A Single Step
Welcome to my quest to become an internet marketing Jedi. Follow me as I learn SEO, Affiliate Marketing, Niche Marketing and other online money-making strategies. Hopefully, some of you will learn from my baby-steps. Perhaps, one day, when I've mastered all this, I'll teach you.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Off-page SEO From Memory

Hey, all.  Time to test my knowledge of off-page SEO by writing as much as I know about it without looking at my notes (which will be easy to resist since I LOST MY F@$&ING IPOD THIS WEEKEND!).  Here goes:

Again, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization; it's the things you do to show search engines that your site is authoritative and relevant to someone who searches for your kind of site.  There's On-page SEO and Off-page SEO.  On-page SEO is things you do ON your site to show the search engines that your site is relevant.  It mostly involves finding your key words/key-word phrases and using them to tweak your HTML code (the computer language all websites are based on.

Off-page SEO is what you do to show that your site is authoritative; that you know what your talking about and other people look to you for answers.  You do this mostly by creating back-links.  A back-link is when another website posts a link that leads people to YOUR website.  If someone else links to your site, it probably means they think you know what you're talking about.  A back-link is like a vote in favor of your site.  The more back-links you get, the more popular and therefore authoritative you appear to be.  Now, the QUALITY of your back-links actually counts MORE than the quantity.  As I've said before, one back-link from a highly respected site within your niche is worth 100 back-links from a bunch of sites no one's ever heard of.  

The best way I know of to create back-links is with a link-wheel.  I heard about this from Pat Flynn on his website.  Off the top of my head, it goes something like this:  The technique is double-layered, which is what I like about it.  He uses Web 2.0 sites like Squidoo.  Those are the first layer.  He writes an article and then uses special software to spin it into several different versions of the same article.  He then submits those articles to different websites in the second layer and those sites link to the Web 2.0 sites in the first layer which then links back to him.  I can't remember it too well off the top of my head.

Other ways to create back-links include leaving meaningful comments on other people's blogs, writing and submitting articles to directories, and guest-blogging on someone else's site.

That's all I've got for now.  Guess I need to study this part more.  Sorry; I've just lost a lot of motivation since I lost my iPod with all my notes and ideas and stuff on it.  Now's not the time to replace it, either, 'cause I'm moving back home to the states soon.  I'm better off waiting until I get home.

Anyway, maybe I'll come back and expand on this later if I remember more stuff. Wish me luck, guys.
Monday, February 7, 2011

Blogger Networking Tip

Here's a little something I've decided I should do to help myself network with other bloggers and get my name out there and get noticed.  I've been listening to a lot of internet marketing podcasts and reading a lot of articles to learn how to do all this stuff and it's been suggested that networking with other bloggers is a good way to get started in this business.  I was listening to Pat Flynn's podcast - I think he was interviewing the guy from thinktraffic.com - and they were talking about how, when you're just starting out, it's going to take some time for the internet to notice you.  You can't expect to get great search results and start making money for at least six months after you launch your website unless you really know what you're doing and even then, it takes a while to get going.  They suggested that networking with other bloggers is something you can start doing right away to help get your name out there and build some cred and learn a few things.  

Here's my tip; here's what I've decided to start doing and I think you should do it, too:  Whenever you learn something from an article or a podcast or any time you find some valuable information anywhere, leave a comment about it.  At the very least, thank the person who gave you the valuable information you've learned.  If you learn something from an article, leave a comment.  Liked the podcast you just listened to?  Give the podcaster a good review.  Hopefully, you'll be able to link your name to your blog or website so if anyone clicks on your name (like maybe the author of the article or the podcaster) they'll be taken to your blog/site and maybe they'll mention you in one of their posts/podcasts or maybe they'll at least leave a comment on your blog, which will create a nice back-link.

That's it.  If you learn something from an article or podcast or whatever, leave a comment/review.  At the very least, thank the guy/woman.  I just thought of this recently, so I haven't put it into practice, but I really think it's a good idea to help with networking.

On-page SEO From Memory

Alright, folks; I'm back from my vacation in Amsterdam.  Let's see how much I can remember about SEO without looking at my notes after spending a week and a half in a Purple Haze.  I'm gonna split this into two articles.  The first will deal with on-page SEO and I'll do off-page SEO later.  Here goes.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is divided into two types; on-page and off-page SEO.  On-page SEO is what you do on your website to let the search engine crawlers know that your site is relevant to a given search.  It mostly involves figuring out your key words and tweaking the HTML code.  There're lots of tools available for finding your key words.  The only one I've used so far (because it's free) is Google's Adsense Keyword Tool.  You start with a broad search of one key word you know you're interested in and narrow it down by adding other words to get a key-word phrase.  With the broad search, if you type in, for example, car parts, you'll get results for "car" and "parts" with any number of words before, after, and between them.  If you actually put both words in quotes, you'll get results for "car parts" together, but you'll still get results with other words before and after them, but not between them.  If you put (car parts) in brackets, you will only get results for those two words together; you will not get any results with other words before, after, or between them.  (I should probably check out other free keyword tools.  One of my goals is to see if I can MAKE money without spending a single penny.  I'm gonna have a project or two that I WILL spend money on, but I want to have one project that I've spent absolutely no money on.)  

