The Quick Kick-Start Guide to Search Engine Optimization
1. Coming from a design background, the most important thing to take on board is that there are four main browsers to design for: Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera, and Search Engine Spiders, (and that's not in order of importance).
Search Engine Features For Webmasters is a particularly useful resource here, showing you which spiders and engines can understand which features of web design.
2. Search engine optimization, or search engine marketing for that matter, is a tool of a marketing strategy. It is not an alternative to having a marketing strategy. The key to great SEO results is to know exactly what goals you want to acheive, and with what priorities.
- You can use SEO to bring high volume traffic.
- You can use SEO to bring very targeted sales leads.
- You can use SEO to increase brand awareness.
4. Get ready to read, digest, re-read and research. While many SEOs are generous with their knowledge, the best are those who do their own research to double-check everything for themselves. Just because something was true yesterday will never mean that it hasn't changed by today. Not all tips and advice are up to date, so until you learn enough to know who will have done the research recently, do your own to cross-check.
5. Places to start drinking deeply from the well of SEO knowledge include the legendary SearchEngineWatch.com, Pandia.com, SearchEngineGuide.com and of course, all the forums which you feel offer trustworthy advice.
6. Set up a mail folder for all the newsletters you are going to be subscribing to. From now on, any site that impresses you with its content, and that offers a newsletter, is something you should subscribe to. Not just the SEO ones of course, some of the cool Marketing newsletters keep you abreast of what's going on in the industry at large, often giving you new ideas to try (and examples to follow). You can always unsubscribe from most newsletters that prove to be too slow with news.
7. Research is something that takes time. In my first few years I spent upto 8 hours a day just on researching stuff. There are always new techniques to discover, understand, and evaluate, from both sides of the search business. Know where each search engine began, and how it got to be where it is - it will help you predict its possible future moves.
8. The more a 'trick' is discussed, the more certain you are that the search engines know about it. Be very wary of any technique that the search engines wouldn't like, because if you can read about it, you can bet they have too. As soon as anything is more often abused than used, the search engines will stop paying attention to it.
9. Of all the technologies you must learn to use, tracking is one of the most important. Many companies do not track their ROI as well as they should, and unless they do, they can easily miss the real value of SEO and search engine marketing campaigns.
10. Enjoy it. Search engine optimization and the broader roles of web marketing are a career I dearly love. My sheer enthusiasm helps keep me in constant supply of fresh ideas, and doesn't hurt in gaining new clients either. It can be a career with some bumpy roads, but I have never regretted a single step.
The Reading List:
Discussions relating to tracking:
Remote Log analyzer recommendations
Log Tracking Software
Some discussions of particular merit for SEO:
Real New - where to begin in SEO?
Why Is The Answer In Seo Always to Think About Your Audience?
SEO Training - Is it worthwhile?
A philosophy to SEO by
Title Tags - Consistency on all pages or unique?
Robots META tags
Frames / Framed Sites
All you need to know about multiple domain names
Linking inside a header
Why Don't You Rank on Search Engines?
PR3 page beats PR6 ... how?
What percentage of searches does Google have?
Google sure is sticking it to us!
Should I be concerned (sudden drop in Google rankings)?
Selling SEO services
Does SEO = Spam?
Can HTML errors affect SEO?
Word Counts - How many words?
H1 Headings in SEO - how important?
Discussions regarding Link Building:
How to Build Backlinks
Link Buiilding with Press Releases
And some podcasts on basics, if you fancy them
Introduction to CSS and Web Marketing
Introduction to Meta Tags and Meta Content
Note: More to follow ...
Edited by Black_Knight, 27 September 2007 - 05:28 AM.