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First Page Placement is Within Your Grasp

When you just start to get a website off the ground, the notion of getting your site first page placement for even a few keywords can sound like pie in the sky. Truth be told, however, it’s both easier — and harder — than you might think. That’s because there are multiple ways to get that first page placement, but none of them are entirely without complexity.

Organic SEO
The first route is your standard organic SEO magic: you build a vast array of backlinks. You make sure you present a natural backlink profile from a wide variety of websites, including directories, articles, blog comments, social bookmarks, web 2.0 properties, and more. The process takes an immense investment in time, not just in terms of man-hours, but in terms of allowing months to pass in order to convince the search engines that your site isn’t just a fad.

Organic SEO is complicated because there are a lot of ways to screw it up. You have to know the basic process of building backlinks, but that’s just the beginning. An artificial link profile (i.e. all of your links traceable to the same IP address; all of your links appearing around the same time of day/days of week; etc.) is a surefire way to get all of your work undone in a hurry, and it’s hardly the only one. With Google’s new Panda update, you have to worry about details like how your page looks to incoming visitors as well.

Pay Per Click Marketing
Pay per click marketing — also known euphemistically as ‘sponsored placement’ — are the ads you see at the top of each SERPs page that aren’t the natural results. Every search engine has them, and anyone willing to bid on the keywords can get their site listed in them. Of course, it’s not an easy process to wrap your mind around, much less explain in a few words.

The key to doing PPC correctly is to not do it at all. If you’re going to rely on PPC marketing to get your traffic flowing to your site, just bite the bullet and hire a qualified PPC management firm. These people know the pay-per-click game inside and out, and the fees they charge are nothing compared to the money you’ll lose if you try to get into the PPC game unaided.

In short, first page placement is right there for you to have — but be prepared to work with the experts to get there, plain and simple.

Small Business SEO Doesn’t Have To Be Small Time SEO

Small business SEO has a strange reputation among the SEO elite — a lot of the gurus out there seem to believe that if you can’t drop thousands of dollars on an overwhelming SEO campaign right out of the gates, you simply aren’t ever going to hit it big. Fortunately for small business owners everywhere, they are profoundly mistaken.

It’s true that if you can afford to spend a boatload of money on SEO, you will get results faster. But that hardly means that buying a long-term SEO campaign that only costs in the low triple digits each month is something to be scoffed at. In fact, there is an upper limit to how much SEO is actually helpful at once.

organic SEOThat’s because the search engines look for unnatural patterns in backlinking. If a newbie website suddenly sprouts a thousand backlinks overnight, it’s not likely that that website is legit — it’s more likely someone dropped a pile of cash into a backlinking campaign. That’s not what the search engines want to support — they want to support websites that are actually awesome. To that regard, you have to build backlinks slowly, at least at first, the way that any website that was just starting to get attention might naturally earn them.

Granted, there does eventually come a ‘tipping point’ at which it’s reasonable for a website to have gone viral and suddenly actually get thousands of backlinks, but that doesn’t come for a long time — during which there is really no such thing as ‘small time’ SEO. There is only good SEO, which takes time and laborious effort no matter how much money you have to spend on it.

If you happen to have a decent budget, you’re far better off starting out with a combination between organic SEO and managed pay-per-click advertising. The PPC will drive traffic and make a profit while the SEO will do what SEO does best — have long-term, high-yield dividends. But even then, you don’t have to have a mountain of cash in order to get that plan off the ground. There’s just no excuse for anyone to say that small business SEO is small time — it’s plain wrong.

Targeted Email Marketing And The Jaw Dropping Power of…

If you’re even tangentially aware of the incredible things that a solid targeted email marketing campaign can do for your website’s sales, you’re hanging on that ellipsis, wondering what could make such an incredible tool even better. If you’re not sure why you should care, let me explain it to you.

Targeted email marketing isn’t a form of website SEO — it’s an entirely different way of extracting additional money from a website that’s already getting traffic. In short, it’s a system of collecting Email addresses, usually by offering something in exchange for the Email address, and then sending Emails out to that list of addresses. At first, the Emails are strictly informational, full of content just like a blog post. Later, once you’ve gotten people used to paying attention to your Emails, you inform people of the latest offer/product/service that you’ve got going on, and they buy it.

website SEOThis works incredibly well, particularly on people that have already purchased your products before. Every targeted email marketing list is a small supply of ready-and-waiting customers that you don’t have to drive to your website — they’re already there!

So, time for the big reveal. If you haven’t guessed already it’s…

Powerful Titles!

Quite simply, no matter how carefully you’ve targeted your emailing list, no matter how amazing the content within your emails, if you can’t get people’s attention with the title, you’ve got nothing.

Crafting a great title is about creating intrigue. People love ‘Top X’ lists, so that’s a standard, but creativity is the key when it comes to titles that make people think. Whether you do it by leaving out a critical word (see above), or by contrasting two things that you wouldn’t think go together, or simply by offering something that the reader doesn’t believe he can obtain, anything that makes the recipient say “I need to know more” is success, and anything less is failure.

The Internet is full of great lists of successful email and direct-mail titles of the past, and it would behoove any dedicated practitioner of targeted Email marketing to check them out and get inspired — a great title makes all the difference.