SEO Tutorial

This free SEO tutorial is my effort to fully address the growing demand for free Search Engine Optimization (SEO) information. I have created my free seo tutorial to be a simple yet comprehensive tutorial dedicated to the explanation and implementation of search engine optimization techniques (SEO) as well as harnessing the power of the elusive Google Pagerank.

Using my free seo tutorial
Using this Free SEO tutorial will cost you nothing other than your own time and effort. I am interested in helping those interested in doing their own search engine marketing by providing the best search engine optimization (SEO) hints and tips available. Contained within the pages found here at SEO-guy is the most in depth look and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques on the web, and it is all free!

SEO Tutorial navigation
I have kept the navigation of my SEO tutorial simple and I recommend that you follow the logical path of this tutorial by clicking the "SEO topics - Next" link found at the bottom of each page. Each page is organized into a specific topic and the navigation is chronological i.e.: the section on keyword research comes before the section on linking infrastructure because you must complete the proper keyword research before you can implement appropriate link architecture.

Theme of my free seo tutorial
This seo tutorial will address the situation of "starting your website from scratch" so dealing with issues such as frames, flash websites etc that can cause problems for search engine spiders will be covered in a different section of the SEO tutorial called complicated SEO Issues, however in complicated situations it can often be best to consult with the SEO Expert.
Search engine optimization enthusiasts, I hope you enjoy this free SEO tutorial and I wish you all the best in your E-business endeavors
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Where does SEO begin?
The first thing that one must realize about search engine optimization is that to be implemented correctly it must be broken down into 2 distinct factors "on-page" and "off-page" criteria.

Always remember that search engines do not consider "websites" they consider the "pages" of those websites. There should never be a debate as to which is more important between "on page" and "off page" characteristics as the truth is both are equally as important. However once one defines the two there is a logical order in which they should be considered.

On page/Off page characteristics defined
Simply stated, On Page Characteristics are anything you can effect within the construction of a single page. This includes everything that is placed in the headers, body, and on-page links (both internal and external). Special attention should be given to: Title, meta description, H1, H2...H6, <b>, <i>. Keyword proximity, keyword density and relevance...more on this later.

Off Page Characteristics refer to all links (both from pages contained within your own website and from pages of other websites) that point to your specific page(s). The term "pagerank" is specifically designated to evaluate and weight "off page" criteria. Special attention should be given to: anchor text, Reference_tags, "title" attribute and "target_"... more on this later.
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Preparing for a search engine optimized website
Step 1: Know your market
Before building a website that showcases your products or service you must first identify who it is that will be purchasing said products and services. Not all traffic is good traffic. Many webmasters target the "high traffic terms" that have little relevance to their market instead of the "targeted terms" that have the highest conversion. Target all your relevant terms ("highest traffic first") and don't go for so called "hot terms" that will eat up their bandwidth and produce no sales.

Blue widgets Green Widgets
Scenario: Green widgets are the hottest item on the market, you create a great looking web site perfectly optimized for green widgets to take advantage of this traffic flux. You own the market and you are #1 for every possible term targeting the green widget field! But you sell blue widgets and no one who wants green widgets will buy blue widgets. Now you are stuck with a bandwidth bill, hosting fees, development costs and NO SALES!

You are not the only one to make this mistake, many other blue widget dealers saw that "green widgets" had 1,000,000 searches and "blue widgets" had 10,000 and they also chose to target the green widget terms. There was however that one "blue widget" dealer who saw the light, he targeted "blue widgets" while you were all confused and now owns the top results for all "blue widget" terms and is enjoying a hefty 5% conversion rate and has made 500 sales from his 10,000 hits. With a low bandwidth bill and little effort as no one was competing our smart little "blue widgets king" is laughing.

You however have a 0% conversion and can brag about your 1,000,000 hits all day long but at the end of the day you are broke because you did not do your research lest you would have known that "green widget" buyers hate "blue widgets"

It seems that the prevailing idiom is that the more traffic one receives the more money one makes, NOT TRUE! The more sales one makes the more money makes WHAT A CONCEPT!

