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SEO Guide - Keywords

Keywords dominate search interaction. When a search is performed, search engines match pages based on the words entered into the search box. Other data, such as the order of the words, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization of those keywords provide additional information that the engines use to help retrieve the right pages and rank them. To accomplish this, search engines measure the ways that keywords are used on pages to determine the "relevance" of a particular document to any given query.

Ensure that keywords are prominently used in titles, text, and meta data on your website. The best practice is to use your keywords naturally and strategically. If your page targets the keyword phrase "Eiffel Tower" then you might naturally include content about the Eiffel Tower itself, the history of the tower, or even recommended Paris hotels. On the other hand, if you simply sprinkle the words "Eiffel Tower" onto a page with irrelevant content, such as a page about dog breeding, then your efforts to rank for "Eiffel Tower" will be a long, uphill battle. Understanding which websites already rank for your keyword gives you valuable insight into the competition, and also how hard it will be to rank for a given term. Keyword research is one of the most important, and high-return activities in the search marketing field. It's not always about getting visitors to your site, but about getting visitors that want what your site is offering. Generally, the more specific your keywords, the better your chances of ranking higher, based on less competition.

It's possible to compete on keywords that have 5,000 searches a day, or even 500 searches a day, but in reality, popular search terms actually make up less than 30% of all searches performed on the web. The remaining 70% lies in the long tail of search. The long tail contains hundreds of millions of unique searches that might be conducted a few times in any given day, but when taken together, they comprise the majority of the world's searches. Another lesson that search marketers have learned is that long tail keywords often convert better, because they catch people later in the buying cycle. A person searching for 'shoes' is probably just browsing. On the other hand, someone searching for 'the best price on Air Jordan size 12' may be comparing choices in the final stage of a purchase.

On-Page Optimization

Keyword usage forms a significant percentage of ranking algorithms, so web pages can be optimized to score highly for specific phrases. When working on your own sites, use the keyword phrase that you're targeting only once in the title tag, keeping the keywords as close to the beginning of the title as is possible. Further, repeat your target phrase again near the very top of the page, and at least 2-3 times, including variations, in the body and text copy. In every image on your page, be sure to include your keywords in both the image 'alt' and 'title' attributes.

Keywords are fundamental to the search process; they are the building blocks of language and of search. In fact, the entire science of information retrieval, including web-based search engines like Google, is based on keywords. As the engines crawl and index the contents of the web, they keep track of those pages in keyword-based indices. Thus, rather than storing 25 billion web pages all in one database, the engines have millions and millions of smaller databases, each centered on a particular keyword term or phrase. This makes it much faster for the engines to retrieve the data they need in nanoseconds.

Search Engine Stats

StatCounter Global Stats Reports the top search engines sending traffic world-wide.

Google sends 90.62% of traffic.
Yahoo! sends 3.78% of traffic.
Bing sends 3.72% of traffic.
A Study by Slingshot SEO Reveals Click-through Rates for Top Rankings.

#1 position in Google's search results receives 18.2% of all click-through traffic.
The second position receives 10.1%, the third 7.2%, the fourth 4.8%, and all others are under 2%.
#1 position in Bing's search results averages a 9.66% click-through rate.
The total average CTR for first ten results was 52.32% for Google, and 26.32% for Bing.
Google Sites led the US search market in April with 65.4 percent of the searches conducted, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 17.2 percent, and Microsoft Sites with 13.4 percent. Americans alone conducted 20.3 billion searches monthly.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In order to rank well on Google's organic search results, the foremost consideration must be to create unique content, and lots of it. A well-written page will do more for your search-engine ranking position (SERP) than focusing on black-hat search engine optimization tricks. With that said, however, there are several on-page factors that must be included in every web page you write. To begin, use the title tag sparingly, and summarize what your page is really about. Google is smarter than you might think, and uses complex search algorithms to deduce page content. Both the title and description tags will be displayed right on Google's search results. Visitors will be reading your headline copy, deciding which link to click on, so don't just write for Google, and keep your readers in mind.

On the page itself, use just a single H1 tag, either copying the title statement exactly, or sticking pretty close to it. Choose one or two keyword phrases for each page, and don't try to work several different topics into one page. If you have a lot to write about, that's great. Make several pages, each specifically targeting one or two keyword combinations. Your keyword phrase should open your first (and last) paragraph, as long as this doesn't throw off your writing or grammar. Don't stuff keywords into every sentence, or worry overly about keyword density, as that's outdated in most search algorithms by now. In fact, most any 'simple' strategy has been fully milked. Use variations of your keywords, and interesting sentences, not just substitute in some synonyms.

Link Building

Off the page, the two most important factors are the domain name you're using, and incoming links to your pages. Choose a domain that has your target keywords right in the name. Dot-com is best, and dot-org does indeed work well for organizations. First-page Google rankings are not out of reach for long-tail phrases, but avoid highly competitive terms when getting started.

