If your business or organization offers products or services or if you just need more exposure, you not only need a web site, but you need one that is designed for top search engine placement and must also be designed to entice the visitor to go even deeper into your site.

Many web design companies can build a nice looking website, but many don’t have the knowledge of how to build a website that will do well on search engines. Most website owners either don’t have the time nor the interest in performing the necessary tasks each month to move or keep their site at the top of the desired search results, so a decision needs to be made; either let your site be buried under the hundreds if not thousands of other sites listed in the search engines, hire a reputable SEO firm or take the time to learn and then maintain an aggressive Internet marketing campaign. Those are your choices.

If you decide to either hire an SEO firm or do it yourself, you will first need to make sure your site is ready for monthly Internet marketing. Remember, your site may not be search engine friendly yet.

Most sites that have been around for more than nine months should have some type of Google Page Rank

[Google PR]. If you don’t know what that is, please refer to Google Page Rank and How to Get It. You will want to download the Google Toolbar and enable the Page Rank feature. The you must begin to look for things that may be causing a “roadblock” for search engines when it comes to “spidering” and indexing your website.

Let’s First let’s talk about some commonly found problems:

Some sites have a “splash” page which has no content and is done in Flash [two big problems]. Although it looks nice, it has no content for the search engines and it isn’t “spiderable” to the rest of the site, therefore, that’s as far as the search engines will go on your site.

The “interior” pages of a website may be optimized properly [or at all] for search engines… no meta tags, no keywords in the title tags, etc.

Get links to your site. Some examples of sites that will link to you are; directories, BLOGS, Forums, other websites and of course, the search engines, but most importantly, Google. There are some necessary steps that “should” be taken to get listed in Google, such as sign up to Google Local Business, Google Maps, Google web search, etc. It is also necessary to get other sites to link to your site. These are just a few examples of the many types of sites that need to be linked to your site.

Search engine optimization is a full time job that constantly changes; therefore, you need to keep up with the monthly changes if you are going to keep your site at the top of the search engines. Your only other option is an expensive Pay Per Click or Sponsored Listing. Problem is that Pay Per Click campaigns such as Google Adwords end up costing WAY too much, sometimes into the thousands of dollars each month depending on how competitive your targeted keywords are – remember, it’s a bidding war for the top placement.

The choice is yours. If you decide to begin an effective Internet Marketing campaign, you must first make sure your website is properly optimized for the search engines.

Here is a list of the ten most basic steps that need to be done before any Internet marketing is done:

If you have a Splash page or a website designed completely in Flash, you’ll need have it redesigned and removed. Although it may be nice looking, it most likely won’t get picked up by the search engines.

Create some content for your first page that uses keywords within the text and preferable in the heading or title of your web site.

Hire someone with SEO experience or learn to optimize all of the pages within your site, giving each page unique meta tags packed with useful keywords [but not too many] and rework some of the code within your site to make it more search engine friendly.

Check to see that your currently hosting company has set up your site properly on the server to ensure accessibility to the search engine spiders.

Begin to sign your site up to places such as Google Local Business, Maps and Web Search and other search engine directories. Also set up a Google Analytics and Web Master Tools account.

Begin a link campaign, but either done by a professional or under the guidance of a professional. Having other sites link to yours is imperative, and *some* reciprocal linking will help, but if you link to the wrong site(s), it WILL hurt your rankings more than if you didn’t do anything at all.

Take a look at each page within your site and try to make sure you have the proper ratio of keywords to other text. You will also need to make some of the words within your content [preferably keywords] link to other pages within your site.

Create a “Sitemap” page that has links to all of the important pages within your site and have it linked from the front page so that search engines can find it easily.

Run a broken link report on your site to ensure there aren’t any broken links that could cause a search engine to think your site is outdated.

Finally, continue to add new content to your site and build new pages. NEVER copy or use text from other websites… Google will know if you do and will actually penalize you for doing so by moving your site down in the rankings. You MUST keep your site updated with fresh content. Your site needs to be constantly changing and growing for search engines to see your site as relevant. And of course, continue to do everything in the steps above.

These are just a few of the things that should to be done to your site to begin your journey to search engine top ten positioning. There’s no guarantee that this is all that should be done though because each site is different and there could be other circumstances that may you’re your site from moving up that may need to be dealt with.

There are even more advanced things that could and probably should be done, but sometimes the ten items listed above will get the job done for a website that is targeting local business but if your keywords are competitive, and your market reaches out beyond your local area, then it will surely take much more than just these basic steps.

Hopefully, this will help you in taking the first steps, whether you are going to try to do it yourself or hire a reputable Internet Marketing company, but if you decide to hire someone to do this for you, be sure that they at least offer to do the things listed above.