If you are one of those small business owners whose website never appears in the search results on Google, here are three easy ways to gain more visibility and move up in the rankings.
Step One: Do a little research into keywords. There are plenty of books and resources available on how to conduct keyword research, but if you are like most small business owners, you don’t have much time. So, one of the best shortcuts is to simply do a search, pull up your competitor’s site, put your cursor on the page and right click. In the pop-up box, choose the “view page source” or similar option. This will bring up your competitor’s html code. Near the top of the page, it is almost guaranteed that you will see something that says “metatag keywords” or “metaname keywords” followed by a list of keywords. Copy that list of keywords. Take that list of keywords and use Google’s keyword analysis tool to see the monthly search volume for each. Contrary to popular opinion, you are NOT going to use the term that has the most searches. Look for keywords that have at least 2,400 searches per month (if possible in your niche) but no more than 75,000 searches per month. Cross out any keywords that have too many searches. Take the revised list of keywords and go to Google. In the search box, type the phrase allintitle: followed by the search term you are considering within quotes e.g. allintitle: “small business website.” When the search results come up, look at the top right of the page and you will see “Results 1 of X sites.” This is an indication of how many competitors are using that keyword. Choose the keywords that have the fewest competing sites to focus on. Hint: you will typically have better results of you choose phrases instead of just a single word. Go into your site and re-write some of the content, especially on the home page, to use the least competitive keyword phrases at least two or three times on each page. Once you have completed this rewrite, you are ready to begin to increase your visibility. Step Two: Register your small business and your website in as many directories as possible, especially those that can be locally targeted. Some of the more common directories may include the Google Local Business Center, Local.Yahoo.com, Binglocal.com, Local Business Directory, Localpages.com, CitySlick.net, LocalDatabase.com, Local.com, Brownbook.net, even Merchant Circle. Do a search for directories of companies in your industry and get your site registered in as many as you can. You’ll be amazed at how few of your competitors have taken this step. Now, it is crucial that you use your chosen keywords in your company description on every one of these sites, preferably in the first sentence or two. Step Three: Write a press release about something your small business is doing and submit it to every free press release submission service on the web. You can also use the pay services, but if you submit to all of the free ones, you should get enough coverage to get your site on the search engine radar. Again, you have to use your chosen keywords in the headline and first paragraph of the press release as much as possible. Also, don’t forget to include your keywords in the summary of the press release. Submit a new press release every week or so and within as little as 30 days, you should start to find your site in the search results.