To get valid incoming links, do not use link-exchanges, as Google penalties apply. Instead, write some more articles, and submit to article hubs, or post on Facebook and Google Sites, with 3 or 4 links on each page that deep-link to your own website pages, not just to your homepage. A few solid links from high page-rank websites are worth more than hundreds of 'zero' page-rank sites. Try to get .gov or .edu links if possible. Check out student pages that allow comments, or join the alumni association if you are a university graduate. If you are a current student, take full advantage of your publishing rights at your school. Your student pages will have a .edu extension, and you can link freely to your own outside website pages.

Adsense - A well-written introduction to Google's Adsense program for making money from your website. Lisa claims high monthly earnings, but if you read beyond that, she has tons to say. This website scores on the #1 spot on the first page of Google for making money with Adsense, which earns my attention already. If you've been reading online, or have tried Adsense before, but only made a few pennies per click, you have a LOT of learning to do. Adsense works great, but you do have to understand most of the concepts on this page, especially Cost Per Click, how Adwords' bidding works, and how the Adsense code interprets your page text.

We need to look closely at the free tool, traffic estimator, in Google's Adwords. In general Adwords is the sister story to Adsense. Corporations, and small businesses of all sizes, use Adwords to display ads on the first page of Google, paying for each click. There's a bidding process, so keyword phrases like "life insurance" or "mortgage refinance" are bid up to several dollars per click. For anything loan-related, lawsuits, or in fact any business that is well-adapted to sales or completion online, you can expect a decent CPC, or 'cost per click.'

Using the following links, you can start your own Free Blog and monetize the traffic with Google AdSense, or write e-Books for sale on Kindle. Finally, through affiliate programs, your website will be able to make sales of other companies' products, and you will be paid a small percentage of the sale.

A/B testing
Affiliate Programs
Anchor Text Variability
Backlink Analysis Tools
Backlink Growth over Time
Body Copy, Sales Copy
Case Studies
CGI scripts
Clickthrough Rates
Code-to-Content Ratio
Content Creation
Content Management Systems (CMS)
Conversion Tracking
Copywrited Content
Crawl Phase of Search Engine Indexing
Data Mining
Database Output Visualization
Deep-linking, Internal Pages
Domain Name Servers (DNS)
Duplicate Content
Dynamic Sites
Dynamic Text Replacement
Error Handling, Database Errors, Server Errors
Error Pages
Facebook Likes
Geo Targeting, Localization
Google Analytics Tracking
Google Authorship
Google Blog Search
Google Chrome Browser
Google Search by Image Search
Google News RSS feed
Google News Search
Google PageRank
Google Plus
Google Trends
Headers, HTTP Headers
Headings, Headline Copy
Human Edited Directory Dmoz
HTML Compliance, Errors
HTTP Acceleration
Image ALT and TITLE text
Internal Links, Menus, Breadcrumbs
IP Addresses
Keyword Discovery
Link Building, Articles, Relevance
Local Search, LocalRank
Long Tail Search
Mailing Lists
Meta Tags
Microsoft Bing Ads
Organic Search
Page Size, Image Size, Loading Speed
Page Title, 1 Title to a Page, 1 Page to a Topic
Parsing and Caching
Pay-Per-Click, Google Adwords Paid Search
Public Domain Content
Reviews, Social Impact
Rewriting Content to Improve Rank
Rich Snippets
Robots Meta Tag
RSS Feeds
Screen Size Detection
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Conference
Search Engine Roundtable Conference
Search Engine Spiders
Search Engine Watch
Semantic Web
SEO Centro
SEO Periodic Table
Server Issues
Shopping Carts
Site Navigation, Crawlability
Site Relevancy
Site Speed, Compression
Sitemaps, Robots.txt
Social Indicators
Subdomains, Add-on Domains
Synonym Matching
Targeting Headlines
Testing Landing Pages
TRAFFIC Conference
TrustRank, Hubs
Wordtracker Keyword Research
Yahoo! Search Engine
YouTube Video Search

Domain Names, Web Hosting

Domain name registration at a low-cost registrar costs about $10 per year, and basic hosting runs about $6 a month, or less if you sign up for a two or more years. There are many cheaper places to register domains, or host your site, but these are the best value for the money that I've found.

Domain Names
- GoDaddy
- Learn more about domain names
- Keyword Research

- BlueHost
- Compare hosting companies

Content Writing

- WordPress Themes & Plug-ins
- Woo Themes
- The THESIS Theme
- Color Palette
- How to Start a Blog
- eBooks & Kindle
- ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse
- Moonlighting on the Internet by Yanik Silver
- Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
- The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
- Audiobooks
- Authorship
- Blogging
- Copywriting
- Dramatic Tension
- Personal Branding
- Public Domain Content

Images & Copyright Law

- iStockPhoto
- Flickr Creative Commons
- Digital Photography
- Sell Stock Photography
- Sell Stock Photos
- iStockPhoto Affiliate Program
- Photoshop
- Image size, clarity
- Google image search, tags
- Backlinks

