Category Archives: search engine optimization

Ten SEO Tips for any Website

Achieving a high ranking in the search results at Google and other search sites is, for many websites, the primary means of attracting new visitors and increasing traffic. That’s why it’s important to optimize your site for search, using various search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. The better optimized your site, the higher it will appear in the search rankings—and the more traffic you’ll attract.

With that in mind, here are 10 SEO tips that you can use with any website, no matter what the site’s content. Follow the advice here and you’ll likely improve your ranking!

TIP #1: Improve Your Content
Ultimately, people visit a given website because it has valuable content. If the content isn’t any good, all the SEO in the world won’t create new visitors.

That’s why of all the SEO tips in the world, the one that has the biggest impact is improving your website’s content. It’s simple: The better your site is, content-wise, the higher it will rank.

You see, when it comes to search rank, content is king. Ultimately, the better search engines find some way to figure out what your site is all about; the higher quality and more relevant your site’s content is to a particular search, the more likely it is that a search engine will rank your site higher in its results.

So forget all about fancy keywords and technical META tags for the time being, and focus on what it is your site does and says.

If your site is about NASCAR racing, work to make it the most content-rich site about NASCAR you can; if it’s about aquariums, make it the highest-quality aquarium site possible. Don’t skimp on the content—the more and more relevant content you have, the better.

Here’s what you need to remember: SEO isn’t about technological tricks. It’s about making your site more useful to visitors—and that means providing the best possible content you can. Everything else follows from this.

TIP #2: Create a Clear Organization and Hierarchy
Here’s an important fact: Web crawlers for the major search sites can find more content on a web page and more web pages on a website if that content and those pages are in a clear hierarchical organization.

Let’s look at page organization first. You want to think of each web page as a mini-outline. The most important information should be in major headings, with lesser information in subheadings beneath the major headings.

One way to do this is via standard HTML heading tags, with the most important information in H1 tags, the next most-important in H2 tags, and less-important information in H3 tags.

This approach is also appropriate for your entire site layout. Your home page should contain the most important information, with subsidiary pages branching out from that containing less important information—and even more subpages branching out from those. The most important info should be visible when a site is first accessed via the home page; additional info should be no more than a click or two away.

TIP #3: Fine-Tune Your Keywords
Just as important as a page’s layout is the page’s content in terms of keywords. A keyword is a word or phrase that the user searches for.

In determining search ranking, the major search engines look to determine how important a keyword or phrase is on your page. They do this by seeing where on the page the keyword is used and how many times it’s used. A site with a keyword buried near the bottom of a page will rank lower than one with the keyword placed near the top or used repeatedly in the page’s text. It’s not a foolproof way of determining importance and appropriateness, but it’s a good first stab at it.

When various search engines examine your page, they look for the most important words—those words used in the site’s title or headings, those words that appear in the opening paragraph, and those words that are repeated throughout the page. The more and more prominently you include a word on your page, the more important a search engine will think it is to your site.

For this reason, you want to make sure that each and every page on your site contains the keywords that users might use to search for your pages. If your site is all about drums, make sure your pages include words like “drums,” “percussion,” “sticks,” “heads,” “cymbals,” “snare,” and the like. If your site is about dogs, include words like “dog,” “puppy,” “canine,” “beagle,” “collie,” “dachshund,” and such.

Try to think through how you would search for this information, and work those keywords into your content.

TIP #4: Tweak Your META Tags
A search engine looks not just to the text that visitors see when trying to determine the content of your site. Also important is the presence of keywords in your site’s HTML code—specifically within the META tag.

The META tag includes metadata about your site, such as your site’s name and keyword “content.” This tag appears in the head of your HTML document, before the BODY tag and its contents.

It’s easy enough for a search engine to locate the META tag and read the data contained within. If a site’s metadata is properly indicated, this gives the search engine a good first idea about what content is included on this page.

