'Search Engines'

SEO for newbies (Part II)

16 FEB 2011 2

So you have a hosting account and a domain name. The nameservers have propagated and it’s high time you did something with all of it.

Setup Wordpress (many hosts, like us, offer a one click install), install some plugins and start adding content. While it’s not absolutely necessary to have magazine-style writing skills (after all, not everybody is a journalist), you do need to make sure your content is readable. If you aren’t a native English speaker you might want to outsource the writing tasks – you can find tons of people who can write insightful articles for as little as 1-2 dollars per hundred words. Make sure to apply all the on-page factors you have learned so far. Then move on to off-page SEO. We have an ongoing series of articles on good and bad link building methods, read part I here and part II here.

At this stage, you might want to invest a bit in a SERPs tracking tool. It’s not mandatory, your free version of SEO Spyglass can still be useful but it's limitations may become annoying. Alternatively, you can have a look at SEO Panel. It’s open source, free, and you can install it on your hosting account.

Again, document each step. Keep a log of what you did every day,  it will help you analyze what went wrong and keep you from procrastinating. Work on your new site every day. Add 1-2 articles and build links on a daily basis.

You might run into programs that will automate your tasks. While I don’t necessarily condone such practices – particularly since most of them are on the edge of black hat marketing – here are some notes you should keep in mind:

  • I would strongly advise against automating anything at this step. You are here to learn how the system works. Don’t use any tools where you click a button and everything gets done automagically. It’s like cheating all your way through college – you get a degree at the end but you can’t use it anywhere. No one will hire you because you don’t know anything.
  • Not all automation tools are black hat. There is nothing wrong with using Roboform or writing your own Greasemonkey scripts to fill out registration forms at social bookmarking sites.
  • A lot of tools, on the other hand, can do more harm than good if you use them recklessly – that is, you have no idea what you are doing. You can end up spamming certain keywords and devaluing a page you spent weeks building. There are many “horror stories” of webmasters who lost top positions for competitive keywords because they pushed the wrong buttons.
  • Last but not least, these tools tend to cost a lot of money. If you aren’t pulling any revenue off your new site you shouldn’t spend thousands for tools you may have no use for.

That’s about it. SEO is not rocket science, anyone can rank for mildly competitive keywords with some work and dedication. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

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