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Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Daily Feed Issue #5: It's SEO Week!

I'll be away until Sunday. Since I'm free at the airport, I'll advance post up some interesting sharing. Will be up whole week :D Hope it helps you in gaining the traffic you always wanted ;)

Welcome to issue #5 of The Daily Feed. This is SEO week! This week I'm going to teach you how to get more visitors to your blog or website from organic search results for free.

Let me say that again: If you take my advice this week, you will get more customers or readers visiting your website and it won't cost you a dollar, yen, pound or euro.

First lets get our terminology straight: "Organic search results" are the search results you see when you do a search on Google. Organic results take up most of the body of the page. "Paid search", "Paid inclusion", "Paid placement" are all terms that mean that you are paying Google or another search engine to feature your company in a prominent position in the search results.

Now let's chat about how big the reward is. Here's my scale based on visitors per day, difficulty and time to achieve your goal:
  • 50 targeted visitors per day: Easy. A few days to 3 months to achieve.
  • 500 targeted visitors per day: Medium difficulty. 1 to 6 months.
  • 5,000 un-targeted visitors per day: Medium difficulty. 3 months to 1 year.
  • 15,000 un-targeted visitors per day: Medium difficulty. 3 months to 1 year.
  • 1,000 targeted visitors per day: Medium. 6 months to 1 year.
  • 5,000 targeted visitors per day. Hard. 1 year or more.
  • 15,000 targeted visitors per day. (At this point you're printing money). Very hard. 1 year or more.
Note: These are absolutely NOT guarantees. This is based on my personal experience and what I've seen others achieve. Which brings me to...

Rule #1: Beware the snake oil salesman.

While researching this article today I once again ran across an ad guaranteeing that you'll be indexed by Google within 7 days. No person or company controls how Google ranks web pages or at what rate they index sites other than Google themselves and Google never offers performance guarantees. So a guarantee of results is generally a red flag. Google has a great help page on SEO, a few tips to get started and tips on what to avoid.

If you are considering hiring an SEO firm, here is a general list of things to consider and a few red flags:
  • If they guarantee performance it's an immediate red flag. Drop them.
  • How did you find out about the company? If you found them in organic search results while researching SEO, that's a good sign. If they spammed you or cold called you it's probably a bad sign.
  • If you need to link to them or they are going to create a separate website to help promote your own website, drop them.
  • Make sure it's SEO you're buying and that they're not using your money to simply buy paid placement ads with Google or another ad provider.
  • If they offer to link to your site from other websites they own in order to promote your site, make sure you know which sites are going to be linking to you. If a bad site links to you it can hurt your rankings.
Rule #2: Anything an SEO guru can do, you can do too.

SEO isn't a new branch of calculus. It is not hard to understand and it isn't hard to do. By following a few basic steps you can get a steady stream of targeted readers or customers from Google. No only that, if you follow the steps I'm going to give you this week, you will be helping Google by making the people who use their search engine happier with Google's service.

Tomorrow I'm going to describe a different approach to thinking about SEO and getting traffic from Google and we'll start talking strategy. As always this issue was brought to you by Feedjit Advanced and Feedjit Pro: Watch your site traffic grow in real-time!

Mark Maunder
Feedjit Founder & CEO

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