Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective ways to draw new customers to your site. Optimizing your website for search engines can help to significantly increase web traffic and leads. Some small businesses have seen their web sales grow by 50%, 100% and even 200%.
Here are 20 tips for taking greater advantage of search engines:
- Never make compromises that favour search engines over your customers. Produce useful, interesting content.
- Be active on social media. Use your keywords and links to your site.
- Get comments from satisfied customers published on other sites.
- Update content regularly.
- Obtain links to sites that have good search engine results. Don’t use offers from obscure sites that try to sell you links.
- Choose keywords that your customers use to search for your products and services.
- Aim for just one keyword per page.
- Include this keyword in the links that point toward this page from other pages on your site.
- Insert this keyword in the title, the H1 title and the first paragraph.
- Make sure your title is short and entices Internet users to read the page. Use a different title meta tag for each page.
- Write a convincing meta description. Include your business name and your main keyword in the meta description.
- Don’t repeat your keyword unnaturally throughout your text.
- Leave out the meta tag “keyword.” No search engine uses it.
- Keep your old domain name. The older your name, the better. If you have to change your domain name, choose one that includes your main keyword.
- Use subdirectories (www.mywebsite.com/directory) rather than subdomains (subdomain.mywebsite.com).
- Opt for the shortest directory structure possible. Include your keywords in your directory names.
- Enter your business in all of the major web directories (YP.ca and others).
- Sync your business information automatically across YP sites and apps every time you update.
- Include your business’s street address and telephone number at the bottom of each page. Always use the same format on your site and in the various web directories.
- Always make sure your web pages download quickly. Host your site on a high-speed server located geographically close to you.
- Check the statistics for your site, and carefully analyze what does and doesn’t work. Constantly improve your site based on these statistics.
Search engine optimization is a long-term investment. You probably won’t see results right away, but the benefits, however, are also long-term: the improvements you make today will continue to increase your sales over time. Like any long-term investment, the sooner you start, the better.