How to get started with search engine optimization [SEO]

The first step in starting a successful search engine optimization is choosing a topic or niche, which has a striking effect on the quality of results achieved with your SEO efforts and the time interval needed to achieve those results. If you write about competitive topics, it is much more difficult to achieve high rankings than to increase the rankings for less competitive topics. For example, highly competitive topics (and high paying keywords) include mortgages, debt consolidation, insurance, and weight loss – there are numerous websites covering these topics.

Highly Competitive Topics vs. Less Competitive Topics
Estimated Avg. CPC

If you are making a fresh start with dreams of becoming a successful writer making money, you shouldn’t start by focusing on highly competitive topics. Websites ranking highly for competitive topics exist for many years, contain a huge amount of content with keywords covering these topics, and include tons of relevant, good-quality links.

Therefore, if you want to achieve active and remarkable ranking results, you should select a less competitive topic.

When choosing a topic and related keywords you may want to investigate the CPC value attributed to those keywords. CPC (cost-per-click) is the amount paid by advertisers to search engines and Internet publishers for a single click on their advertisement. You can check the CPC value for each keyword by clicking estimated avg. CPC in the Columns tab in the Google Keyword Suggestion Tool (you have to be logged in your AdWords account).

If you choose a high paying keyword (which usually makes a certain topic highly competitive), for example lemon law, you are facing a difficult task to beat all the authority sites ranking high for the same topic and using the same keywords. This means that to achieve the desired conversion rates (usually profit, sales or clicks) you must create a lot of relevant, good-quality content and build even more backlinks. Also, you have to wait for a long time until search engines index your articles.

If you are developing a site or writing articles on lemon law for example, you must concentrate on specific topics within the broad term lemon law such as Pennsylvania lemon law or even more specific: e.g. free PA lemon law services.

If you have a huge amount of articles on specific topics covering the broad term you are using, you have great chances to rank highly and make profit from these articles. Of course, there is less traffic for less competitive topics, yet the likelihood of early success is greater.

CONTENT and LINKS

There are two most important factors that search engines take in consideration while examining web sites: content and links. Both have to be optimized to achieve SEO success.

Creating content: KEYWORDS and PHRASES related to your selected TOPIC

Keywords can be general, for example, maternity, and specific: maternity evening dress, maternity cocktail dresses, maternity body pillows, etc.

The keyword maternity is very general and it has a high search volume:

  • currently, the return results for the keyword amount to 49.500.000;
  • global monthly searches according to Google Keyword Suggestion Tool amount to 3.350.000;

  • the estimated avg. CPC value is 0,92 € [cca. 1,28 $])

So, the traffic coming from these searches doesn’t have to necessarily turn into a large number of sales or AdWord clicks.

The more specific keyword maternity pillow currently has circa the same amount of competition:

  • search engine return results = 315,000;
  • global monthly searches = 12.100;
  • and CPC is somewhat higher = 1,26 € [cca. 1,76 $]).

This keyword will probably produce better ranking results and conversion rates or profit because it is targeted to an audience which will most likely behave in favor of your conversion rate goals. To draw more traffic you can use latent semantic content and include secondary target keywords in your article: pregnancy pillow (global monthly searches = 33.100, estimated avg. CPC = 0,95 € [cca. 1,32 $]) and body pillow (global monthly searches = 60.500; estimated avg. CPC = 1,22 € [cca. 1,70 $]).

There are many useful keyword suggestion tools (free- and fee-based) available on the web. Most widely used among online writers are Google Keyword Suggestion Tool and Google Wonder wheel.

* Important update:

The Google Wonder Wheel feature has been removed because of Google site redesign. Google hasn’t stated whether it will be available in the future. Until the next update, please skip this part of the article and read about the Google Keyword Suggestion Tool.

How to get keyword ideas with GOOGLE WONDER WHEEL

  • Navigate to Google.com and type the keyword related to the topic you chose to write about.
  • On the left-bottom side of the screen click More options (if the link to Wonder Wheel isn’t showing yet).
  • Click Wonder wheel.

Example:

If you type SEO in the Google search engine box, the search engine will return about 409,000,000 results based on this topic. Look for the Wonder wheel link and click on it.

The page will appear with suggestions for more specific keywords:

seo forums, seo services, seo basics, seo tips, seo tutorial, google seo, seo tools and seo company

When you choose one of the suggested keywords, for example, seo tools, the Wonder wheel will suggest more specific keywords related to seo tools:

raven seo tools, free seo tools, search engine optimization, google seo tools, seo software, webmaster tools, seo tools firefox, seo tools review

You can now click any of the suggested keywords and search further for even more specific keywords.

!!! Note that on the right side of the screen you are provided with a list of top-ranking web sites containing these keywords in the title; check them out to evaluate your competition (how many topic related articles and keywords they have, the number of incoming and outgoing links, what ads are showing on their pages, ad placement, etc).

How to get keyword ideas with GOOGLE KEYWORD SUGGESTION TOOL

The free tool for keyword research provided by Google is the Google Keyword Suggestion Tool.

  • Navigate to http://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal.
  • Find keywords by entering one word or phrase per line.
  • Type in the characters that appear in the box below.
  • Click Search.

The tool will offer you a list of keywords based on broad search terms used by Google visitors in the last 12 months. Check the competition (the lesser the advertising competition the better), global monthly searches and click on Columns on the right side of the screen to view the estimated avg. CPC for each keyword.

Note that you can search for broad terms, [exact terms] and “phrases” (on the left side of the screen – match types). Depending on your IP address (location), the page will display in the language of your country. Click on “x” to get results for all countries and all languages (the first page, under the “enter word or phrase box”).

If you click one of the suggested words you will end up on the # 1 page of Google SERPs so that you can evaluate your competition.

BUILDING LINKS: how to optimize your web pages for better linking

Choosing a topic or niche (or a few topics) and writing as many articles as possible is the best way to implement an effective link building strategy. Also, if you write on different sites about the same topics, the quality of those links may be higher (assuming you’ve got hundreds of articles on each site) because Google and other search engines give special value to external links. You have to be careful though not to start writing on too many different sites all at once because this is time-consuming and the time invested doesn’t allow you to get to know the community and interact with other members. Give yourself time to become visible in the community of the web site where you write and figure out how to make your writing valuable to both website community and potential external visitors.

Writing on two different sites (and not more at the beginning) may be a great way to create reciprocal links – their value will be greater than the value of internal links within one single website (because these links will be external). Nevertheless, it is necessary to interlink your articles within the home website first.

If you have only a few articles posted, your page visitors may question the trustworthiness of your content or product reviews, which results in fewer sales, clicks or sign up conversions. On the other hand, if you have many articles written on a specific topic, your reliability will increase in the eyes of viewers.

Write Articles on Seekyt

Are you thinking about where to start or expand your online writing career or hobby?

If you are ready to write original content on Seekyt and you are patient enough to wait until your writing pays off, then this is the right place for you. The Seekyt community is constantly growing and accomplishing great success with search engine rankings.

  • To learn more about submitting articles visit Seekyt’s F&Q page.
  • To have a better understanding of how to make money, read about the Seekyt Revenue Sharing Program.

Registration for Seekyt is free and easy; all you need to sign up for the site is a username and valid e-mail address.

SIGN UP for Seekyt today!

You may also want to read:

How to link your Google AdSense Account with Google Analytics

SEO quotes: A Collection of quotes about search engines and optimization

Although many article writers who want to make money online usually ask about the AdSense earning potential, the first thing to think about when building an online writing carreer is getting started with search engine optimization (SEO).