Search Engine Optimization is important for any business with a Web site. And for those small businesses who depend on web traffic to sell their product and get the word out, it's absolutely crucial.
There are plenty of firms out there who will help you do this – at a cost.
Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can implement yourself to help move your Web site to the top of a search.
1. Keywords are key. You can't be found if a search engine doesn't know what your site is all about. Make sure all of your pages contain a good amount of search words that relate to your company's area of expertise. To figure out what keywords are good for you, just think about what someone who was trying to find information about your business or industry would type into a search engine.
Include your keywords anywhere you can: your titles, URLs, image descriptions, etc. But be careful to only put them where it's really appropriate; getting labeled as a "keyword stuffer" will drastically reduce your SEO standing.
2. Link back to your own site. Make it a habit to add in a few links back to your own pages within the text of every new page you create. Search engines spiders love links that contain descriptive keywords (like those found in your content).
This is one of the easiest ways you can increase your search traffic, and it's especially applicable for blogs.
3. Make your URLs clear. The average website URL is pretty ugly, with random letters, numbers, and symbols. Make yours clear. When you see something like "http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-ace-your-next-presentation-2010-3", you know exactly what you're going to find... and so do the search engine spiders.
4. Take advantage of video and images. There are far fewer images and videos online than there is text. Include these on your site, and your odds of being found will skyrocket.
And, of course, make sure your descriptions, in both cases, are packed with descriptive keywords.
5. Update your content frequently! Stale Web sites are not going to get pushed to the top of a search. Frequently-updated ones full of fresh information, hot links, and juicy keywords will.
A CEO or corporate blog is an excellent example of sites that could benefit from this – it is a move that has the added benefits of adding a little more personality to your company, and lets you connect with your customers on a more personal level.
6. Make sure you track your standings. You won't know if you're improving unless you regularly measure your traffic. Free tools like Alexa or Google Analytics are simple to use and offer you invaluable information about your search standings and web traffic.