If terms like “search engine optimization” make you bury your head in the ground, you’re missing out on valuable opportunity to help more customers find you. Many small business owners think you have to be highly technical to understand how to move up search engine results, but the truth is: you don’t.
Search engines are your connection to the outside world. They’re how people find you and your products. But on any given search, potential customers are given thousands if not millions of results. It’s up to you to find ways to rank on the first page so that they’re more likely to find your website.
People search for keywords on sites like Google. If you haven’t zeroed in on the keywords that best represent your products or services and your brand, how do you expect people to find your site?
By forcing yourself to identify the keywords your customers would be searching for to find what you sell, you help the right people find you. If you’re too generic (think: “pet products” rather than “leashes and bowls for dogs”) you’ll get lots of clicks to your site but few sales. The more specific you can be in your keywords, the higher you’ll move up results for those search words.
Google looks to see which sites yours links to, and which sites link to yours to determine how important it is. Years ago, people would simply add a link to their site in an effort to outsmart search engines, but now it’s important to focus on strategic connections. Guest posting on a popular industry blog, for example, can give you a thumbs up from Google. Press releases distributed to dozens of news sites is another great strategy to get appropriate web link connections. Provide great information on your own blog and others will link back to you.
The Social Component
If you’re active on social media sites (and you are, right??), that can also help your search engine status. Your updates and shares on social channels (especially Google +) appear in search results, which helps your brand be found more frequently. Dedicate yourself or one of your staff to regularly updating social profiles using those keywords you’ve already established.
Want to learn more about How to Grow Your Business Online? You’re invited to our free webinar on October 18, 2012 at 1 pm Eastern.
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s written two books: 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and has blogged for several sites, including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, as well as Mashable, Small Business Trends, CorpNet and Lead411. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.
Photo: Search Engine People Blog on Flickr