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these listings in front of you, what’s a person to do?

Everything you can. Some of it may even cost you some cash.

Popular search engines, including Google, will rank web sites high if good relevant content is found on that site but most times, that’s not good enough.

Something called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is needed to improve the visibility of a web site or web page. This can be done yourself if you know the bones of your web site and can do some basic source coding. If not, there are oodles of web site SEO companies out there willing to do it for a cost.

These SEO firms can help a small business get to page one of a search, which we all know is the place to be. It is rare for people to go beyond page one when searching for services or products online.

The problem with these SEO firms is that there are no guarantees.

Wait, I take that back...

Some SEO companies will guarantee a high listing on the search engines but, that’s only if someone is searching for your web site name specifically. For example, say your company web site is named L& If someone types in L&, the SEO will guarantee your top listing. However, if they type in ‘consulting services,’ you're still at the bottom of the pack.

Another option is to maximize you site’s visibility. Google, Bing, etc. often respond to the number of searches and “clicks” for a site to determine page ranking.  You can make this happen by getting other sites and/or blogs to link back to your site. Also, putting your web site name on all printed material will help.

Taken to the extreme is one company that now produces humorous videos with shirts and baseball caps that have your company name printed on them. They then place these videos on YouTube for everyone to see. Accompanying the video is a link to your site. Other forms of video marketing sites exist as well. The main point is to get viewers to click on your link. Not necessarily to purchase your product or services...just to get the number of clicks up.

Then there’s the latest and greatest technique called Social Network Marketing. Take the word “Marketing” very cautiously here. It’s really about communication. If you use Social Networking platforms specifically to market your product or services, prepare yourself for  a major letdown.

That’s not to say “forget about it.” Just use Facebook, Twitter, Likedin, and now Google+ as a “Meet and Greet” vehicle. Forge business relationships and accumulate business-related “Friends” as opposed to pushing your product. That’s what Social Networking sites are meant for and that’s the optimal way to use them. Link to your web site for the marketing side of it.

Back to search engines. Even the most elegant, expensive web site will do nothing to help your new business attract consumers and drive revenues on the Internet via the search engines. It takes a considerable amount of thought, time and strategy to retain that sought-after first page visibility. If an SEO

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