SEO Made Simple cover

SEO Made Simple

Author – Michael H. Fleischner

SEO is really about the optimization of multiple assets (websites, microsites, blogs, forums, social media, videos, press release, and so on.)

Achieving your online goals requires the proactive management of your online presence in every sense of the word.

Fast loading websitesvaluable contentmeaningful interactions, and authority, continue to drive search engine results.

💡You’re better off generating fewer links from sites that have a higher Google PR than many sites that have a low PR or PR of zero.

Instead of just optimizing for a single website, I recommend applying all the techniques you’ll learn in this book to any digital asset (press release, social media profiles, videos, images, etc.)

If your website is new, I advise registering at Google and using the Site Status Wizard tool and even submitting your content to Google via Google’s Webmaster Tools to being collecting valuable information about your website. –

  • Get Google’s view of your website and diagnose potential problems.
  • See how your site is performing.
  • Share information with Google to help them crawl your site better.

On-Page Optimization

= what you do on your website to help or hurt your SERPs.
= critical planning such as understanding your niche, keyword research, and web strategy.
Specifically, the proper use of:

  • meta tags
  • website URLs
  • formatting
  • internal linking
  • keyword development
  • on-page placement

Keyword Research

  • The more I learn about search engine optimization, the more I’ve come to rely on effective keyword research.
  • The goal is to find relevant, high traffic keywords that will be less competitive from an optimization perspective.
  • Less competition means that you’ll have a much better chance of achieving number one rankings for your chosen keyword.

Meta Tags

  • Title
  • Description
  • Keywords
  • Robots
  • URLs


As a rule of thumb, make sure your title tag is no more than seven words and less than sixty-five characters, including spaces.

Place your keywords in the title tag.

I like to use my keywords in the description tag twice, yes, two times.

If you can, work your keywords into a description that seems natural and be sure to repeat your keyword phrase.

Try to use your keyword phrase twice and no more.

The keyword tag should include your main keywords, those you’ve chosen as the main focus of your website, as well as those associated with the theme of your web page.

When listing keywords in their meta tags, I prefer using a comma followed by a space to separate each keyword.

Make sure the robots tag is included in your meta tags to improve crawling.

It never hurts to have your keywords in the URL itself.

Make sure that each page found on your website has its own unique set of meta tags. Duplicate tags can really hurt your rankings.

A few basic things to keep in mind when formatting your website:

  • Content first
  • Clean code(W3C, no Flash)
  • Heading tags(h1, h2, h3)
  • Alt tags
  • Proper keyword placement
  • No Flash and JavaScript external
  • Sitemap

Content first
A great way to ensure that search engine spiders read your text first is to lay out your site with the appropriate content at the top.

💡Search engines read from left to right and top to bottom.

Heading tags
Search engines love to see these header tags because pages with large headings indicate the substance and importance of the content.

Don’t overdo it on your heading tags. One to three is sufficient.

Alt tags
Google takes these keyword phrases into account when evaluating your website.

The best way to tag your images with your keyword phrase followed by the word image.

Proper keyword placement
Keyword density has less of an impact than it once did on overall Google rankings. Of greater importance is the placement and treatment of your keywords.
Use the following guidelines to optimize your page:

  • Place your keywords in the title tag, description tag, keyword tag, and alt tags.
  • Place your keywords in a1, h2, h3 tag.
  • Place your keywords in the first twenty-five words of your page.
  • Place your keywords in the last twenty-five words of your page.
  • Bold your keywords at least once on your page.
  • Italicize or underline your keywords at least once on your page.

💡Note: A great way to get keywords in the last twenty-five words is by adding it to your page footer after the copyright. For example, “© 2024 Your Site Name. Your Site Keyword” Adding your keyword phrase in this fashion is relatively natural and appears virtually unnoticed.

No flash and JavaScript external
Avoid ~~Flash and JavaScript ~~on your page.

Flash intros do not provide keyword content in a manner that is easily searchable by Google.

= is a single page on your website that provides access to all other pages on your site, at least the most important ones.

They enable search engines to spider your site much quicker.

It’s a good idea to have more than an index of links on your sitemap. Try to include short paragraphs of descriptive text for each link, which of course should contain your keywords.

Internal linking

  • One of the most important on-page optimization opportunities you have is to develop a simple and direct internal linking strategy.
  • Internal linking refers to the linking structure your site uses to link to secondary pages on your website.
  • How you link from one page to another is very important.
  • The best practice for internal linking is to link to your main category pages from your website’s homepage.

Some tips to properly design internal linking:

  • Include links to all of your main category pages from your homepage by placing links in a navigation menu. This menu should be available on each page of your website. Also, you can place links to your pages in your website footer.
  • Include keywords in the links where possible.
  • Don’t place more than three links to the same page on your homepage.

