Promoting Your Website III: Search Engines

Attaining high rankings on various search engines is the holy grail of search engine optimization. The top ranked listing will get about 40% of all clicks while the second place ranking will get only 20%. In essence, if you don’t place well on search engines then you really don’t exist to potential new visitors that are looking for you.

If you don’t place well on search engines then you really don’t exist.

At a basic level, search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing will help visitors find your website using search terms. Search engine optimization (SEO) is about integrating the best search terms into your content so that your website will be ranked among the top of the list. The key message here is that, unlike the other two routes (direct hits and referrals), people who access your website this way either don’t know about you yet, or know about you but have forgotten your web address and business name, so they use search terms instead. For a business, this is an extremely important tool for drawing in new clients through the website, so getting it right is imperative.

Search engines use a complex set of criteria to prioritize websites, but here are are four core components that will help your website work toward that top placing.

  • Choose common words and phrases: identify keywords and phrases that best describe your subject of interest or line of business that the average person will use intuitively to find your website. One way to do this is to experiment with keywords yourself using different search engines and see what shows up, or getting information from web analytics to see what search terms are most popular.
  • Choose special and specific words and phrases: While the most common words and phrases are necessary they also need to be combined with unique content that is specific to you. For example, this can be accomplished by including a brand name or niche product along with your generic keywords, or by including your geographic location (city, region, country). This will help your website to stand out from the thousands or millions of others.
  • Use them all, and use them often: Use the keywords and phrases as frequently as possible throughout your website; in blog articles, in static pages, everywhere. There is an art to this, because the content needs to be written in a way that isn’t repetitive. Some will hire specialized web content writers who are good at achieving this.
  • Put them in the right place: Placement of keywords and phrases within your website is also important. Search engines recognize titles and headings as high standing content, so search terms that show up in these locations will rank your website closer to the top of the list.

This is the last of three articles describing how to promote your website. With these tools your website visits should attract many more unique and returning visitors. Try them out and let us know how it goes and what you’ve learned!