Get noticed on the web: SEO

Ok, I said I’d get back to this so here is installment 1:

A number of my customers are small business owners. Sometimes they ask me how to get their websites noticed. I’m no guru on this topic, buy I have some information to share. One of the methods (or group of methods) to generate more traffic is called search engine optimization, or SEO. Basically, if you owned a pet store specializing in birds located in Seattle, and someone ‘googled’ “pet birds stores in Seattle” you would really want to be first on the list. Increasing you rank in results is SEO, and it is a science unto itself. Furthermore, the exact inner workings of site rankings are secret because search engine companies don’t want to be unfairly manipulated.

There are many factors that you want to consider: keywords, trackbacks, titles, age of the website, etc. But how do you get noticed in the first place? Well, the search engines index the web by cataloging keywords wherever they can find them, but why wait for them to find you? Here are the links to submit a website to 3 popular search engines.

Google Webmaster Tools

Yahoo! Site Explorer

Bing Webmaster Center

These take a little web savvy to edit your website, but its not hard.  If, however, you want an easier way try this for Google: http://www.google.com/addurl/ or even a service like this: http://www.submitexpress.com/submit.html . By the way, when I used the above for my website, Google and Bing confirmed within minutes, but Yahoo took 2 days.

Alternatively, and probably more effectively, you can link to your website from a site that already ranks high when your favorite keywords are searched. In order to do this you could submit a short article about your business, or perhaps make meaningful contributions to their forums (if they have one).

If you have any comments, suggestions or differing views, please let me know.

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