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Search engine optimization: as soon as you say it, it evokes the need to call some IT guy who can arcane programming like meta tags. Anything to do with this online marketing voodoo is not for you, right?  Think again.

The web has long been the first stop for information for most Americans, and for that matter, folks worldwide.  Google outpaces any network for reach and influence, and if handled correctly, connects you directly with someone looking for just what you have to offer.  You say you’ve got it covered with Google Adwords? Think again…again.

These days, if marketers and PR pros don’t fully understand natural language search engine optimization, you are dangerously out of touch (though in the vast majority, so don’t panic yet).  In short, this is the the emerging communications practice of offsite search optimization. It’s also know as SEO PR, Ambient Content, and other home-made names.  In short, it’s using RSS press releases and content to capture attention at the critical moment of search, while also boosting search rankings by securing incoming links from authoritative sites.

The crux of the technique is issuing frequent RSS press releases (press releases posted to the web via a Web syndication service like PR Web) that contain good content and optimized for search engine rankings. By often, I’m talking at least weekly, and likely every few days. And before you get all “don’t bug the media” on me, understand that THESE ARE PRESS RELEASES IN NAME ONLY. It’s about the content and the links, baby.  That’s all.  For this, we don’t care if the media ever even sees them.  We get to them in other ways (hear evil laugh track here).

It starts with choosing keywords: things people are searching for related to your business or site.  You can get ideas on Google Adwords.  There they will tell you how many searches are conducted for each term, and alternate terms to consider.

Then, as I said, crank out the content so the next time someone searches on the terms near and dear to your business, you come up as one of the top links on Google and Yahoo! (collectively, these two capture about 75% of all searches on the Internet.)

Of course, there’s lots of things to know about optimizing the site itself with “link-based pages” and techniques to meta-tag information (the text used to identify your site to the search engine, and to describe the content in search rankings).  But that can wait today.

For now, suffice to say that anyone who wants site traffic but is not using SEO PR is missing a huge opportunity.  Namely, thousands of people searching — but not finding — you.  Or worse, finding your competitors.