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Beginner's Guide to SEO

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					Beginner’s Guide to SEO

Alan E Bayer Enterprises LLC

Mountain View, California, USA,

http://www.alanebayer.com - http://www.seocheatsheet.net

Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short is a term referring to a series of techniques people use to get their websites ranked higher in the search engines. Higher rankings lead to higher traffic. The principal advantage of SEO is the fact that search engine traffic can be massive, and it’s free. In business, you are much more likely to be successful if you get a lot of traffic--whether it's traffic to your website, or cars driving by your storefront. Ultimately, it leads to the amount of money you make.

Knowing this, it is a complete no-brainer that you should implement SEO strategies immediately... If you don't work on your website, you should get your web people to implement these techniques. Don't assume that because your site was professionally designed, it is automatically set up for good search engine rankings. I have met, and worked with several web designers who know very little about SEO, and did not design their sites with SEO in mind. Making a few simple changes can do wonders for you!

Before I go on...
Just wanted to introduce myself really quick. My name is Alan Bayer, and I do internet marketing for a living. I have made lots of money online, and I want to teach you how to do the same. I have some awesome resources available for my website visitors, including my complimentary $48,000 SEO Story! Check it out at http://www.seocheatsheet.net/ Anyway, enough intro. As I said earlier, SEO is a set of techniques you can use to get ranked higher in the search engines.

About Search Engines
The first step in SEO is realizing a few things about search engines. 1. Search engines exist to provide users with relevant search results (answers) to search queries. Search Engines therefore need:

	

a. Answers for queries b. Information on where those answers are

Once it has these two things, it can return a list of relevant web pages to your search query. 2. As a website hoping to gain traffic from the search engines, it is your job to provide those two things to the search engines.

Alan E Bayer Enterprises LLC

Mountain View, California, USA,

http://www.alanebayer.com - http://www.seocheatsheet.net

This concept is the most important piece of information you can use to develop an SEO strategy.

Information
Because people log on to the internet and use search engines to get information, your job as a website owner or optimizer is to provide as much information as you can. To be ranked well in the search engines, you need to have good information. There are plenty of SEO's (Search Engine Optimizers) out there who claim they can get good traffic to their websites from the search engines by providing mediocre information, yet using their SEO techniques to drive their search engine rankings up. While this may be true today, it certainly won't be true tomorrow as search engines continue to optimize their algorithms to provide more relevant results to search queries. In addition, there will likely be more competition in the future. Get started now!

No one really knows what the search engine algorithms are, but if they do change (as they have in the past), they will get smarter in determining good info from bad.

Knowing this, before you even begin search engine optimizing your site, you need to have an information strategy.

Content
People who are serious about optimizing their site for the search engines do a lot of research on what to write about. Usually this process involves finding out how many people search for a particular keyword, then analyzing how many web pages exist that cater to that keyword. Keywords that have a lot of searches (demand), and few webpages devoted to them (supply) are the ideal topics. This approach is likely to have a long-lasting positive effect on your search engine rankings, but let's face it: It's a long process, it's boring, and it's very tedious. There are several software packages available that can drastically cut the amount of time it takes to do this research, and if you are very serious about designing your website to be highly optimized, I would recommend checking them out.

However, for the rest of us, we're more concerned with writing about what we know, and not being so concerned with the competition. You can certainly still do very well for yourself without doing this preliminary research. What will ultimately determine your search engine rankings is determined by three main elements, in order of importance:

1. Content 2. Links 3. Coding

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All three of these elements have several sub-elements that will ultimately make up your SEO strategy.

Search Engine Optimization Necessity #1: Content
So, we now know what the search engines are, what they do, and what they want. As we discussed, the first thing that search engines want are answers to questions. These answers are contained within web pages, and I refer to this information as content.

Content takes several forms: Text, images, video, flash, audio, and so on. The one that search engines are most concerned with (At this time, anyway) is text. While search engines are beginning to archive and index images and video, this is still a newer area of the internet, and ways to optimize this content have not yet been established. You can certainly use this type of content, but there must be some sort of text along with the images and video for the search engines to be able to drive people to it.

As a website owner, it is your job to have lots of good content available on your site. You can write this content yourself, or have someone else write it for you. There are also software packages available that can "generate search engine optimized content" for you as well, but I do not recommend them at all. In fact, websites with computer generated content are unlikely to rank as well in the search engines as they may have been able to in the past, and are generally a bad idea. The ads are tempting, but the reality is that high-quality original content, even if it is not optimized well will always rank better in the search engines than low quality "optimized" content. In addition, if your content sucks, forget about web 2.0, which has TONS of traffic available. In short, when writing content, don't cheap out. Put in the time (or money) to do it right. In addition, high-quality original content can be leveraged (in other words, used) in many ways that low-quality, computer generated content can not.

