Search engines, such as Google and Bing, are fundamental tools in promoting your business online. There are three major factors to consider: search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising and local listings. The merits of each will be explored in a three-part series. The first focuses on search engine optimization.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Known as SEO for short, this is a method of improving your website’s rank in the search engine’s results. Whenever you search for something, the results are listed in order from most relevant to least relevant. Statistically, the majority of people never look past the first page of results, and most of the clicks go to the top five results on the first page. Therefore, getting your website to appear higher up in the rankings is a significant way of increasing traffic to your website and helping new clients find you.

How can I improve my website’s rank?

Search engines like Google look at several factors when determining rank. One of these is the abundance of particular keywords. For example, if someone searches for “dozen red roses”, pages where those specific words appear most often will be given priority. Another determinant is the number of other websites linking to yours. This tells the search engine that your website is legitimate and probably useful.

As such, a great way to improve your websites rank is to add more keywords. Think about the main ways people would search for your product and include those phrases in your website pages. You can use Google’s keyword tool to help you along (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal). Make sure you use keywords in your page titles and tags, too. Linking with other websites, and creating links within the pages of your own site will also stimulate a higher ranking. Lastly, older websites will naturally receive a higher rank than newer ones, so be patient!

If your site has many products and pages, optimizing it may become difficult and time-consuming. This is especially true when having in mind that keeping your website rank afloat requires constant updating and maintenance (your competition is optimizing too!) In this case, you may want to consider hiring a team to focus on search engine optimization for you.