has the tools you will need, and because it’s the only browser I use, I don’t know if the tools are included !
So the first thing you need to do is think of keywords or phrases that you want or think people will use to find your site, you will need at least five of these. I also run a football forum which I know ranks low in Google searches, so lets Google “football forum” to start.
Top of the page is :
Total Football Forums they are No 1 where I would like to be, at this point also make a note of the next four forums, some may occur twice, but we are interested in the top four.
Now visit the Total Football Forums, and look at the site, there are reasons why it is popular, but they are not apparent, because the reason is hidden, go to the far right of the page and right click, in the pop up box click on “View Page Info”, another box will pop up, full of useful information, what you want to see is in the little scroll box about 2/3 the way down.
This box will give you the meta tag* information, mainly the site description, and more importantly the keywords the site is using, you can do this for ANY site on the web.
Go through this exercise for the top four sites, making a note of the keywords each site is using, you need to add these to YOUR keywords, this is how they are ranking on page one, so you need to do what they do.
Next look at the description each site uses, make a mental note of if they are similar or if they differ a lot, chances are they similar.
That is the first part of optimising your site for SEO, now was that really that difficult ? and remember you just saved yourself a lt of money doing it yourself.
*<meta> Metatags are what tell search engines what people will enter as search criteria for your site, and description of it, if you don’t have them you will need them, they can be constructed like so :
<meta =”keywords” enter keywords />
<meta=”description” enter description/>