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I get this question all the time from clients and people I work with. “Derek, what exactly is SEO, why do I need it and how does it work. More importantly, what specifically do I need to do about SEO?”

Well, let me explain it in very simple and easy to understand language so you can incorporate the right SEO strategy online for your business that will help you authentically build your list and get more clients.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Simply put, SEO is the process of optimizing your website by improving the internal (behind-the-scenes web techy stuff) and the external (web content, pages, images, etc.) setup in order to increase traffic to your site from search engines like Google.

Why does my website need SEO?

The big commercial search engines – Google, Bing, AOL and Yahoo, drive a lot of web traffic. If your site cannot be easily found by search engines or your content cannot be put into their database, you miss out on an incredible opportunity available to websites who appear in the search engine results for the keywords you want to be associated with. As a result, less people who want to have what you have will be visiting your site. Whether your site provides content, services, products, or information, search engines are a primary method of navigation for almost all people online.

How does SEO work?

Search queries, the words that users type into the search box which contain terms and phrases best suited to your site, carry huge value. These “keywords” dictate what sites the search engines deem worthy of appearing in the results. To do that, search engines really have four main functions – crawling, building an index, determining relevancy & rankings and providing results. Crawling and indexing the zillions of documents, pages, files, news, videos and media on the Internet – and – providing answers to user search queries, through lists of relevant sites / pages via search results and rankings.

What do I do about SEO?

It comes down to doing what I call the ABC’s of SEO.

A is for Architecture

The architecture of your site is critical for SEO success. And, I don’t mean having tons of funky widgets and menu options on your site with flashy design or cool features. Your site needs to have the right framework – like a solid design and well-implemented architecture (i.e. like a house) to support the content and links within the site.

Think of the site like a house where the rooms, stairs and other internal parts of the house require a solid foundation – floors, walls, wiring, mechanics, etc. Without a solid internal architecture, the house (i.e. your site) won’t support it. Equally as important is the external architecture of the house to support the roof, siding, doors, windows, etc. The architecture matters on both the inside and outside.

B is for Back links

The more your site and individual pages are referenced by other sites – the more “back links” you have and the more the search engines will favor your site. It’s basically like other sites giving your site the “thumbs up” indicating they recommend or endorse your site.

One of the best ways to get back links is by submitting your articles to article directory sites. As a result, the search engines will “listen” to their recommendations based on the articles submitted on their site and linking back to your site and content. (Tip – always have a call to action at the end of your article to refer people back to your site so they can opt-in to your list!)

C is for Content

Any site won’t really amount for much in terms of SEO unless it provides good content. The content has to be keyword “rich” for the search terms you want to appear for and be extremely relevant and valuable for your visitors. Be sure to include the keyword terms and phrases in your content that would be relevant and valuable for your visitors.

For example, if you portray your site to be all about “skiing” in terms of the URL, site name and page names, etc. and you only talk about “underwater basket weaving” and nothing about skiing, people will click on your site and then click away. This tells the search engines your site is not providing useful content or relevant information for what it portrays to be providing. You have to provide high-content and high-value information using very useful and authentic content.

Follow these ABC’s of SEO and you’ll be on your way to improving the rankings of your site in the search engines and as a result – improving your authentic online marketing to build your list and get more clients!

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

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