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5 SEO Tips During A Down Economy
By Brian Frug, president & senior account manger, Search Concepts L.L.C.

Many business owners are turning to SEO (search engine optimization) to increase or sustain their Web business during the current recession. In comparison to more traditional marketing methods such as TV, radio, and print, SEO is very cost effective because it enhances a Web site's exposure in the natural search listings of leading search engines: Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. The natural search listings are the free portion of the search results where no cost per click takes place. Having this type of exposure is essentially free advertising resulting in an ROI that is tough for other marketing methods to match. Below are some tips to use towards your own SEO campaign, whether you perform SEO yourself or manage someone who does.

Don't Overdo Design - Make sure your Web pages display plenty of textual content. If optimized properly, text provides the search engines a clear understanding of what your intended keyword phrases are. Many Web site owners get themselves into trouble by being too concerned with the aesthetics or design elements of their site. The search engines are unable to gather the information needed from these elements to understand and rank your site according to your preferred keywords. While recent improvements have been made between the search engines and developers to improve the indexing of design elements such as flash, it is still best to play it safe with good old-fashioned text.

Build links - Get your link out there. Popularize it on blogs, message boards, directories, news and press release feeds, and anywhere else that is relevant to your own site's subject. Link building is arguably the single most important component of SEO. It is a rather laborious process, but well worth it, especially if you can utilize a keyword phrase as the link's anchor text. Each quality link is a vote of confidence for your site in the eyes of the search engines. If other sites are linking to your site, it's safe for the search engines to assume that your site is offering the visitor a rewarding experience. A quality search engine rank is often dependent on the number of quality links a site has pointing to it.

Think Small Before You Think Big - You can't get your business on every street corner in America before you get on your own street first. Make sure your SEO campaign pursues your local regions and its corresponding keywords. General keywords (without a location) mean your site is competing against other sites across the nation. Optimizing for some local terms lessens your competition, thus producing results faster. Many people love to search according to their location, so significant exposure is possible through this practice.

Be A Resource - Search engines value sites that provide more than just products and prices. Become a resource for your industry. Teach and inform your audience in order to establish your company as an undeniable expert. Many well-ranking sites are informational, as they offer the visitor articles, blog entries, white papers, press releases, glossaries, news feeds, weekly chats, and regularly updated FAQs. Think beyond the minimum and make your site well rounded by contributing a wide variety of insight to it.

Commit and Be Patient - Many companies lose patience with SEO, given the long-term nature of the process. Becoming relevant in the eyes of the search engines doesn't happen overnight. Companies that expect too much too soon are often disappointed. SEO has become a regularly performed business activity. Many well-ranking sites figured this out long ago and are now reaping the benefits. SEO can be best compared to staying in shape. To get in shape and stay in shape, you have to eat right and exercise regularly. If you eat right and exercise for a couple months and then stop, your results will likely diminish, and your body will end up right back where it started. Similarly, SEO is something that needs consistent effort and attention to attain and maintain quality search engine listings. Attaining results is half the battle, while the other half is maintaining those results through ongoing link building and content refinement. Results from SEO can disappear rather quickly though if you don't commit to it regularly.

---Source: Search-Concepts.com Nov. 18, 2009 newsletter (www.search-concepts.com). If you'd like additional help with your SEO efforts, or are looking to get started for the first time, feel free to contact Search-Concepts for a custom quote related to your Web site's SEO needs.
 

Melissa Data


 
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