Simple approach - make it as easy for the search engines to find your site as possible, then ignore them.
You could waste a lifetime chasing the elusive goal of having a perfectly "optimised" site for the various search engines to find.
The key, simple strategies I've found:
0) Good content. Nothing beats having good information. This (plus choice and speed) is what the Internet was built on.
1) Find and use your natural keywords in your text. Once you know what keywords exist for your niche, you'll be able to use these in copy and also in setting tags/bookmarks for your entries.
2) Create backlinks - basically the most effective way to do this is forum/blog posts and article marketing. The latter is more efficient, as it can be automated (write once, submit many times - via program). But forum and blog posts can get you noticed by search engines - particularly if you are able to leave a link to your site (opt-in page).
3) Squidoo lenses - link to all your sites and pages (forward links and backlinks at the same time).
I am checking out directory submission as another way of getting backlinks - now that I've found a semi-automated program to do this.
But once you get your pages set up and tweaked, leave them be. Don't fuss about page rank or anything else. Concentrate on building your list through providing good content. Newsletters seem to be the best scene on this, since ecourses and special reports don't really create a relationship - only regular emails from you do. One tactical approach is to get them to opt-in for a special report or ecourse, then offer them the newsletter.
Newsletters mean writing or providing great content every other week. Once a month is too little and every week is too much work (unless you have a lot of material you can excerpt from - or write as easily as you breathe). And you may want to leave the weekly slot for broadcasts - the short notes from you about offers you've found of interest.
Blogs, articles, newsletters - all these interrelate. If you're fluent at writing, you can use one for all three - plus a Squidoo page. Then you have links galore. Of course, "they say" that Google cuts out the duplicate content - but only exact duplicates. Where other templates give additional data, the articles still show up in searches, even though the same article was submitted to different sites.
One author, who has made his own fortune from the Internet, says that search engines are going the paid route - that free results will vanish, at least from the first page of results. He recommends going the newsletter route to maintain a list which you can continue to market to. Of course, he's a writer - and a decent one.
Another says that forum posts are the way he's made his money, as well as sending out several broadcasts to his list every week - having a list which knows him and knows that he is doing just that.
In the Online Millionaire Plan, I list just eight ways to bring subscribers to your list. Adding forums to this would be either under blogs. I am just hesitant to bring in a ninth way to drive home business - especially since this is a really dead-simple way to do it. You only have to be yourself, honestly care for the people you are talking to (posting for). And you only post where you can put a link to your opt-in/landing page.
This falls under blogs as there is a method of generating traffic through responding to other peoples' blog posts. This will give you traffic to your own pages, just as it would in a forum. And currently, blogs are the darling of Google, since they have timely content and links. Different from a forum, your comments can get buried fast. So you'd want to keep on top of this, much as you do forums - setting a certain time each day for commenting, and to either top overall PR/Alexa-ranked blogs or to high-ranked blogs for your niche - just like forums.
Searching for these brought one site which states that," Blogs get more number of links and more daily traffic than web sites." Strategy here would then be to both comment and then blog that page, linking to their blog-post through your own blog. (Find a post you can comment on, comment, then blog that same original post - on your own blog.) Another list of top sites (more friendly and kept up as a service, not a blog comment). A list of ecommerce business sites (ebusiness) - I see at least one each of a blog, a forum, and an article directory here... Useful for the Online Millionaire Plan.
So there is a lot to study here. I've already gone over my alotted "research time" for today, and have to debug my article submission (again *sigh*) this afternoon, plus do a tactical work out on how to get Online Millionaire Plan finished so I can get back to my self-help book marketing (and sales!).
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Oh - a tidbit here - if you use an iframe for Squidoo and Lulu pages, particularly the link to your opt-in page (and any specials), you can simply change the iframe page and it will automatically change all those other pages....