Fortunately, you can insert multiple META tags into the head of your document, and each tag can contain a number of different attributes. For example, you can assign attributes for your page’s name, a description, and keywords to the META tag.

You use separate META tags to define different attributes using the following format:

META NAME=”attribute” CONTENT=”items”NOTE

In the previous line of code, replace attribute with the name of the particular attribute, and items with the keywords or description of that attribute.

For example, to include a description of your web page, enter this line of code:

META NAME=”DESCRIPTION” CONTENT=”All about stamp collecting”
To include a list of keywords, use the following code:

META NAME=”KEYWORDS” CONTENT=”keyword1, keyword2, keyword3″

TIP #5: Solicit Inbound Links
Google got to be Google by recognizing that web rankings could be somewhat of a popularity contest; that is, if a site got a lot of traffic, there was probably a good reason why. A useless site wouldn’t attract a lot of visitors (at least not long term), nor would it inspire other sites to link to it.

So if a site has a lot of other sites linking back to it, it’s probably because that site offers useful information relevant to the site doing the linking. The more links to a given site, the more useful it probably is.

Google took this to heart and developed its own algorithm, dubbed PageRank, which is based first and foremost on the number and quality of sites that link to a particular page.

If your site has a hundred sites linking to it, for example, it should rank higher in Google’s search results than a similar site with only ten sites linking to it. Yes, it’s a popularity contest, but one that has proven uncannily accurate in providing relevant results to Google’s users.

And it’s not just the quantity of links; it’s also the quality. That is, a site that includes content that is relative to your page is more important than just some random site that links to your page. For example, if you have a site about NASCAR racing, you’ll get more oomph with a link from another NASCAR-related site than you would with a link from a site about Barbie dolls. Relevance matters.

So when it comes to increasing your rankings at Google (which is, far and away, the largest and most important search engine), you can get a big impact by getting more higher-quality sites to link back to your site.

There are a number of ways to do this: from just waiting for the links to roll in to actively soliciting links from other sites. You can even pay other sites to link
back to your site; when it comes to increasing your site’s search ranking, little is out of bounds. But however you do, increasing the number and quality of inbound links is essential.

TIP #6: Submit Your Site
While you could wait for the each search engine’s crawler to find your site on the Web, a more proactive approach is to manually submit your site for inclusion in each engine’s web index. It’s an easy process—and one that every webmaster should master.

Fortunately, submitting your site to a search engine is an easy process. In fact, it’s probably the easiest part of the SEO process. All you have to do is go the submission page for each search engine, as noted here:

•Google: http://www.google.com/addurl/
•Yahoo!: siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/submit/
•Windows Live Search: search.msn.com.sg/docs/submit.aspx
As easy as this site submittal process is, some webmasters prefer to offload the task to a site submittal service. These services let you enter your URL once and then submit it to multiple search engines and directories; they handle all the details required by each search engine. Given that many of these services are free, it’s not a bad way to go.

TIP #7: Create a Sitemap
Here’s something else that you can submit to increase your site’s ranking: a sitemap. A sitemap is a map of all the URLs in your entire website, listed in hierarchical order. Search engines can use this sitemap to determine what’s where on your site, find otherwise-hidden URLs on deeply buried pages, and speed up their indexing process. In addition, whenever you update the pages on your website, submitting an updated sitemap helps keep the search engines up-to-date.

The big three search engines (Google, Yahoo!, and Live Search), along with Ask.com, all support a single sitemap standard. This means you can create just one sitemap that all the search engines can use; you don’t have to worry about different formats for different engines.

Your sitemap is created in a separate XML file. This file contains the distinct URLs of all the pages on your website. When a searchbot reads the sitemap file, it learns about all the pages on your website—and can then crawl all those pages for submittal to the search engine’s index.

By the way, the new unified sitemap format allows for autodiscovery of your site’s sitemap file. Previously, you had to notify each search engine separately about the location of each file on your site. Now you can do this universally by specifying the file’s location in your site’s robots.txt file.

