Do what you can, and read Chapter 10, “Extra Credit and Guilt-Free Slacking,” for
ideas on how to devote your precious SEO moments to the tasks that are going to give
you the best time-to-results ratios.
Advantage: A Friendlier Reception
For any site, asking other sites for links is one of
those lower-return tasks: very time-consuming, unpredictable results. But being small
can give you a real advantage in the area of “personal touch.” Do you have a really
cool new product? Are you offering a discount for a particular group? Tell a blogger
who might be interested in telling the world. Or you may want to reach out to satisfied
customers who have websites. Even though link building might not be on the hot
burner, if you chip away at this activity, you can probably increase your
in a meaningful way.
Challenge: Small Budget
Your time is tight, and your budget is modest. Probably the
smartest investment you can make, in our opinion, is a pay-per-click campaign. Sur-
prised? It actually makes a lot of sense. If you manage it closely, your PPC campaign
gives you almost-instant feedback. Is your message compelling enough? Are you target-
ing viable keywords? Is your conversion page doing its job? With PPC, you can tweak to
your heart’s content for pennies on the dollar compared to other advertising methods.
Advantage: Tools to Level the Playing Field
Of course you know your product or serv-
ice inside and out, and your customers may seem like close, personal friends. But you
might not be very well versed in your customers’ Web habits and searching behavior.
You may have little or no actual experience in marketing. Luckily, you don’t need to be
a pro—or a big business—to excel in SEO.
A recent study by The Kelsey Group found that small business advertisers in the United
States currently allocate an average of 23 percent of their total advertising budget to
PPC activities, and this number is expected to rise. You are big business for the search
engines, and therefore, keyword research tools, directory listings, traffic analysis soft-
ware, and the like are all often within the price range of the small business.
Even with a small budget, you can pick up an advantage by studying your competitors.
Get ideas and insight from their websites and PPC campaigns, and use
best advantage! You may get as much out of your do-it-yourself competitive
analysis as you would get from an expensive marketing study. If you’ve got the time
and some natural curiosity, it doesn’t cost you anything to look at the companies rank-
ing in the top 10 for your desired keywords and figure out what they’re doing right.
Advantage: Starting from Zero
It may be that you have given no thought to SEO.
Don’t let that discourage you! Confession time:
Pearl of Wisdom:
SEO consultants love working for companies starting out at rock bottom
because you have nowhere to go but up.
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