Search Engine Optimization on a Budget

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First and absolutely foremost, you will need to distinguish whether or not you can invest the time and effort necessary in order to achieve results from this article. How much time is necessary? For a small to medium sized business I would expect approximately 2 hours per week. Mark a specific day you can afford a couple hours, and keep to it!

Let us start by “pretending” we have an imaginary company called Don Juan Coffee de Costa Rica. We’re going to assume that this company is brand new and fresh off the press without any previous online presence.

Register your branded URL. We’re off to GoDaddy (or whichever you prefer) to register, we should take the time to investigate the availability of any other domains that contain our targeted keywords in it. So for example I would start looking for a URL with “Costa Rica coffee” in it. These days having a short URL is not crucial in your online marketing strategy as nowadays, the domain is an integral part of your SEO strategy and if you can obtain a URL with your primary keywords in it, then you are starting with a bang.

Assuming we were successful at acquiring a URL with our primary keywords in it, we now begin to construct the site using a few basic rules for onsite SEO.

Your content should be unique, readable by people (not just search spiders), all meta tags including title, keywords and description, the content on your landing page should have anywhere between 5% and 7% keyword density for your primary keywords. IE: Costa Rica coffee

All of your meta information will need to compliment one another starting with selecting your keywords. Once you have them (no more than 7 keywords) you decide your title which also contains your keywords. Finally you need to write a short description (150 characters or less). Of course using your keywords yet again. You see the relationship here that exists between all 3 meta tags? This is a must!

The final step in your onsite SEO is to verify that all the code validates to the relevant standards and then create yourself a robots.txt and sitemap.xml. Both are necessary in order for search engines to crawl your content successfully.

Now to quickly touch on the offsite SEO.

Offsite SEO is the work you do off of your site that benefits your SEO efforts like back linking for example. This is the single most important way to climb the ranks. However there are a few things you need to know first about back linking.

donhalbert
Don G. Halbert, Online Marketing & SEO

Now let’s talk about the social aspect of SEO and online marketing.

Over the past few years the social network of dominant sites like Twitter, Facebook, mySPACE, Linkedin and many others, have taken off. This new medium has been embraced by marketers the world over. How can you leverage this to help with your SEO efforts? Let me explain.

For the purposes of this article I will focus on, what I consider to be, the Top 3 players in the social world. Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

Starting first with Facebook. It has become second only to Google for traffic on the net and if you don’t already have a personal account, I’d be very surprised. But anyways…about our Don Juan Coffee we are marketing. Again you will need to take the time to think about what might attract the most people to your Facebook Page by coming up with an attractive name for it. In this case I again would try something like “Costa Rica Coffee”. This is general enough while remaining targetized at the same time to the market in which you are seeking. Start the FB page and then brand it up with your logo, information etc.

Once it is running I want you to invite everyone you know to join it and also include the option via a FB badge on your webpage.

Then start a Twitter account and immediately “Follow Me“. This account, like the rest of them, needs to have a market specific name as your username. So guess what I would do? Yup, I would try for “Costa Rica Coffee”. Then you need to ‘alter’ your Twitter background/homepage in order to stand out from the millions and millions of standard Twitter pages. You’ll need to create your own and implement your webpage URL, your blog URL, your Facebook URL and your Linkedin URL. This way whenever someone goes to see what you are tweeting about, they will find all the necessary information to reach your company.

Then start ‘tweeting’. Lots and lots of tweeting. Tweeting is slang for micro-blogging on Twitter whereas the user can only post a ‘tweet’ containing 140 characters or less. Tweets should contain hash tags (#costaricacoffee) for all relevant to the post, keywords. This helps attract people with similar interests. Also you should try to make it routine that every few tweets, you include a shortened URL to your homepage. This can drive massive traffic to your site. I prefer to use bit.ly to be honest however there are many to choose from. If this is confusing then here is a sample of a tweet I would post for Don Juan Coffee.

is excited that we’ve just exported 1 million bags of Costa Rica coffee to Starbucks. #costarica #coffee #starbucks

…when tweeting, try to leave at least 11 characters free at the end before your 140 limit in order to provide the space necessary for what is called ReTweeting. You’ll have to just take my word for it on that one.

Now my personal favorite, Linkedin.

Linkedin is promoted as the Facebook for Professionals. This is because the site is 100% geared towards business rather than pleasure. There are no “friends” on Linkedin, nope, they are referred to as “contacts” in your Linkedin network.

When you create your account on Linkedin, you should try your best to fill out most, if not all, of your profile because many professionals won’t give an unfinished profile a second look. While you are filling your profile out you will notice that they allow up to three URLs. Instead of selecting “My Website” or “My Company”, I want you to select “Other”. The reason is this. You are then given the option to enter a label then your URL. What we would do here is the following. Select “Other”, then enter “Costa Rica Coffee” for the label followed by our company URL. What this does is it creates a great anchored text link to your site.

Linkedin remember, is for professionals. And professionals, in my personal opinion, would rather see your face than a company logo. Personalize your Linkedin profile by adding a picture of yourself rather than using your logo. This is important!

You can start by joining my Linkedin network.

Finally to wrap up this article, I want you to promote, promote and promote some more, all your social networks that you’ve set up. Put them on your web site, put them in your email signature and include them every single chance you get. This will help build your network quickly.

I could go on and on with this article however I feel I’ve touched on what I need to in order to get my point across and that is, anyone can do their own SEO and online marketing they simply need to dedicate the time and effort.

However if you feel you have neither, then I would be honored to assist you in doing all of it for you. I’m a credited SEO infused copywriter, SEO expert, web designer and online marketing professional. If you are looking for a reasonably priced professional in any of these fields, feel free to contact me via my personal web site: Costa Rica Marketing

*(please note that SEO is like breathing for me so when I anchor a link to some text, it is because that is the market I am building upon at that moment and not necessarily my exclusive focus.)