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Easy SEO for Small Business Owners

-- 2011-01-31 3:00 am --

Establishing a web presence is a vitally important marketing tool for most businesses, but it’s just the first step. Potential customers have to be able to find your site. That’s where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes into play. SEO is the process of giving search engines the right type of information to help them rank your site above the others jockeying for the top spot. These tips will give you a head start in becoming a strong contender.

SEO is based on keywords, the terms an individual enters into a search box when looking for information. So you’ll need to create a list of keywords or phrases that someone might use to find the services or products your business promotes. Be as specific as possible and keep in mind that you will need a separate set of keywords for every page in your website. It can be helpful to check out the sites of competitors who rank highly with the search engines and learn what keywords they use.

When you register a domain name for your business, consider including the most important keyword or phrase in the name. Selecting unique widgets.com is more likely to bring you targeted traffic than xyzmanufacturing.com. However, if people will look for your business by name, use it in the domain.

Page titles should also include keywords. If you already have a domain name that doesn’t include your key phrases, don’t despair. Descriptive, keyword-rich page titles can give any domain a boost. Your main page will display only your domain, but select meaningful titles for each subpage. Instead of www.yourbusiness.com/catalog.html, choose www.yourbusiness.com/buyblueitems.html.

Tucked away in the HTML code for any website are several more opportunities to add keywords. Visitors won’t see them, but the search engines will. Add key words to the alt tags for all images, making sure the entries are informative. The description and keyword metatags, while not carrying as much weight as they once did, provide additional spots for key phrases.

Content is arguably the most important component of any website. Great information is what visitors hope to find when they visit. So write content with your ideal customer in mind, but also write for the search engines. Include several instances of the relevant key phrases for each page and include them as headers and sub headers, as well. Don’t overdo it. Keep the flow natural and use keywords where they make sense within the flow.

If you plan to create your own site, it will all be up to you. But even if you hire a web designer, you should do your own keyword research. Then go a step further and provide your webmaster with optimized page titles, content, and image alt tags. While additional online marketing strategies may be needed to claim a first-page spot in the search results, a well optimized site is likely to reach that goal more quickly.