LESSON #76: Introduction to SEO

By | December 3, 2010

In the previous few lessons we’ve been looking at paid web traffic sources.

Today we’re going to start talking about free web traffic. More specifically, we’re going to cover the basics of Search Engine Optimization…

(Watch this video…)

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Main points:

  • Free traffic generally requires more work than paid traffic.

  • Every free web traffic strategy can (and probably should) be outsourced.

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – The process of making a website “search engine friendly”, and doing things that will help the website move up in the search results.

  • The top organic search results get a LOT more traffic than the paid advertisements.

  • The top 3 organic results get the lion’s share of web traffic. It’s more important than ever to aim for the top 3.

    (See video for demonstration of how behavioral/personalized search is changing the face of SEO and search results)

    On Page SEO (See Lesson #77)
    Off Page SEO (See Lesson #78)

  • Keyword Research (and Competition Analysis) is foundational to good SEO.

    (See also Lesson #20, #73, #74)

    Objectives of keyword research:

    1) Come up with a list of keywords.

    Free keyword tools:
    Google keyword tool
    Traffic Travis

    Free keyword modifier spreadsheet:
    Eric’s keyword modifiers

    2) How popular is the keyword?

    (See video for explanation of the Long Tail)

    3) How competitive is the keyword?

    -On Page optimization of the top 3 sites for the keyword
    -Google PageRank of those sites
    -Quantity and quality of backlinks to those sites

    UPDATE: Yahoo Site Explorer is no longer in business. Instead, try ahrefs.com or opensiteexplorer.org

    (See video for demonstration of competitive analysis)

    Recommended Keyword Research Tool:

    Click here for Traffic Travis…

    To learn more about SEO, I recommend the Professional SEO Training Course, which is used to train SEO industry professionals around the world.

    Action steps:

    1) Decide if you want to implement SEO on your website.

    2) If yes… Do your keyword research and competitive analysis.

    We’ll be looking at On Page SEO in the next lesson.

    As always, you are welcome to post your questions and comments below 🙂

    Have a great day!

  • 81 thoughts on “LESSON #76: Introduction to SEO

    1. d3so

      Awesome tips. I think that SEO is a MUST for
      any site if you plan to be successful.
      SEO becomes much easier once you’ve established yourself online.

    2. Edward

      As always, great content Eric. Thank you. You never fail to amuse me with your knowledge. What is you secret of keeping yourself ahead of other Eric and still have a life? There is soooo much to learn and I feel so overwhelm. Is the Complete Web Traffic really a good solid course? Lastly, can you kindly share what software do you use to create your training video and video player you use. Is the video placed on your own server as there is no delay in your streaming even though it is 40 mins long. I would really appreciate if you could share some lights how you do it. Thanking you in advance.

    3. Joe

      In regards to the comment below, can you give some outsourcing options you would recomend?

      Every free web traffic strategy can (and probably should) be outsourced.

    4. Dave

      Hey eric,
      Traffic Travis looks like a must have tool for the serious marketer. Good one & Thanks

    5. Ranga Rajan

      For the first time I saw the stats you provided about the traffic distribution on the SERP. Certainly a very compelling parameter to aim for the top 3 on the page rather than just doing a ‘good job’ of SEO!

    6. Eran

      My new blog (PR 0) is ranked first spot on Google places and 3,4,amd 5 on the first page for my main keyword (stop clark county foreclosures – http://www.stopclarkcountyforeclosures.com), but I get MINIMAL traffic (I’m in the real estate/ stop foreclosure business). Any suggestions?
      Thank you for the content. You do have a way to simplify big subjects by zooming out, so we can get the essence of it. You are a natural teacher.

    7. james

      Also want to mention Wordpot.com’s keyword tool, since its so easy to use. I think Google’s keyword tool is good for researching those long tail keywords along with the SEO quake plugin. For paid tools, Market Samurai is the best IMO

    8. Internet Marketing Specialist

      Hey Eric

      As usual, you are always informative. Our tests do support that when our clients sites hit the top 3, their traffic jumps up immensely. What you talk about in your video are the fundamentals that all of SEO is based on and this was a great primer for those not familiar with SEO or any of the techniques.

