You have to learn to walk before you can run. If you're not sure where to start to achieve better visibility on search engines, here are the first three steps to take. These are just three little steps for you but they're giant steps for your company!
- DETERMINE YOUR MAIN KEYWORD
This is the starting point: Your potential customers enter certain words into search engines. Which words? There's no need for anything complicated because people use simple words. You're a plumbing company? Then your first keyword should be "plumber." People often enter two or three words. Your plumbing company is located in Sherbrooke? People in Sherbrooke aren't going to search for a plumbing company in Montréal or Québec City, so your best keywords are probably "plumber" and "Sherbrooke." So that customers can find you, be sure to include these keywords on your Web site.
TIP: Ask people you know for suggestions, especially if they've just bought products or services similar to yours... from the competition!
Experts at work
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) experts will use different databases to find effective keywords for each of your Web pages… This is a somewhat more advanced step— like a dance step! Start with a single keyword (or a combination of two or three words) for your home page.
- INCLUDE YOUR KEYWORDS IN YOUR TITLE TAG
If the name of your plumbing company is "St-Arnaud and Sons," the title tag of your home page could be "Sherbrooke Plumbers: St-Arnaud and Sons." This tells all the search engines who you are, what you sell and where you sell it: You're a plumbing company in Sherbrooke!
TIP: Ideally, the keywords should be placed at the beginning of the title tag. It's more effective that way!
Jargon made simple
What is a title tag? It's a computer code put on your Web page that tells search engines the title of your page. Sometimes it's the same title that Web surfers see at the top of your page, but not always. The person who created your Web site knows what a title tag is and how to change it (yes, it's easy and only takes five minutes!).
- INCLUDE YOUR KEYWORDS IN THE TEXT APPEARING ON YOUR HOME PAGE
Your keywords should appear in the title of your page and within the text on your page. For example, the title displayed for Web surfers on your home page could be "The friendliest plumbers in Sherbrooke!" (assuming that being friendly is what sets you apart from the competition). It isn't always necessary to include your company name in this title. "St-Arnaud and Sons Plumbing" could be a kicker. Include your keywords at least once in the text appearing on your home page.
TIP: Ask your Webmaster to make sure the title of your page is coded with the H1 tag. This tag tells search engines that it is the true title, not a kicker or subheading. It must contain your keywords!
TIP: If your home page only includes your logo and the words "Welcome" and "Bienvenue" to direct people to the right language, there's no need to redo your whole site. Add a brief description containing the right keywords underneath "Welcome" and "Bienvenue."
There you have it! Now you know the basics. Once you've achieved these first three steps, you can learn to run and to dance!
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