Imagine showing up first on the list when a potential client does an Internet search for your type of business. Just think how many new customers you could gain by being at the top of the search engine results! Most businesses pay big bucks for Pay Per Click ads to gain that valuable position on the Internet. However, there’s another method you can use to obtain high search engine rankings that doesn’t cost a dime! It’s called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
So, what is SEO? Search Engine Optimization is the process of driving traffic to a website via natural or organic versus paid methods. You may have been contacted by companies offering to “optimize your site” or you “get you on the first page of Google”. Those promises usually sound great — until you hear the price! The good news is that, on your own, you can implement some very simple steps that will drive more traffic to your website.
There are many strategies for increasing your search engine rankings. Let’s look at three that involve the use of keywords.
1. Keywords are specific terms we use to search for something on the Internet, and are essential to website optimization. For example, if you need auto insurance for your teenager, you might enter “car insurance teenager” into a search engine. Think about and identify what YOUR potential clients might enter into an Internet search when they are looking for your product or service. Use those words on your website and in anything else that you post on the web, such as your blog posts, comments on other peoples’ blogs, articles, etc. Google offers a free to help you with keyword ideas.
2. Using strong keywords in your anchor text has been rated as a top strategy for ranking in the search engines. Anchor text is the visable, clickable text in a hyperlink — for example, Search Engine Optimization (the hyperlink would then link them to a page on Search Engine Optimization). The anchor text should give the reader (your web site visitors) useful information about the content of the page they are linking to, tells the search engine what the page is about and boosts your ranking in search engines. When naming the links to your website or your web pages, be sure to use your keywords to create those links. You can use anchor text in external links (links from other sites back to your site) and internal links (links on your pages).
3. Using keywords in your titles is another top ranking strategy for SEO. Anytime you create a title — for an article, a blog post or even the page names on your website — it’s a good idea to include your keywords. The keywords you use should acutally be relevant to the topic of the web page, article, blog post, etc. that you’re writing.
You don’t have to be a “techie” to begin using these strategies. If you can do a Google search, you can start using keywords and implementing an SEO strategy to drive traffic to your site. It’s simple, easy, fun, and won’t cost you a cent!