From the Wiki definition of SEO:

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of websites via natural (unpaid) search results.
My definition:

SEO involves all the strategies you take in order to get your site to PAGE ONE OF GOOGLE, against a PARTICULAR SET OF KEYWORDS.
Notice I said GOOGLE. If you focus on getting your site working with Google, which currently accounts for around 85% of searches, then the likes of Bing and Yahoo will also fall into place alongside – concentrate your efforts where you will make the most gains. More on this later.

Also the ‘particular set of keywords’ phrase is important. What audience are you aiming for? What message do you want to get across? Have you researched what search terms to use? Is the audience large enough for these search terms? Are they too niche? Or even not niche enough and swarming with competition?

Very few people look past page two of any search results. In fact, it gets worse: around 40% of the population click on the very first search result.

But don’t despair, there are strategies to follow to get you there. My website will provide all the steps necessary to get your site to the top of the rankings by focusing on what’s important – laying the foundations if you like.

I will be expanding on each of the points over the coming weeks to fine-tune your site to get it to where you need it to be.

The SEO Gravy Train

Look online and you will find many, many theories on SEO.

A lot of people have made an awful lot of money espousing their own views and opinions on the best ways to optimise your website and to manipulate the various search engines.

In fact, a whole industry has grown up, simply to deal with this topic, with companies being formed solely dedicated to raising a website’s rankings for a particular set of keywords.

And with anything that involves making money, there are companies who prey on and frankly exploit people’s ignorance of SEO.

Sure, there are some companies out there who provide quality tools and services. But there are also a lot of things you can do to optimise your website on your own, with relatively little effort, and they often won’t cost you a penny. Isn’t that much more satisfying than paying someone else to do it for you?

I am a lone person who simply can’t afford to spend lots of money on Google AdWords, Advertising and Marketing Companies, expensive (often outrageously so) tutorial books, DVDs and marketing software.

Gathering information

There are also huge tomes of books, my favourite one being ‘The Art of SEO (Theory in Practice)’ by O’Reilly Publishing’. There is a lot of good stuff here and I would thoroughly recommend it.

But I won’t read every book from cover to cover, analysing every graph, table and trend. Instead, I pick out the parts I need that will give me the most benefits for the least amount of effort.

SEO is potentially a huge topic and you could easily spend a very large chunk of your time refining and fine tuning your sites to the nth degree.

But at some point you need to draw the line and say enough is enough, it’s time to move on with my life and start earning some money!