Step by step guide to an affordable search engine optimization strategy.
The most affordable search engine optimization strategy is to do it yourself. This is much easier said than done. If you're on a budget, the thousands of dollars you can save in consulting fees and services will be worth the effort for your initial strategy. As the site progresses up the search engine charts, you'll need to either hire an expert, or outsource to a consultant. The goal is to make it affordable over a period of time.
If you're going to be successful at this you'll need to follow every step!
Here are the steps you'll take
1. Make sure your site is clean (no broken links) hosted by a reputable company, or by yourself with a static IP address, and fast.
2. Optimize your keywords
3. Submit to the search engines and directories
4. Work on your page rank
5. Add more quality content
Step 1. Make sure your site is clean
A clean site starts with clean hosting. Affordable search engine optimization does not mean free or even cheap. If you're going to host the site yourself, have a static IP address. A dynamic IP address and a DNS redirector will give the search engine robots trouble.
Now that you're properly hosted make sure the site itself is clean. This comprises two primary components. Make sure you have no broken links, and make sure the site loads quickly. This means no unnecessary graphics. You should also test the site to make sure it scales well at different resolutions and with different browsers. This doesn't help with affordable search engine optimization, but it will ensure the visitors you drive to your site will have a pleasant experience.
Step 2. Optimize your keywords and keyword phrases.
Keep your keywords for each page to a minimum of two or three. When you've decided on your keywords do a search with a keyword tool (you can search the web, there are several that are all pretty good) and find out how many searches are done for each phrase.
Step 3. Submit your site to the search engines.
Critical note! Do not use search engine submission software to submit the site. Google's terms of service clearly state that this is a violation. Most quality search engines will see this as spamming the site and penalize you for it. These products are good for working on your page, they are not good for actually doing the submitting. You'll find that the path to affordable search engine optimization, and even professional search engine optimization, offers no short cuts.
Step 4. Work on increasing your page rank.
Remember page rank is that critical metric that boosts you over the top of your competitors, when everything else is equal. To increase your page rank you need to get other sites linking back to you. There are several ways to do this, some of them will help drastically, others will hurt. Link exchange programs were the old way of increasing page rank. Some of them still offer value, but it's limited. You want the links back to your site to be quality, not just a page with a thousand links to people trying to increase page rank. Your best two options are writing articles that get published, and requesting links from vendors and other business partners.
Step5. Add more quality content to your site.
Steps 4 and 5 can work together. As you're writing content for your site you can submit all or part of the page to the article directories to increase your page rank. When adding content to your site, don't go overboard. If you've written a really great piece that doesn't add to your site, use it to submit to gain page rank. If you just add page after page to your site you'll end up with something that's difficult for visitors to use, frustrating them and costing you sales.