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SEO

By: Nick Antonaccio
This article was originally written as a letter to the owner of teachstix.com
Updated 11-30-2012

Contents:

1. Introduction
2. It's who you know (actually, it's who knows you)
3. Links and Search Terms
4. It takes work and time

1. Introduction

I've had some success getting to the top of Google results for several topics. What I did was simple, but it took time.

Google considers sites with the greatest numbers of inbound links to be more important than sites without links from other domains, especially if the links come from other highly ranked pages. One of my pages has more than 30,000 links from other domains, and all my other #1 sites have links from very prominent web sites, for their respective topics.

The easiest way that I've found to get qualified customers to your web site is to define the search terms that your potential market will be searching for, and target those words in Google. I've done well writing tutorials for various topics and promoting those tutorials on prominent forums about each given topic. I've also become very active in the online communities surrounding each topic, and I work hard at getting to know important people personally. It's important to get prominent links on their web sites, blogs, etc. When you have VALUABLE CONTENT that gets linked to by prominent people, you will get higher search rankings. More important than that, if you build genuinely valuable content, not only will you increase traffic, but you'll also earn TRUST, and people will be more likely to buy things from you.

2. It's who you know (actually, it's who knows you)

Try a quick Google search for:

computer programming tutorial learn rebol learn ns-basic learn haxe rfo basic where can I find a programmer powered paragliding tutorial paramotor tutorial learn powered paragliding live online music lessons video conference music lessons merchants village

If you look around in each of the communities surrounding the above topics, you'll see how active I've been. I was a programmer of the year in REBOL, and I've answered thousands of questions for new and experienced users. Every one of those answers points to some link on one of my REBOL web sites (I also created rebolforum.com as a place for people to answer questions, which regularly links to my other programming tutorials - and that site is itself #1 for "rebol forum" in Google search). The creators of each of the languages above: REBOL, NS-Basic, Haxe, and RFO Basic have my tutorials linked in prominent places on their web sites, and those tutorials are a primary resource for learning each language. The same is true of the paramotor tutorial. Many well known instructors around the country, and the head of the USPPA have all linked to that tutorial prominently, because I've been active on their forums, and have spent enormous amounts of time answering questions for people - always with a link to my site. I'm the owner of Merchants' Village. Thousands of people associated with that business have linked to the site, including TV stations, radio, newspapers, and other media.

3. Links and Search Terms

The more Google sees links of genuine importance to material on your site, the more your rank will improve. You can really improve those numbers by making videos on Youtube, and linking back and forth with your web site. Use forums to become well known in a community, always link to your site, and remember to always keep search terms in mind. The more your site is associated with particular terms, the more highly ranked you'll become associated with that series of words when people type them into Google.

Before you start marketing, figure out what the most popular search terms are for your topic. For you, something having to do with "learn to read", or "reading aids", or "helping children to read" may be a starting point. Google and other sites have software tools that allow you to research the popularity of search terms and suggest alternative terms which may draw more traffic. You should focus your online language to THE WORDS THAT YOUR MARKET IS MOST LIKELY TO TYPE IN when searching. So, for example, "buy reading aids" may be fantastic for your product. "learn to read" is probably not so good a search term, for a lot of reasons (your market can't read, so they're not the ones searching). Focusing on the words "teach my child to read", for example, would more directly reach your target audience.

If you run with the idea of targeting "teach my child to read", for example, that provides a really nice format for a tutorial. Write about everything you know of having to do with teaching children to read. That is your area of expertise, correct? Invite others to write on your web site, in a section about "teaching my child to read". Having content that people can use will draw traffic. And if people learn that you are a real expert, they're far more likely to buy from you.

It's more important than you think to really make your search term prominent on your pages. Your search term should be:

  1. the TITLE of the page (< t i t l e >Teach my child to read< / t i t l e>)
  2. the actual FILENAME of the page (teach_my_child_to_read.html)
  3. the HEADER of the page (< h 1 >Teach My Child to Read< / h 1 >)
  4. the DOMAIN of your page (on your web site at http://teach-my-child-to-read.com)

Those four things are SOOOOOO important. In my experience, the title, filename, header, and domain carry enormous weight in Google's algorithm. If you put your search term in those 4 places, you'll seriously improve your chances to reach the #1 spot for your search term. Make a video on Youtube entitled "Teach my child to read". Before uploading, rename the filename of the uploaded video "teach_my_child_to_read.avi". Make the search terms for your video "teach my child to read". Include "teach my child to read" in the video description. Link to your web site content pages in the description, and link to the video from your web site, using the linked text "teach my child to read".

Once you have your content pages created for your search terms, Google those search terms, and go to all the highest ranked pages that have a place for comments, and take part in the discussions. Link to your pages and video. Take part in the most popular forums, answer questions, help people find your tutorials, and in general provide some real guidance regarding the topic of helping people to teach their children to read. There are endless places online you can go to communicate with people about your topic, and every time you drop a link to your web site, Google will see it, and consider it another reference to your web site - if there are thousands of external links, Google will think your page is pretty important, especially if those links are on prominent web sites (that's why it's important to start with a Google search for your specific search terms, and post/comment on the highest ranked sites). If you help people and create genuinely valuable content, others will start to link from their own pages. Just like in any real life business, when people begin to know that you are one of the best experts in your field, they will recommend you. Those recommendations will drive business more than any paid advertising, especially if they come from other recognized experts.

4. It takes work and time

There are a million SEO companies that all claim they can get you to the top of the search engines. If you created 20 similar sites, and went to 20 different SEO specialists, they'd all tell you they can get your chosen page to the top of the search rankings. Obviously, some won't do as well as others. The things above are what I've found to be most important, and they take a lot of time and genuine involvement in the online communities that you're targeting. Lots of valuable published content is required, and it all needs to be linked independently from important sites in your industry/topic. Dedication and many hours of work are required. Put your time in doing the thing outlined here, and you can be successful.

If you have questions about other things, please let me know. Take a look at: http://merchantsvillage.com/business_basics.html. I wrote that to help a couple friends who are starting their own businesses. Again, those ideas are just drawn from my own experiences, but maybe they'll be helpful in some way...