      Being professional SEO’s ourselves, we see all the “new” techniques being promoted and it effects us as well since clients are getting more familiar with what SEO is and request some techniques that we consider to be risky, to be implemented on there site.

      We have to take the time to explain the fault in the technique and how it would negate all their previous effort but sometimes it does get difficult to keep explaining..then end up losing them as clients. Better to keep our integrity though right?

      I’m going to take this post and refer some of our clients this way so they can get an education in fundamentals. Thanks for making this so we can do that 😉

      Catch you later

      p.s. Hmm, A Do Not Track List from the FTC eh? I wasn’t even aware of this…goes to show you can learn something every day if you pay attention!

    9. Eric Post author

      I think you need to target some higher traffic keywords, as well as additional long tail keywords. Remember, the good keywords are ones that your prospects are typing into google, not just a phrase that describes what your company does. Your market is pretty small compared the average niche on the Internet. I mean, how many foreclosures are there in Clark county? And out of that number how many of them actually go the the internet in search of a way to stop their foreclosure. Therefore you may need to create more pages and optimize for many long tail keywords to make sure you’ll be there for ANY keyword that your prospect types into Google. It looks like you’re already doing a good job of that on the pages you’ve got, but may need more. Maybe go after city names, your state, etc. Because I bet most of your prosects don’t type in their county name. Also remember that for you… it’s not about traffic quantity– it’s about quality. If you just wanted more traffic, you could go after a broader keyword like “stop foreclosure”. But that probably wouldn’t be very beneficial unless you wanted to build a national list, expand your business, etc.

    10. Eric Post author

      For long term outsourcing, I think it is ideal to build your own team. The Philippines is known for being a good place to find good workers for this type of work. To learn how to do it, I recommend Replace Myself from John Jonas.

      If you do not want to hire your own workers, and would prefer to outsource to a specialized outsourcing company, there are many available. For SEO, I’ve used Traffic Sage, which is India based. I’ve had mixed results with them. They do a good job getting their work done each month, but I did not feel the quality of the articles was representative of my website. However, they recently switched over to US-based authors, so I would still recommend them.

      For SEO, your most time consuming task over the long term is link building. And there are also companies/services that focus exclusively on link building. You just have to be careful with those, because some of them use spammy/automated link building methods.

    11. Gary

      WOW Eric.

      What a fantastic, content filled lesson. My head is spinning. I’ve actually had Traffic Travis for a while and “fiddled” with it a bit. But I never realized the scope of its capabilities until I watched your lesson.

      I’ll be watching this lesson again at least several times with lots of pausing to watch then do.

      THANK YOU! And I look forward to your on-page SEO lesson because my site needs it big time.


    12. Eric Post author

      I do have to work hard and keep learning to stay on top of Internet marketing trends. But my business allows me plenty of flexibility and time to have a life. Yes the Complete Guide to Web Traffic is a good course. It’s very high quality videos (even better than mine), and very comprehensive. I use Camtasia to make my videos. The player is Camtasia’s ExpressShow player, which comes with it. Yes the video is on my own server.

    13. Scott

      Eric, nice tip, wish you would have titled it different, Keyword research instead of SEO, I watched the entire thing just to find out at the end that this had nothing to do with SEO.

      You mentioned at the beginning that a person can automate his off page SEO, Now that would make a great lesson, I hate blogging.

    14. Ivan DelValle

      Great SEO education, I realy enjoyed…also i was wondering if you knew a good SEO company or individual who might be interested in helping me SEO my domain company, and I would pay them as I go when I sell some Domains.


    15. Ria

      Thank you Eric for this lesson. SEO has always been intruging to me however, learning to properly use it is even more important.
      I particularly liked how to evaluate your competitors. This in itself was worth watching.

