Market Your Business

Search Engine Optimization

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Category: Market Your Business , Boost Search Engine Visibility

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PROBLEM: You have a Web site and a product to sell. But nobody's ever heard of you.

SOLUTION: Use search engine optimization to be found!

With hundreds of millions of Web pages out there, it's hard to get noticed. The odds of somebody stumbling onto your page by accident are about those of a lottery winner getting struck by lightning. But using search engine optimization, you can make changes to your Web site that will move it closer to the top of natural search results when someone searches for your products or services in a search engine such as Google®.

To understand how it all comes together, we first have to understand how search engines work, and the simple answer is, search engines read and remember every Web page they find. They do this through a process called "spidering", in which the search engine uses automated programs to scour the Internet, copying and remembering every site they find. Then, when someone searches for a particular term, the search engine looks in its records, or "index," and displays a list of pages it's found that contain the search term.

With search engine optimization, changes are made to the design, layout and wording of your Web site to make it appear more relevant to the search engines. That way, when somebody searches for a particular phrase relevant to your business, your site will be placed closer to the top of the list of results. The way search engines view and value content on web sites is constantly changing, so it's best to have experts help you with search engine optimization.

As an example, Bensel's Pencils' Web site has the words "exotic" and "pencils" all over it. So do several hundred-thousand other pages. But if these two words appear in the title, headline or body of the Web site, Bensel's Pencils has a better chance of showing up higher on the list of search results when someone searches for "exotic pencils."

Ideally, Bensel's wants to be on the first page of search results, because studies have shown that two-thirds of people don't look beyond the first page when searching. So search engine optimization can make a huge difference.

Bensel's ranking can also be affected by a few other things, including the number and quality of other sites that link to it -- which is like casting a vote of confidence for Bensel's Web site; the way their domain (Web site name), anticipates errors such as typos; the way images are used; and by using certain pieces of hidden code called "meta tags."

You can attempt to do this all yourself, though using a company w/SEO professionals will save you a lot of time and effort. Since search engine optimization experts understand the nuances of Web spidering, they can change the way the code on your page is written to make it more appealing to the spiders and help you avoid the accidental use of page modifications that are considered unethical by search engines.

Let's review. Search engine optimization can help your company get noticed by using modifications to the wording and design of your Web site, and by creating a solid linking strategy to make it more appealing to search engines. That in turn moves you up the list of natural results on a search engine page which improves your chances of getting found by potential customers.

Problem solved.