SEO is a collection of best practices to "get found" in search engines by people who are looking for your product, service, or solution. Ideally, people will see your website in search results, click to your site, and then "convert" in line with your business and marketing goals (buying a product, submitting a lead-generation form, and so on). The ROI of SEO is generally higher because people who are already looking for what you offer will be more likely to buy - they are already "qualified leads."
But there's a lot of misinformation out there.
First, here's a general overview of what "SEO" actually is (this is a blog essay I wrote):
SEO is a collection of best practices that encompass a lot of factors on your website and Internet in general. For a general guide, I'd recommend 's comprehensive introduction: . All of these best practices work together to increase your website's rankings.
1. Inbound Marketing
What do you want people visiting your website to do? Purchase your book? Subscribe to an e-mail newsletter? You want traffic to "convert" into taking a specific action. Then, you need to design your website to push the traffic to take this action. This is the "inbound marketing" part of SEO - optimizing your website on a UX (user experience) level. See this introduction from :
Think about conversion optimization:
2. Technical Optimization
You need to optimize your website on a technical level. Using items including title tags and XML and HTML sitemaps so that search engines can crawl and index your site well and determine the topic of each page and the website in general. Choosing the right "keyword" topics will make sure that your website shows up in relevant search results - when people search for those keywords in Google. This is very complicated - technical SEO audits such as those I do run into the dozens of pages.
Some related advice:
Incorporate schema code to stand out in search results and provide more information to Google about your website, products, and services:
3. Social-Media Signals
Set up social-media sharing, particularly Google+. Incorporate social sharing into your website in general and each post. Promote buttons (including the Google+1 button!) for your (and/or your website) in general, and include sharing buttons at the bottom of each page and post of content. The more that your content is shared on social media in general, the better you look.
Also consider having your Google+ profile or page create a relevant Google+ community - perhaps on the topic about which you write and/or one for authors in general. The bigger and more active your Google+ community, the better you look in Google's eyes.
4. Quality Content
Write for people, not search engines. See an essay of mine here:
Do not over-stuff keywords into your pages and blog posts. Google hates that, and your readers won't like your writing. Write for your readers, and the SEO will take care of itself through social media and natural backlinks from people who like and want to cite your writings.
- Publish quality, unique content that no one else is publishing
- Develop social-media followings via interacting with a set of technology "influencers" and promote the posts on social media
As you publish more and grow your social followings more, the quality backlinks will come naturally as people hear about and want to cite your great content. This is the best-practice of "earning" links and not "building" them. Nothing good ever comes easily - especially in SEO today.
5. Link "Building" and PR
Don't think about "building" links as per the old practices that were never going to be sustainable. A few examples: directory submissions, article spinning, etc.
For more information on modern, link-earning practices, I'd also watch this short video by of :