While you could create a sitemap file by hand, it’s far easier to generate that sitemap automatically. To that end, many third-party sitemap-generator tools exist for just that purpose. For most of these tools, generating a sitemap is as simple as entering your home page URL and then pressing a button.

The tool now crawls your website and automatically generates a sitemap file; once the sitemap file is generated, you can then upload it to the root directory of your website, reference it in your robots.txt file, and, if you like, submit it directly to each of the major search engines.

TIP #8: Use Text Instead of Images
It’s important to know that today’s generation of search engines parse only text content; they can’t figure out what a picture or video or Flash animation is about, unless you describe it in the text. So if you use graphic buttons or banners (instead of plain text) to convey important information, the search engines simply won’t see it. You need to put every piece of important information somewhere in the text of the page—even if it’s duplicated in a banner or graphic.

So if you use images on your site, which you probably do, make sure that you use the ALT tag for each image—and assign meaningful keywords to the image via this tag. A searchbot will read the ALT tag text; it can’t figure out what an image is without it.

Similarly, don’t hide important information in Flash animations, JavaScript applets, video files, and the like. Remember, searchbots can only find text on your page—all those non-text elements are invisible to a search engine

TIP #9: Update Your Content Frequently
It pays to constantly update your site. Because most searchbots crawl the Web with some frequency, looking for pages that have changed or updated content, your ranking can be affected if your site hasn’t changed in a while. So you’ll want to make sure that you change your content on a regular basis; in particular, changing the content of your heading tags can have a big impact on how “fresh” the search engine thinks your site is.

TIP #10: Know Your Customer
This final tip is a piece of business advice I’ve been hawking for the past two decades. Everything you do in business—or on your website—should come in service to your customers. You don’t develop a new product just because you have the capability; you do it because it’s something your customers want.

To that end, knowing what your customers want is the most important part of your business. If you know your customers, you can develop a website that they will want to visit—and that search engines will want to rank highly. Know what your customers want and you’ll know what kind of content to create, and how to present that content.

And because SEO starts with your optimizing site’s content, the better and more relevant that content, the higher your site will rank with Google, Yahoo!, and the other search engines.

Know your customer, and everything else follows.

The First 100 Days

If you happen to look around, even slightly, you’ll learn that there is no “quick fix” when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. It’s an investment in yourself and your website, wherein you hope your content is better than the next guys.

But if you own the goose that lays the golden egg in your market niche, how can you possibly wrangle your way to the top of Google to shout out to the land? The tried, and true, SEO; correctly performed and implemented, and practiced will drive you there. But just like a journey of 1000 steps starts with the first, so does the journey to the top of the Search Engines starts with day 1 and building your site with proper coding, and SEO practices in mind.

In the first 30 days you’ll be noticed by the spiders, as they crawl your content and start finding where you fit into the billions of already indexed pages out there.

In the first 60 days, if you’ve built your site properly and have had optimization done onsite, you’ll start to see yourself climbing “the ladder” in your market niche. You may already start to make brief appearances in the top 20, exciting times for a new business.

Nearing the end of your first 100 days of properly constructed, and optimized site, your site will start to hang around consistently in the top 15 or so, top 10 if the search engines love your site, and perhaps top 5 if your market niche is that particular.

All in all, the first 100 days of a newly constructed, optimized site, can be viewed as a beginning benchmark to your strength within the index. If you’ve followed the rules, been properly optimized, you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labours and investments for a long time to come.

The Magic of Seach Engine Optimization

Magic! Mysticism! Mystery!

Nope, guess again. Search Engine Optimization, is to a lot of people, full of magic and mystery. It has none of these qualities, yet when it’s done right, it can definitely provide the illusion of it.

Proper SEO, can change a companies future, drive internet marketing and sales, give that needed visibility for your campaign race, and more! When the rules are followed, and the steps are taken, it can be magic.

That being said, there’s the black magic out there of course. The not so legal tricks, cloaking, hiding text, keyword stuffing, just to name a couple. The temptations for fast results, often come with the just rewards, barring of your site, to outright banning your site from the index.

