Whether your small business operates primarily online or primary in a bricks and mortar location, a web site is an important part of your overall business success strategy. To get the most benefit from any web site it’s critical to make sure its search engine optimization (SEO) is maximized.
There are over 200 algorithms that are used by search engines to determine your web pages’ ranks and these can change at any time.
You can pay a professional SEO company to optimize your site but many small businesses don’t have the funds available for this, especially in the very early days of operation. However there are a number of things you can do to optimize your website that will help your site to be found more easily in the search engines.
Let’s take a look at seven simple SEO strategies you can use to accomplish this goal.
Strategy #1 – Research relevant keywords
This is the critical first step because it helps you identify the search terms your customers and potential customers are using most often when they are searching for the products and/or services you offer. Identifying these most relevant keywords makes it possible to start incorporating them efficiently and effectively into your web site.
Strategy #2 – Use these keywords in your page title, description, and meta-data
Once you have identified the most relevant keywords, be sure to include them in your page title, web site description, and meta-data. This ensures search engines will find your web site and include it in search results for those keywords.
Strategy #3 – Use these keywords in your domain name
If at all possible, find a way to include the most relevant keywords in your web site domain name. This further ensures it will be highly ranked by the major search engines.
Strategy #4 – Use these keywords in your text
It’s also important to weave the most relevant keywords into the text content of your web site because this affects search engine rankings as well. The way you use them, though, is important; they need to be a natural part of the content rather than just words used as often as possible on the site. If you go overboard on the quantity of keywords and don’t use them in a way that makes sense you may actually end up with lower search engine rankings as a result.
Remember … write for your readers first, search engines second.
Strategy #5 – Name your images
Every image on your web site, whether it is a graphic, a picture, an illustration, or the like, should be named with relevant keywords in mind. Search engines don’t capture information about the visual content of these images, but they do capture information about the file names and the file context.
Strategy #6 – Backlink effectively
Search engine rankings are based both on the content of your web site and the links between your web site and other web sites. They look not only at the quantity of links, but also at the quality of links; in other words, when you have a backlink to a web site with high rankings and high relevance to your web site and keywords that backlink is given greater weight by the search engine’s algorithm.
Strategy #7 – Publish new content regularly
Once you have your web site up and running with great search engine optimization, your work is not finished. Search engines also pay attention to how often the unique content on your web site is updated. If you don’t update content regularly the search engines will interpret that as being a negative and will lower your rankings; if, however, you update content regularly then the search engines will interpret that positively and will raise your rankings accordingly.
There are many other strategies most people can do themselves, however, if done well, these 7 steps alone may be enough to get your website found on page one of Google for your main keywords.
Donna-Marie is an award-winning Entrepreneur, Author and Content Marketing Specialist. Through her business, Jacaranda Business Support Services, she has been helping other small businesses to grow since 1998, with a knack for teaching systems that allow business owners to increase profits while working less.