Search Engine Optimization for Small Business Success
Whether you have an established large-scale business or whether you are a one-person start-up, it is important for your website to rank high in search engine queries for your important keywords and search phrases. If you are not ranked properly you will not get much traffic, and if you depend on Internet traffic, then this can mean failure for your business. One of the best ways to improve your ranking in the search engines is by applying the methods of search engine optimization to your website. Here is a guide to search engine optimization that can help you to get started in this important task:
1. Start with a clear and simple website design
A good website design should be easy for your human visitors to enjoy and understand, and it should also be intelligible for the search engine robots that also visit your site. What looks good to the human eye may not look good to search engines. If your site is 100% flash then it may impress your visitors, but the search engines will not find text and will not be able to properly classify your site. Similarly a site designed with frames is also search engine unfriendly. Check with your web designer and make sure that the design you are getting is user-friendly and search engine friendly as well.
2. Focus each of your web pages around one or two distinct concepts
A well-organized site will help you to get better search engine rankings. Suppose you have ten different products. It may be difficult to get number one rankings for all of these products from one single page of your site. However if you make sub-pages for each different product and optimize those pages to highlight the particular product or service on that page, then those sub-pages stand a good chance of coming up in search engine queries. Remember, people do not enter your website only via the main page; rather they often enter via the “back” and “side-doors.” Prepare all the pages of your website properly and you will get more traffic.
3. Put your main keywords in the meta-tags of your web pages
Once you have decided what will go on your web pages, then you have to optimize each page separately. Never use the same meta-tags for all the pages of your site. If your page is about “Riding Lawn Mowers,” then put these words in the Title, Description and Keywords meta-tags of your website. The title tag is the most important of the three tags, and your keywords should be right at the front. Resist the temptation to put your company name first! If you are new, then no one knows about you and they are searching for Riding Lawn Mowers and not you. Do your branding elsewhere, not in the meta-tags
4. Put your keywords in the headlines and sub-headlines of your web page
A search engine is trying to find out what your page is all about. If you want to know what a magazine article is all about, without even reading it, the first thing that you would do is scan the headlines. Search engines do the same thing. Put your most important keywords in a headline right at the top of the page. Mark the headline with an H1 tag (ask your web designer to help if you do not know what this is). Make sub-headlines using an H2 or H3 tag. Putting your keywords in headlines is a vital part of search engine optimization.
5. Place your keywords strategically in the text of your web page
Write naturally and logically and you will succeed with your web page optimization. In the first paragraph mention your main concept, and then develop your ideas summarizing in the last paragraph what you have said on that page. Your keywords should appear in the beginning of the document, and they should be repeated at the end. As mentioned in point 4, they should also appear in headlines and sub-headlines. The keyword density should be between 2-5%. If you write 400 words then your keyword can be repeated 12 times without any problem.
6. Include your keywords in link text on your web pages
When you link to other sections of your website you should pay attention to the clickable portion of the links. Instead of making a link that says “Click Here.” Make a phrase that says click here for more information about “Riding Lawn Mowers.” The clickable portion of the link should be your keywords and not click here!
These are the main points that you need to take care of when optimizing your website. If your small business is Internet-based or in any way dependent on search engine traffic, then it is imperative to apply the best methods of search engine optimization to each and every web page of your site.
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