In the end, the good guys win, and the bad look for a new way to use their tricks.

Which hat will your hero wear?

Good SEO Practices

There are always the articles and posts about “How to SEO” or “SEO Tips and Tricks”, but it isn’t too often there is any discussion of what not to do from an SEO perspective. So, very briefly, lets go over some of the points of what not to do from an SEO view.

SEO Mistake #1 – Improper Use of Your Title Tag

The title tag is extremely important when it comes to website optimization, and serves multiple purposes. It tells the search engines what your site is about, it gets displayed in the search results for your page and is displayed at the top of your visitors browser while they are on your site.

SEO Mistake #2 – Improper Use of Your Keywords Meta Tag

Once upon a time the keywords meta tag was was used by search engines to determine the relevance of your website. These days even well-written keyword tags are largely ignored by Google and the other major search engine players. But that doesn’t mean you may ignore, or abuse the keyword meta tag. You could possibly wind up being penalized by the search engines instead of ranking well with them.

SEO Mistake #3 – Keyword Stuffing

More does not always equal better. Page content with too many keywords typically doesn’t read properly, and “hiding” keywords, using white text on a white background, is highly frowned upon and dealt with.

Your best bet, is to work up well written, relevant content for what your customers may be looking for, and let the web work it’s magic.

SEO Mistake #4 – Using Irrelevant Keywords to Attract Traffic

May seem like a common sense point, but to reitterate. Using irrelevant or useless content and keywords to attract traffic to your site will only lower your overall rankings with the search engines.

Aside from the few points from above, there are a great deal of mistakes you can make as a website owner that can hurt, or hinder your rankings with the search engines. Cloaked pages, doorway pages, poor coding practices, page labelling, and the list goes on and on.

Nath

Press Release – Winnipeg Search Marketing Company Launches New Canadian Website

Winnipeg, Canada January 13, 2009 — The Fresh Traffic Group is proud to announce the launch of their new Canadian website www.freshtraffic.ca which showcases all their new and existing services for the search engine marketing industry. The site also uses enhanced SEO methods to affirm their position in the SEO marketing industry.

The site features easy navigation and more informative pages and; internet SEO tools to help visitors better understand the detailed services they offer and their benefits.

“We felt it was time to use the wealth of information and results we have achieved to better represent ourselves in the North American market. Our services needed to be clearer to the captive audience we are looking to approach, and its imperative we give them the facts quickly to ensure they have come to the right place”, says David Guspodarchuk, Sales Manager of Fresh Traffic Group.

“New products used to get a traditional introduction to the marketplace,” says President Jerry Booth. “A company would send out a press release and advertise in the paper, on TV or on the radio, and a website would be created to highlight the new product’s capabilities. But now, product launches involve a new strategy that focuses on social networking, SEO, link-building, website optimization and content creation, integrated into many of the traditional marketing and public relations techniques already in use.”

Mr. Booth further states, “Recent events where history has been made show how times have changed. You still need to do all the traditional work with websites to list high in search engines like Google & Yahoo, but we have now integrated traditional media and marketing strategies with new media and social media services. Fresh Traffic offers a personalized approach to communication practices in areas such as; marketing strategy and marketing intelligence; internal positioning and reputation management; brand management; public relations and media relations; and small business consulting and global marketing practices. “

“Fresh has just been awarded the Top SEO Company for the second month in a row by Search Tech which confirms our leadership position in the SEO industry,” comments Mr. Booth. “Although every employee at Fresh is proud to work for the best SEO Company in Canada, we are not satisfied. Indeed, we are restless. In order to achieve many more number one rankings for our company, we must build on our success, not rest on it.”

About Fresh Traffic Group – www.freshtraffic.ca

Fresh Traffic Group, operated by former Director of Google UK, Jerry Booth, specializes in organic search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), helping company websites to place high on the pages of the major search engines such as; Google, MSN and Yahoo. The company is headquartered on the 16th floor of the CanWest Global Building in Winnipeg, MB Canada.

