kitchen-table

Rags to Riches must begin somewhere, and for many that somewhere is the kitchen table. Pulling double duty, the dinner dishes are cleared and the kitchen becomes the office.

After a hard day working for others, the budding entrepreneur begins building a dream of their own.

When you are the only employee, you usually don't have the resources to compete on a level playing field. You don't have the time and you don't have the money.

All you have is your own creativity. And you'll need every last ounce of it if you expect to succeed.

Be Original

To be successful in business, one of the key ingredients is to be able to set yourself apart. Anyone can sell pinto beans, which is why that would be an unlikely path to wealth.

Invent the next iPad, on the other hand, and an entire market belongs to you.

What works in business is what works in the Search Engines. It's doubtful your "Packet of Pintos" product would rank very high in the search results for several reasons.

  • Pinto beans are a commodity which anyone can sell
  • Pinto beans have been selling for centuries and the major players have already dominated the market for years
  • Pinto beans are so common and accessible, few people would bother with the Internet in the first place
  • Brand Loyalty? Are you kidding? ;-)

Great success with Search Engines requires a product or service with the potential for great Demand. And although pinto beans do qualify, there are too many suppliers already meeting that Demand.

It is certainly possible for you to succeed with Search Engine Optimization, but you must go about it with the same mindset as your other entrepreneurial activities.

Search Success is No Secret

High Internet Search rankings can be achieved several ways:

  • A proprietary level Keyword
  • Direct Your Own Traffic
  • Massive "Clicks" to your site from within a Search
  • Links to your site by bigger sites than you
  • Provide Content more interesting than your product

A Proprietary Level Keyword

A search Keyword no one else is using will be right there at the top when it's typed into the search box. If you are the only company with a Packet of Pintos, you will obviously rank very high with that Keyword/Phrase.

Of course, that is no help to you at all if no one is searching for a Packet of Pintos in the first place.

And there lies a common dilemma.

How do you market an original, creative product when there is no demand for it?

Beginners often believe that simply being on the Internet will bring Traffic, but this is not the case at all. Traffic always comes from Demand. But the more common your product or service, the less Demand there will be for YOUR particular variation (or lack thereof)-unless you find some way to distinguish yourself far from the herd.

Direct Your Own Traffic

Sometimes Demand is created by a dynamite product. Other times you can create Demand with a clever marketing campaign. Two very similar products can differ greatly in Demand. One is perceived as boring while other can be considered cool and hip. It's all about how you present your vision to the public.

The best Search Engine Optimization in the world is useless if you have an unwanted product. The more original, the more appealing to the most people, the more Demand your product will create on its own. And the more people will Search for your product on Google.

The best products begin with Marketing, and then pull back to allow Word-of-Mouth to carry the bulk of the load.

It's up to you to drive Traffic to your site with every marketing tool you have at your disposal.

The good news is that Traffic drives more Traffic.

Google will notice and place you higher in the Results pages for a variety of Keywords you may not have even thought of. (Make sure you have Google Tracking Code embedded in your site).

Massive "Clicks" to Your Site from Within a Search

As you develop your own Traffic, Google will see the number of Click-Thru's to your site from their Results pages. They will also note how many times your Keyword (Your company name?) or Domain URL have been typed.

By the way, it's surprising how many times a complete Domain URL is typed into the Google search box by accident, rather than the browser address line.

Each web page you create gets roughly 160 words for your Description in the Results page. That is your mini Sales Teaser. Make it count.

As Google witnesses your Demand they will raise your ranking in the Results.

Links to Your Site by Bigger Sites than You

As you create Demand, websites will link to you, or at the very least, give enough information for people to successfully Search for you on their own. These links will raise your stature in the eyes of Google and you will rise in the Search Results pages.

Backlinks to your site is the SEO method most newcomers hear about the most often. Working this angle can eat up a LOT of your valuable time-time you probably believe is better invested in your product creation, production, and sales.

It's important that you don't leave anything to chance. Very little will happen for you all by itself.

There are several ways to get Backlinks:

  • Approach various sites directly with a Press Release about your product. Include a personal note about how posting news about you and your product will be of interest to their readers.
  • The easiest way to get Backlinks is to create interesting and valuable Content for other sites. Study important sites carefully and read any information they have about submissions. The site doesn't necessarily need to have anything to do with your product. If you understand the subject matter of the site and can write interesting content about it, they will usually give you a byline with a link back to your site. The link will be what you want the most, but the icing on the cake is that you may even get some business from it :-)

Oh, and you will doing all this for FREE.

It's important to set aside some time for writing, both for your own site and for other sites who's readership would have a higher than average interest in your product.

Provide Content More Interesting than Your Product

If you are selling a product or service with broad appeal but a lot of competition, you must attract people to your site some other way. Creating interesting content that will draw people who are likely prospects for your offering is an excellent method.

If you are selling computers, created a site filled with useful business information and downloadable tools. If you are selling a product for the Home, provide Home Improvement tips.

You may be stuck with an uninspiring product, but that's no reason to have an equally uninspiring website.

If your product is unable to get you high in the Search Results, your highly original Content can!

Headlines Are Your Keywords

One last tidbit. Keep every page you create focused on one idea, and make sure your Headline/Page Title incorporates your Strongest Keyword for that idea. Your various pages of Content with strong Keyword focus will attract Google.

Focus may be the most important word in the area of SEO. Google loves "Order," and the more organized and focused your site and individual pages are, the better your SEO results will be.

And of course, every page should have bold and easy access to your product. That's the whole point of all that interesting Content.

Don't be shy!

Rick LaPoint

RickLaPoint has years of experience with Inside and Outside Sales & Marketing. He has developed software products with C++ for anticipating turning points for stocks, forex, and futures, and has given many live presentations teaching technical analysis skills. For more of Rick's Online Business Ideas visit his website.

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6 Responses to “Kitchen Table SEO: How To Begin SEO On A Shoestring Budget”

  1. Great post Rick. Excellent pointers for anyone about to embark on their first internet marketing adventure! If you cover all the basics well and can somehow create unique interesting content on a regular basis you have the battle won!

  2. Vanessa says:

    Great post! I think a lot of small business owners get caught up in the technical side of SEO before learning the basics and what really matters – causing them to spend thousands without really knowing why. Having a solid foundation and understanding of the concepts you outlined here will make it so much easier to get started on the right foot with SEO and invest in quality tactics that will improve visibility.

  3. Great post Rick, Do you think Google's most recent update will affect the small guy's effectiveness against the bigger players. It seems that the days of SEnuking your posts are over and social media is the way forward.

  4. Hi Rick,
    Great post with lots of common sense tips and valuable insight. The thing that I forget sometimes is the value of backlinks to SEO. I have the basics down fairly well and I have writing content for other sites on my "to-do" list but I haven't "done" it yet. :) Thanks for the reminder!

  5. Hey Rick,

    These are some great insights. If you can find a saleable keyword that your competition is not using, nothing like it. But I have to admit it's one of the most difficult things to do. Providing high-quality valuable content to your visitors really pays as it helps to retain customers by having them come to website again.

  6. Leo says:

    A couple of random points:
    1. About your first point, being original is good. But inventing the 'next iPad' is easier said than done! Because if it was, everyone would be a Steve Jobs right now! What you can do is try being a little different and innovative and set yourself apart from the crowd with whatever you do. That is much more easy and realistic to do.
    2. The best (free) way of getting backlinks is comments! Comment on blogs, especially those in your niche. And those which interest you. Don't spam. Write genuine, helpful comments that add to the discussion, and add value to the post.

    Cheers for the great post of course!