💡Note: Never underestimate the power of internal linking.

Keyword development and placement

is one of the most important optimization factors you will learn about, and it can make or break your website’s ranking.

Keyword selection steps:

  1. Define the content of your site in general terms.
  2. Identify keywords/keyword phrases related to your topic.
  3. Select anywhere from ten to thirty keyword phrases to research further.
  4. Research the competition.
Make sure your phrases have a search volume of at least three thousand monthly searches.
Researching the top-performing websites for final selection of your keyword phrase is the most important step in keyword selection, and it takes a little work.

Assuming you have selected a primary keyword phrase and have decided to begin researching competitors:

  1. Visit Google and enter the first keyword phrase you are researching.
  2. Identify the natural search results versus the paid search results.
  3. Write down the URLs of the first set of natural search results.

Do the following for each site to determine if you can outrank them. Begin by recording the following:

  • website URL
  • Google Page Rank(Toolbar)
  • Number of backlinks
  • Keywords in h1, h2, h3 tags
  • Keywords in first 25 words of page
  • Keywords in last 25 words of page
  • Keywords bolded, italicized, or underlined
I only recommend two or three keywords per page because you won't be able to apply all the necessary on-page factors needed to influence search results.

💡 Did you know? A significant factor in the Google algorithm is page load speed.


On-page optimization takeaways:

  • On-page optimization is what you do on your website to influence SERPs on Google.
  • Doing proper keyword research is the first step to a successful SEO campaign.
  • Having proper meta tags is essential. Always include your keyword phrase(s) in your meta tags.
  • The proper meta tags include your title tag, description tag, keywords tag, and** robots tag**.
  • Choose your URL carefully. Your URL doesn’t have to have your keyword included, but it helps when other sites link to your site using only your URL.
  • How you format your page is important for optimization purposes.
  • Make sure you design your web page, so Google is forced to read your on-page content first.
  • Verify that your code is W3C compliant.
  • Don’t forget to include your keyword phrase(s) in h1, h2, h3 header tags. This signifies the importance of your content to Google.
  • Label each graphic with an alt tag that includes your keyword phrase.
  • Place your keyword(s) in the first twenty-five words on your web page and the** last twenty-five words** on your web page.
  • Italicizebold, and underline your keyword phrase within your content.
  • Eliminate Flash if it’s the main presentation of your website. Google does not view this favorably.
  • If you’re going to use JavaScript to enhance the overall visitor experience of your website, place the code in an external file.
  • Focus on a fast loading website. This is essential for top Google rankings.
  • Be sure to include a sitemap that’s easily accessible by Google.
  • Never underestimate the power of internal linking. A good internal linking structure can improve your SERPs.
  • Keyword development is one of the most important on-page optimization strategies.
  • Research keywords and competing websites to select ideal keywords.
  • Research the strength of the competition before selecting your final keywords using Page Rank(PR) and number of inbound links.
  • Page load speed is a significant factor in Google rankings. Ensure that your home page loads more quickly than those of competing sites.

Off-Page Optimization

= increasing a website’s popularity.
= popularity is defined by the number of types of websites that link to a given website or URL.

Off-page optimization is the most important SEO strategy for those seeking number one placement on Google.

The fastest and most effective way to achieve this goal is by developing quality links to your website. By quality, links are from sites that:

  • Have an equivalent or higher Google Page Rank than your site.
  • Include similar content to your web page.
  • Use related meta tags.
  • Comes from diverse sources.
  • Have many quality sites linking to them.

💡Did you know? Your success on Google is DIRECTLY related to off-page optimization-the types of websites that link to you and how they are linking to you.
This is the biggest secret to Google dominance.

It’s not about link quantity.

Strive to attract links from well established, authoritative, third party websites if you want to improve your ranking.

When external links(anchor tags) are pointing to your website, they must contain keywords whenever possible.


Google values one-way links above all else. One-way links are incredibly powerful (if they’re quality links) because you are receiving a vote from an independent third party.

💡The most effective way to identify the “right” sites to get links from should be based on who is linking to your competition.
This is a very important strategy and one that is frequently overlooked.

Try to acquire links from the same websites as your competitors'.

💡Did you know? If you get the same sites to link to your site in the right way, and you’ve optimized your site properly, in time you will outrank your competition on Google for the same given keyword phrase.

