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By Neil Anuskiewicz

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is like exercise -- I always feel like I should be doing more of it. SEO also does not happen unless you schedule it.

It is a big topic worthy of a series of articles -- perhaps after I complete the email marketing series. Here I will just talk about some of the things I have been thinking about lately regarding SEO

To measure results you may want to install the Google Toolbar so you can monitor for your site and for others. There is a version for two browsers: Internet Explorer and Firefox. The rankings go from 0/10 to 10/10, which can tell you how a site is doing at a quick glance. It is not the full story, and does not tell you about specific keywords but it is gives you a quick score. You can download the toolbar from Google Toolbar.

Next, find and submit your links into directories relevant to your industry. For example, if you sold coffee, you would search for sites relevant to coffee and submit your link. To find out how your highest ranked competitors got to where they are in the rankings, do a Google search. Once you find them, then you can find out where they are linked from to get to that top ranking.

For example this is how you would find out the links to SmartBiz. In the Google search box type the following:

link:www.smartbiz.com

As for this writing there are 430 links to SmartBiz. This does seem like a lot of links, which is good, but not all of them are for relevant keywords or links on sites that have a good PageRank. We need to keep working at it to increase our PageRank.

One way to be more focused would be to submit links that focus on keywords on which we want to build. The link itself should be the keywords themselves you want to emphasize.

For example, if we wanted to optimize the keyword phrase "small business magazine" for SmartBiz, we would want to submit the link like this:
SmartBiz Small Business Magazine

Would be preferred over a link like this:
SmartBiz

See the difference? The more effective link contains the relevant keyword phrase in the link text itself.

In addition, it would be better to submit our site to a site that the Google Toolbar ranked as 7/10 rather than, say, 1/10. That said, I would say that any site at about 5/10 or above would help.

SEO is a big topic so I would love it if others would post their insights, thoughts, or questions regarding SEO. We can learn from each other, and all make progress with our PageRanks.

And, of course, if you have some ideas regarding SEO you want me to cover in article, please let me know.

Neil Anuskiewicz is the Director of Business Development for EZ Publishing.
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