Getting found online is not all that difficult. It is not incredibly easy either. Of course it depends on how much competition you have. Why do some sites show up above others? On Google it is a combination of over 200 factors!
In general these are split into two types of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – On page (the actual website itself) and Off page (links from other sites to your site).
For On-page SEO all you need to do is follow Googles Webmaster Guidelines. Although, there is quite a bit to that, and it may take some time and patience to work your way through it. There are other issues too. Try looking up information on keyword density for example. The web is full of different opinions. The reason that some people will tell you not to exceed 4% density (4 percent of total text on the page) and others 8% density for example, is that nobody knows exactly how many keywords will get your page flagged for keyword stuffing.
Here is the problem…..
You want your site to get found online for specific keywords (SEO training in the case of this blog for example). In order to show that the site is all about SEO training, it is tempting to use the phrase lots. However, if I do that, then it will look like I am trying to influence search engines and they will penalise me for it. This is not to say that it does not work…. but eventually the chances are your site will plummet down the rankings if for keyword stuffing. I always advise clients to stick to the webmaster guidelines rigidly.
Off site SEO is where a lot of people come unstuck. How do you get links to your site? How many links do you need? Should you pay for links? Does it matter where the links come from?
It is a mine field. Get it wrong and you will pay for it! Get it right and your site will reap rewards. By the way NEVER pay for links! It does matter where the links come from too. What is more, external link building should be something that is an ongoing practice. I will be posting more on link building in the future.
If you want to get found online, then it really does pay to get somebody who knows what they are doing to either train you, or do it for you. This saves a lot of time. Nobody knows it all (the search engines do not release the details of their criteria) but using a SEO professional who has gained experience from spending time on research as well as experimenting and finding out where some of the limits are pays off.