How To Get Found Online

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Understanding The Basics Of Search Engine Optimization

You’re a small business. You have a website and it looks great, but there’s one big problem: it’s not showing up in Google’s rankings.

At least, not for the keywords you’d like. The trick behind that is an industry process known as search engine optimization, though a more casual way to put it is “Get found online!” There’s more to getting found online than simply putting up a website (though obviously that’s the first very important step). Once your site is up and running, there are three big building blocks to online visibility:

Are Title/Meta Tags Important?

searching-onlineTo get found online, you first need a website that’s capable of being indexed by Google. That means having proper title and meta tags. What are title and meta tags? When you search on Google, you’ll see a headline and short paragraph in the left column (results) section. Your site’s title tag is the headline in the search result. The meta description is the paragraph below the headline. In most cases, if you don’t have a meta description in your website’s code, Google and other search engines will pull the first block of readable text on the site. However, for pages with no text (such as video or image heavy pages), Google will only be able to pull from the code. Thus, without a proper title tag and meta description, Google will struggle to properly index your site.



How Do You Use Google’s Algorithm to Your Advantage?

keywords-and-seoIn addition to title and meta tags, you will need your keywords in the site content. The primary purpose of each page’s content should be to give the reader the useful information they seek. However, you can use this as an opportunity to maximize your search engine footprint. The best way to do this if through smart integration of keywords. Google algorithms will search for things such as keyword density on a page, keyword use in headlines, and specific formatting. In addition, it’s important to hyperlink between the pages on your site. Not only does this act as a call to action for readers, it helps Google index your entire site. Without appropriate links between content, Google will may not necessarily index your entire site — it needs some means of finding the specific pages, and that is usually done through links.



How Do Inbound Links Work?

Google will naturally search and index your site through its spiders and their algorithms. But we can expedite the process by creating inbound links: links from other sites that point in bound to your site. This serves two purposes. First, each inbound link pings Google as a notification to go index your site once again. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the more inbound links you have, the higher Google will generally index your site for specific keywords. Google wants its results to be a measure of usefulness for the user, and it uses inbound links as one of those metrics.

What Website Must-Haves Do You Need

These three items are only the building blocks of search engine optimization. Many other details are just as critical and are part of Google’s constantly changing algorithm. For business owners, it’s worth your time and effort to research items such as XML sitemap and 301 redirects. Business owners should also read the latest tech news to stay abreast of the latest changes to Google’s algorithms. As the algorithms are constantly changing, these actions will ensure that your site can maintain its position ahead of the competition.


By Marc Apple

Marc Apple is recognized as a leader in the marketing industry and has 20+ years of experience helping businesses of all sizes improve their digital marketing. He specializes in website design, SEO, social media, and paid search programs. He is a frequent contributor to other marketing websites and speaks regularly about marketing to small business owners and startups. To learn about Marc and to contact him, visit his author bio page.


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