What to Write About
When it comes to content, the first step is figuring out what to write about. Think about what you know as well as what you enjoy. Think about a unique perspective you have on the topics. Also, think about your potential readers. What do they want to read about? It never hurts to do a little research here. As I said in the previous section, carefully researching and planning what to write about can produce better search engine results. Before writing your articles, think about topics. Usually these topics can be summarized using keywords. These keywords are an extremely important part of your content, as they directly relate to the searches that people do on search engines. For example, "dog" is a keyword. "Dogs" is also a keyword. "Dog training" is a keyword, as is "dalmatian dogs". All of these keywords could potentially be used by someone on a search engine to find information. When it comes time to write your content, keep your article focused. Think about a few keywords, variations to those keywords, and don't stray too far out of those keywords. If you find that you are going outside of your focused topic,

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consider writing a second article about the second topic. Being careful about what is contained within your content is extremely important. By carefully planning, you are making sure that you are writing relevant content that the search engines and human visitors will love.

Many SEO's talk about the importance of writing content for the search engines. This worked great 5-10 years ago when the search engines were still fairly new, and didn't know the best way to rank content. However, now, it is becoming increasingly important for you to write content for your human visitors. After all, the search engines don't care what your content says, your visitors do! The search engines aren't your customer. They send you the customers. A search engine's reputation is based more on what its users need. A search engine that sends people to bad websites with bad content will probably not last too long. Because of this, search engines are likely to keep getting smarter in picking out good content (aka useful content for humans), and filtering out useless content (weak, ripped-off, and filled with ads). In short, write good content for humans.

Guidelines For Writing Content
1. Keep your topic focused. Example: Writing an article called "Western European History 1850-1950" is a very broad topic, with literally thousands of different keywords. You aren't likely to find someone who wants all of this information at once. You are much more likely to find someone who wants to know about a specific topic within that general topic. For example, you could write a page about the bombing of Hiroshima in World War II. It's fine to take a very broad topic, and break it up into several smaller topics. In fact, if you have a very broad topic, you should break it up for the sake of the search engines and your human visitors. 2. You shouldn't use too many keywords per article. 5-10 at the most, with 1/2-2/3 being keyword variations. Example: Say you're writing an article about how to tune a guitar. Your two essential keywords are "tune" and "guitar". You should also use the keywords "tuning" and "guitars". You could also use "how to" and "how-to". With all of these keywords being used, your site is more likely to be returned when someone searches for "How to tune a guitar", "guitar tuning how-to", "guitar tuning", etc. 3. Use your keywords at the very beginning of the article. Search engines don't read entire web pages, so it's best to include your most important keywords immediately. I always try to work in some of the more important keyword variations at the beginning. Always try to include plural versions of your keywords at the beginning of your content as well. 4. Use natural sounding language. It's important to include keyword variations in your writing, but only if it sounds natural. If a human reads your content, and the grammar is bad because you tried too hard to cram all of these variations into your content, you will likely lose some authority in the eyes of your visitor. This is not good, so be sure your writing sounds natural and is easy to understand.

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Once you have produced this good content, you have done the hardest part of SEO. The next step for you is to tell the search engines about it!

Tell The Search Engines
Now that you know about the search engines, and you have produced some content, you need to be able to tell the search engines about your content. As you know, search engines are not human, they are computers. In order to effectively communicate with the search engines, you need to learn a slightly different language. The search engines do speak English, but they don't interpret it the same way as humans. For example, "PC" and "computer" are the same thing to a human. To a search engine, they are not the same thing. Computers know two phrases: Yes and no. 0 and 1. There is no maybe, no gray areas, no interpretation.

Knowing this, how can we apply it to search engine optimization? I’ll start with the golden rule of what NOT to do. This rule is commonly violated by people who don’t care if their traffic sucks. Do not use keywords to describe your content that are not contained within that content. If you want to be able to use certain keywords to describe your content, you must also use those keywords within your content. Using the PC example from above, say you've written an article comparing two computer models: The Jell XYZ9000 and the Howard-Peterson B700. Of course, the keywords for this article are "Jell", "Howard-Peterson", "XYZ9000", "B700", "comparison", "PC" and "Computer". All of these keywords should appear in the content. In addition, all of these keywords should be prominently featured within your content. However, while the temptation is there, you should not tell the search engines that your site is about "Suny" or "Mitsushiba", even though both companies make computers, and both companies have computer models that rival the Jell XYZ9000 and the Howard-Peterson B700. I know, I know. A human can see the connection. I also know that a human visitor to your site who is interested in the Suny LT400, may also be interested in the Jell XYZ9000. A search engine does not see the connection, however. You need to accurately describe what your page is about to be ranked well in the search engines. OK, now that we understand the golden rule of describing your content to the search engines, let's talk about how you actually accomplish describing your content to the search engines.

