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Do-It-Yourself Search Engine Optimization



Search engine optimization, or SEO, is big business. If you rely on search engines to bring visitors to your business website, you need to rely on more than luck. Your business will lag far short of its potential unless your site is optimized and re-optimized for search engine results.

What is search engine optimization?

SEO is optimizing your website for search engines, acquiring inbound links, and monitoring your traffic and referring links to use them optimally. SEO is also studying and monitoring your competitors techniques.

The goal of SEO is to bring in targeted traffic that is organic, i.e., from search results. When people type in a keyword or phrase that youve optimized your site for, you want your site to appear on the first page, preferably high on that page. Good SEO results in increased traffic without the cost and time spent on advertising.

The SEO industry

Where theres a need, theres an industry ready to help you spend money on that need. SEO firms charge from a few hundred dollars up to six-figure amounts to optimize your site for search engines.

If paying thousands of dollars to an SEO firm isnt in your budget, consider using SEO packages to optimize your site yourself.

A combination of SEO tools is needed to get the best results. The SEO packages described below offer a variety of tools to help you optimize your site for search engines.

SEO tools compared

While weve listed numerous features of each SEO tool, these comparisons are summaries only.

Internet Business Promoter (IBP)

Known for their link popularity tool ARELIS, IBP also produces a three-step suite of tools to help you promote your website:

1. Page optimization
Generate, analyze, and edit keywords
Optimize for the top 10 search engine rankings
Optimize the title, link texts, and other parts of the web page
Validate the HTML
View the site via a spider simulator

2. Page promotion
Submit your site to search engines and directories
Search for sites that might add a link to your site

3. Results tracking
Verify search engine positions automatically

Price: $179.95 or $349.95.

LinksManager

Links Manager is designed to help users manage reciprocal linking. It doesnt require any software downloads, and current links pages can be imported into it. Some of its features:

Link organization and formatting
Organize your links into multiple categories, subcategories, and most popular links lists
Store the links on your own server
Highlight newly added and featured links

Link management and tracking
Remove dead links temporarily via a dead link checker
Check whether or not reciprocal links at other sites exist
Rotate links automatically
Deny link submissions according to the criteria you set via a blacklist
View the most popular keywords on your links pages

Price: $19.95 a month.

SEO Administrator

SEO Administrator automates website promotion with tools that can do these tasks:

Keywords and site visitors
Track your sites position for your keywords in over 30 search engines
Report on the keyword weight and density of your site as well as of competitors sites
Suggest keywords that are relevant to each page
Analyze your site logs to find out about site visitors, keywords used, referrers, and more

Search engines and directories
Check which pages at your site have been indexed by various search engines
Check Google PR, the number of inbound links, and whether or not the site is listed in the DMOZ and Yahoo directories
Show the automated descriptions that search engines display for your pages

Price: from $70 to $150, depending on the version.

SEO Elite

With SEO Elite, you can find out exactly what your competitors are doing and copy their strategies. You can find out about your competitors web pages:

Keyword density and prominence
Their and headings
Their meta keywords
Whether their site is listed in the Yahoo directory
Which websites your competitors are advertising on

Concerning link partners and search engines, SEO Elite can:

Find thousands of possible link partners
Track details about pages with inbound links
Check whether or not reciprocal links at other sites exist
Indicate which of your pages search engines have indexed
Keep a record of where your site is ranked for search terms

Price: $167.

SEOToolset

The focus of SEOToolset is to provide data to help with website promotion. The toolset includes:

Your website
Keyword density analyzer
Keyword selection tool
Reports on rankings for keywords, page names, and indexed page counts
Link partner finder

Search engines and directories
Engine-specific keyword research
Traffic checker for keywords
DMOZ category selector
Search engine submission tool
Search engine ranking monitor

Your competition
Keyword research summary
Link analysis of inbound links to competitors websites

Price: $90.00 per quarter per site.

Web CEO

The 10 tools in the Web CEO package are designed to help you promote and maintain your website, improve search engine results, and analyze site visitors. A summary of these tools:

At your website
Keyword research
Website optimization
Inbound link tracking
WYSIWYG website editing and file uploading
Link checking
Website monitoring
Stats analysis to track visitors, ad campaigns, transactions, and more

Search engines and competition
URL submission to search engines
Search engine rank checking
Tracking who links to the competition

Price: $295 for one person. A free version is also available.

WebPosition

WebPosition, one of the oldest and most popular SEO tools, offers a five-step SEO process:

1. Determine your position in search engines
Create search engine ranking reports
Monitor your sites placement in search engine results

2. Research and choose keywords
Identify the most searched and least competitive keywords

3. Optimize your pages
Compare your pages to those of top-performing sites and specific competitors
Detect when your competitors pages have changed
Be alerted to changes that could affect your site rankings

4. Design and submit your pages
Use Page Builder and Upload Manager to design and maintain your site
Submit your site to search engines with the Submitter tool

5. Analyze your results
Track the correlation between search rankings and revenue
Import top-performing keywords

Price: $149 or $349.

How to hire an SEO firm

If youd prefer to hire an SEO firm instead, do your research. Youll be spending a minimum of a few hundred dollars, more likely thousands of dollars for a medium-sized or larger website.

While many SEO firms are good at what they do, the field unfortunately has its share of scammers as well. They may tell you that a variety of tricks such as hidden text or cloaking will improve your sites position in search engines. In reality, these techniques may get your site banned from search engines. More information is at these pages at Google.com:

Webmaster Guidelines
href=http://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html

Search Engine Optimizers
href=http://www.google.com/webmasters/seo.html

If youre considering an SEO firm, ask how they measure success. Will your site hits be organic? Look at the sites of SEO firms clients and the site for the SEO firm itself. Do the sites rank well for keywords at these sites? The search engine results for relevant keywords will indicate how successful an SEO firm is.

Lois S. is a Technical Executive Writer for http://www.websitesource.com and http://www.lowpricedomains.com with experience in the website hosting industry.


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