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Every business owner would want their site to appear in the first page of search engine results whenever someone types in a word relevant to their business. Search engine optimization (SEO) can help you improve your ranking in search engines such as Yahoo, Bing and Google, thus making your business site more visible to customers.
The following are some steps you can take towards optimizing your site:
1. Include relevant keywords in your meta tags and text
The first question you need to ask yourself is, ‘What words are your customers when looking for a site similar to yours?’ In most cases, people use two or more keywords when searching for something specific. For instance, search results for the word ‘photographer’ will contain numerous sites which offer a wide range of services. The key phrase ‘wedding photographer’ win narrow the results, while ‘wedding photographer New York’ narrows them further. Therefore, to attract more targeted traffic, you need to ensure that your content is optimized for such specific terms. To find the most appropriate keywords or key phrases, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the nature of your business?
- What kinds of products and services are you offering?
- Where are your customers located?
- What problems do you want to solve for customers?
Once you have determined the most appropriate keywords, include them in your content in a readable and natural way. In addition, you should include keywords in your meta description, as well as your website’s titles.
2. Network your site
You can enhance the ranking of your site by listing it on online directories. This will result in a higher number of links pointing back to your site. For instance, if you are a fitness instructor, there are many fitness resource sites which you could ask to link to your site. You could also consider a mutually beneficial approach where you partner with other businesses and individuals and link to each other’s sites.
To enhance or sustain the search engine ranking of your site, you need to test on a continual basis. Search engines determine the ranking of a site based on its inbound links, meta tags and content. You can test how relevant and effective your keywords are by searching for them yourself. If your site is relatively new, it is not likely to appear within the first pages of your results. However, if your site ranks low for a long time, you might have to find new keywords.
One of the best ways of finding out what works and what doesn’t is observing successful businesses which offer related goods and services. Look at their engine ranking and what strategies they use to optimize their content. In case they are not a direct competitor, you could get in touch with them and ask for tips.
Your efforts to enhancing the visibility of your business site will not yield fruit overnight. It might take several weeks or even months before your search results begin changing. However, in the long run, it will be worth your time and effort.
Charles Mburugu has a great passion for sharing blogging and web development tips. At the moment, he is writing for Flash templates.