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Do It Yourself Search Engine Optimization Works!

Aug 17, 2007
SEO experts call SEO a science. That's not so far from the truth. If ten years ago SEO meant inserting some keywords in the Meta tags, nowadays SEO is growing and transforming with a tremendous speed. What works today may not work in three months from now on. The search engines are changing their algorithms so often that getting high rankings in their results has become a fierce competition.

But whether this competition means hiring expensive SEO experts to implement "strategies that work... guaranteed!" or not, it's still a matter of debate. Well, yes, there are SEO techniques achievable solely with money, but as already mentioned above search engines change algorithms fast. Is it really worth to invest huge amounts in short - term results?

Do you honestly believe that there are SEO secrets safe - guarded by the SEO experts? There are not. Getting high rankings in the search engines is not the result of an undisclosed alchemy. Getting high rankings implies hard work, dedication and... sure: some spending.

So let's take a look at what you can do alone to boost search engine results positioning and increase traffic to your site, supposing you are not familiar with web coding and you've just begun your online business.

Step One: Domain Strategy

So you want to sell your products online, let's say wine. What you need to do is get a domain related to your field of activity. For wine (please note: this is just an example, not advertising for any website) a domain such as wine - pages.com will do just fine, because, as you see, it contains your main keyword "wine". Once you've purchased your domain and chosen your domain host, (please no free hosting providers) place it online as a single landing page. Instead of "under construction" write on that page some basic information about your company, provide contact details, write a short summary of what you hope to achieve with your website or what your potential customers could find there, and specify the expected launching date.

Step Two: Promotion Strategy Part One

Yes, you've got that right. Start promoting your website. Immediately. It's true, you don't have a full operational website just yet, but you do want it indexed in the major search engines and you'll definitely need a few back links to get those high rankings you dream about. At this point in your ranking strategy stay away from press releases, but do write relevant articles related to your field of expertise. If your site is about wines, then write an article explaining how wine could benefit human health and what dangers are related to it. Don't forget to include a link to your website in the anchor text (also called "about the author" or "resource box") and submit your article to a few reliable article submission sites. Searchwarp or GoArticles are very good for this purpose. Writing articles leads us to...

Step Three: Content Strategy

Write your own content. Please don't copy! It's not ethic. You don't want your visitors to read your pages and leave saying: hey, I've read that somewhere. Write your pages with your visitors in mind, but make sure you consider the search engines as well. It's not so difficult to write optimised content. Let's see: you sell wine. What kind of wine? Red. That's good, so choose "red wines" as your main keyword phrase. But there are too many companies selling red wines. You should then optimise your content for something more specific than that. Where is this wine produced? California? Perfect: California Red Wines. Well, that's your main keyword phrase.

But it is not enough to choose one phrase. Let's think about a second phrase to bring more targeted traffic to your website. What about "homemade red wine"? It could work if that's really what you are selling. Think about it: don't deceive your visitors hoping to rank higher in the SERP! At the end, it doesn't matter how many hits you get to your site if no one buys your products.

As you see, it's not such a philosophy to choose your keywords. Just think what best describes your product and you've got it right.

You've got your two main keyword phrases. Now start writing your content.

Place your main keyword phrase ONCE in the title (header):

Example: California Red Wines for Special Dinner Parties

Write your content. Try to write at least 300 words and include your main keyword phrase two - three times in the text. Two times for the second phrase will do just fine. Also include a few variations of the words in the main keyword phrases: Californian, reddish, wines, vineyard, winery, home, etc. Make sure your content is readable. Read it our loud. How does it sound? Well if you like it, you're done. That's all the optimising you need for the content.

Step Four: Write the Meta Tags

Yes, you can do it yourself. You write the Meta tags and the web coder will know exactly what to do with them.

The main Meta - tags you can write are: title, description, keywords.

You wrote your own content and chosen your own keywords. Remember? You've got two main keyword phrases: "California Red Wines" and "Homemade Red Wine". That's your Meta Title tag:
California Red Wines | Homemade Red Wine. Please note: there are no "and", "or" in the Meta title, but your very own keyword phrases. Many search engines use the title tag to determine website relevancy. As these keywords are moderately repeating in your text, you are already on the right path.

The second important tag is the page description tag. That's also a central for a few search engines. Keep it short, to the point and try to include some keywords there too. Moderately. Don't spam the search engines! The description should be written like a sales pitch, calling potential visitors to action: "Buy full of flavour homemade Californian wines from our company! Taste Californian winemaking tradition with every sip!"

About this description: is short, to the point, keyword rich and appealing. Both search engines and visitors are going to like it. There is no exaggeration there, no "best of" no "extraordinary". Just the metaphor "taste tradition" increases the value of the simple statement: "full of flavour wines".

Meta keywords... well, you already know them: California red wines, homemade red wine, winery, winemaking, Californian, home. The shorter your keyword tag, the better.

Step Five: Chose a Web Designer

A complete wed development service is costly. If you wrote your texts alone, you already know why. But there are web companies offering low cost solutions for small businesses: simple coding, no text optimisation, and no search engine submission. Hey! You don't need it anyway. If you've followed the first four steps, you are already far! Just insist that your web designer creates a user - friendly layout, respects the Meta tags you wrote, includes relevant alt attributes to your images and provides a valid html code. Ask your web coder to stay away from frames and flash. Plain html is what search engines like best. Besides, many users just hate waiting for fancy flash sites to load.

Step Six: Write a Press Release to Announce Your New Web Presence - Promotion Part Two

Once you have the complete website online write a relevant press release and submit it to a few online media outlets. There are online press portals where you can submit your press release for free, so don't ignore this important step: it will bring you a few extra one way links. Having many sites pointing to your website will determine the search engines to index your site and place it higher in their results. You don't need to submit your site to google: google will come to you, following these links.

Well, these are some basic steps that will help you cut costs. But for many entrepreneurs time means money. So if you don't have the time to do-it-yourself, make sure you choose a reliable web development company, one that will not throw your site into the black SEO trap, one that will not make false promises such as "top ten results... guaranteed".
About the Author
Mihaela Lica, founder of the online public relations, website development and search engine optimization company Pamil Visions is an experienced journalist, with a broad online public relations knowledge.
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