Once you've got you key words and/or key-word phrases, you need to start putting them in the right places.  You should use at least one or two key words in your domain name, URLs, H tags, and image alt tags.  Your domain name is the address of your home page; the part that ends with .com or .net or .org.  Your URLs are the addresses of each page within your website.  They're your domain name plus the additional stuff that directs a visitor to a particular page.  H tags are Header Tags.  There's H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6.  The lower the number, the more important they are.  There's also a Title Tag, which is very important.  The title tag is the description of your website that appears below the link to your site when it pops up in the search results.  Off the top of my head, I can't remember if the title tag and the H1 tag are the same thing, but I don't think they are.  I believe the H1 tag is the main heading for your site.  I remember that the H1 tag is like the title of an article or an essay and the lower H tags are like the paragraph headings within the article.  The image alt tags are a description of any images you use on your site.  Apparently, it's a good idea to insert some of your key words into those alt descriptions in the HTML.

Another thing you can do is link your articles to each other.  A visitor shouldn't have to click more than three or maybe four links to get from any one page on your site to any other page on your site.

Alright, that's about all I can remember off the top of my head.  It seems like there should be more, but I guess I'll find out after I publish this and then go back and look at my previous articles on the subject.  I'm sure there'll be many "D'oh!"s and much forehead slapping.  Stay tuned.  Today you get a two-for-one deal.  I'm about to offer a tip on how to network and get your name out there.  Catch ya later.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Off-Page SEO

Hi, folks.

Today, I'll tell you what I know about off-page SEO.  Once again SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.  Off-page SEO refers to things you do outside of your website/blog to get search engines to notice you and climb their ranks.

Off-page SEO seems to be primarily abut building back-links.  A back-link, again, is when another website posts a link to YOUR website, as opposed to you posting a link to someone else.  Every back-link you create is like a vote for your site.  The more you have, the more popular and authoritative you look.  Now, it should also be mentioned that the QUALITY of your back-links is even more important than the QUANTITY.  One back-link from a highly-respected, authoritative site is worth more than a hundred back links from a bunch of sites no one's ever heard of.

I did a Google search for the "Best Ways to create back-links" (or something to that effect).  I then looked at each result on the first page and came up with the following Top Seven Ways to generate back-links:

1.)  Blog Commenting - This is where you go to someone else's blog and comment on their stuff.  It needs to be a meaningful comment, though; don't just say something for the sake of saying something and creating a back-link.  The problem with this idea, as you might imagine, is that's HORRIBLY inefficient.  To get any movement on the search engine rankings, you need a LOT of back-links (unless you can swing a few good quality back-links) which means you have to find a LOT of blogs you like and make a LOT of comments on them which is probably as tedious and time-consuming as it sounds.

2.)  Article Submission - You write an article and submit it to an article directory or an internet magazine.  There's plently of both out there.  Some of the top directories are EzineArticles, Article Dashboard, GoArticles, Article Base, and Buzzle.

3.)  Forum Posting - You post questions and comments on forums related to your kind of content.

4.)  Directory Submission - There's a ton of website directories out there.  You should probably submit your site address to at least the top 10 or 20.  Technorati is probably the biggest one.  There's also Yahoo!, DMOZ.org, zeal.com, directoryworld.net, and Clickey.

5.)  Social Bookmarking Sites - These are sites where you can "Like" a website.  Stumble is one.  There's also Digg and Reddit. 

6.)  Social Networking - I think this means Facebook and Twitter and the like.  You can have a facebook page devoted to your site or your blog and that'll drive some traffic your way along with some back-links if people really like your stuff.

7.)  Guest Posts - This is where you write an article for someone else's blog.

Really, though, it sounds to me like the best way to generate back-links is through a hybrid of methods called a Link Wheel.  There're lots of different ways to construct a link wheel, but the one that sounds best to me - the one that I intend to use - came from Pat Flynn's site SmartPassiveIncome.com, which he says came from a popular internet marketing forum called Warrior Forum.  I like this strategy because it's multi-layered.  It's really quite brilliant.  I'll let you follow the link to Pat's site and watch the video of him explaining it rather than me explaining it all right here.  That'd take a whole other post by itself.

So, that's off-page SEO, for you.  Again, it's all about the back-links.  Next time, I think I'll try reposting as much information as I can FROM MEMORY.  When I've been making these posts, I've been looking at my notes.  I wanna see how much of this shit I can rattle off without my notes.

