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An SEO and Viral Marketing Checklist for Online Businesses

Part of the Starting an Online Business For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and viral marketing are two cost-effective and highly popular ways to get the word out about your online business. After you create your website, follow this checklist to make sure you aren't forgetting anything when it comes to optimizing your web pages for indexing by Google and other search engines, and spreading the word about your products and services.

  • Put your keywords in the title. Choose the keywords that your customers are likely to enter when they are searching for sites like yours, and make sure one or two (or more) appear in the titles of your web pages.

  • Sprinkle around those keywords. Make an effort to include your keywords in the headings on your pages, and in the text as well.

  • Add meta tags. Meta tags are keywords added in the Head section of a web page, between the <meta> and </meta> tags.

  • Register your site with Google. Don't wait for Google to find you. Add your site to Google's database — and after that, to Bing's and Yahoo!'s sites as well.

  • Get on Facebook. Create a "fan page" for your business on Facebook.

  • Start Twittering. Promote your current sales and create special deals for those who find or follow you on Twitter.

  • The history of the web page is important. This includes the date the page was first discovered by a search engine.

  • Keep your web page updated. The frequency with which the content of the web page changes is also important to SEO. This includes an average time between the changes, a number of changes in a time period, and a comparison of a rate of change in a current time period with a rate of change in a previous time period.

  • Keep your site growing. The number of new pages associated with the document matters as well.

  • Get linked. Make sure your pages ink to other well-designed, content rich sites. The more links you have, the better your search results.

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