How To Optimize Your Small Business Website

Optimizing To Your Full Potential

As we mentioned before, good content is what brings people to your website and makes them stay there. Content is king, but if that’s true, good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the kingmaker. Any good website must be built in such a way that visitors can find your site through searches, links, directly typing in your web address or URL, and other ways.

Before we get into the content here is a disclaimer. The “rules” for what makes your site rank high on searches so it ends up on the first page or two of Google or other search engines change frequently. Just over the last couple of years, Google has gone through Panda, Penguin, and now Hummingbird algorithms that have changed the rules for what makes a site rank highly. If you do a web search on the topic “How to rank high on Google,” you will get different answers, depending on when the source article was written. An article written a year or two ago is probably outdated when it gets to discussing specific rules, while something older than that may contain information that is downright wrong.

Start With A Good Domain Name

Picking a good domain name is crucial. Already have a name? You can have several domains that direct people to your site, so if you have had a site up and running, you can buy additional names in line with the suggestions below.

When you pick a web address for your site, you want something that is short, memorable, and tied to your business name. You may find when selecting a domain name that the name you want is already taken. If you haven’t settled on the final version of your business name, you might pick your domain name first. If someone else has your name, you can attempt to buy the name from the current owner, which can be an expensive proposition. When your business is already established, you might pick a name that has your brand name, location, slogan, or keywords included. Avoid domain names that include hyphens or underscores, since searchers often forget the punctuation.

If you run The Smith Company, you might not be able to get, or, but you might get or Whatever name you choose, you should use that format in your advertising to get people thinking about how to find you on the web. You always run the risk that the some potential visitors might type in and reach an unrelated company or even a competitor, but you lessen your chances of that happening if you use Smith Gas Furnaces in referring to the company.

Know What You Want People To Search For

In the past, site developers did keyword research to prepare a list of keywords related to what a website was about. Using exact keyword phrases within the text was the basis of the strategy website developers and owners used to get sites to rank highly. Now Google focuses on organic searches based on the way people would say things, not the way that would appeal to search engines. Since some of these Google changes are recent, SEO professionals are trying to find ways to measure keyword performance so that they can recommend approaches to writing content and to buying pay per click advertising.

As the dust settles on Google’s recent changes, keywords remain important. If your company sells artificial turf for golf courses, you should clearly state which you do and use words that make the point. You should then select a word or phrase that you carry through in the technical, behind the scenes components of every page, such as the page URL, the title tag, the meta-description, headings, the body, and the description of images.

Learn How To Use Website Tools

One advantage of using WordPress websites is that an average user can quickly become familiar with basic elements of current SEO practice. Even if you use professional WordPress designers to create your site and set up a basic keyword strategy after researching your industry and your competitors, you can easily add blog posts, add pages, and update content on any page. Your set up will probably include plug-ins that control certain functions such as WordPress SEO by Yoast that guides you to include keywords in specific elements in every post or page.

  • Focus keyword: The keywords that are the focus of the page. You should vary these a bit so that for your homepage, a main keyword might be “artificial turf,” while on a page about the pros and cons of using artificial turf vs. grass the keyword might be “benefits of artificial turf.”
  • Page URL: The specific address a user will see on any page. While the URL for your home page might be, the URL for your About page might show up as https://www.JonesArtificialTurf/AboutJones. In WordPress, this shows up in as the Permalink.
  • Meta-description: A few words, up to 160 characters that describes the content of the page. You can see some of these elements and play when you look at a result that comes up in a Google search. For an article described above that presents the benefits of using artificial turf, the snippet shows on Google might read:

Should You Use Artificial Turf Or Grass


Wondering about the benefits of artificial turf vs. natural grass on your baseball field? Artificial turf always looks great, but may be harder on players than grass.

In the snippet, Google might bold the keyword or search term.

  • Headings: The subheads within your poster page. Since content is arranged for readability, you should use subheads throughout. At least one subhead should include a keyword.
  • Body: Content of the page or post. This material should include keywords but you should not repeat them more than 1 or 2%.
  • Image description: a description of any image on your page. Whether you use clipart, photographs, videos, or Flash presentations, you should write a description that includes a keyword so that Google can identify what is in the image. Without a description, visual content is not searchable.

Other Techniques To Optimize Your Site

While the formula Google uses to rank pages is not public knowledge, it does seem to take into account the authority of the page. A site gains some degree of authority by being in existence for a while and by an amassing visitors. Often if pages are authored by someone recognized by Google as an expert in the field, a page might receive a bump in rank. Linking to other external sites and being linked to outside sources with related content also build authority that helps move your site from page 200 of a Google search to page 1 or 2.

There was a time when website designers bought outside links to increasing the authority of sites. Google banned this practice because many people were buying irrelevant links just to build traffic. Good links from reputable sources are still great, but Google can tell if you are driving traffic to your site through artificial means. New sites take weeks and usually months to build volume If you are CocaCola and you set a site to promote a new product, Google will assume this is reasonable if you get heavy traffic at first.  If you are a small businessperson who builds a site today and you acquire in 20,000 visitors in three days, Google will not reward you. To acquire authority, your best technique is to build traffic naturally by having a blog and by inviting visitors to your site from social media.

Your website is a great way to showcase content that describes your company and the goods and services you offer. You can put your site on the road to optimization by selecting a great domain name, developing relevant keywords, choosing a WordPress website, and building authority over time.

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