Course Outline for Increasing Search Engine (SEO) Positions

Week 1

Lesson 1 - History of Search Engines and Directories

SESR, SERP, PPC . . . do you know these terms? In Lesson 1, you'll learn important search engine terminology. We'll discuss the history of search engines and directories, and you'll learn about the differences between the two. Finally, you'll find out about current major players in the search industry.

Lesson 2 - Understanding How Search Engines Work

How do search engines decide which websites to include in search listings? In Lesson 2, you'll learn how search engines analyse websites and create results pages. We'll discuss savvy and not-so-savvy search methods, and you'll learn about common search mistakes that can benefit you.

Week 2

Lesson 3 - Creating Killer Keyword Lists

You want your website to appear at the top of the SERPs . . . but which keywords will people search for to find your site? In Lesson 3, we'll discuss ways to find potential keywords. You'll begin your research with offline methods, and then you'll use online methods to expand your list. And you'll learn how misspellings can actually help you!

Lesson 4 - Presubmission Analysis: Figuring Out Which Keywords Are the Right Ones

You've created a sitewide list of potential keywords, but which ones should you optimize for? In Lesson 4, you'll learn about the all-important presubmission analysis. You'll determine how often Web surfers have searched for certain keywords, and you'll figure out how many other websites are optimised for each of those words. Then, using one simple formula, you'll be able to optimise your site the way the pros do.

Week 3

Lesson 5 - Important HTML Tags to Master

It's time to optimise your site! In Lesson 5, you'll learn about HTML tags that you must be intimately familiar with. We'll discuss why page titles and meta tags are important and how you can properly place and construct them. You'll also learn to include keywords in your header, paragraph text, and alt text.

Lesson 6 - Content Layout and Keyword Usage

We've talked about attracting people to your site, but how do you keep them interested? In Lesson 6, you'll learn the secrets of creating quality content...legally and for free. Also, you'll find out where to place a primary keyword within a Web page, and you'll use keyword density analysers to determine how often your primary keyword should appear.

Week 4

Lesson 7 - Domain Name and Filename Relevance

Domain names and filenames play a big part in successful search engine optimisation. In Lesson 7, you'll learn how to register domain names that lend themselves to top search engine positions. Similarly, we'll discuss filenames and how they can help you. Finally, you'll learn how to responsibly create optimised landing pages.

Lesson 8 - Spamming Tricks to Avoid

People often use deceptive techniques to get search engines to list their sites. In this lesson, we'll examine many of these techniques and discuss why you shouldn't use them. You'll learn about keyword overuse, invisible text, and improper comment tag use. We'll also discuss spamway pages and Web page cloaking scripts—both of which are bad ideas.

Week 5

Lesson 9 - Submitting Your Site

You've optimised your Web pages for top search engine placement, so now it's time to let the crawlers know that they exist. In this lesson, you'll learn how to submit your website to search engines! We'll discuss manually submitting your site to individual engines. We'll also explore multiple submission services, and you'll learn to create and submit XML sitemaps.

Lesson 10 - Track Your Progress With a Postsubmission Analysis

It's time to track your progress by completing a postsubmission analysis. In Lesson 10, you'll examine the six steps of the SEO cycle. We'll discuss how to find your search engine rankings, and you'll delve into Web server log files and referrer logs. I'll also introduce you to Google Analytics, which can give you vital data—for free—about visitors to your site.

Week 6

Lesson 11 - Powerful Online Promotion Techniques

What's your site's PageRank number? And what's the most important external factor in search engine rankings? We'll explore these questions in Lesson 11 as we discuss promoting your site. You'll learn how quality inbound links can help you. And we'll talk about lots of other ways to promote your site, including noncompeting links, newsgroups, bulletin boards, link exchange programs, banner ads, and email signatures.

Lesson 12 - Effective Offline and Online Promotion Techniques

Believe it or not, promoting your website offline can make a huge difference in your search engine rankings. In this lesson, you'll learn the importance of affiliate programs and word-of-mouth visits. We'll discuss ways of monitoring your offline promotions, plus we'll talk about "link baiting" techniques that are ethical and that work.

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