Businesses have to go where their customers are. Right now, that means establishing a strong presence on the Internet and attracting as many viewers as possible. Designing a website is easy but ensuring that it draws a large amount of traffic is hard. There is a lot more going on in the background than meets the eye. For instance, there’s this thing called “Search Engine Optimization” or SEO which has to be mastered in order to achieve success. Let’s dig deeper into the subject and go through some techniques that can help small business owners create more awareness for their brand.
When potential customers try to find products online, they often turn to Google and other search engines for help. They type keywords on the textbox like “four cheese pizza”, “RC helicopters” or “rooms for rent”. The search results will contain links to relevant websites. These will be listed in order of relevance and the goal of every business owner is to occupy the top spot. Searchers rarely click below the third link so everyone is jostling for pole position. The intense competition has created a breed of experts who specialize in SEO. They routinely study search algorithms to come up with the best SEO advice to get higher rankings.
Keyword Usage — Business owners and SEO specialists should discuss the keywords that they wish to focus on. These will then be incorporated in the website primarily through the content. Blog posts and static pages may revolve around them. The keywords could be placed in the headings, the page title, the main body of the article, and other strategic areas. This should be done in a natural way as excessive keyword-padding could backfire.
Readable URLs — A lot of content management systems automatically generate page addresses or URLs. These tend to be a random series of alphanumeric characters. They are often long and unreadable. There are ways to make these URLs more user-friendly such as using the page title to make them easier to remember. Search engine spiders will also be able to read these addresses and extract the keywords, allowing the pages to better establish theirs relevance.
Inbound Links — Another way to boost rankings is to get as many quality inbound links. When lots of other sites are pointing to a certain web page, Google interprets this as a sign of authority, relevance and usefulness. This pushes the page closer to the top of the search results. However, not every link has the same value. Those coming from trusted sites carry more weight than links from known spam sites, as it should be. An important piece of SEO advice is to do everything aboveboard to avoid penalties.