Monetization Methods

- Google Adsense
- Advertising (high traffic sites)
- Graphics vs Text Ads
- Recurring Memberships (dating sites, for example)
- User Databases, Mailing Lists
- Sales' Lead Widgets
- Sale of eBooks
- Shopping Carts
- E-Junkie
- Clickbank
- LeadPages
- Squeeze Pages
- Sales' Pages

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Programs
- CJ - formerly Commission Junction
- Share A Sale
- LinkShare
- ClickBank
- Conversion Rate
- Call to Action

Affiliate Marketing Conferences
- Affiliate Summit
- Leads Con

Site Protection

- McAfee (virus)
- Spybot (adware)

PPC Advertising

- Facebook Ads
- One-page Sales Site
- Text Ad Design
- YouTube Advertising

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

- Backlink Analysis
- Market Samurai
- Long Tail Pro
- Tracking (and split testing)
- Google Trends
- Dmoz
- RSS Feeds
- Landing Pages

- Search Engine Marketing (SEM) - Search Engine Roundtable - TRAFFIC Conference
- Search Engine Watch
- Rich Snippets
- Title Tags
- SEOmoz
- Site Optimization
- Meta Tags
- Site Speed, Compression
- Wordtracker Keyword Research
- SEO Centro
- Doorway Pages
- H1 Tag
- Headline Copy
- Organic Search Position
- Page Rank

Newsletter, Email Marketing

- Email Subscriptions
- Aweber
- OptinSkin, by Glen Allsop

Social Media Marketing

- Facebook Pages
- Pinterest
- Podcasting
- YouTube
- Twitter Re-tweets

Mobile Applications

- Downloads
- iPad Mini Apps
- iPhone Apps
- Microsoft Surface
- Mobile OS
- Mobile Website
- Responsive Page Design (mobile devices)

Google Apps

- Chrome Apps
- Google Adsense
- Banned AdSense Accounts
- Adwords
- Google Analytics
- Google Android
- Google API
- Google Drive
- Google Sites
- Google+

- Free Blogger

Starting an Online Business

The easiest way to start is by opening a Wordpress blog, and monetizing with Google Adsense. You can drive targeted traffic to your website at a reasonable cost, by learning search engine optimization techniques, and writing hundreds of pages of high-quality content. You can also making money with affiliate programs, or charge monthly membership fees, if making certain types of websites. Niche dating websites typically allow users to create an account for free, but then require an upgrade to paid membership to establish contact with other members.

Just making a website isn't enough, if no-one can find it on Google, Yahoo, Bing, or Baidu, which collectively account for 94% of all searches. You'll then need online marketing skills, the ability to drive conversions, via a call to action, like encouraging a sign-up for paid membership, purchase of an item, clicks on advertisements, or other money-making events. All of this takes work, and the learning curve is steep at first, but when you find a money-maker online, most of the site can be automated with open-source software.

Making Money Online

Adsense - A well-written introduction to Google's Adsense program for making money online. Lisa claims high monthly earnings, but if you read beyond that, she has a lot to say. This website scores on the #1 spot on the first page of Google for making money with Adsense, which earns my attention already. If you've been reading online, or have tried Adsense before, but only made a few pennies per click, you have learning to do. Adsense works great, but you have to understand most of the concepts, especially Cost Per Click, how Adwords' bidding works, and how the Adsense code interprets your page text.

Take a new look at Google's Adsense program for making money from your website. If you've been reading online, or have tried Adsense before, but only made a few pennies per click, you have a LOT more learning to do. AdSense works great, but you need to understand most of the concepts on this page, especially Cost Per Click, how Adwords' bidding works, and how the Adsense code interprets your page text to display matching ads, thus increasing your click-through rate. If you have been getting under $1 clicks on Adsense, and if you are living in the USA, you are not using their advertising program right. Additional revenue streams can be added with the affiliate program, and sales of eBooks focused on your chosen niche, in which you'll hopefully become a relative expert over time, having written many well-researched articles.

Another Google product, Analytics will take some work to master, especially linking Analytics to your Adsense account. However, after getting the code on each page you want to track, this free stats package displays great graphs, going far beyond the number of visitors to your page, into user flow, what links they clicked on, how long they stayed, bounce rate, % repeat visitors, search traffic, referral traffic, and more. Listed below are some blogging topics that earn good money online with pay-per-click (PPC), primarily using Adsense ads.

1. Education, Online Degree, career training.
2. Online advertising, marketing, Adsense, PPC, keywords, blogging.
3. GEO domains, city of....
4. PC and internet security, hosting, software, website development.
5. Job search, career advancement, making money.
6. Dating, online dating sites.
7. Stocks, banking and finance, loans and mortgage, credit cards, credit report, debt consolidation.
8. Health, weight loss, anti-aging, dentistry and orthodontics.
9. Home and auto insurance, health, business and travel insurance.
10. Legal representation, searches for lawyers.
11. Digital photography education, camera equipment, careers in photography.
12. smart phones, iPhone apps.
13. Real Estate, apartment rentals, roommates, travel, hotels. - wonderful links to articles on the page, informative, and free. with important info about Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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