There is a finite number of people on the net that will buy your products and services PERIOD! This of course includes those not looking for your exact products but that you are able to convert into customers. Target these people and you can't go wrong.

Proper keyword research is the cornerstone of building a successful business online. The next page is possibly the most important page in this tutorial and the most important step to get right if you want to succeed online.
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Keyword research The life blood of SEO
Keyword research truly is the life blood of internet marketing. If you know who is searching and what they are searching for then it makes your choices as to "what and where" to offer your products much more obvious. For the purposes of this tutorial however we will strictly concentrate on evaluating the best keywords to use in order to increase conversions from visitors that come by way of the major search engines.

What keywords are people searching with?
This is the basic question that needs answering before you can start constructing you site. The first and most natural thing that comes to mind is asking yourself "what would I type in if I was looking for my product?" and this is a great place to start. Type in the terms you use and see what comes up, If the sites you see at the top of the search results are offering similar products and services then you are right on the money. Sadly this is where most people stop.

Try to reverse engineer those at the top (if they have done the research, then you won't have to) pay particular attention to what they place in their <title></title> meta desc H1, H2...H6 <b><i><strong> and their anchor text.

In order to accurately gauge who is searching for your products and services you must use statistical data which will provide the historical search volume as well as suggest permutations on your keyword phrases that perhaps you have not yet conceived of. A few such tools such can be found at:
• Google adwords suggestion tool
• Wordtracker

I have no affiliations with any of the aforementioned sites but all of these pages contain great places to do keyword research based on popular opinion as well as my own personal experience.

As a secondary research project try putting together a quick questionnaire 5-10 answers based on 2 questions:
Describe the top 5 products/services on my site?
1. _______________________________
2. _______________________________
3. _______________________________
4. _______________________________
5. _______________________________

What would you type in a search engine to find these products/service?
1. _______________________________
2. _______________________________
3. _______________________________
4. _______________________________
5. _______________________________

Finally to test emphasis (where you should concentrate the most) you must determine keyword conversion value. To me this is easy, once I have created my keyword list (at least 50 keywords should be present) I go to all of the major PPC engines that offer "bid for placement" and I check the cost per click of each term. Those with the highest costs usually have the highest conversion assuming that those paying for those terms are also in your market. My logic for this is as follows: (cost per click * conversion rate) must = at least a break even point to justify paying said amount for each unique visitor. The math for any ROI (return on investment) calculation is very simply and only requires any 2 of the 3 variables considered.
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Search engine friendly design SEO it from the ground up
You have done all of your keyword research and you know what keywords people are using to find and purchase your products and services. It is time to build a site that will not only reflect those product and services but will raise to the top of the search engines for those terms so that the people who are searching for your product and services will be able to find them.
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Optimizing your visible text
The optimization you can see
From the last page you learned that each page of your site is going to target a maximum of 3 search phrases (keyword phrases). I will now cover how to write these pages.

Think headings
The H1, H2 ...H6 tags are given special relevancy weight, and by virtue of this logic "if something has an entire paragraph labeled and dedicated to it, it must be important" man I love logic!

It is for this reason that you should plan to integrate your keywords into your heading, you don't have to go extreme just use one H1 for your most important keyword and two H2's, one for each or your secondary keyword phrases.

Also it is not necessary to try to find ways to use H4,H5,H6 as they are not weighted heavily enough to consider. In fact I only use them in my external css file so that I can avoid color font and size tags altogether in my text.

Be the first in line
You should try to get your main keyword phrases as high up in your source code as possible this is again for a logical reason, the logic being "the higher up a word or phrase is in the body of a document the more important it must be." Again ya gotta love logic.

Here is an example of what your page should look like:
Heading with most important keyword

This is the paragraph where your most important keyword should be and if it makes sence try to get your second and third most important keywords in as well here.

Either One of your 2 minor keywords
In this paragraph repeat the above pattern of 1st 2nd and 3rd most important keywords and as you can see bolding and italicizing them at least once doesn’t hurt and actually gives you a very small boost ( recommended but don’t go bolding every keyword on the page) and don't forget to repeat another H2 for your third keyword phrase.