For further information or to book an appointment to meet, contact: David Guspodarchuk, Sales Manager, 204-942-4200 ext. 2225

SEO, Why is Everyone an Expert

A College internship at an interactive marketing company ended up the ticket to a promising career for one of its 22 year old students. During the internship, he learned a skill known as search engine optimization In August, he was snapped up by a public relations and advertising agency in Denver, and given the title of search engine optimization director.

This was a story in the New York Times

The birth of the Internet gave rise to jobs in areas like Web development and design. And as companies and consumers flocked to the Web, jobs in Internet marketing soon followed. Search engine optimization, part of Internet marketing, is what companies use to drive traffic to Web sites in the hope that consumers will buy a product or service, for example, or subscribe to a publication.

This is a question I ask myself on a regular basis, Why is everyone all of a sudden an SEO Expert, they read a few blogs, go on day course somewhere and all of a sudden they know all there is know about search engine optimization.

If only it was that easy,.

All the SEO’s I know personally, most are well known and documented on the web who have been doing this for the last 10 years, long before it had a name.

They all earn in excess of $1million a year, admittedly some write there own books, some write get rich marketing schemes that plays to peoples greed, are they bothered when earning $10 million a year, probably not.

The question I ask myself is this, if it was you earning this kind of money on an annual basis, would you tell everyone how it was really done?

I didn’t think so, You have your answer.

You can learn good practices by reading forums and blogs, you can read the guidelines set out by Google, Yahoo etc, learn about social media and even web designing, but I have yet to read the full story on how it is done by anybody.

The big hitters will always be the big hitters, WHY, money in the bank baby.

Not all SEO providers are the same

If you’re a small business shopping around for the right SEO to help you out, there are a lot of things you need to consider before jumping in and hiring a SEO subcontractor or firm. Even if you’re on a tighter-than-normal budget–and really, who isn’t right about now–you can’t shop for SEO simply on costs alone. That’s like buying an economy car when you really need a mini-van. You just need to find the mini-van that offers the best features at the right price.

Not all SEO providers are the same and not all sites require the same type of SEO service. All thing must be taken into proper consideration. Here are five things that are relevant to the overall pricing and success of your optimization campaign.

Size of your site

The size of your site will be a significant factor in how much work will be necessary to optimize. The smaller the site the easier the overall optimization will be. But if you’re dealing with a site with lots of pages or products then the optimization becomes much more complex. Even the pre-optimization work on larger site’s is more time consuming.

The difference between optimizing small and larger sites can literally be thousands of dollars per month. As you start shopping around and getting quotes for SEO, you need to be aware of the size of the task that you’re being quoted on.

Condition of site

While size of the site has an effect, so does the site’s overall condition. I’ve run across many smaller sites that were so completely screwed up that nothing short of a complete re-development was in order. This sucks for the small business owner, but when you didn’t invest in developing the site properly the first time, it means you either have to do it again correctly or simply suffer through ineffective SEO. Of course, you’re still paying for that SEO so you’re better off going for the re-development.

If your site is in relatively stable condition, from an architectural standpoint, then that will cut down the cost significantly. This is especially true for larger site’s where one change can be implemented across thousands of pages instantly.

There are a lot of factors that are considered when looking at the site’s condition. Things such as the architecture, usability, design appeal, usage and customization of title and description tags, page content, site navigation and internal linkage, all need to be considered when analyzing the condition of the site and what needs to be done to get it into proper order..

Keyword options

There is a huge difference in optimizing a site for a few dozen keywords, versus optimizing a site for several thousand. There are many sites in niche industries where keywords are pretty limited. Usually we can still come up with a list of a few hundred, but sometimes it’s even fewer than that. But in other industries the keyword variables are wide open and there can literally be an unlimited number of keywords that can be targeted.

