Jackson notes that keyword research should be the first step in the content creation process. After figuring out which words are most relevant, then the process of organizing the Web site around them can begin. He adds that there's a wealth of free or low-cost keyword research tools available -- so this step doesn't have to be costly.
Using free blog or site design templates can keep costs down as well, and also free up time for site owners to focus on title and meta description tags. And while the age of a new domain can't be manipulated, getting listed in relevant large-scale and industry-specific directories can help boost incoming links.
Jackson adds that there's always the option of buying an old Web site with history, backlinks and traction with the engines and then using 301 redirects to drive that traffic to the new site -- admittedly, a tactic that walks the line between "white hat" and "black hat" SEO.