Often there are questions from business owners about how to best optimize their website, so it is easily found and ranked as high as possible when viewers search for their products and services. This process is often called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
There are a number of factors a search provider takes into account when they rate a website. The actual ranking criteria are proprietary to the search company—they will not reveal the specific methods they use to rank a website. However, they will provide guidelines in a published document. For example, to read Google’s Webmaster recommendations you can visit, https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769
Website owners need to realize that search results can vary widely depending on what other websites exist in their particular category. For example, if there are a number of websites selling purple polka dot ice cream, it is not reasonable to expect that a new website (which also promotes a similar product) would rank above the others, since the existing businesses have most likely already optimized their sites for a high ranking.
Focus on Unique Aspects of Your Business
What is important is to focus on the unique aspects your business offers. Your viewers are likely to enter these distinct attributes as key words in an internet search. Two examples include the physical location of your business, and the very specific type of product or service you sell or promote. Suppose as a pet store owner you sell a popular fancy dog collar and your store is located in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. You would then need to make sure that the key words “fancy dog collar” and “suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia” appear in your text headings, text body copy, and metadata of your website (metadata is information embedded in the HTML code that is commonly not visible on the website). A word of caution–be careful to not over optimize your site so that it appears that you only sell fancy dog collars in Atlanta, Georgia. A common fault of some SEO vendors is that the changes they might suggest for your website defeat other optimizations you have done.
As an example, consider Sol Sana Studio which offers small classes for participants to explore their artistic creativity in Naperville, IL. The website is content rich. It has been optimized with descriptive text and headings on each page. When a Google search is made using words like “artistic creativity in small classes in Naperville” there is a good probability the site will be found.
Content Rich Sites Promote SEO Ranking
It is ever so much easier for search engines to properly evaluate a website if it is content rich. Below is a list of ways to ensure you have a content rich site:
- Provide accurate page titles in the html code
- Make sure your HTML metadata description contains descriptive words and is concise
- Use descriptive tags on image “alt” tags on all images.
- Provide a good amount of written content on all pages
Then make sure the content you use includes the key words that you might expect someone enter when they use a search engine (like Google or Bing).
Exchange Website Links for Optimal SEO Ranking
Secondly, you increase your search engine ranking when other sites link to yours. An effective strategy is to work with your colleagues and other business owners to exchange website links.
In summary, you don’t need to pay a lot of money to optimize your site. Rather you need to understand your market—the products and services you sell –and your target audience. Select key words that your audience is likely to use to search for your site and embed those words in your text, headings, and meta data. Finally, work to increase the number of other websites that link to your site by exchanging links with other similar website owners.