While search engines are a great source of traffic for your website, you must have high rankings to fully take advantage of it. Using pay per click (PPC) or search engine optimization (SEO) methods are a good way to improve your rankings in the search listings. What is search engine optimization (or SEO)? Continue reading to find out…
What is search engine optimization (SEO)?
When you enter something into a search engine, typically you get two different sets of results. One of them is the paid listings on the right hand side (or occasionally at the top of the page), and the rest are known as “organic” search listings. It doesn’t cost anything for a website owner to get his page(s) appearing in the organic search listings. What search engines do is utilize an algorithm to try to bring up the most relevant information for each specific search term.
For many affiliates, getting their sites listed in free results is the bread and butter of their business because of all the free traffic they obtain for their site(s).
Since it’s easy to get into “natural” search results, it is also good to know that if your website does not appear on the first few pages you are unlikely to get much traffic from it.
The term “SEO” refers to the actions you can take to help your website appear closer to the top of the search engine listings for your chosen keywords. The closer you are to the top of the list, the more traffic you will get. More traffic equals more subscribers and more affiliate sales.
The important thing to note about “natural” listings is that there are very few ways to artificially raise your ranking. Paid listings give you a higher ranking depending on how much you pay. “Natural” search engine results are completely up to the algorithms of the search engine.
How do you utilize “SEO”?
The things you can do to improve your website’s search engine rankings fall into 2 categories:
- Off-page factors: These are the things that you do to increase your site’s relevance which are not built into your site. Some examples of off-page SEO factors would be getting links from other websites to your website, making sure that the links are relevant to your site, making sure the websites are popular, etc.
- On-page factors: These are the things you can do to increase the relevance of the content on your site(s). Two examples of on-page SEO factors would be using your specific keywords on your webpages, linking all of your pages correctly, etc.
Pros and Cons of SEO
Here are some of the pros and cons for investing your time into SEO as a main source of traffic for your site.
Some positive points:
- Free traffic: Organic search results are free.
- Low risk traffic: Very inexpensive because you get these rankings for free. Therefore, less risk of losing money as opposed to paying for traffic to your site.
- Democratic: No need to pay for search engine rankings, as SEO isn’t directly connected to how much money you have.
Here is a disadvantage of using SEO:
- Takes some time: Takes a long time to get high search engine rankings without the right SEO game plan. If you’re not sure how to SEO, it may take months to finally hit the first page, or you may never even get to page 1.
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