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March 3, 2008

7 Simple Steps to ‘SEO’ the heck out of your competition

This article is meant for beginners who are new to SEO and for old-timers who are seeking new ways to get things done faster.

When thinking about Search Engine Optimization for your site, you must always keep in mind that the basic purpose of your web-site is to make you money. You make money when more people come to your site to purchase things they need. When your web-site has content they like, they spend money with you.

The sole reason you need to show up on search engines, is to let people spot you among the multitude of competitors. To be the first among the few sites a user actually visits, you need to come up among the top few. This is why you use Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

So when you prepare your site, remember that your site should cater mainly to human tastes, not just that of the Search Engines. To have a web-site that is great for search-engines but unbearable to humans is just waste of your time.

Most important : Get your web page in shape. Remember, people have tastes, likes, dislikes, emotions. Build a site for people.

Then,

1) Research your keywords thoroughly. Put your keywords in all the right places like Title tags, Meta Tags, Alt for images etc. Make sure your links are properly formatted. Read up on keyword Mastery and keyword research as well as how to place your keywords on the page.

2) Create great content. Search Engines provide you better ranking if you have better content. People visit your page for the content you have. Search Engines think that you have better content if you have ever new/updated content. The articles you have should reflect the title of your page. It should be about your core business or somehow affiliated with it.

You could either have content written by yourselves or republished with consent. The idea is to have people spend more time on your web-site. The more time they spend on your site, the better your chances of making a sale. If you are not very good at writing articles, you can get others to write them for you. There are quite a few websites that provide you with cheap content.

3) Create a google sitemap for use by google. This is a small xml file with the following values for each of your pages that you would like Google to index: url, last modified, change frequency, and priority. Make sure you submit this sitemap to google.

4) Publish your articles with article submission sites. Always have links within your articles to link back to your own site. Search Engines look for inward pointing links to your site. The higher the PageRank of sites your links appear, the better for you. There are tools available that find such sites for you.

5) If you are into email marketing (and I am yet to see a single instance where you should not be), always link back to your site from your email. Give your reader the opportunity to visit your site by clicking the link on the email.

6) Some websites have made it easy for others to link back to them. Scripts are available free all over the internet to accomplish this. Like I said before, Search Engines love a site that other people love to link to. It is pretty easy to provide a link.

7) Read up on google’s suggestions. http://www.google.com/webmasters/ . You will also find various tools here to help you with preparing your site for submission to google. These include tools to check which pages on your site have been indexed.

Very Important: Study your competition. See what they are doing to get to the top. ( There are tools that help you do this; see footnote.)

Bonus tips:

  • Add title tags for text links. These are similar to Alt tags for image links.
  • Study your PageRank religiously.
  • Add your navigation menus to the top and the bottom of the page.
  • Consider affiliate linking to sell your products(More links pointing to you plus more people selling for you).
  • Consider advertising on other web-sites(More links pointing to you).

Now that you are on your way to SEO heaven, let me add a few words of caution:

  • Avoid using the same title tag on all pages.
  • Avoid using link farms to get inbound links. Search Engines catch up soon enough and you end up being shunned.
  • Avoid using “Click here to…” as anchor text.
  • Avoid using Submission Services for submitting to search engines.
  • Remember that any attempt to “over-optimize” your site in an effort to cheat the search-engine spiders could get you banned too.

Of the various tools we have used in the past, two stand out.

#1 Pick: SEO Elite Website: www.eliteSEOtool.com Cost = $167 (lifetime free upgrades and no annual fees) Top Features: Finds best link partners with authority ranking; Automates link process; Monitors existing inbound links; keeps a watchful eye on your competition; Provides great Site Optimization Comments; Test Results: 100+ rankings mostly 1s , few 2s in 5 weeks : Good for beginners as well as experts. Very cost effective. 8 week trial period.

#2 Pick: WebPosition Website: www.webposition.com Cost = $389 WebPosition Pro or $149 Standard (plus $99 per year subscription fees for either) Test Results: 44 top 5 rankings in Google in eight weeks – Mostly 3’s and 4’s. Top Features: A little out of its depth when it comes to automatic linking capabilities. Reporting is nice. 4 week trial period.

Either tool is pretty easy to get started with & should pose you no problems.

You are all set to SEO your way to the top!

Happy hunting!

Author:  Links to SEO Tools tested: #1 Pick: SEO Elite( http://www.eliteSEOtool.com ) #2 Pick: WebPosition (http://www.webposition.com )

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