Wish me luck.
Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Few Words about Key Words

SEO for beginners

Key words are the key (*slap!*  OW!) to good on-page SEO.  You need good key words to unlock ("Safety's off."  "Okay, I'll stop!") your site's potential.  Key words are the words you type into a search engine to find what you want.  You need to think about what words people would type into a search engine to find your site.

Now, the problem is, a LOT of people are trying to use some of the same key words.  For example, if you type in "porn" or "adult entertainment" you'd get millions of search results.  You'd get thousands just for typing in "coffee" or "paper-clips".  The trick is to be more specific.  Go for a key word phrase.  That's a phrase, mind you; not a whole sentence.  You want more than one word, but not 10.  3 to 5 should do it if you choose them carefully.  For example, if you google "coffee porn" or "adult paper-clips", you're probably not going to get that many results; maybe a few hundred. 

You need to do something called "key-word research".  Fortunately, there're lots and lots of online tools and downloadable programs you can use to do this.  Google has its own key-word research tool.  I wanna say I got the following formula from the guys at "Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing", but I'm not sure where I heard or read it, really.  You start with a broad, general key word; the main word your site is about.  Type that into your key word research tool and see what you get.  The tool should tell you how many times people have searched for that one word and other related words and phrases over the past month or year or whatever.  It should also give you an idea of how many people are competing to use that word.  Now you need to get more specific.  You need to select a ketword phrase with 500 to 2000 exact global searches; people searching for that exact phrase.  Let's say your key word is "underwear".  Next, you might try "mens underwear".  Then you might go for "mens fart-proof underwear".  Finally, let's say you live in Dallas, so you could go for "Dallas mens fart-proof underwear."  By now, you shouldn't have a lot of competition for a phrase like that.  You probably won't have that many searches for it either, but you'll know there's a relatively small group of men in Dallas who're interested in buying fart-proof underwear.  This should make you happy, assuming you sell that sort of thing.  Once you've got your key words/key word phrases, you should write an article that uses some of those words or phrases in the title, the meta-description, the URL, and the body of the article.

That's the gist of it, anyway.  Find yourself a good keyword research tool, start with a broad word related to your business and then narrow it down by adding other words and exploring alternatives until you find a phrase that doesn't have a ton of competition.

This next part I KNOW I got from the guys at "Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing".  It's about the different kinds of searches you can do with the Google Adsense Keyword Tool.  (Google Adsense, by the way, is a way to monotize your site and start bringing some money in.  Basically, Google will put affiliate ads on your site and, if anyone buys anything from them, you get a little money.)  Anyway, the first kind of search you can do is a Broad Match.  For example, if you do a broad match search for Butt Plugs, it will find every instance of someone doing a search with the word "butt" and "plugs" with any number of words before, after, or in between, so you'll get search results like "What what in the butt", "Best butt exercises", and "The Butt Blog" (Yes, that's a real one) and you'll get results like "Jewelry plugs", "Hair plugs", and "Electrical plugs".

Next, there's the Phrase Match.  This is where you put your phrase in quote marks like so: "butt plugs".  When you do that, you'll get results with those two words together, but still with other words before and after; just none in between.  You'll get results like "Big Bob's Butt Plug Emporium", ""Butt Plugs not recommended by proctologists",   and "Free butt plug videos".

Finally, there's the Exact Match.  This is when you put you phrase in (brackets).  When you do that, the results you get will tell you how many times people have searched for those two word together and nothing else.

Next, I'll tell you what I know about using those precious, precious key words for on-page SEO.  By the way, Don't be afraid to share what you know with me.  Again, the idea here isn't so much for me to teach you - I'm no expert at this - it's for all of us to study this stuff together, like a study group.  I do this because teaching others what you know is a good way to help yourself remember it.
Saturday, January 8, 2011

On-Page SEO

Hey, everyone.

Just to review, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.  It's all the things you need to do to get your site/blog noticed by search engines like Google and Yahoo.  As I've said before, from what I'm learned, search engines rank search results by two criteria; relevance and popularity.  On-page SEO is things you can do directly on your site/blog and to tell the search engines what your site is all about.  This helps them decide if your site is relevant to a given search.  Off-page SEO is things you do OUTSIDE of your site to show that it is popular and most likely authoritative.  this mostly involves creating back-links.  That's when other sites post a link to your site; not the other way around.  Each back-link is like a vote for your site.  The more you have, the more popular and authoritative your site appears to be to search engines.

Right now, I'm gonna focus on on-page SEO.  My plan is to use the top 10 or 20 on-page SEO techniques on this site before moving on to any off-page SEO stuff.  I figure, before I try to gain popularity, I better make sure I've established my relevance.

