- Descriptive page title – use key words and eliminate filler words like “and” and “the”.
- Description META tag – a sentence or two describing your business and containing the main keywords and phrases from your body text.
- Keywords META tag – add all keywords and important phrases from the body text. No longer used for site ranking, but sometimes by paid inclusion technologies.
- Keywords in header tags – words that appear in the page heading and subheadings are considered important by the search engines.
- Use keywords early in body text – search engines expect the most important keywords on a page to appear in the first paragraph of body text.
- Focus pages on specific keywords – create a separate page describing each product or service rather than a page with general content. Don’t use nearly identical pages, however, as you may be penalized.
Submit Site to Search Engines
Submit your home page address to the main web search engines. There are several ways to do this, including visiting each site and registering, using submission software and paying a submission service or search engine optimization firm. The most cost-effective method I have found is using a program like Webposition Gold, which automates the submission process for the top search engines and tracks your results.
Submit Site to Directories
Directories are listing sites that are maintained by human editors rather than automated indexing systems. The main ones are Yahoo (www.yahoo.com) and the Open Directory Project (www.dmoz.com). Yahoo! Express charges a $299US annual fee for inclusion within seven business days.
Purchase PPC (‘pay-per-click”) Ads
Some search engines require that you bid for top ranking for particular search words and pay each time someone goes to your site from their search results. Google AdWords and Overture.com are the major PPC engines.
Register with Specialized Directories
Register with directories focused on you specific industry or specialty, those for local or community businesses, and any belonging to applicable industry or trade associations.
Link to Other Sites
Some search engines regard the number of links to your site and the amount of traffic on linking sites as important factors in ranking your site, so look for complementary sites and request a reciprocal link.
Use an email “signature” that contains your company name, address, phone number, and URL at the end of each message you send.
Promote Using Traditional Methods
Businesses often overlook this one. Make sure that all business cards, stationery, brochures, print advertising, display ads, direct mail, post cards, invoices, receipts, and anything else that has your company name on it also contain your URL.
Evaluate and Refine
Try all of the above, track what is working, and make adjustments as needed. Don’t expect instant success – some of these things require considerable time to implement, so be patient. And remember that the Internet is constantly changing, so your marketing must continually evolve also if you want to stay competitive.