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A guide to SEO

The basics of what you need to do to get your website appearing higher in Google searches for key searches.

The internet is all about information.

People go online to discover something new, to find answers to their questions, solutions to their problems. Did you ever ask yourself why you found the answer to your question on a particular site and not one of the many other sites with that information? It all relates to search-engine optimisation, or SEO. Unless you pay attention to SEO your website is likely to appear a long way down Google's rankings, in which case very few people will find your site.

I aim to explain exactly how to improve your site's SEO performance and elevate it in Google search results for heavily searched terms.

TIP 1: List your site in search engines

Once you're listed in search engines you need to fill your site with relevant content, ie, information on subjects your potential audience is searching for

The most popular search engine by far of course is Google, which has about 80% of all searches, followed by Yahoo and MSN.

To check if you are listed by search engines type your site name in the search box on their websites. If your site doesn't appear in a search engine then you need to submit your URL (web address) to the them.

Alternatively, you can use search-engine submission directories, which will submit your site to dozens of search engines for you.

TIP 2: Fill your site with relevant content

Once you're listed in search engines you need to fill your site with relevant content, ie, information on subjects your potential audience is searching for. This takes time and effort and is a never-ending process, as you need to add content regularly.

To be noticed by search engines your site must provide much valuable and original information. The most popular and effective way of doing this is through articles.

Irrespective of whether your site's core function is providing information or selling goods, periodically publishing new information helps move it up the search-engine rankings.

If you don't know how to write or what to write about, there are alternative means. For example, you can buy ready-made content or pay someone to write articles for you. 

TIP 3: Optimise your site for keywords

When Google and other search engines scan content they identify which words appear in the text, where they appear and how frequently. You need to ensure certain keywords appear in the text so that people looking for certain information will find your article.

For example if your site is about running a home business, so you can choose the keywords like 'home business ideas' or 'make money from home'.  Identify relevant keywords by searching in the Google AdWords: Keywords tool.

When adding keywords to your site don't overdo it, otherwise search engines may deem it to be spam and so not refer searchers to you. Your text must be coherent and worthwhile reading as well as being SEO-optimised.

TIP 4: Start building backlinks

After listing your website in search engines, providing your site with content and optimising it for keywords, you should start building backlinks to your URL. The more sites linked to yours, the more weight is attached to your domain when search engines rank sites in search results.

Gradual and constant link-building will increase your page rank. Each link is a vote for your site, adding credibility and proving to search engines that your site is important and relevant.

There are many ways to get backlinks. You can embed your link in articles and submit them to article directories, in press releases, and in the signature of comments you leave on blogs and forums.

These methods will not only help link-building, they will also generate some free, targeted traffic to your site.

Improving SEO is a task that can never be considered complete. Adding content and generating backlinks should be a gradual process attended to frequently.

Though it takes time, be patient and remain motivated and your efforts will ultimately be rewarded with a high page rank and significant traffic.

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Tatyana Sheremet

About the author

Tatyana Sheremet is the webmaster of Online Business Ideas and Opportunities. Visit her site to find out how to make money from home. Tatyana's most popular home business recommendation is the Plug-In Profit Site where you can get your own money-making website setup in 24 hours!

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