Be Search Engine Friendly

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Every day, millions upon millions of people are using search engines like Google to find news, information, products or services. No matter what your product or service is, the chances are that at this very moment there is someone looking for you.

So, what are you doing to make sure you get found? Being search engine friendly is about helping the search engines find and read your site, which in turn helps your prospective customers find and read about your business.

Being search engine friendly is a matter of many things and many factors, and there are experts out there who can spend days discussing them with you. That said, there are some general “rules” to follow that can help tremendously.

  • Use Google’s Webmaster tools, and their equivalents. In particular, Google allows you to submit a “sitemap” to them, which essentially lists your site’s web pages and tells the search engine where to find them. This sitemap is a file in your website, and is usually named Sitemaps.xml – you should definitely have it.
  • Put yourself in your customers’ shoes – what would you type in to Google if you were looking for a business like yours? Write down the top 5 or 10 “keywords” that you would think people are using to look for you. Now when you’re writing content for your site, use those keywords as often as possible in your writing. This increases the chance that you will appear near the top of the results when people type in those keywords.
    • Focus on quality and usefulness. If your website has high quality, focused and useful content on it, people will link to your site. Links are like “votes” – search engines treat them as an acknowledgement to the usefulness of your site. But not all links are treated equal. Links from high quality sources are given more weight than unknown or “spammy” sites. This is one of the big reasons that buying links isn’t always a good idea.

 

  • Engage other sites in your industry. Find blogs, forums and other sites that are related to your business, and comment or participate. Get to know the owners of the other site if possible. If your site truly is high quality, they will happily link to your site – often for free.

Try it out!

Our online business system is built with search engines in mind. In the Admin menu you’ll find our “Google/Yahoo!/Bing Optimization” option, which allows you to switch on automatic generation of Sitemaps.xml.

And while the system can’t help you write your content, we can use technology, such as search engine friendly URLs, to make your life easier. Search engine friendly URLs allow search engines to more easily read your product pages and associate them with the right keywords.

I hope you’ve found this tip useful! Next week, look out for tip #5:
Future-proof your business
Victor Chuma

Victor Chuma

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