Google is the most popular search engine in the world, is it working for your business? A high Google ranking can not only drive traffic to your Web site, but also gain new sales and leads for your company. Prepping your Web site for a top Google ranking is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend big bucks to improve your SEO, you can do it all for free with a little time and patience. You won’t see SEO results over night. It can take weeks for the search engines to crawl your site. But using these ideas below can help speed up the process.
- Google Web Master Tools. Be sure to sign up for this free service from Google. It offers detailed reports about your Web site’s visibility on Google. You’ll have to verify your site and upload a sitemap, but well worth the few minutes it takes. It will be able to tell you when Google crawled your site.
- Google Analytics. Another free service from Google. Analytics generates detailed stats about the visitors that come to your Web site. It reports on the people who visit your site including the average time on your site, where they are located at in the world, where they came from and which pages they have landed on. A handy tool in the traffic sources overview includes which keywords were used by visitors that were directed from search engines.
- Keywords Are Important. What are the keywords that potential clients are searching when trying to find your products or services? Be sure to sprinkle these keywords throughout your Web site. Also, use those keywords in your titles and body text. Make sure your keywords are in phrases as well. Use “Columbus, Ohio Fine Dining Restaurant” vs. “The Restaurant.”
- Keep Content Fresh. When you update your content often, it can help improve your rankings. The search engines will pay more attention to content that is updated on a regular basis, verses a Web site that hasn’t been updated since January, 2004.
- Name Images Correctly. When saving your images, don’t use the file name your digital camera provides. Name your images with keywords that are relevant to that image. When search engines search index images, “Westerville_Ohio_Dentist.jpeg” will be more relevant than “IMG_11489.jpg.”