Search engine optimization for dummies or SEO for short, is a set of techniques designed to put websites on the first page of major search engines.

Why use search engine optimization? – for Dummies

According to internetworldstats.com, there are 238,015,529 internet users in North America. According to PEW research, 91% of all internet users use search engines, making it most popular internet activity after email. If you’re not found on search engines, where does your website get visitors? You can give out several business cards with your web address – that will get you 10 – 20 visitors per month… but if you sell goods or services and need 1000 visitors per day?

That’s where search engines help. Search engine optimization gets traffic to your website, at minimum cost.

Search engines literally control internet traffic. If your website is not found on search results, it will die a slow death, starving for traffic, with no visitors and no profits.

How Can Dummies Learn Search Engine Optimization?

SEO, like anything, takes time, practice and will to learn. You can get several books on search engine optimization. We recommend seobook.com and seomoz.org memberships over the book titled: “Search Engine Optimization for Dummies”. Reason is – search engines employ over 10,000 people each. The rate at which updates and changes happen is lightning fast so the book may become quickly outdated. Membership sites on the other hand update their content and monitor algorithm changes. Anything new gets picked up and added very quickly.

Instead of getting Search Engine Optimization for Dummies, joining seobook.com or seomoz.org, you can also learn on your own. There are thousands, if not millions of quality articles about search engine optimization on the web for free. With little effort you can learn and then practice SEO on your own.

Getting Started with Search Engine Optimization? – For Dummies

SEO has several stages.

  • Keyword Research
  • On-site Optimization
  • Link Building

Keyword research.

Keyword research is a practice used by search engine optimization professionals to find and research actual search terms people enter into the search engines when conducting a search.
– Wikipedia

Keyword research helps find keywords people use on search engines and then optimize a website for those keywords.

The best way to understand keyword research is to do some yourself. Below we listed keyword research tools you can use. Select one and enter a word or a phrase of your interest. For example, if you are a lawyer living in Montreal, search for “Montreal lawyer” or “lawyer”. If you sell computers, search for “computers” or “laptops”.

Keyword research tools give real keywords people used on search engines and approximate number of time each keyword was searched.

  • Keyword planer
  • Wordtracker
  • Keyword Discovery
  • Keywords ewerywhere
  • Ubersugest

Once you know the keywords, it’s time to optimize a website for those keywords.

On-site SEO for Dummies

Search engine optimization requires knowledge of HTML and some feel for software. If you don’t know HTML you can start learning at W3 Schools (free) or by getting HTML for Dummies.

Once you know some HTML, it’s time optimize.

Remember the keywords you found with keyword research? Take one key phrase from the list. Put it in the TITLE element of your page, H1, H2 and H3 elements. Don’t put key phrase alone, but include it in different sentences. For example: you target word “Toronto SEO”. This how your H1 tag should look: “Toronto SEO Services, Seo Comeptitors, Best SEO service in canada”. Put the key phrase in a sentence.

Include the keyword in your ALT tags and IMAGE tags.

Link Building for Dummies

Links are like votes. Imagine a politicians running for president. One with most votes gets elected as president. Same can be said about links. Website with most links will get elected to be number #1 on search results.

Not all links are equal. Link from website about elephants to website about motor fuel is usually discounted by search engines. Links have to be from websites on the same or related topic.

In order to have your website show on Google, you need links. If you don’t, there’s no chanced on Google and it is the most popular search engine in the world, with over 60% of all internet users.

There are several ways to get links.

  • Submit to online directories. Select category that describes your site topic.
  • Exchange links with other webmasters.
  • Register with local chamber of commerce to get a link from their site. Register with regional government sites and try getting links from there.
  • Buy links from other websites (kind of like fixing elections. No surprise, there’s big money in SEO, like in politics).
  • Develop a very cool (facebook) or very useful (Wikipedia) website that will naturally get links from other websites.

Those are basic search engine optimization tips. Hope this SEO tutorial for Dummies helped you get a grasp on search engine optimization.

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