Perhaps the most time-consuming part of running a web-based business is the Internet marketing aspect of it, particularly the search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is important for increasing the exposure of your website and ultimately driving more traffic to it by way of the search engines. Since the vast majority of first-time visitors end up at a website having found your listing in the search engine results, it is easy to see why SEO is so important.
Once you have established your website and everything is up and running, you'll need to keep working on your SEO campaign on a daily basis lest your site lose its exposure. The following should be integrated into your daily routine, but you should not need to spend more than an hour per day on SEO.
Update Your Site Frequently
This does not necessarily have to be done on a daily basis, but it is important to regularly update your site, even if it is only once or twice per week. Sites which have no new content quickly disappear into the back of the search engine results. While not part of SEO itself, keeping your site updated is necessary to make your marketing effective.
You should have already signed up for free accounts at all of the popular social bookmarking websites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Digg and some of the many others. Posting links to new content on your site should be done on a daily basis on each of your social networking accounts. Also, be sure to post updates in any social networking groups or pages which you belong to. Make sure that your social networking audience is always kept aware of your site.
Directory Submission and Classifieds
Submitting links to your site and its pages to classifieds and directories is an effective method of link building. You should aim to spend around fifteen to twenty minutes per day in your daily SEO routine sending your links to directory submission services. As with social bookmarking, this does not have to cost anything either. However, there is also a choice of paid services which you can use to further boost your SEO campaign.
You should already be a member of any major forums which are relevant to the content of your website. As with social networking sites, many people use forums as a platform for discussions and information sharing. For every forum that you are a member of, you should have a signature containing a link to your site and a few words describing it. This signature will be automatically attached to every post you make. Just be careful not to spam the forum and only post content which is likely to be of interest to the audience of the thread you're posting in.
Blog comments can also contain links to your website but, as with forum posting, it is essential to avoid spamming. Making useful comments or even just praising a blog post which you like is something you should do regularly. On a daily basis, you should visit several blogs with similar subjects to that of your own website. Read articles and learn what the community wants and comment on pages you like.
Post contributed by Beth Cooper, on behalf of DesignContest.com, a crowd sourcing company using Logo Design Contests to supply unique and affordable designs.