Proven guidelines for executing a comprehensive SEO strategy

The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization (Theory in Practice)

A well-designed, easy-to-navigate website is useless if no one can find it. If your company is going to succeed in the web economy, optimizing your site for search engine visibility is essential. In this book, four of the most noted experts in the field of search engine optimization (SEO) provide you with proven guidelines and cutting-edge techniques for planning and executing a comprehensive SEO strategy.

The authors clearly explain SEO fundamentals, while correcting many common misconceptions. If you are new to SEO, you’ll get a complete and thorough SEO education, as well as an array of effective tactics, from basic to advanced. Seasoned practitioners will find this book useful as a complete reference to SEO best practices.

  • Explore the underlying theory behind SEO and how search engines work
  • Learn the steps you need to prepare for, execute, and evaluate SEO initiatives
  • Examine a number of advanced strategies and tactics
  • Understand the intricacies involved in managing complex SEO projects
  • Learn what’s necessary to build a competent SEO team with defined roles
  • Glimpse the future of search and what lies ahead for the SEO industry

About the Authors

Eric Enge is the President of Stone Temple Consulting, a leading SEO consulting firm with offices in Boston and Northern California. Eric is a regular speaker at search industry conferences, such as Search Engine Strategies (SES), Search Marketing Expo (SMX), and Webmaster World. Eric also makes regular contributions on the topic of SEO to Search Engine Land and Search Engine Watch, SEOmoz, and his own blogs. Eric is particularly known for his in depth interviews of major players in the search engine industry including dozens of people who work in senior capacities at the search engines. Eric is also asked to make guest contributions to Website magazine, other SEO related blogs and news web sites, and is a senior editor for the SEO section of the Search Engine Marketing Journal.

Stephan Spencer is founder and President of the highly-respected SEO firm Netconcepts. Clients include Discovery Channel, HSN, AOL, CNET, and, to name a few. He is inventor of Netconcepts’ automated, pay-for-performance SEO technology platform GravityStream which powers the natural search channel for online retailers such as Cabela’s and Northern Tool. Stephan is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, Multichannel Merchant, Practical Ecommerce and MarketingProfs, among others. Stephan is a sought-after conference presenter who’s spoken on SEO at hundreds of events across the globe for organizations such as the DMA, the AMA,, Internet Retailer, SMX, IncisiveMedia (Search Engine Strategies), O’Reilly/TechWeb, PubCon, ECMOD, IQPC and IIR. Stephan is an avid blogger. He blogs primarily on his own blog, Stephan Spencer’s Scatterings. But his posts can also be found on Searchlight (part of the CNET Blog Network), Blog, Natural Search Blog,, MarketingProfs Daily Fix, Changes For Good, and Google.

Rand Fishkin is the CEO & Co-Founder of SEOmoz, a leader in the field of search engine optimization tools, resources & community. In 2009, he was named among the 30 Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs Under 30 by BusinessWeek, and has been written about it in the Seattle Times, Newsweek and the New York Times among others. Rand has keynoted conferences on search from Sydney to Reykjavik, Montreal to Munich and spoken at dozens of shows around the world. He’s particularly passionate about the SEOmoz blog, read by tens of thousands of search professionals each day. In his miniscule spare time, Rand enjoys the company of his amazing wife, Geraldine.

Jessie Stricchiola is a search industry veteran and founder and CEO of the highly-respected SEO firm Alchemist Media, Inc., consistently recognized by BtoB Magazine as one of the top search marketing vendors in the US. Jessie lectures extensively on all matters related to SEO and search at leading industry conferences worldwide, including ad:tech, SMX, Incisive Media’s Search Engine Strategies, O’Reilly Media’s Web 2.0 Summit, Webmaster World’s PubCon,, Stanford’s Web Publishing Workshop and others. She is one of the original nine founders of SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization), serving two years on the Board of Directors for the organization while chairing the Membership Committee. Jessie is widely recognized for identifying and publicizing the first case of PPC click fraud in 2001, and her subsequent work to combat the issue has been featured in numerous media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, and NPR. Jessie has served as an expert consultant and witness on various internet and search-related litigation involving SEO and paid search, as well as patent, trademark, and copyright infringement on the web.

