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top_right_ball.gif (853 bytes)top_middle.gif (834 bytes)white.gif (85 bytes)DOING IT YOURSELF

SEO is not a very complicated process. As mentioned many times before, it is critical for the success of the business that the SEO and the online marketing activities are derived from the overall marketing plan. That said, the SEO in itself has 4 main components. I call it the "ROI $$$" model for short.  The three $$$ are used to remind you that this process needs to be repeated regularly.


  • Who is your customer? What is he looking for? What need do you fill? Who else offers your products and services? Why should people buy from you? Once you have those answers at your fingertips… and you should have them already if you have a marketing plan, then you move on to the next step.
  • What do customers type in the search box of the SEs when they are looking for your offerings? This is not an easy task, and it is always changing. You cannot expect to rank well in all possible keywords. You also want to make sure that you identify the words that reflect your customers' thinking and not your product name or function. For example, if you offer a new line of chilled fruit drink mixes and call it "Frappe Freeze" then it is unreasonable to feel good that your site is the first when searching for this phrase. Your customer is more likely to search for chilled fruit drink or iced drinks or instant juice or frozen juice…etc. Some SEs will offer suggestions for common searches if you type in your own search. For example, if you searched for iced drinks you may see suggestions like iced fruit drinks as one of the more common searches that is similar to what you put in.

    Keep a regularly updated list of the possible keywords and phrases that you believe are relevant. Be objective and do not list the ones you think are best but the ones you believe in all honesty to be the ones your customer is using.


Run searches in various search engines. See what comes up. Note the difference in search results from one SE to another. Visit the top sites and check the page out. Then check the source and see what else they have that is not apparent on the page. Try to learn something from each site you visit. It is not easy at first because you do not know what you are looking for but if you have the time to look hard you will find something that will grab your attention. Slowly you will find out what works.


Gather what you learned from your research and observation and get to work on your pages.


Once your page is ready submit it to search engines. Each SE has a way to submit your page. While some charge money, others offer it for free.

You will need to repeat this process regularly. You will be amazed at how many new things you learn each time you repeat the process. If you are doing it right, you will find yourself popping up in search results pretty soon.

What you should not do

Keep in mind the example above regarding the similarity between what SE spiders see and a magazine article. Anything that you would not normally do in a print article you should not do on your website. Sometimes little tricks like white text on a white background may give you a short-lived placement boost, but in the end search engines factor such tricks into their algorithm and penalize you for trying to trick them and their users. If this text is useful and relevant why are you hiding it? And if it isn't then you're not only tricking the search engine but the people it sends to you as well. Your short-lived moments of glory may serve only to consume your server's bandwidth while wasting the prospective customers' time in the process.

Being too verbose is not something that you would normally do when writing an article. Repeating some words and placing emphasis is expected and should be also expected in your page copy, but extreme repetition of what you deem as keywords is boring to the reader and is penalized by search engines.

There are more tricks than can be enumerated. While creativity in marketing is welcomed and encouraged such tricks are considered devious by search engines since their main purpose to get a larger share than your "content" deserves. The best way to keep yourself out of trouble is to structure your pages as if the customer were reading and seeing everything on the page. If the average reasonable person would find your "creative" SE ideas annoying, bothering, or deceptive then you shouldn't do them.

top_right_ball.gif (853 bytes)top_middle.gif (834 bytes)white.gif (85 bytes)A FINAL WORD

As mentioned before, SEO is just one element of your marketing strategy. It is useless to put a lot of effort and money into it while the other components of your marketing strategy are lacking or non-existent. SEO must be performed in the context of an overall marketing plan where each component is derived from and supports all other components.

Hopefully, this overview has given you enough information so that if you have the time and inclination, you now have the basic tools you need to improve your site's SE placement. While technically the process is not hard, it takes time to implement and even more time to master. If you feel you do not have time to do it then at least you have an idea of what to ask and should expect intelligent answers in response.

Our approach is to plan, execute, and implement a comprehensive marketing strategy that covers all aspects of marketing and branding. No matter how small you are this is a process that should be done, whether in house or by soliciting external help. In the long run it is the most economical path to success since it avoids needless expense, in both dollars and time, and prevents you from engaging in opposing or redundant activities.

Remember that you are the site owner and if your SEO professional is not involved in your overall marketing planning you should expect him (or her) to ask you about it and you should have some meaningful information to share. Also remember that good SE placement only generates traffic while your goal should be to generate sales.


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