Optimze Your Web Site on a Shoe String Budget

Let me start off by saying I'm not a marketing guru or work for a fortune 500 advertising company. I don't even have a marketing background. But if you don't have money to blow on optimizing your site, then listen up.

Search engine optimization guidelines are more mysterious than Michael Jackson's bedroom. About once a week I read about how Google's algorithm is changing. They must have a dozen mad sciencetists working around the clock. Google just wants to be the perfect search engine. That's all well and good, but gives us a breather here! Maybe they're trying so hard cause they no longer hold 80% of online searches. MSN and Yahoo have built their own proprietary software, leveling the playing field a bit. A study done by www.searchenginewatch.com shows Google under 50% for US online searches. Yahoo is second with 21% while MSN ended third at 12%.

So what does that mean? Actually?not much. Unless you're ready to do a PPC campaign or your company is a household name the odds of getting listed right away on the big three are pretty slim. But don't despair. With a little patience and some hard work you will get listed.

So here are the steps:

Submit submit submit. Forget about the big three along with their affiliates for now. Instead submit to the multitude of search engines that will post your site for free. If you like I can send you my list free of charge. Just email me at [email protected] with the subject title "Free List". Remember, you're playing the numbers game here. Most of them are free with incentives to pay if you want your site reviewed quickly. Also submit to directories and comparison shopping portals such as www.bizrate.com. Here's a tip when submitting to directories. Directories such as www.lookdirectory.com don't rank your sites. They place them by category alphabetically. Just because your company name is Zachs Toy Zebras, doesn't mean that's what you have to name your site when submitting it. You can call it #1 Toy Zebras. Now your site will be placed right on top for all to zee, I mean see.

Fine tune your keywords and they will come. Make them as relevant as possible. For example, let's say you sell Susuki speed boats and your company name is Jacks Suzuki Speedboats. Your first keyword should be Susuki speedboat, not speedboat or boat. You're selling to a specific market that will search for a specific item. If your keyword terms are too broad you'll probably get more traffic but not necessarily more sales. This could get costly if you're doing a PPC campaign. Remember that tag word K.I.S.S.? I'm changing it to "Keep Is Specific Stupid". Also have the first sentence on your page say Suzuki speedboats. When those little web bots come strolling to your page they will see the term Suzuki speedboat in the store name, first keyword and first sentence in the page body. A very relative site to the web bots. Here's a perfect example. I did a search on "Suzuki speedboat" and this site came up number four. The URL is www.globalsuzuki.com/gcm/spotlight/marine002.html You will notice the word Suzuki as part of the company name. Now if you right click on the page and view source code you can see that the title tag says "Suzuki" and close to the top of the body are the words Suzuki. Do you think that's a coincidence? Also, if you do a search in MSN for "reverse balding" or "stop DHT" you will see my site www.endbalding.com in the top four and three spot respectively. Feel free to view my source code to validate what I'm saying. It took a little over a month to get my page listed on MSN.

Make sure to use the H1 tags on your main page. Primarily as a header for your product. Web bots see this tag as an important item. Now don't misuse these tags and place them all over your site. You might get penalized for that. Given that the H1 tag is so large it may not look quite right on your page, don't fret there is a fix. All you need to do is place the tag between your H1 tags. Use whatever font size you feel is right for your page.

Links will still be an important part of your marketing. Again be selective. If you sell computer books don't link with a site that sells lingerie. This may seem like common sense but I've witnessed these errors. Stay clear from those free for all links commonly referred to as link farms. You'll get bombarded with e-mails requesting to exchange links. And those links may not have anything to do with your site. There are legitimate companies such as www.links4trade.com that provide you with a network of sites for you to choose from and special features that enable you to design your links page with little HTML knowledge. The downside is cost. They charge about $300 a year.

By using these techniques you'll be on your way to upping your rank in the search engine battle within a few weeks.

William Cortes is a freelance writer and entrepreneur. His parent company NetAd owns http://www.endbalding.com which is a re-seller of an amazing hair growth product.

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