When making money online becomes the order of the day, you should be doing all you can to get as much love from the world’s major search engines as humanly possible. Sure, it’s possible to make money online without the help of the search engines like Google and Bing, but you will make far more money if you are ranked prominently within those engines. People searching for goods and services on their computers, tablets and smartphones don’t have time to travel to page two of the search engines they visit. They want the first few listings on the very first page and only then will they choose the listing that catches their eye the most. Your job is to get ranked on that first page and within those first few listings. You then need to do all you can to make sure that your listings catch the eye and entice the click of potential customers, as that is how making money online is done. The following checklist will help you get the hang of the SEO basics quickly so that you get all the love from the search engines that you rightfully deserve.
Search Engine Goals
The best way to understand search engine optimization basics is to think like a search engine. A search engine’s primary goal is to always deliver high-quality content to the search engine user. If your website contains valuable and unique content that your website visitors love to consume and share with others on their favorite forums and social networks, then it won’t take long for you to gain prominence with the search engines. First, you need to fill your website with that valuable content. Populate your pages with actionable tips, ambitious advice and other content that your visitors can actually use. Use words, videos, professional images and check everything over for spelling and grammar mistakes.
Once your site is constructed and polished, you can wait for the search engines to rank you or you can submit your site to Google, Bing and any other search engines that you would like to be listed in. It is important to understand how a search engine gathers your website data to help provide you with a fuller understanding of the search engine optimization basics.
How Search Engine Crawlers Find and Rank Data
The search engines use automated bots known as Crawlers that ‘crawl’ over or scan your website in search for information. The search engine crawlers will look for hidden information that is embedded in your site, otherwise known as meta data, they will read every word on every one of your pages and they will pay attention to links to and from your site.
Here is how you can ‘stack the deck’ so that search engine crawlers find exactly what they are looking for in order to gain those high rankings you’ve been coveting.
Keyword Rich Meta Data, On-Site SEO and Internal Linking
A search engine listing typically consists of a title and a description, and these usually come from the Meta Title and Meta Description that are encoded into your site. Use your keywords (or the words and terms that customers might use to find you in the search engines) as the meta data for each page. A content management system (CMS) like WordPress will make coding meta data easy, particularly if you make use of a handy SEO plugin.
You will also want to make sure that your keywords are used in the visible content on your individual pages. Use keywords in your page titles, a few times throughout the page copy and as the names of your photos and videos. Don’t stuff your pages with keywords. Write naturally, but leave enough of your keywords around so that search engine crawlers know exactly where to rank your site within the search engines.
If you are using the keywords ‘fuzzy bunny slippers’, for example, and you use that and similar keywords throughout your content, the search engines will know to list your website and the appropriate pages on the search results page whenever a customer searches for that keyword.
A Site Map Makes it Easy for Search Engines to Find and Rank You
When all of your pages are written, include a site map for search engine crawlers to use. This map will include a list of all of your site’s pages and links, which will improve your chances of getting ranked promptly and prominently.
Social Signals and Media Sharing
The search engines will not only study and examine your site; they will also determine how often your content is shared by others on social media. In the beginning of this guide, we discussed that the primary goals of the search engines is to provide search users with high-quality content. What better way to gauge content than to see how much of it is passed around on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social networks?
You can improve the sharability of your content and your social clout, thus improving your search engine rankings, by including social buttons next to all content. Make it easy for visitors to post to Facebook or Tweet from your site and your search rankings should improve.
Hopefully you now see that the search engine optimization basics aren’t nearly as complicated as most people make them out to be. As long as you are providing value and you’re not trying to game the search engines in any way, you should come out smelling like roses in their eyes. This will help you with making money online, as long as you consistently bring it with the content and value.