How to manually identify authority websites(sites linking to 3 or more of your competitors):

  1. Search for competitive sites by visiting Google and searching for your most important search term.
  2. Create a spreadsheet of the top one hundred sites “linking in” to each of your top five competitors
  3. Sort alphabetically.
  4. While looking at the list, see if any of the website URLs are duplicated across your list, or use the “find” function. If the site appears two or more times, highlight it.
  5. Once you’ve developed your list of authoritative sites, visit each one to determine how your competitors are listed and how you can acquire a link to your website.
Your links are virtually worthless if they're not displayed correctly on other websites.

Link text can also be referred to as anchor text and is essential for Google optimization.

It is recommended to use link text instead of your URL text whenever possible.

To rank top for a particular keyword or phrase, you want third-party websites to place your link with the proper anchor text on their website. Your anchor text should include your keyword phrase.

💡I also like my links to open in a separate window (target=”underscoreblank”) and be marked as “dofollow”. This tells search engine spiders to follow the link back to my site.
When engaging in reciprocal link exchanges, three-way link exchanges, or if simply requesting a link from a site, provide them with the link formatting noted above.

Article Marketing

= the practice of writing informational articles within a given subject area and distributing your articles to websites across the web.

Writing original articles or having original articles written for you can be worth every cent.

A good habit to get into is to first publish your article to your own website or blog before distributing to third-party article directories and sites.

Make sure that each submission is unique.

Article Spinning = use a tool to generate multiple unique articles from your existing content.

The key to link building is to establish inbound links to your site in a slow and steady manner.

Article directory websites:

  • goarticles
  • ezinearticles
  • articlesbase
  • buzzle
  • articlealley
  • webpronews
  • articleset

I suggest creating one to two articles per week and distributing them to at least twenty-five to thirty article directories.

reciprocal link is really only valuable if the Google Page Rank of the site that’s linking to you is greater or equal to the Google PR of your own website.

Google favors links from links that share the same or similar theme as your website, increasing the value of each incoming link.

Place a link to your links page from your home page.

Sample email template when contacting other webmasters:
Dear Webmaster,
My name is () and I am the webmaster of (website URL). I have visited your site (website URL) and believe it would be a valuable resource for my website browsers.
I’d like to exchange links with you and have already added a link to your website on my links page at (URL). I would ask that you provide a link back to my website. Doing so would offer a valuable resource to your website’s visitors and increase website popularity for both of us.
If you are interested in exchanging links, please add the following details to your website and let me know when you have done so. The details of our site are given below: Title: Keyword phrase here | Second keyword phrase
Description: (Place a description of website here. Make sure you include your primary keyword phrase at least two times in a manner that seems natural.)
Alternatively, you can just copy the html code
a href=URL target=underscore”blank” Keyword phrase here | Second keyword phrase a
If you are not interested in completing a link exchange at this time, please let us know, and we will remove our link from our links page. Thank you for your consideration.
Kind Regards,
First Name

💡A one-way link is more valuable than a reciprocal link.

The one thing to keep in mind is that Google reportedly penalizes “paid links”. As a result, you want to limit the number of links you acquire through paid directories.

Only submit your website to the directory if the Google Page Rank of the page (where your website will be listed) is equal or greater than the PR of your links page.

💡If you attract links with a lower PR, you do not obtain any real value.


Blog commenting:

  1. Enter your keyword in the field marked, “name”. This is the MOST important step in productive blog commenting.
  2. Use a real email address for submission purposes.
  3. Use a complete URL when listing your site address in the space provided. Do NOT include a URL in the actual comment.
  4. Leave a comment that is directly related to the post, has substance, and is longer than three sentences.
  5. Track all of your blog submissions and build a list of high PR, do follow blogs that you can return to from time to time. Always leave comments on different posts-never the same post.

Press Releases
One of the secrets I’ve used to get my link distributed on hundreds of websites, almost overnight, is through press release distribution.

In my opinion the best way to create news is through an online poll or survey.
Option 1: If you’re starting from scratch I recommend adding a poll question to your blog. The only reason I suggest adding it to your blog versus your website is that blogs usually offer tools like online polling with a single click. If you haven’t started a blog yet, take five minutes to create one (including an online poll) at
Option 2: If you have your own list (opt-in e-mails), use a tool like SurveyMonkey to develop a short survey and distribute it to your list. It will be the best: You can find more information on this survey solution at As always, you can choose any survey solution as long as you have a predetermined list you can send it to. I would suggest leaving your poll or survey open until you’ve gotten at least one hundred responses. Preferably, you should target around 250, but one hundred should suffice for your first release. Once you’ve completed your first survey and written your press release, you can select an online press release distribution service. A variety of sources can distribute your press release and usually charge between $1 and $250. $20 you ever spend.

If the press release distribution option doesn’t include an active link, meaning a link to your website, select a different option or service.

