Becoming familiar with search engine optimization basics is important if you want to use CashCrate’s referral program. Too often people rush to make a website or blog with no conception of what they are doing. Taking that route is usually a bad choice and odds are they will struggle with the referral program.
It’s smart to know the depth of a pool before diving in, right? Learning the basics of search engine optimization does take time but with knowledge and dedication comes success. This SEO starter guide will show you how to get referrals using search engines.
Choosing a Niche
Choosing a niche is the first step to writing content. You may already know this and what you are going to write about but is that niche the right choice? If someone has no enthusiasm about their niche they probably shouldn’t write content for it.
If you like playing the latest video games or building model airplanes then (in theory) you should enjoy writing about it. Notice how CashCrate could help people fund those hobbies? Writing what you are passionate about will help produce quality content and in return get you more referrals.
Finding Niche Keywords
The most essential part of search engine optimization basics is finding keywords for a niche. A good rule of thumb is choosing keywords that have low competition for traffic. The only problem is it can be very tedious work.
There are a few ways to finding keywords but I’ll focus on the most popular and that’s using Google keyword tool. Type a niche in and/or some variations and Google should give several related keyword suggestions. There are two types of keywords to use:
- Keywords that have very little competition and usually have low traffic.
- Keywords with 100,000 competitors or less with 1,000+ searches a month.
Anything higher than the latter can be difficult to rank for. Be sure to un-check the “Broad” box and check the “Exact” box in Google keyword tool. This shows how many searches the exact term or phrase gets.
Click keywords that you like and look right below Google’s search bar (It will say “About x number results”). This is displaying how many people are competing for that term or phrase.
It’s best to have that number as low as possible but that number can be deceiving. Instead it’s better to put the term in “quotes” which shows how much competition that exact group of words may have. A nice number to find is 60,000 or less.
You may know that Google will display ads at the top of the page followed by the actual results. Having a large number of ads is not a good thing. It’s basically saying it’s an extremely competitive keyword. No matter how low the competition may seem.
Sites like Wikipedia, corporations and other well known websites should be avoided. Now lets say you find a keyword with 200,000 results and Google is showing yahoo answers, forum threads and articles from places like Ezine or free blogging services, it may be a keyword you can rank for.
When using the first method I try to find 5-10 keyword synonyms. I’ll usually look for keywords that get 200 searches with 5 different synonyms to make the traffic equal 1,000. You can use less since theoretically the more posts you make the more traffic you’ll get.
When using high traffic keywords use some low traffic keywords also. This will help drive in more traffic and give something to fall back on if your main keyword ends up being too competitive.
Choosing a Domain Name
When choosing domains it is best to use your main keyword for the name. Although, if the keyword is rather lengthy it can be better to use part of the phrase or giving your site a brand name. Keeping the name under 10 characters is ideal.
Normally buying a .com gives an advantage for people and it generally ranks higher. Being forced to use another extension is common so value them in this order.
Any other extension starts to get challenging to rank for. Refrain from using hyphens and numbers. Choosing a domain name that’s easy to remember or type is optimal.
On Page Optimization Checklist
On page optimization is optimizing the content on your website for search engines. There are many techniques with on page SEO so I’ll give a checklist of the most popular.
- Use keywords in the title tags and put the keywords close to the beginning. H1, H2 and H3 tags are best used for titles and sub-headings.
- Place keywords in the URLs of pages separated by hyphens (-). Try to limit the hyphens to 3 or less; 4 or more starts to look like spam to search engines. Example.com/seo-basics
- Put keywords in meta descriptions. Don’t stuff the meta description with keywords, just describe the page while using your keywords.
- Use meta tag keywords that are in your page or post. Placing keywords that aren’t in the body’s text is spam.
- Have keyword densities at 1-6%. If you make a post that is 500 words use the keyword in the title; once in the first sentence, 1-3 times in the middle and once at the end. Some say it’s best to use the exact keyword in the first sentence then use synonyms.
- When using images put your keywords in the alt text. It should describe the image while using your keyword(s).
What is off Page SEO?
Off page SEO is anything that helps search engine rankings that aren’t found on your website. This is another key factor in SEO basics. Here is a list of the most common strategies used to increase search engine rankings.
- Submit your site to all the popular search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Ask, etc.
- Write and submit articles to places like Ezine, Idea Marketers, Free Library, etc. This will give quality backlinks as well as bring in traffic.
- Use anchor text with your backlinks. Anchor text is hyperlinking a word or phrase instead of showing a URL.
- Comment on blogs and place your URL in the “website field”. Don’t put links in the comment box itself. Read and contribute to the topic you’re commenting on. It is much more appropriate to comment on blogs that are within your niche.
- Find forums (like the CashCrate forum) and place your website URL (using anchor text) in your signature. For each thread or post you make your link will display below the text.
- Use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, etc. Create profiles for your website to build backlinks and popularity.
- Create videos and upload them to places like Youtube. Link to your site in the description field to gain backlinks.
So there you have it! Combining these basics to a website is what ranks them in search engines. Just keep the ultimate goal in mind. Create good content for your readers and not just search engines. Giving your readers the information they seek gets you more referrals.