- Build sites that people want to see
- Keep content original and fresh
- Monitor your competition to see what is working for them
- Incorporate social media to help build a following
- Cultivate links from external sites to increase popularity
- Create traffic to attract search engine traffic
If only promoting your small business was that simple. Below are detailed descriptions to the 6 basic strategies above.
Search Engine Optimization involves strategic changes to the design and content of a website in order increase search engine rankings. It can be broken down into on-site and off-site optimization.
Some on-site techniques include keyword or key phrase research, keyword density, meta data, page titles, page heading and keyword placement. Off-site SEO techniques involve promoting your website by creating connections from other sites. Some strategies include link building, cross website promotions, guest blogging, and registering with directory sites.
Local optimization is also important for small business to help increase their local placement on search engine results that are often displayed prior to organic rankings.
How search engines work:
Search engines are created to provide the viewer the best result for their search term. The best way to attract more traffic to websites is to provide the viewer with content they want to see. Search engines also track traffic to a website to determine if more results should be sent that way, traffic brings traffic.
Each website on the internet is given a specific weight for search results. This weight is constructed of multiple factors, many of which the search engines keep secret. Bing uses PageScore and Google uses PageRank in order to help determine the importance of pages. It is important to note that these two indexes are only a small part of their search algorithms, but they are easily researched and provide a good measurement point of ranking.
Search engines look for unique content. If content is copied from another source, only the original author receives search engine credit. Copied content is ignored for search engine rankings.
Time spent on site is also a factor for search engine popularity. If viewers see your site and immediately go back to Google, the search engine assumes that the site was not what the viewer was looking for. If this happens often, Google will eventually make adjustments to send less people to your site.
As of last week, Google’s new Freshness Algorithm is designed to provide up-to-date results. This makes it crucial for sites to keep content fresh and creates a greater need for Blogs and weekly or daily updates.
Social Media is increasingly becoming part of how search results are generated. Bing is now displaying Facebook ‘Likes’ from your friends in their search results. Traffic from all social media sites is used to by search engines to determine page popularity.
The more people want to see your site the more traffic search engines will send to you.
Location searches also help small business come up in search results. Always remember, your location is one of your keywords. If not mentioned on your site it will not help you get local results.
An important factor in increasing search engine traffic is evaluating what your competition is doing successfully. Find a competitor that outranks you on your keywords and use the tools below to compare their metrics to yours.
Tools of the Trade:
Use a simple Google search to see how your competitors rank for your key words. Take note of which competitors rank higher and use various SEO tools to investigate their inlinks and PageRank.
PageRank is what Google uses to determine the importance of a web page. It is one of many factors used to determine which pages appear in search results. Tools such as SEO Quake can be used to determine PageRank.
Yahoo Site Explorer offers an excellent tool to see how many of your websites pages are indexed by search engines. More importantly it also provides complete details of all links from other sites (inlinks) to your pages. The more inlinks to your site, the higher your ranking will be.
The Google Adwords keyword tool is essential to determine the popularity and competition for specific key words.
Google Analytics is crucial to help research changes is website traffic, what pages people are visiting and what key words are sending them to you through searches.
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