The more keyword options there are for your site, and how quickly you want to get any and all of those keywords optimized and performing in the search results, will be a contributing factor in the cost of your campaign. If you are fine with a slower approach then costs can be reduced significantly. But if you want to be more aggressive, optimizing more keywords more quickly, then the cost will go up significantly.

Experience/Skill of SEO

Some SEOs charge $25/hour while others charge several hundred, and there is every shade in between. Not all SEO firms charge by the hour, but the quote for services is based on the number of hours of work estimated and how much the SEO believes they are worth for that amount of time, so essentially, everything is hourly based.

While you may not want to pay $200/hour for services when you can get it for $50, there is a skill factor involved in each pricing structure. Not everybody who charges a lot is worth it, but very few are worth more than they charge. Selecting a SEO with the skill level necessary to do the job and do it effectively is essential to your long-term success. Keep in mind, also, that more skilled SEOs will not only charge more per hour, but they will likely get more done in less time. At the same time, they are more likely to find and fix problems that would be left unaddressed by the lesser skilled providers.

Another factor to consider is the difference between hiring a solo-SEO consultant and a SEO firm. While firms tend to have more overhead that needs to be paid for, they often have a wider skill range to work from. It’s often difficult for one person to be an expert in SEO, architecture, copywriting, usability, link building, and social media all at the same time. In such cases these jobs will often be farmed out at a profit for both individuals/companies doing and managing the work, or simply performed less effectively.

Services offered

The amount of services offered in a SEO contract can vary from company to company. It’s not too difficult to reduce costs of the SEO service by cutting out non-essential services. But frequently enough, essential services are cut as well, in order to get costs down. Cutting costs by cutting essential services is bad for everybody. Not only will you not be performing but then you’ll blame the SEO who will in turn point out that you may need to purchase additional services in order to perform.

While not every service is necessary for every kind of SEO contract, you need to make sure that the essential services are in place. And from there, you still need to keep an open mind if other services may need to be added to give your campaign an added boost.

All of these factors weigh heavily in the overall cost of any SEO and online marketing campaign. If your funds are limited then you may be tempted to go with a budget SEO provider. But keep in mind that SEO is an investment. If you invest little, you’ll likely get little. But as you increase your investment then your return usually becomes exponentially greater.

Everybody needs to budget and you don’t want to get into a contract that you simply cannot afford to pay. Considering each of the areas above carefully will ensure you’re selecting an SEO provider that will provide you the best service, giving you the most value for your invested dollar. The last thing you want is to be budgeted out of success.

When is keyword density enough

One of the discussions that new content writers like to engage in is the keyword density discussion.

Somewhere along the line someone told them to make sure their keyword density was at least 1% and not more than 7%, or something like that. Is there any truth to it?
Not really. What’s really important to getting rankings in the search engines is not how many times you use a keyword in your content, but where you use your keyword and how you use your keyword.

In terms of search engine optimization, one keyword placed in the title of your content – an h1 tag at the top of the page – is worth about half a dozen of the same keyword filtered throughout your content. That’s pretty powerful. By the same token, one keyword placed inside an anchor text link is equal in value to about three or four of the same keyword repeated in your content.

Again, that’s fairly significant.

Keyword density may have been important at one time, but it’s not important today. You’d be much better off learning what the search engines are looking for overall and forgetting about keyword density.

Internet marketing world get-rich-quick schemes

Just about everybody in the Internet marketing world has a get-rich-quick scheme these days. Start looking around and you’ll find dozens of so-called “gurus” who are willing to share their techniques with you for some cash. The problem with these guys is that they often don’t even practice the techniques they offer.

They just make money selling books and the techniques they offer really don’t have real-world applications. They can offer you platitudes about what to do to create a successful Internet business but not a real money-making technique.

When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, commonly known as SEO, most aspiring Internet Marketers think immediately of Google Ad words. The problem is, you may be thinking of Ad words, but so is everyone else. Google has wisely caught on to this and have appropriately raised their rates, making them untenable for many. Couple that with the new regulations coming down the pipe from Google and you have some serious problems.