Rand Fishkin

The Process for Launching Niche Sites on WordPress

If you’ve been reading my recent posts, you already know I’m trying something new over the next few months and documenting it here. If you’ve haven’t been reading along that’s totally fine. To bring you up to speed, I’ll be launching a bunch of new niche websites and trying to profit from them.

There are two kinds of websites I’ll be launching: 1.) E-commerce websites that generate income selling stuff. 2.) Niche websites published on the WordPress platform that generate income from advertising and affiliate marketing.

As part of this series I’m going to be documenting step-by-step how to launch a niche website using WordPress. Part of the reason I’m doing this is to help people with zero WordPress experience to be able to create their own website without the help of a tech person. The second part is so that I have a repeatable and documented process for launching these websites myself. After I get my website creation process down I will be able to launch WordPress websites extremely fast and extremely cheap in the future. I can even use the videos and training to give to outsourced employees so honestly this is going to help me as much as anyone else.

Full disclosure: Much of the inspiration for developing a step-by-step process like this came through my monthly Internet Marketing Advantage membership. In part due to this program, I’ve developed a much better understanding of how to put together a list of goals and accomplish them. Also, many of the product recommendations below are affiliate links and I will receive a commission if you decide to purchase the products. I use all of the products I have included affiliate links for and personally vouch for the quality of these services and products.

What You Need:

To get started with niche WordPress sites you need very little. Depending on the features you want, you can get almost everything for free. However, my process will require you to spend about $7 a month for hosting and a domain name that’s about $10 per year. If you want to follow my process exactly, you’ll also need to purchase a premium WordPress template for $127 that can be used again and again no matter how many websites you decide to put up.

Here are the exact products that I’m using for my WordPress website development process:

Domain Name: I use to purchase domain names.
Hosting: I use for hosting my niche websites. Enter the discount code “startseocompany” without quotes when you order and you’ll receive the first month of hosting free.
Custom Theme: I’m using a custom theme called FlexSqeeze Theme. However, you can also download a free WordPress theme to cut costs. I chose to use a premium theme for my niche websites because it has a lot of the features I’m looking for in a website. Also, I can use the same theme on as many of my own websites as I want.
Custom Skin: I will also be using a custom skin that helps save time with design. The one I’m using for future training videos is called Careers Skin and works well with the FlexSqueeze Theme. I paid an additional $9 for this skin.

Estimated Upfront Investment to Use this Process: $146.00

I encourage you to bookmark this page. As I go through the process of setting up a new WordPress website I will be turning the following bullet points into video links or documents that show you exactly what to do:

Module 1: How to Purchase a Domain Name and Set up Web Hosting

- How to buy/ register a domain name with GoDaddy (I didn’t create this video myself, but it does a good job showing you how to register a new domain name in GoDaddy.)
- How to set up hosting with Hostgator
- How to install WordPress with Hostgator
- How to switch your domain servers within GoDaddy
- How to Host Multiple URLs within One HostGator Account

Module 2
: How to Upload the FlexSqueeze Template and Install WordPress Plug-ins

- How to install the FlexSqueeze Theme for WordPress
- How to Install a Free Theme for WordPress
- How to Upload and Install WordPress Plugins
- List of the WordPress Plug ins that I have installed
- How to Install and Activate a Contact Form Plugin
- Install and Edit the SEO Ultimate Plugin

Module 3: Tweaking Your WordPress Theme

- How to Optimize URLs / Edit PermaLinks in WordPress
- How to edit the Header of the Flexibility Theme
- How to change content within the Featured Section of Flexibility Theme
- How to add New Pages to WordPress Theme
- How to Change a Website Title
- How to Upload a Custom Skin to the FlexSqueeze Theme

Additional videos will be announced in the future as I perfect my little website launch process.

