One potentially huge source of traffic is from the search engine, but to take advantage of it you need to be ranked highly in the search listings. One way to improve your ranking is by employing either PPC or SEO methods. In this lesson we are going to introduce you to an overview of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
When you search for something in a search engine you typically end up with two sets of results. One is the paid listings which appear down the right hand side of the page and, occasionally, at the top of the page. The rest of the results on the page are the "natural" or "organic " search listings. Appearing in this list doesn't cost the website anything - these are the results that the search engine considers to be the most relevant for the search term.
For a lot of affiliates, having their site listed in these free ("natural") results is a cornerstone of their business, since it results in a lot of free traffic to their site.
However, while it's pretty easy to get into the natural search results, if your website doesn't appear in the first few pages you're unlikely to get a lot of traffic from it - in fact most web searchers don't bother looking beyond page one of the search results, let alone page two, three or further!
The term "search engine optimization" (or SEO for short) refers to the things you can do for your website to help it appear closer to the top of the search engine rankings for your important keywords. The closer to the top you are, the more traffic you will get; the more traffic you get, the more money you make - that's an equation that makes a lot of sense to affiliates!
The important thing to note about the natural search engine listings (as opposed to the paid search engine listings) is that there is no way you can artificially raise yourself up the rankings. Unlike paid listings, where you might bump yourself up by paying more, the natural search engine results leave you completely at the mercy of the search engine algorithms. As a result, you spend your time doing things to convince the search engine that your site is the most relevant site on the Internet for a particular keyword – these actions are collectively called "Search Engine Optimization"
The things you can affect to help improve your search engine rankings tend to fall into two categories:
There are advantages and disadvantages to investing time in using search engine optimization as your primary method of getting traffic to your website.
Good points include:
However, disadvantages to investing time in SEO include:
Increasing Your SEO involves attention to both on-page and off-page factors.
On-page factors include: keywords on your page, correct linking and proper use of headers.
Off-page factors include: getting links to your site from other websites, making sure those websites are popular and relevant to your topic and having links to your site use certain text in the links.
Pros & Cons:
Pro: Free traffic
Con: Takes time & effort to see results