Step 1: Write and distribute articles. Publishing articles online using a free service like EzineArticles or ArticlesBase will help you improve your search engine rankings, making you more accessible to prospects searching for terms related to your industry. Search engines love content-rich websites that are updated frequently.

Also, the more you have other websites linking to your website, the more chances you have of getting higher search engine placement. Article syndication services help this cause by making it easy for publishers to upload your writing for use in their newsletters or websites, meaning any link to your website will reach an even larger audience.

Step 2: Use the link building and link exchange approach. As highlighted in Step 1, the more text links you have directed to your website, the more likely you are to receive better search engine placement. So make it your goal to get your website listed on as many relevant websites as possible.

If you want to make this task really simple, there are companies like Professional Link Building that will provide you with relevant links to your website for free. As a bonus, your home page will be indexed in Google within 48-72 hours.

Step 3: Write and distribute press releases. A properly written press release is not only a cost-effective and efficient means of getting your news out to a large audience, it can also help drive traffic to your website, especially when it circulates online. A distribution service can help you deliver your press release to a wide online audience.

Companies like PRLeap will even distribute your release for free. You will always want to include your website URL in any press release. That way, every time it’s posted online, you’ll have another one-way link back to your website.

Step 4: Make use of social networks. If you haven’t already done so, create a blog to post articles, press releases, and news about your company. There are several ways to create your first blog: one of the easiest options is Blogger. Best of all, it’s free. With Blogger, you can be online in less than five minutes. Once your blog is functional, be sure to visit Technorati to “claim” your blog. This will help with your search engine ranking and make it easier for online visitors to find your posts.

Also, why not create videos to help promote your business and demonstrate your knowledge? Today’s technology has made creating and sharing videos easy…and free. Visit YouTube or Google Video to post and help brainstorm ideas for your next video. (While you’re making a video, you might also want to consider creating a podcast.)

Step 5: Post comments on the forums. Do you often have an opinion on almost any topic? Use this trait to your advantage by searching for forums with information similar to the topics covered on your website. Post your comments and include a link to your website in your signature.

The growing popularity of social media makes it easier than ever to find articles, blog posts, videos, and podcasts. Again, check out Technorati and websites like Digg and ContentPop for commentable information that’s relevant to your website’s topics.

* Due to link restrictions, URLs are not included on many of the suggested websites. A simple Google search for the websites mentioned in this article should reveal the URLs.

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