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By Greg DiFalco

Now that the holidays are over--in fact, now that weíre an entire month into 2009--it's time to consider new tactics for marketing your website online. In December, we recommended an "all hands on deck" approach to capitalize on higher consumer activity among the gift-giving and buying crowd. But in January, February, and beyond, we suggest taking a much more calculated approach to driving traffic and obtaining sales/leads/pageviews to your website.

Search Engine Optimization

Tis always the season for doing search engine optimization (SEO). Itís the "gift that keeps on giving." The only problem with performing SEO tasks on your site is that you arenít going to see immediate returns. Changes you make need time to proliferate in the search enginesí algorithms. So the best approach is to make this a regular, ongoing project. Specifically, you'll want to address SEO via these methods:

Keyword Visibility Ė If you haven't already done this, you should gather a list of keywords for which you know you have natural search engine visibility. These are words that have driven natural or organic traffic to your site. If you use Google Analytics, you will find a list of these in the Traffic Sources -> Keywords section. Click "non-paid" and you will see the list. Start your keyword list by including most of the words from this list. Then bolster the list by adding general words that describe each of the different products or services you sell. Lastly, complete the list by researching variations on the words you already included. You can use different tools for this purpose. Among these tools is Wordtracker (http://www.wordtracker.com), a paid source. On the other hand, for simplistic research, you could utilize Google and Yahoo's "suggest" feature. You simply type in a term and both search engines will suggest other, related words.

Then, once you have your list of keywords, you should test to see where you rank for some or all of these words. There are tools for this: WebPosition is a paid option. GoogleRankings.com is a free way to test rankings. Of course, you could always manually search each word. That way works, but it is pretty time-consuming! Next, make sure the words are incorporated into body copy, as well as Title and Meta tags of appropriate pages of your site. For example, if you sell talking calculators, your landing page should have "talking calculators" mentioned frequently on the page. A good example of this in action is IndependentLiving.com. If you perform a Google search for "talking calculators," you will find this website is ranked both number 1 and number 2. The high ranking helps the site obtain a higher percentage of referrals from this keyword. It isn't always possible to obtain more than 1 natural or organic listing on a search results page, but by sharing some keywords across multiple pages, it is possible to increase your site's visibility.

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Greg DiFalco is an Independent Internet Marketing Strategist.
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