Good SEO During A Bad Economy

If the headlines threatening a global economic meltdown are causing you to rethink your search marketing strategy, you’ll probably have considered taking your paid search campaigns back in house, shelving your PPC campaigns entirely or turning your hand to organic optimization in a bid to reduce marketing costs.

However you’re cutting costs, organic search shouldn’t be the area in which you skimp. Organic traffic is often more qualified, more interested and less expensive than traffic accrued in any other way, making it a safe bet when times are lean. Unfortunately, a good SEO campaign can also cost serious bucks so it’s important to spend dollars wisely when all the indicators point to a nationwide financial slump.

Play Favorites
There are several ways to make an SEO campaign a good investment during an economic downturn. One option is to focus on a single core area, giving you a performance focused optimization strategy based on tried and tested market share. Good SEO during a bad economy should never be a dressed up attempt to crack a new market – if the bottom line is being closely scrutinized, it’s not the time for experiments. Instead, efforts should be built around increasing the online presence of one best selling product or service with its own proven track record.

All search engine optimization activity needs clearly defined objectives and if the main thrust is to increase inbound leads or actual sales figures, targeting an individual business area makes the end result much more attainable. The example I often give here is to think of a house in need of decoration. Problem is you only have one can of paint. Do you choose to spread the can thinly around the whole house and do a mediocre job in every room or do you focus on just one room and do a proper job? When cash is short this mindset can be successfully applied to SEO. Choosing a product that has performed well previously also means you have historic data to base marketing decisions on. There’s also the confidence borne of a previous warm reception that ensures the new optimisation campaign is not wasted as an R and D exercise.

Assign Roles
It goes without saying that a carefully constructed plan of attack is an intrinsic part of successful search marketing activity. Remembering this basic missive will provide structure and symmetry, especially if money worries have resulted in an in-house campaign. Like going into battle, each detail must be meticulously planned. Roles must be assigned and understood if a pared down campaign is to be successful. Just because you’re operating on a budget and targeting wary consumers is not an excuse for poor performance. Turning good into great means spending extra time on the details; you can’t just write off missed opportunities and forgotten deadlines in a fiercely competitive, recession-fearing market. To minimise this risk, gather a small, well drilled team who can each carry out a specific task. Giving others responsibilities maximises effectiveness as each person can play to their own strengths. Doubling the workforce also means twice as many hours can go into optimisation

Report Back
At this stage of recession time SEO, you can tick off the usual starting points such as deciding on keywords, assessing the site for content changes and identifying link partners. Most importantly if your campaign is to bear fruit, decide on and implement reporting structures. Good SEO is accountable and measurable. If you can’t envisage using the data your reporting systems provide to write a performance testimony at monthly intervals, your SEO is not sufficient to survive economic turmoil. In order to justify SEO spend when times are hard, the number of sales, revenue generated, value of web presence secured and brand penetration of the campaign must all be available as real time metrics. If you can go into a meeting and say this piece of content resulted in 10 new customers, or traffic from this inbound link led to 15 referrals, you can be confident your optimisation activity is overcoming economic hurdles and adding value to your bottom line. If your reporting doesn’t give you this luxury, it will be difficult to justify ongoing spend on search marketing.

Use Social Media
Social networks provide an incredibly useful word of mouth buzz at a fraction of the cost of expensive pay per click and banner campaigns if done correctly. If you’ve only so far used sites like Squidoo and Blogger to build links, shame on you. These social media sites are a hot bed of peer to peer recommendation and consumer review. Now more than ever, a good social media campaign can build brand loyalty, secure new business and propel more relevant traffic than ever before. The key to incorporating social media in organic search marketing activity is to recognise it for what it is; not a place to preach ad messages but an interactive arena and space for conversation. Embrace this grassroots environment, provide content that respects and adds value to the conversation and your SEO will shine despite the gloom of financial forecasts.