    16. Matt

      Great video.
      Always excellent tips and freebies.
      Next,i downloaded the keyword modifier.Is there a video on how to use it.
      After downloading and opening it up,i have no idea what i am looking at.

    17. Eric Post author

      There are many SEO companies, and also freelancers to outsource to… but not many that would want to wait to get paid. If someone is GOOD at SEO, they would have no reason to make such an arrangement. I think your best bet for that would be to build some relationships in a place like Warrior Forum (just don’t waste much time there), or go to some Internet marketing conferences and meet some people. Find someone who can do SEO, and would be willing to partner with you. OR… another option would be to find a high school or college kid. They might do it.

    18. Matt

      Man that was a quick response.
      That is one reason why i stay on your list.
      I have another question but it doesnt involve this video.
      It is about Mike Enos and instant website empire.
      Where could we talk a minute,or exchange info.

    19. Edward Teh

      Thanks you so much Eric.

      Ok I am to take a look at the Complete Guide to Web Traffic before enrolling.

      I hope I am not asking to too much. Which public server you use so I can follow your footsteps rather doing the mistake using the wrong server.

      Can you share with me your compression configuration you used on this web video in Camtasia. Are you using Mac version of Camtasia or PC Version and lastly, I beleive you are using Powerpoint to create the presentation right?

      Thank you Eric.

    20. Llanasa Peachey

      Hi, i’m just starting out in SEO i’ve studied internet marketing for about a year, and your tips are amazing, especially after all the money i wasted in the beginning. I have skipped a few lessons and will be reviewing them when i can. Thanks so much i love your tips

    21. Eric Post author

      This server is at SoftLayer (aka the Planet). Another good choice for a dedicated server is HostGator.

      I am using Camtasia on PC. Yes Powerpoint. Here is the export settings of the video:

      SWF, Automatic frame rate (if the file is too big, I will lower the framerate until it’s small enough). 16 bit, compressed SWF, JPEG compression 50%, MP3 audio 22.050kHz, Mono, 32kbps

    22. Isaac

      Hi Eric,

      I just watched your video and downloaded the free keyword tool my comment is great topic and a nice keyword tool thanks a lot.

    23. Lanna

      Thanks for Traffic Travis tool. Just download the Free version… Will try it out… Really appreciate your time and effort!

    24. Alexander

      Thank you for all the awesome lessons and tips Eric i am very grateful.
      I was just wondering if you know an alternative to traffictravis but for mac. I’m using SEO spyglass and ranktracker at the moment. Both of them are very good but it would be nice to have it all in one program

    25. Daniel

      I now see the ERRORS of my ways. trying to get somewhere without the right transport vehicle. I don’t know why today, but today is the day. I am going to pull up all your emails and start from LESSON #1 and not deviate. I know I can do this and with your LESSONS I am sure ZI will succeed. Just need to slow down and stop looking for “shortcuts” – GOT TO DO THE WORK TO GET THE RESULTS. See when I catch up.
      Thanks alot for all this.

    26. Daniel

      See there I go again, hit say it instead of preview FIRST-This is corrected ver.
      I now see the ERRORS of my ways. trying to get somewhere without the right transport vehicle. I don’t know why today, but today is the day. I am going to pull up all your emails and start from LESSON #1 and not deviate. I know I can do this and with your LESSONS I am sure I will succeed. Just need to slow down and stop looking for “shortcuts” – GOT TO DO THE WORK TO GET THE RESULTS. See you when I catch up.
      Thanks alot for all this.

    27. Eric Post author

      Unfortunately, I don’t have any recommendations, as I haven’t used any. But if you do a google search for ‘seo software for mac’, you’ll find some possibilities. Let us know if you find a good one. There are also some good web-based tools available like http://www.seomoz.org/tools

    28. Otto Jensen

      Happy New Year Eric,
      and thank you for your very good lessons I have been listening to every one of them and some more than once.
      But Eric I have a very important question, and I hope you can come up with a straight an honest answer:
      I receive about 1000 mail every day, and every day there is new marketers comming in I have never heard about.
      They know my name and my mail address?
      My question is how and where are they comming from?
      I want to know because I will go there too to start my own list!
      Best regards
      Otto Jensen

    29. Eric Post author

      Good question Otto. Somewhere, you probably signed up for something with someone who sold your information to a bunch of other marketers. I don’t do that. If you do want to pursue that as a marketing strategy, look into co-registration or “coreg”.

