Do-It-Yourself SEO: 5 Tips that Will Outperform any Consultant in Half the Time

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Triple Dog Dare Media's tips for maximizing your Google search rankings without wasting time on keyword analysis.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all the rage right now. Some SEO consultants would have you believe that becoming #1 on Google is all about gimmicks: keeping your keyword count optimal; repeating keywords in headlines, links, image ALT tags, or comments; and updating your site's SEO variables every quarter or even every month. Taking the time to do all this, they argue, can raise your rankings and make it easier for people to find you.

The problem is, nobody controls Google's algorithms except Google. Nobody can control the fact that thousands of new Web sites get created each day, some of which might be in your competitive space. Nor can anyone control how often Google spiders your Web site, making all that SEO churn an irrelevant exercise in some cases.

There are over 500 million variables that Google considers, but it all boils down to this: Google considers your site important only if other sites link to you. All the keyword creation and rewriting of copy on your Web pages won't do you an ounce of good until somebody links to you. Every single link from articles, blogs, online newsletters, and discussion forums can increase your visibility.

Here are some ways to boost your search engine rankings that don't involve keywords and SEO wizardry.

1. Get your technical experts to log on to discussion forums. Make sure they use a signature file that links back to your site. Every response becomes a mini-advertisement for your company.

2. Get your executives and technical experts to write articles for publication in trade magazines or industry publications. If they don't have the time or talent, hire a firm to help them organize, draft, or polish finished pieces.

3. Launch a corporate blog. Cross-link as much as you can between your site and blog. Create compelling entries that target your industry or niche. Eventually, if your content is original or compelling enough, others will start linking to you as well.

4. Whenever you do anything newsworthy that benefits your customers, send out a news release to local, regional, and national media. Use an online distribution source like PRWeb or PR Newswire to get the word out and increase your chances of securing media coverage. Every posted news release or article that links back to you can increase your standings.

5. Pitch ideas to local and regional media outlets. Media is always looking for ways to fill column inches. Give them a compelling pitch and they might do a story on your product or service using you as a main source. "Remember the keys to successful media relations," advises Stacy Armijo of Pierpont Communications (http://www.piercom.com). "Timely, trendy and relevant. Why should they write the story now? What larger market trend does it demonstrate? How is it relevant to their audience?" The more you help the media, the more they will help you later on.

"To get CommuniCard as a top keyword, we focused on trade press and online newsletters to improve our ratings," says Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Communicard (http://www.thecommunicard.com), makers of bilingual flash cards in Austin, TX. "Different trade press and links to our site, especially our news site, increased our hits and visibility."

Want to learn more about using these techniques to raise your Web site's Google rank? Triple Dog Dare Media has been building search-engine friendly Web sites since 2001. We provide copywriting, content management systems, and help with online campaigns. To find out more, call Triple Dog Dare Media at 512.420.8870 or visit http://www.tripledogs.com.

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Thomas Myer
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