Several years into promoting my site using search engine optimisation techniques, I have found the amount of time invested is reflected in the rankings weeks and months later. You could spend the equivalent of time to a full time job working just on the SEO of your site, and unless your site converts visitors to sales you can’t afford to do this yourself. So, how do you get to the top? Using a reputable SEO company like the WordApe SEO company to do it for you is the best option (to find out more about them click here… or to find out more about the services they offer here.), but there is a lot you can do for yourself to get started and in that way at least you will be able to hopefully rank well against your competition.

My site ranks fairly well, and my expenditure on SEO is negligible. How do I do it? Well, I make sure I am listed in all the major search engines to begin with. Seems like a silly starting point, but actually being in the search engine database is the first step to being found. Adding relevant keywords to describe your site in the page coding and having a simple yet effective description for your site will help no end. It might not push up your ranking result but the traffic to your site will be much more targeted to the intended audience of your site.

Add your site to niche search engines, nowadays you can find sites that house links to all sorts of topics. Every time I find a graphic designer search engine, I make sure I add in my site. (but not the paid inclusion ones as I would be broke if I paid for every site I found).

Making sure your online social profiles have a link back to your site can help, but the best tip is always to check where your direct competitors are linked from. There are many ways to check these, but the easiest two are to simply search for their website address and see which sites are linked to them. The other way is to use yahoo site explorer and use the results you find from these as a starting point to source links to your site. Just having the sites linking to your competitors also linking to you will improve your chances to get closer to them or even surpass them.

You will never be as good at this as someone who does it professionally, but this will get you started and will teach you a bit of what’s involved in the process. This means you can spot some more of the dodgy operators and not end up wasting your investment in SEO with someone who might just spam the online forums with your link to push up your ranking for a short period.

The other tip is to make sure your website has great content and doesn’t rely on a gimmicky flash animation to make your site look fancy. Better content will improve your site visitor conversions to sales and will help drive referral traffic to you and not your competitor. Any investment in a good copywriter for your site will reap you much greater rewards in sales conversions long term than you would see otherwise.

The only other tip is to start now. Not next week, next quarter or next financial year. Do it now, the sooner the better. During economic tough times you should be investing more in your online presence as this is something that will help push you out to new customers or reassure your current clients that you are investing in one of your best sales tools.