Forum marketing

Outsourcing something like forum posting provides a really good return on investment.
My recommendation is to do the research, set up your profiles and make the initial posts on the most popular niche forums. Once you’ve completed that work, you are in a great position to outsource your forum posting activities.

💡Off-page optimization is the most important factor for improving Google SERPs.

My personal favorites are oDesk, eLance, and There are many others available such as and

💡Let me remind you that this is a marathon, not a sprint.
-> Always keep the long-term in mind when it comes to SEO.

When you start an active link-building campaign you may experience what is known as the “Google Dance”.
This is when you see your results shoot up one day, disappear in the next, and bounce from the position to position. This is actually a good sign. It means that Google is acknowledging your link-building activity and trying to award you.
Also remember that it’s common to see little movement first during the first few weeks or months of link building.


  • Off-page optimization is your key to Google success.
  • Your success on Google is based on which websites are linking to you and how they link to you.
  • Link quality is essential for improving SERPs.
  • When engaging in a reciprocal link, make sure that the website that is providing a link back to you has an equal or greater Google PR. This is important for maintaining a favorable Google PR balance.
  • There are essentially three types of links: one-way, reciprocal, and three-way linking. One-way links, especially if they are from a page with a high Google PR, are the best.
  • The most effective way to identify the right sites to get links from is to identify who is linking to your competition. You can do this by using search engine optimization software or by using major search engines.
  • Sources are identifying inbound links to competitors include Google, Alexa, and SEO tools.
  • Use the proper link text when link building.
  • Always include your keywords and phrases in your link text.
  • When link building, remember that quality attracts quality.
  • Be persistent, take massive action, and the links will come.
  • Give people a reason to link to your website.
  • Use outsourcing to free up your time and repetitive tasks.
  • Be cautious of some automated link building tools as they can negatively impact your website ranking.
  • Build your inbound links with the help of:
    • article marketing
    • link exchanges/link requests
    • directory submissions
    • blogging
    • social bookmarks
    • press releases
    • RSS feeds
    • forum marketing
    • authority links
    • social media sites
    • Google places

Link-Building Process

From my perspective, link building is a monthly process.

💡Doing the keyword research up-front, to find less competitive terms, is so important.

Start your link building by developing a comprehensive list of sites linking into the top few results for the keyword phrase you’re targeting. Systematically work through all those links and try to acquire links back to your site from each of them. Once your list has been exhausted, it’s time for a disciplined link-building program.
The best way to manage your activity is by creating a spreadsheet that allows you to track your activity.

Your plan should be as follows:

  1. Create, spin, and distribute one article per month.
    • Each article should include a link or two back to your site in the author section and possibly in the article itself.
    • Usually have one or two articles per site queued up, spun, and ready to go at the beginning of each month.
    • Distribute these articles at a pace of around fifty per day to potential directories and sites using semi-automated article distribution tools.
  2. Submit to high PR web directories.
    • Submit to a number of directories during the course of a month.
  3. Do follow blog submissions.
    • Each month, focus on making quality submissions to “do follow” blogs in your niche.
    • If you are unable to find do follow blogs in your niche, focus on high PR blogs of any kind.
    • No more than ten to twenty quality blog posts in a given month.
  4. Forum submissions.
    • May need to make a minimum of ten posts before you are allowed to display your signature, including links back to your website.
    • Register and cultivate a number of forums that you can go back to on a monthly basis to add content and display your signature.
    • Around twenty forum posts per month.
    • Shoot for around fifty posts in a month.
    • This is definitely one of the tasks I’d consider outsourcing once you’ve established yourself on some targeted forums for your niche.
  5. Profile submissions.
    • Each month, use a freelancer to post on high-profile websites.
    • If just starting out, try for about ten high-PR profile submissions for your site each month.
    • Do not post again until the following month.
  6. Press release submission.
    • Each month, you should be distributing one press release per website.
    • Write a release of around 350 words and put it into your spinner.
    • Then, make submissions to your list of top five free PR sites(e.g., Pr-inside,,, etc)
  7. Social media links.
    • Post on a regular basis.
    • Include a link to your site in actual social media posts each month.
  8. Video submissions.
    • Produce one new video each month.
    • Always make sure to include a link to your site in the beginning of your video’s description.
  9. Social bookmarking.
    • Twenty-five social bookmarks per month for a year, and never hit the same site twice.
    • Choose a strategy and post to social bookmarking sites on a monthly basis.
    • Not only bookmarking your home page URL but top level pages too.
    • Always use your keywords in the bookmarking link.

Spend the first few months of your SEO campaign working through each of the submission types on your own.

Find an outsourcing partner that can help you with different aspects of the process.

Regardless of where you’re starting from, the key is persistence.