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First Page Placement: Cheap, Fast, or Good?

So you’ve got a new online business, and you’ve got to nail first page placement for a selection of keywords if you expect to stay in business for any considerable length of time. The question you have to ask yourself is the same question that every business owner that’s ever needed a service has had to ask themselves. You’ve heard it before:

You can have it any two of cheap, fast, and good, but you can never have all three. Which two would you like?

If you want it done cheap and fast, you’ll end up hiring a freelancer from a site like rentacoder or oDesk. They live in the Second World, and they’re not good enough to be part of a real SEO company, so they come cheap. They also work 14 hours a day, so they get a lot of SEO work done fast. Unfortunately, their work tends not to have a lot of staying power, and reading their copy is…well, let’s say it’s not easy.

If you want it done cheap and good, you have to do it yourself. You will make sure that you do the best job you know how to, and you’ll take the time to make sure that your knowledge is solid before you push too hard. You’ll end the job tired, and it will take a very long time to see any really significant results, but hey, the whole point is that you didn’t choose fast — better hope you have the cash to keep your business afloat in the meantime.

If you want it done fast and good, you need a company well versed in the details of small business SEO. You can expect to pay more for their services than you’re initially comfortable with. But once you commit the funds, you’ll find that their large staff, vast knowledge of the ins and outs of SEO, and ample time make them much, much better at SEO than you or the aforementioned freelancer are.

When you get down to it, the choice really is yours — fast, cheap, or good — but in the end, there’s only one group that consistently succeeds at their quest for online success.

The Power of Words — Art And Science in Article Writing and Distribution

There are lot of reasons to learn the techniques involved in article writing and distribution. Not only can a well-written article get people thinking, it can get them to click through to your website – and maybe even buy something once they get there. Considering you get a static, anchor-controlled backlink from the article directory along the way, it’s hard to tell which is the bonus that comes with the other.

But far beyond the normal website SEO rules of article writing, there’s an entire world of art — and science — that lies within the power of words. Let me give you a quick example. Rearrange the following sets of words to form a sentence.

Wall couldn’t purchase Claude find the on any.
Red abundance filled air the with curtains of sense a.
Joseph by bring baby the Jesus by and will.
Car Samantha the bought home Mark to.
Horn plenty Hercules found of the.

Whether you realize it or not — and you probably don’t — you’ve just been subliminally programmed. Right now, you’re more willing to buy something — almost anything — then you were a minute or two ago. That’s because, regardless of what your conscious brain thinks about the world around it, your unconscious is constantly scanning the world around you for clues about how to act and what to think about.

The words are cleverly hidden in what seems like different contexts: Purchase. Abundance. B(u)y. Bought. Plenty. These ideas seep into the subconscious, filling you with the idea that you have plenty (an abundance) at your disposal, and it would behoove you to purchase (buy, have bought) something.

This is the height of article writing: to learn how to put ideas in your reader’s mind without them realizing it. You still have to get them to click through to your site and convince them to spend money on YOU instead of on the next site they happen to click across, but by learning the power of words, you can at least improve the conversion rates of the people who do clickthrough to you.

4 Things to Ask Your SEO Company about Directory Submission

When your SEO company invites you to use its directory submission service, it will probably give you a short speech about how directory submission is the fastest way to build a portfolio of credible backlinks to your website. First of all, that’s not always the case — done well, social bookmarking can be just as fast and slightly more effective. But more importantly, there are easy ways to screw up directory submission.

That’s why you should always ask your SEO company a few basic questions about it’s directory submission policies.

Do your directories offer static links?
Many directories out there have dynamic pages — what that means is that, over time, your links will fall off of their pages as they get voted down or as newer sites take up their spots. If a directory doesn’t offer static links, it’s worthless.

Do your directories offer controllable anchor text?
When it comes to SEO, there’s little that’s more important than the anchor text on your incoming links. You can have a thousand links coming into your site, and if the anchor text is your name, you’re only going to rank highly for your name. That’s why directories that force your anchor text to be something silly like your URL or your category name are failure waiting to happen.

Do you select only older, authoritative directories?
New website directories crop up literally every night, but most of them, to be blunt, are crap. There are enough old, authoritative directories out there than resorting to using new, weaker directories is both pointless and borderline insulting.

Do the directories you generally use rank well in the search engines?
There are those directories that are only good for the backlink, and then there are those that can give you link juice just for being listed on them. The best SEO companies start with the latter, and work their way to the former.

There are other details to be inquired about if you’re really concerned about an SEO company’s directory submission service — but if they can quickly and confidently answer these questions, you can generally count on them to have the right answers to the rest of them.