Getting the big search engine moguls (i.e. Google, Bing, Yahoo) to notice a small business like yourself can seem like a daunting endeavor. The key to getting noticed is getting search engines to acknowledge your page is relevant to the search at hand.
So how does the search engine know that your site is relevant?
Search Engine Optimization
is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the natural (aka un-paid) search results. In general, the higher ranked on the search results page a website is located, and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitor attention it will receive!
Proper SEO combines a solid use of keywords with interesting copy. The mistake that far too many business owners make is focusing completely on keyword saturation and not on making the actual content worth reading.
Content + Keywords
Without getting too technical, search engines basically use automated software agents called “bots” or “spiders.” These bots “crawl” the internet on a regular basis looking for sites and assigning them a ranking based on their relevance to searches being performed.
Bots use a website’s content and keywords to identify its relevance to searches. They visit websites; navigate the websites; discern information about the website; decide what the website is about; and add that data to its index. Focusing on strong, meaningful content, versus straight self-promotion, stands a much higher chance of attaining comments and back links, which helps with ranking.
TIP: Webpages loaded down with keywords and no real information, also known as keyword stuffing, not only hurts your search ranking, but can damage your reputation. Don’t do it. It may initially get people to your site, but it won’t ultimately keep them there!
Incoming, One-Way Links
Although keywords steer search engines to notice your website page, links are the “Holy Grail” of SEO. When a number of websites link to your page, it gives your site authority and help it to be placed higher than other sites. Links are like word of mouth; the more folks on the web are “talking” about your information, the more your website rises higher on the search results page or SERPS.
Getting links could seem overwhelming at first, but it’s simpler than you think. Many community chambers of commerce as well as industry organizations have websites and will be willing to link to member sites. The only actual difficult part is the time investment involved in getting in contact with all these organizations to establish a relationship..
A number of companies build links by posting blogs articles on article directories and linking with the URL to the relevant page or they might upload pictures on photo sites such as Flickr or PhotoBucket, and include a link with the picture. Posts on social media sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn can also be “signed” with a name and a link to your website.