    30. Evan

      Hey Eric, so I have been a long time reader and I’m so glad you’ve come out with some SEO lessons. Your content’s always stellar, but I’ve had a question rolling over in my head, which I think you can answer, if you have the time.

      I have a business idea for an online blog and I have run into a dead-end trying to answer the following question: Should I have one bigger website that will encompass everything in my vision of say 5 different subcategories or will it be better to make a new site for each one of the 5 different ideas? To put this in perspective here’s an example, this isn’t my idea exactly, but the same premise is “how to fix your bicycle yourself on the cheap”. In this situation I could have a one big site that teaches you how to fix your bicycle for cheap (which includes all the bullet points below) or should I create the 5 different sites listed below:

      •How to fix your bicycle’s gear system on the cheap
      • How to fix your bicycle’s rims and change and patch tires on the cheap
      •How to fix your bicycle’s brake system on the cheap
      •How to fix your bicycle’s frame on the cheap
      •How to fix your bicycle’s fork and headset on the cheap

      The reason I’m wondering is because I’m curious which technique will be easier to rank higher in organic searches, of course after some SEO. My thought process right now is that if I create a website for say “How to fix your bicycle’s gear system on the cheap” I will be ranked high on the key terms for relating to “fixing a bicycle’s gear system” of course after some SEO work. But I’m currently thinking that having a bigger website with all the relating subcategories will make it difficult to rank my site organically for the key terms relating to each of the 5 subcategories above. So the question is: in regards to organic searches, SEO, time & energy spent, and money to be made with PPC’s & other methods which of the 2 ways outlined above should I use to make a blog or blogs?

      Thanks so much,

    31. Melissa

      If I outsource the free web traffic strategies, then it is no more ‘free’ to me, it becomes paid traffic, isn’t it!

    32. Micah

      Hi Melissa,

      That’s true. If you chose to outsource, you wouldn’t be paying for the traffic itself, but you would be paying for someone to help you in getting free traffic.

      It’s still a far cheaper option than paid advertising, or high cost traffic services.

    33. Micah

      Hi Evan,

      Provided the content is on separate pages with separate titles, you shouldn’t have trouble with people finding your content organically.

      Search engines also reward sites that have at least a few links to other pages with valuable content at the same site, as opposed to one page mini-sites.

    34. Graham in UK

      Hi Eric
      I’ve learnt a lot about SEO and your video lessons are great! – thank you.
      SEO is most certainly not a five minute quick fix is it. I use Traffic Travis and it’s very good and its free!

    35. Adam @ Fast Property Sale

      Right but somehow it becomes integrated with money. but you are right, the money is not paid to get traffic directly.

      What I feel is: organic SEO cannot bring you traffic from the day 1 when a website is launched. Paid traffic can be useful for a new website. Once the website starts to rank, you can expect good amount of free traffic.

    36. Micah

      The best way get desirable backlinks is to put out good content, and grow your site naturally. Eric often gets incoming links when he has a lesson or post that others see value in promoting.

      Nofollow links are important as well. Rumor has it that Yahoo doesn’t recognize the nofollow link. Additionally, if ALL incoming links are dofollow, search engines like Google may perceive that it is not natural.

    37. Garrett Burke Entertainment

      Thanks for the info. I got most of that from the training videos. I just need to know a couple good sites that I can link to other then social networks, bookmarkers, directories, and blog submits. Do you know any? If you don’t want to share this on this form, send me an email please. If you look at my web page, I’m not selling anything really and I’m not a spammer. Just need help building that PR.
      Maybe you have a friend related to the entertainment business that would hook me up with a link?


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