Now that you have each of your keywords in your body text at least once feel free to finish writing your page in a logical manner but try to sprinkle your keywords throughout the center of the document.

Once you reach the final paragraph this is a good time to "rinse and repeat" step one as without the headings. Try to write a keyword rich last paragraph as spiders pay particular attention to the beginning and then the end of the document.
The reason for this (GO LOGIC) is that if you started off a document talking about a certain subset of topics and you are still talking about them at the end of a document then THEY MUST BE IMPORTANT and search results try to reflect this. It is a bit like trying to write a Thesis statement and then trying to write a conclusion that reiterates the main points covered. Now isn't this easy.

Keyword Density
The final point on visible text is keyword density. Simply stated keyword density is the number of occurrences of a keyword divided by the total word count. For this I try to keep my initial density to between 3-7% however this number may have to change depending on the level of competition.
Also be warned that the text used in anchors <a href="/page.html" mce_href="/page.html">this is your anchor text </a> effects your density. Don't worry if your initial density is lower than that of your competitors as you will learn later in this article there are many ways to effect your keyword density other than placing your keywords in your
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Optimizing your header
Get a-head in your SEO
Ok now we get to the fun stuff, your page's headers. I have seen some rediculous things in my SEO career and many of the most ludicrous spam attempts I have encountered deal with the header of a webpage. Folks if you learn anything from this tutorial it should be that you do not have to come up with shady ways to trick search engines. The best way to optimize a website is by following the rules.
Got a basic website, use a basic header.
Just for clarification the header is the portion of your webpage that remains unseens and lies between the <head></head> tags.
Here is an example of what a basic header should look like:

<head>
<title>A maximum of 3 keyword phrases and 55 characters</title>
<meta name="description" content="Many SE's use this to describe your site so make sure you not only repeat each of your keyword phrases (max 3) at least once but make this a true representation of the page that the visitor will be viewing, and try to keep it under 255 chars">
<meta name="keywords" content="Only permutations of your keyword phrases should be placed here"> (Google all but ignores this tag DONT STUFF IT!)
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<meta name="robots" content="index,follow"> (some debate whether this is necessary but it certainly does not hurt - tells robots to follow links)
</head>


There are some times when more code in the header is necessary to operate JAVA script and call css etc. In such instances there are advanced techniques that will allow you to pack away the javascript and css in external files so that it is called from .js and .css external files.
To call your JAVA script simply cut the JAVA from the header from <script> to </script> and save in a file called java.js and call it using this line of code:

<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript" src="/java.js" mce_src="/java.js"> </SCRIPT>
Similarly to call your css from and ext file use this line of code:

<link href="/css.css" mce_href="/css.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css">

Finally, recall the spreadsheet you created for which keywords went with which page. Add to that spreadsheet your pages titles and descriptions beside the list of keywords so that when you need to boost those keywords you can link directly to the page that is optimized for them and have a complete synergy between: Inbound anchor text (see next section), Title, description, headers, <strong>, <i> and density.
It makes sense that when a spider sees that all important elements of your page (both on page and off page) all contain the same keyword phrases that It will rank you very high for those phrases.
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Finishing your onpage optimization
Header and body done, what's next?
So now you have the perfect initial keyword density for the combination of your header and your page text, you have keyword loaded headings, bolded keywords, italicized keywords, and a large proximity near the very beginning of your source code. What's next?
Anchors and Links
The final 2 factors that must be addressed to complete your "On page" optimization are your alt tags, anchors, and links. The combination of appropriate usage of these final 2 items in conjunction with the framework optimization you have already done will make you unbeatable once Page Rank is thrown into the mix.
Using anchors
Anchors are used to reference specific locations on a page from other locations on that same page. These "on page links" are yet another place to get your main keywords in and boost that "on page" density.
To place an anchor first decide what is the best use, an easy way to do this is the old "back to the top" at the end of a page. Except as we are smart little optimizers and we know use our keywords instead of phrases like "back to the top".
 
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