Tell the Search Engines with Code...
There are literally dozens of ways to describe your content to the search engines, some you have control over, some you do not (More on this later). Most of the ways you do have control over the describing of your content is through putting certain lines of code into your HTML documents (aka web pages). The first set of codes are called meta tags. These are simple, short pieces of text that reside in the "head" section of an HTML document. I know it's easy to get confused here if you're not familiar with HTML or coding, but I can tell you this: If you know how to read, and you know how to copy and paste with your computer, you can accomplish this simple task.

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To view a web page's HTML, go to your favorite website. Next, click on "view" then "page source". A new window opens with all sorts of code. The first thing you should see at the very top of the document is <head>. This is the beginning of the head of an HTML document. At the end of the head section, you'll see </head>. Within these two "tags" is where you'll put your meta tags.

There are 4 meta tags in order of importance: Title Tag The most important meta tag by far! Keep your title short, descriptive, and include your site name and most important keywords. Displayed in search engine results pages as well as in your visitors’ web browsers Description The text contained in your meta description tag appears on search engine results pages. Be sure this text includes your most important keywords, describes your content well, and entices a potential site visitor to click. Author Put your name or your organization's name here. Keywords Put 3-10 keywords that describe your content here.

Here is the code you need to use: <title>Your title here!</title> <meta name="description" content="Your description here"/> <meta name="author" content="Your name here"/> <meta name="keywords" content="Your keywords here, separated by commas"/> When using these tags, be sure to be accurate. I know I have made this very clear throughout this entire document, but I mean it! Only use keywords that are contained within your content! Once you have written them, cut and paste them into your HTML. Once you've done that, all you need to do is save your files, then re-upload them to your server. Bam! All done! You have just effectively told the search engines what your page is about. If you aren't the person who maintains your web site, get in touch with your web person, and learn how to do it, or get them to do it for you. While your meta tags effectively describe your content to the search engines, the search engines have to visit your site first. Getting listed with the search engines is beyond the scope of this article, as most websites are automatically listed in the search engines within a few months. To get listed very much faster, please read my SEO Cheat Sheet.

Shocking...

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Many SEOs will stop here. You've got your content, and you have your meta tags. However, your search engine optimization plan is not complete until you have done one more essential thing.

Links
The next essential thing is to gain in-bound links to your site. In other words, you need to get as many *relevant* websites to link to you as possible. Every link to your site is considered a vote, and will raise your search engine rankings. Many theorize that getting in-bound links to your site is the most important thing you can do (aside from having content) for your site's search engine rankings. Knowing this, where do you begin? First of all, many websites are happy to link to other websites if you contact the webmaster or person in charge of links. Most of these websites will be much more likely to link to you if you link to them first. This is key to a successful link building campaign. Here's what I do: (I have several more tips available in The SEO Cheat Sheet) First, I do a Google search to find a few webpages that have good information that is supplemental to the info I have on my page. For example, if I am writing an article about laser printers, I might link to another site that is about inkjet printers. I might also find a site that is about printer ink, and another site that is about drum cartridges. I now have three potential sites to link to from my page. If everything goes well, I will then gain three links to my site. I go ahead and put the links to these sites into my content. I then contact the webmasters (look around their site for an email address or contact form), and tell them about the links, and ask if they'd like to link back to me. I have found it very useful to mention the importance of links to a site's SEO (some webmasters know, others do not) in this link request letter. I also subtly mention that I will remove their link from my site if they do not link to my site. Some webmaster respond quickly and enthusiastically, some don't respond at all, some take forever, some respond but refuse to link, others don't even know how to link. Perseverance is extremely important here, but well worth it. Especially if they also join your newsletter! I wish it were easier, but it simply isn't. However, the rewards of linking are great. First of all, you're likely to see a slight bump in traffic almost immediately after being linked to. In addition, if you wait a few weeks, you are likely to see slightly more traffic coming from the search engines. I try to commit to securing 2-3 new links per week. If I persevere, I can be expected to gain over 100 links over the course of a year. Having 100 highly relevant links is very likely to catapult you to the very top of the search engine results pages as well as increase your referral traffic. If you sell stuff or host ads, your revenue is likely growing as well. Doing this kind of work might take an hour a week, but it is time well spent. In fact, spending an hour of link building is definitely going to affect your site better than spending an hour writing meta tags. Don't get too caught up in the easy stuff. Focus your energy on positive link building if you are serious about driving traffic to your site! A few more tips for links 1. When linking to a site (and having a site link to you), don't use links pages. These are pages often titled "Links", and usually contain a long list of sites. For example:

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http://www.happywebsite.com http://www.evenhappierwebsite.com http://www.thehappiestwebsite.com

or even worse: A happy website. Click HERE A happier website. Click HERE The happiest website. Click HERE These link pages are not as effective or relevant to the search engines. You don't get as many "points" this way. You don't want other sites linking to you this way, either! Try something like this instead: I have found the happiest website to be a euphoric and beautiful experience. I highly recommend it.

