SEO is probably one of the most valuable skills you can learn in making money online through internet marketing. If done correctly, SEO can bring thousands of targeted visitors to your page, all for free. Many people have gotten rich off of well-executed SEO practices. It's no wonder that there are huge companies out there who gladly pay upwards of five thousand dollars a month for SEO work! So let's cover some of the basics to learning SEO as it relates to internet marketing.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization is the process by which you make your website look as good as possible in the eyes of search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and most importantly, Google. Search engines like Google implement very complex algorithms to determine what site should rank highest for a given search term entered by a user. For instance, when you enter a term like "make money online" into Google, the search engine must determine which site appears in the number one spot, the number two spot, and so on.
What does SEO consist of?
The search engines determine whether your site should be ranked highest based on a number of factors.
The first is how your site appears in relation to the given keyword. If the keyword can be found in your site's URL, in it's title, in its meta tags, in its section titles, in bolded sections of your site, and in links to other pages within your site, it certainly deals with the given keyword. This will help it to rank higher.
The second factor is how your site appears to be linking to other sites. If your site has many, many thousands of links coming in from other sites, the search engine will count your site as likely being a popular site, and an authority on the subject, and so will rank it higher as a result. This is based on the concept that if a site is providing great information, many people will put a link to that site on their sites, in effect "voting" for its value with their links.
Not only does the number of links to your site important, but the quality of your sites. If a site that is already an authority, like the New York Times, links to your site, your site appears to be an even greater authority on the subject and will rank even higher. Conversely, if many sites considered by the search engines to be spam link to your site, your site will be considered to be less valuable by association.
SEO is an endlessly complex subject, with many unproven theories and intricate practices, so obviously there is much more to learn on the subject, but hopefully this short introduction to SEO will be your first step on your path to making money online!