One of the most difficult things to do when starting out in SEO is to determine how to allocate the resources you have to guarantee the best ROI (return on investment).  Ecommerce store owners have a harder time of it as they are trying to spread their marketing dollars out across literally hundreds of keywords for all of the products on their stores.  Many times clients send us lists of hundreds of keywords and want to know how to best narrow the list down and how to best allocate the resources they have.  Here is what we tell them.

1. Narrow your keyword list to 5 keywords.  With a budget of $500 per month, it is best to focus on a short list of 5 keywords.  You can much easier track your results and get results quicker which will in turn open up your budget to focus on more keywords.  To avoid getting a penalty from google you will want to have 5 keywords but only 2-3 urls.  This means that you will need to have some of the keywords be variations of the main keyword.  First step is to narrow your list to a short list of 20-40 keywords.  Organize them by search volume.  The second step is to check the all in anchor ranking for all of the 20-40 keywords on your list.  For any that you already have an all in anchor ranking in the top 20, then put those on your shortlist of keywords to choose from.  If a keyword has an all in anchor ranking in the top 20 it is going to be easier to push it to the top 10 or top 3 in the search engines than a keyword that you are not ranking in the top 100 for according to all in anchor.

2. Article writing.  For article writing you can choose to get a few high quality articles from a US writer or a lot more articles from a Philippine writer.  My advice is that if you are going to be placing the articles on your website, then always use US writers.  If the articles are going to be used for link building and you are not YET a Fortune 5000 company, then Philippine writers are awesome! 

3. Article Marketing.  Now that you have the articles, what to do with them!  My recommendation is that the first place to always start is article marketing.  You can create accounts on the article directories or outsource it.  There are also some distribution services such as and that will submit your article over multiple websites.  The monthly fee for sites such as these range from a few dollars per article to about $47 per month.  You can put a project on for someone to submit your articles to the article directories and provide them the article and a list of sites and your work is done!

4. Blog commenting.  Although thought of as a spammy link building method by most, when done correctly, blog commenting is one of the best ways to build up a lot of backlinks to your site on unique ips.  You can either do the blog commenting yourself or outsource it.

5. Reporting.  Before you begin you will either want to run a report on the allinanchor rankings and number of backlinks according to open site explorer or outsource the report. 

There you have it!  The above is pretty much the exact strategy we recommend and implement for a budget of $500.