Don’t you think someone would much rather click on that link above? I know I would.

2. Include your links within your content. Example: Laser printers use a system of lasers, static electricity and mirrors to adhere ink to the page, unlike inkjet printers, which use a system of heating small amounts of ink until the pressure generated causes the ink to spray from a nozzle onto the page. I see so many pages online that do not link in this fashion, and their search engine rankings suffer because of it. Here’s the gist: Get rid of your “links” page. Put your links in your content instead. 3. Use appropriate anchor text. Anchor text refers to the actual text that is attached to the link. In the above example, “laser printers” and "inkjet printers" are the anchor texts. This practice is also rarely done. Most links I see look like this: To find out about inkjet printers, click here.

Not good. When you do this, you're not saying that the page is about "inkjet printers", you're saying the page is about "here". This makes the page you're linking to less relevant than a page that has the proper anchor text within the link to that page. Also, because the anchor text doesn’t match the content on your page, you get a few points docked. When you are out requesting links from other webmasters, be sure they understand the proper way to link out to sites, and make sure they do the same for you. Beginner’s Guide to SEO - www.seocheatsheet.net
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A great example of a website that knows this, and does it well is Wikipedia. Every link on the site has appropriate anchor text. Wikipedia also has excellent SEO, as it is often returned on the first page of Google results for hundreds of thousands of different searches. Could you imagine that kind of traffic?? Anchor Text. Good!

4. Don't link to bad sites, and don't have them link to you. A link is a link, true. However, a bad link is pretty much useless. If you send one of your site visitors to a useless site, shame on you! You did not help someone who came to you for help. Search engines don't like that. In addition, if a bad site links to you, the link is unlikely to help you because no one visits bad sites, and links from bad sites don't carry nearly as much weight on the search engines. It is much more worthwhile to pursue quality links from quality sites that are run by quality webmasters. Bad sites don’t make money. Don’t associate with them. 5. Another trick I have on my website is a "webmasters" page. On this page, I include several pieces of information that other webmasters can use as it relates to my site. The possibilities are endless! You can have information about your affiliate programs, content that webmasters can use on their sites (with an embedded link back to your site, of course), and linking info. You could even have a form that a webmaster can fill out to request a link to their site. This page makes it ridiculously easy for a webmaster to come to your site, and get some info about how you work with other webmasters. It is also a chance for other webmasters to make some money by selling your products on their sites. It also keeps your email address away from spambots. Alright, so that about sums up linking. It is essential, so definitely commit to spending time to do it, and do it properly.

Conclusion
So, now that you’ve read this report, do you understand the basics of SEO? Do you know the benefits and the basics of what’s involved? I go into much more detail in The SEO Cheat Sheet. I highly recommend it for people who are serious about optimizing their sites and earning significant traffic increases.

I am also a consultant, and can help you optimize your site. You can request a quote on my business/personal website, www.alan e bayer.com, or even order up a professional site analysis. I hope you enjoyed the read, and found it useful. Feel free to pass it on to people who may find it useful, just don’t mess with it. Give credit where it’s due!

Good luck!

Alan E Bayer

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The Proof.
You’re probably like: “Who is this guy, and how do I know he’s not full of crap?”

Check out my $48,000 Story

Oh yeah, you can get a free copy by signing up for my mailing list at...http://www.seocheatsheet.net

I reveal how I made $48,000 by spending less than 10 minutes to SEO a web page.

Wanna make more money? Read the story!

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Legal Stuff
Copyright 2008 Alan E Bayer Enterprises LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this book shall be modified or reproduced anywhere without appropriate credit to Alan E Bayer Enterprises LLC. I make no guarantees that you’ll be able to achieve the same results as I describe in this book. You have to put serious effort and work into it to get started. Alan E Bayer Enterprises LLC cannot be held responsible for any damages incurred by the reader by using the information contained in this ebook. Don’t do anything you’re uncomfortable with, people! Here’s some advice son: Don’t be stupid, back your shit up!(!!!!!)

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