It all starts with your key words.  Again, key words are the words you type into a search engine to find what you're looking for.  You need to figure out what key words other people will type into a search engine to find the kind of information you have on your site.

Most on-page SEO is about using your key words in the right places.  A lot of this involves HTML code.  That's the computer code all websites and blogs are based on.  I know, I know; it's a scary foreign language few of us understand, but the good news is, you probably don't need to MASTER HTML to use it.  You just need to know enough to change what you wanna change and if you do a search for these things, you're bound to find a blog or website that tells you EXACTLY what to do.  Don't go monkeying around with the HTML unless you have a clear idea of exactly what you need to do, which isn't hard to find.

Anyway, after doing a quick Google search and polling a few first-page results, I've come up with the following list of the most important on-page SEO techniques:

1. Title Tags:  You title tags are the hidden code (or "meta" code) that can be seen at the top of your browser and in your search results.  See the text at the VERY top of your browser right now?  That's the title tag for this page.  Also, when you search for anything, you see the title tag at the top of each search result; the text you click on to see the page for each result.  You've got to have some good key words or key word phrases in you title tag.  In your HTML, you title tag looks like this: <title>Your site:page name</title>.  Something like that.  If you know how to view your site's HTML, you should be able to 'Find' your <title> tag and change it to whatever you want people to see.  The title tags should be 10 to 60 characters with only letters and numbers in them.

2. Header Tags (H1, H2, and H3 Tags):  The H1 tag tells search engines what the topic of each page is about; not the topic of the whole site, just the topic of each page.  There's a great article on everyjoe.com that explains it like this.  Imagine your site is like a report like the kind you had to write in high school and college.  The title tag is the title of your report.  The H1, H2, and H3 tags are the main heading, sub-headings, and sub-sub-headings respectively.  The lower the number, the more important they are.  Again, if you can find these in your HTML, you can edit them, but make sure you look up some good directions on how to do that first.  I'm not knowledgeable enough to do that now.

3. Your Domain Name:  Your domain name is the name of your site.  It's the part that comes after "http://..." and ends with .com or .net. or .org or whatever.  For example: www.yourwebsite.com is a domain name.  Use one or two of your top key words somewhere in there.

4. Your URLs: Now, the difference between a domain name and a URL is a bit tricky.  It took me asking for help on Warrior Forum to figure this out.  Basically, your domain name is the address of your site, but your URLs are the addresses of each page ON your site.  One guy on Warrior Forum explained it kinda like this: He said your domain name is like a city and your URLs are the addresses WITHIN the city.  Anyway, you're suppose to throw in a key word or two into your URLs on top of the ones you put in your domain names.  Just make sure the name of each page has a key word or two in it.  I think you do this using the header tags I talked about in #2.

5. The Meta-Description: Again, "Meta-", when it comes to websites, means HTML that is not normally visible on the site, but may be somewhere else.  The meta-description is not seen on the website, but it's seen in the search results.  Remember in #1 when I told you that the title tag is the text you click on for each search result you get?  Well, the meta-description is the short description of the site that appears right underneath the clickable title.  This, again, is something you have to go into your HTML to change.

6. Key-Word Density:  This is how many times you use your key words on each page.  From what I've read, it seems like you wanna have a key-word density of about 2%.  I think that means you want your key words to be 2% of the total number of words on each page.  There's plenty of online tools to help you figure this out if you search for them.

7. Internal Linking: This is just when you link your pages together by having a link to you other pages on each page.  I don't think every page has to have a link to every other page, but a person shouldn't have to click more than three links to get from one page on your site to any other page.

8. Good Content:  This is almost self-explanatory.  If you've got good content, people will keep coming back and linking to you.  Give them value.  Entertain them.  Help them with something.  Show them a product or some information that'll make their lives easier. 

9. The Beginning and The End:  You're 'spose to use your key words in the first and last 50 to 100 words on each page.

10. Alt Image Tags:  If you use any images on your site, those images are bound to have HTML tags of their own.  If you can find those tags, you can throw in some of your key words in the description on each image.

Well, those are about the ten most important things you need to do, again, according to the websites that turned up when I searched for the "most important on-page SEO techniques".  I've done some of these with this tie already, but I need to finish doing all of them.  I'd post links to instructions on how do do each of these things, but it depends on what site you're using.  

By the way, you'll notice I put almost all the the items on my list on bold type.  I've read that putting your key words in bold, italic, or underlined type is another way of putting emphasis on them and telling the search engine crawlers they're important.  "Crawlers" are the little programs that come and sniff around your site and inspect it and then report back to the search engine about how well constructed and popular your site is.  If you've got everything fine-tuned, they'll give a good report and you'll climb those search engine ranks.

Anyway, good luck with your endeavors.  See ya 'round.