I work with small business owners and unfortunately most don’t understand and don’t appreciate the importance of search engine optimization. Yet everyone would like to land at the top of the search engines. Here is a short overview of what’s involved in SEO and how without proper marketing (SEM), you still have very little chance of getting top rankings.
The basics of optimizing your web site for search engines:
- good niche keywords that still generate enough traffic are a must
- relevant copy (content) that repeats those keywords, most importantly in the title, description, headings, first paragraph, anchor text
- clean, valid code (no broken links)
- user-friendly navigation with every page linked to from at least one other page (so all pages can be reached by the robots)
- sitemap that should be easily submitted to google
For optimal results you need to market your site:
- get quality, inbound links – links to your page need to come from related sites
- submit your site to major search engines and directories (Yahoo, Google, MSN, DMOZ at the minimum)
- write and post an article, blog, join a forum and each time leave a link to your page in your signature
- place ads for free at yahoo.local, google.local
- utilize PPC (pay-per-click) advertising
- update web site content often, building more and more new pages – search engines love fresh content
In the end it’s all about link popularity. You just have to work persistently and wait long enough (3 months at minimum).
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