Search engine optimization is a highly debated topic because no one knows the exact criteria the search engines use to determine their results. Google hasn't put on the internet a list that says if you do "this" you will rank on page 1. Google wants to return the websites that provide the best experience for their customer based on the keywords being used. To do this they are almost constantly adjusting their criteria. Anyone who says they can guarantee search ranking or imply they have all the answers is either deceiving you or themselves.

When I promote my website I follow what are generally considered "best practices" in both on-site and off-site SEO (search engine optimization). I filter these recommendations with logic and try to think of it from the perspective of the people running the search engines.

Instead of thinking "how can I promote my website so Google ranks it on page 1" I instead consider what the customer truly needs. When a visitor searches in Google for "cookware" Google wants to give that visitor the best results. Someone looking to buy cookware will likely be interested in more than just an online shopping cart containing cookware products. After all if they knew what they wanted they would have gone to Amazon or WalMart and picked it out. The visitor is probably would also be interested in product descriptions, reviews, care information and maybe even some recipes. They want a site that is an authority on the subject of cookware so they can depend on the information provided.

With these goals in mind I promote my website using the following free SEO techniques:

1. On-site SEO including:

a. Content

b. Keyword usage and placement

2. Off-site SEO such as:

a. Article writing

b. Link building

c. Participation in forums or groups

d. Blogging

This article series will review each method I use to promote my website and will give you a good place to start. Keep in mind that SEO is complex and ever changing. These are the actual techniques I have used to promote my website however your results may vary depending on how competitive your market is.