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SEO With a Skeleton Crew

Josh McCoy
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One brick wall search marketers all eventually run into is a lack of resources. SEO is a concerted effort among many people. This includes the participation of many different parties, such as developers, designers, marketing teams, members of management, plus the efforts of outside advertising, PR, or SEO agencies.

The structure of most companies has definitely changed over the past few years. Many organizations have scaled back departments and have increased task distribution to fewer employees. So how do we initialize productive SEO measures when many of the needed spokes of this wheel have become constrained?

While times seem to be improving, the economic realities of the last two years are still affecting companies, whether it's in staffing or budget. But that's no reason to throw in the towel and call it a day.

For most companies, optimizing their Web presence may increase revenues and right their ship. This may not be the quarter, or even the year, for a new site launch, site redesign, rollout of new information architecture, or a snazzy new interactive site section.

Fine-tuning a site can ultimately help it shine. Let's look at these tasks, which don't involve an entire team and should only take a few minutes a day:

  • Linking: Don't worry about how you'll obtain a slew of links across the Web. Rather, fine tune existing inbound links. Assess your strongest links and make sure these have the most optimal link text. Once you've tweaked these, find a handful of the most credible and relevant links to your site. These will be worth more than the 100 you would have easily accrued before.

  • Internal linking: Simply surfing through your site as if you were a visitor can teach you a lot about your site. Make sure the internal link anchor text in your home page copy matches the keyword theme of the destination page. Your visitors, as well as search engines, will notice this. Also apply this method to the copy on your internal pages. Watch for opportunities to add internal links. This will help you create better site-wide internal linking, and help your visitors more easily navigate your site.

  • Copy: When reviewing your site as a first time visitor, does the copy speak to who you are and what you do, while focusing on page relevant keyword themes? Sometimes it's as simple as replacing a flashy image with copy, or telling visitors something you assumed they already knew. Your job is to educate users, as well as the search engines, about what your site is all about.

  • Images: Don't forget to add alternative (alt) tags to images on your site. While this isn't a "make-or-break" tactic for a site, it gives search engine friendly sites a fighting chance within image search results. Ideally, these tags should contain keywords that are relevant to the image and match the keyword theme of any adjacent body copy.

  • Title tags: Title elements are crucial. Do some keyword research so you target the most relevant keyword theme for your site pages and also provide an accurate, keyword-rich, and compelling description.

Someone familiar with a site can make these quick fixes without necessarily involving the entire IT team, management, or marketing's collective input. Simply work with what you have for now. Once the sky clears and the resources are available, you can more efficiently focus on large scale site projects and not so much on the existing elements of the site that were never squared away in the first place.


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