From SEOBook.com, an excellent step-by-step guide for getting started with search engine optimization while keeping initial costs down.
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- Find a Product - For most, this will be your company or your area of expertise.
- Keyword Tools - Google has a host of free keyword tools.
- Domain Registration and Web Hosting - Many choices here, but you should be able to get both for an annual cost of around $80.
- Link Research Tools - Again, many free tools exist that will do the job as well as enterprise level paid services.
- Link Tracking - $20/month is reasonable
- Analytics Tools - Google Analytics is free.
- Rank Checking Tools - Free ones exist.
- Build the Site - Wordpress is free.
- Logos and Content - If you aren't a graphic designer, invest in a customized logo. Make sure you own the full rights if you do.
- Promote the Site - Twitter, Facebook, forums, blogs, etc.
- Time Cost - Most of the tools and steps above are free or low cost. Most of the cost will be in terms of your own time.