If you tell someone that you want more people to visit your website, you will usually hear something like, “You should improve your SEO practices.” In plain English, “SEO” is a term used by website programmers that means for “Search Engine Optimization.” This concept refers to employing various methods to help make your website appear on the first page of displayed results when someone conducts an Internet search on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
There are both paid and free techniques that can be used to help the search engines find you and rank your website higher on the search results. The problem is that some shady technology people will try to lure you into paying extra money to use their SEO “secrets.” And, you can wind up flushing a lot of money down the drain in the process.
These techniques usually focus on trying to drive random people to your site. But, that should never be your goal. Instead, your goal is to make your website a visible result when someone searches on your specific book topic, organization, or expertise. The good news is that you can enhance this type of SEO ranking for free through the correct use of your website metatags, keywords, blog posts, and providing lots of articles on your subject. Ask your web designer about using these free options first before talking about additional paid services.
If your website is based on WordPress, I highly recommend the free “WordPress SEO plug-in” from Yoast. This tool helps you examine your individual website pages and blog posts according to a specific keyword or phrase that you choose. When the plug-in tests your page, it displays a red light, yellow light, or green light, which grades your efforts and provides a list of improvements to help you better optimize your website search rankings.
In the end, your objective should be to capture targeted, repeat traffic to your website – not random, uninterested traffic. You will grow faster by building an engaged community of fans, rather than a flea market of casual observers. Your goal isn’t to increase the Internet odds through SEO. Instead, increase the size of your fan base by appealing to their self-interest.
When “Internet gurus” try to up-sell you on paid SEO services, simply ignore them. Most of their tactics are a waste of money. Use free methods that are proven, and you will grow legitimate website traffic as you build your platform and strengthen word-of-mouth.