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Five Times for Search Engine Optimization
By: Jennifer Guinan

Search engine optimization sounds so daunting for most young companies. Who has time for dealing with metatags and keyword density when you're trying to get a company off the ground? Below is a simple list of five things you can easily do to improve your visibility on search engines.

1. You can afford free. Index your site with the Open Directory Project. It's free! The Open Directory Project powers core directory services for Google, Lycos, AOL Search, Netscape Search, and lots more.

2. Know thyself through thy customers' eyes. Remember that the words you use to describe your company are not necessarily the same ones that a prospect might use. Sometimes you need to go with the masses when it comes to keywords. Review your keyword list (if you have one), and see if your prospects would even think to search for them. You might even want to (gasp!) ask your customers about what keywords they use.

3. Stay on the up-and-up. Don't cram your keyword tag with dozens of keywords or repeating keywords. It doesn't work. Use 10 to 12 good, applicable keywords.

4. Put it in the Flash can. Don't let your web designer talk you into a Flash intro. Not only will everyone skip it because it's annoying and doesn't provide much in terms of information, it will stop the search engine spiders that crawl your site dead in their tracks.

5. Be more than a welcome mat. Develop unique titles for each of your pages. These titles appear at the top of the web browser window when your prospects or potential investors check out your site. So please, don't use, "Welcome to XYZ Company." This tells them nothing of value, except maybe that you have manners. Use the title to tell what you do, what problem you solve, and/or what the particular page is about. We're only talking about a handful of words per page (10 max), so it's not as painful as it might sound.

About the Author


Jennifer Guinan, president of Sage Strategic Marketing, offers 19 years of experience in marketing, communications, Internet and search engine marketing, and PR for companies and organizations large and small. Guinan’s background includes national and international marketing and communications executive management and strategy, PR and media relations, and consulting. Contact at www.sagestrat.com


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