I hope this series is able to help a lot of people launch some attractive looking websites in the future.

The 60 Day Link Building Plan

This is part two of my series on building an e-commerce site from the ground up. As I outlined in the first post of the series, I’ve never developed my own e-commerce website before and am writing about the entire process here.

No doubt one of the most important factors dictating success versus failure is going to be the effectiveness of my link building plan. My first step is to outline number of inbound links that will be developed in the first 60 days of launching my e-commerce site. The domain I purchased is brand new and doesn’t have any existing links so I’m starting from 0 with this one.

The market that I’m entering, which I plan share after I’m further along in the process, isn’t too competitive from an off-page standpoint. According to Yahoo! Site Explorer, the website that has a strong hold on the number 1 position for my primary keyword phrase has 839 total links from about 35 unique domains. The company owns about 5 domains in the niche I’m entering and they are interlinked. This same company also happens to be the manufacturer of the products I’m planning to distribute through my e-commerce website so they’ve really got this niche covered right now. Still, I can’t find any evidence of an active link building campaign for the number one website, which leads me to believe I have the opportunity to exceed my competition’s back link profile within a few months of consistent link building.

The Plan:

I’m breaking my initial 60 day link building plan into four, two week blocks. I plan to continue building developing links to my property after the 60-day time frame, but I’ll worry the next stage when the time comes. Here’s what I’m thinking for my link strategy right now.

Week 0 – 2: At the time of writing, I’ve just finished the first two weeks of my link building plan. I’m starting out slow since it’s a brand new domain, but will be ramping up very quickly in subsequent weeks.

1 Ezine Article
1 Guest Post
1 Social Bookmark
2 Network Blog Posts
5 Directory Submissions
1 Twitter Profile

Week 2 – 4:

2 Network Links
20 – 30 Network Article Posts
4 Guest Posts
1 Press Release
2 Web 2.0 Profiles with Additional Network Back links
5 Directory Submissions
2 Blog Comments

Week 4 – 6:

3 – 5 Retweets
20 – 30 Network Article Links
10 – 20 Social Bookmarks
5 Directory Submissions
2 Network Blog Posts
2 Guest Posts
1 Web 2.0 Profile with Network Back links
2 Blog Comments

Week 6 – 8

10 – 20 Social Bookmarks
1 Guest Post
2 Network Blog Posts
5 Directory Submissions
1 Network Link
2 Blog Comments

The Details:

In total, I plan to build about 135 links to my e-commerce site in two months. This number could be a little bit higher or a little bit lower depending on the number of directory submissions that are approved and social bookmarks that are indexed.

Network Links: When I refer to any type of network link be it a blog post, article post, or regular link I’m leveraging tools provided as part of the IMA membership program that I am a member of. This helps cut down the man hours associated with a link building program big time since I don’t need to look around for links or worry about getting approved for links.

Guest Posts: I will be contributing a handful of guest posts on high-quality and highly relevant blogs to my niche. I have already submitted some guest posts to blogs about saving money, eco/green blogs, and parenting: All highly relevant to my target market.

I’ve outsourced some of these guest posts and am even writing a few myself to speed up the process. (Guess my journalism degree is being put to use after all.) To find guest post prospects I’m looking for opportunities by searching in Google for mommy, eco, and parenting blogs as well as trolling for additional prospects.

Web 2.0 Properties: I’ll be creating mini link wheels with each of my web 2.0 properties, like Squidoo or free blog websites. The back links used to help prop up these web 2.0 properties will come from the network of links I have access to. If you’re not familiar with link wheels, watch the video below. This is the exact same strategy I’ll be using to build these links.

I’m not expecting link wheels alone to be able to get me the rankings I’m looking for. However, it is a key part of my overall strategy.

Questions? Need even more details, let me know what you want to know in the comments.