Is Your Web Presence Optimized for Search?

Most any small business owner who’s had a website for even a brief period of time understands the importance of ranking highly in search engine results, but few understand just how important it really is.

A 2010 study by the Kelsey Group found that 90% of people who are researching a local business, product or service use internet search engines, meaning that if they can’t find you online there’s a good chance they won’t walk through your door.

But it’s not enough just to be included in the results of somebody’s search query. You must also rank high enough to get noticed. According to one study, 68% of people who conduct a search on Google never go past the first page of returned results, and 98% don’t make it past the third page.

If that’s not enough to demonstrate how important it is then consider this: a case study by online marketing trainer, Aaron Wall demonstrated that while the #5 resulting business reported on a specific search query received 6,000 unique visits during the month, the #1 business listed in the results received 50,000 visits!

Clearly, rising to the top of search engine query results can mean a staggering amount in terms of revenue.

So how can you raise the status of your business’ website in the results of local search queries for your business, brand or product?

The answer involves a very complex science known as Search Engine Optimization, and while I won’t go into the boring minutia, I’ll share with you four easy and quick ways to help you make it into the results of a search and perhaps even raise you up a few notches.

First, focus on the keywords you use throughout the site. When people search for services or products they typically don’t use single words, but combinations of them. If the pages on your site are lacking these key phrases or combination of key words, there is a pretty good chance you won’t show up in the results of a query. Further, make sure the words you use to describe your goods or services are the terms other people use for those goods and services. If someone is looking for “Book Keeper” for example, simply having the term “Accountant” on your site may mean you’re either missed completely or ranked so far down in the results you’re never found.

Insert keywords throughout your site, labeling images, pages, videos and anything else you can think of to ensure nothing is missed. If you’re wondering about what key words or key phrases to use, you can find various online platforms that list commonly searched for terms as well as their synonyms. Google even has a tool for this called the Google Keyword Tool.

Next, create new content as often as you can. Search engines rank fresh content higher than content that is static, and they rank sites with a lot of fresh content higher than sites that were set up once and then never changed. As often as you can—perhaps once a week or more—create new content for your site. That new content can be new images or, better yet, new articles about your products and services.

Tie this strategy in with the first and ensure that the content includes the primary key words or key phrases used in search queries about your product. This will rank you even more significantly when local searches are conducted on your subject.

The third step you can take is to make sure you’ve included your site in all of the appropriate directories. This is a pretty obvious step, but one that many small business owners overlook. The first set of directories is the various “local” pages that search engines feature. Though you’re sure to be included in local search directories, like Yahoo! Local and Google’s local results, you can add information to these that will make you stand out. Add images and information about your business, and get customers to provide feedback and ratings about your business (preferably favorable).

Lastly, you should make sure you go social. I’ve beat this drum time and again, because I believe social media really is the next frontier of marketing. But for the purposes of search engine optimization, it can also get you ranked higher. Most search engines are now indexing social media networks as well, so not only are they looking for your presence on Facebook or Twitter, but they’re also looking at the conversations you’ve had, or that others have had about you.

There are countless strategies that businesses can use to get ranked higher in search engine query results, and not all of them are as effective as others. The methods used here are sure to get you bumped up a couple of notches in time. And that could be the difference in 6,000 visitors or 50,000.

Word One Consulting
clint @
2263 S. Main
Las Cruces, NM 88005