Making money with SEO

The web is bringing in billions of dollars every year now, mostly from advertising, but also from all types of other revenue sources like affiliate sales, professional services, products, and so on. The ways any particular website can make money are almost endless. But all of these methods come down to a single starting point, a single bottleneck, called traffic. Many web experts will tell you that traffic is king, because it doesn’t matter how wonderful your site looks like, or how useful the product you sell is, if nobody comes to your website, you won’t make any money. That’s why understanding and practicing good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques is crucial.

To make money with SEO, you can either apply the techniques you learn for your own site, or sell your services to other sites who may not know what SEO even means. As the title says, Search Engine Optimization is all about making sure that people who search for a particular topic find your site. There are many things you can do to ensure that, and other things that you should not do. First, it’s important to understand how Google and the other popular search engines rank websites. When someone types in “sleeping bags” in the search box, the results will be listed in order of relevance. How the algorithm determines that relevance is the whole secret. It’s based on how much good, high quality content the site has about this particular topic, and how many other sites link to that site.

Let’s see how to optimize both criteria. First, SEO will never replace good content. You must make sure that you have that first. But then, you should make sure that Google knows you have good content. To do that, you have to use “meta tags” on your site. These are special tags in the HTML pages that tell Google the page’s title, description, keywords, and so on. Most programs used to create sites have options to add meta tags, and it’s crucial that you add them. Also make sure the pages themselves are easy to read and not cluttered. Modern search engines notice that and can penalize you. The second criteria, the number of sites linking to your site, is called off-site SEO. This is about getting other sites to link to your content. This is a much slower part of SEO, because you need to go out and put in links on other sites. You can use forums, comments on blogs, directories, and so on. Anywhere that allows you to put links.

Finally, it’s important not to give in and try to do illicit SEO techniques, such as spamming your site’s address on other unrelated sites, or filling your own pages with unrelated keywords. The search engines are smart and will detect that, and can even delist you. Overall, SEO isn’t that complex, it’s just a long list of little things you can do to improve your site’s presence online, and thus make you more money.


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