Your business has a website and it looks great (or at least you think so). Customers say they like it as well. What is with this optimization thing?  Why should I optimize my business website? It all starts with what you want your website to achieve. Local business websites generally fall into two categories:

The website that serves existing customers.

The first requires little or no optimization. Existng customers know the business, they probably already have the website address from a business card or email. Generally the lack of competition for the search phrase that is a business name means that a “search by name” will bring up the business website. A website that serves existing customers is both easy to maintain and unrewarding.

The website that serves existing customers and generates new customers.

This type of website is different. It takes understanding and consistent effort. To understand some of what it takes you can review the lesson content in our online marketing training. In January 2007 there 106,875,138 websites on the internet. In January 2011 there were 273,301,445 websites. That is 156% growth in just four years. This growth makes it more difficult than ever to get found online by people looking for your products or services. The need to optimize is greater than ever and optimization is getting more complex.

Optimizing your website is essential for driving new customers. When a search is conducted for anything online, it causes the search engine of choice to query the database of billions of  web style documents. In truth it is similar to a standard database query just extremely more complex. From this query the search engines want to focus on three areas:

  1. Relevance
  2. Prominence
  3. Distance

The search engines use these matrix to return results that are relevant or useful to the searcher’s query, The results are ranked in order of importance. It is all three components that the process of search engine optimization is designed to influence.

If you want to gain new customers search engine optimization is a critical component of any local business marketing plan.


Author Amanda Hall

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  • If you’re still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you’ll know which is right for you.

  • Nilesh says:

    You opiiztme .php pages the exact same way you opiiztme .html pages. The search engines NEVER see your PHP code they see the resulting HTML that gets rendered server-side by the PHP. It’s the HTML that is returned when the crawler requests the page that gets indexed and used for ranking.As far was what to opiiztme, there is basically two types of optimization on-page and off-page optimization. On-page optimization means using elements ON the page to help your page rank. Off-page optimization is using elements OFF the page (on other pages of your site as well as on pages on other sites) to help your page rank. Overall, it is off-page factors that carry the most weight i.e. inbound links from other pages using your targeted keyword phrase or slight variations as the link text preferably from pages that are relevant to the topic you’re trying to rank for and pages with high PR or link popularity. It’s estimated that off-page factors might influence 70-80% of your overall ranking while on-page factors might influence 20-30% of your overall ranking.Here’s a quick rundown of on-page factors:Optimizing the title element is very important since it’s generally the most important on-page ranking factor for most search engines ranking algorithms. The title should target a single keyword phrase (possibly 2-3 IF they are VERY similar almost identical in meaning and keywords). Minimize fluff words in the title element as they reduce the keyword density within that HTML element and thus make the real keyword phrase(s) you want to rank for seem less important. Put the most important keyword phrase first in the title element if you have multiple keyword phrases in the title. Avoid putting your site name in the title as it only hurts your page’s ability to rank.The h1 element is generally the 2nd most important on-page ranking factor. It should reinforce the keyword phrase(s) targeted in the title. Since it’s less important from a ranking perspective, it’s ok to add a few fluff words to give it more pazzazz or marketing flair. But again keyword density withing the h1 element does affect rankings slightly. Every page should have a single h1.The h2 element is generally the 3rd most important on-page ranking factor. If your content lends itself to have sub-headers, then use them again targeting keywords from the title element.Words that are emphasized using bold or strong/italics or em are given a little more weight than words that are not. But I avoid this as it tends to make pages look spammy.Using keywords that your title is targeting in the page name is also useful. It’s a very minor ranking factor but MOST ranking factors are minor. It’s rarely any single thing that you do that makes a page rank well. It’s the sum of lots of small things that you do that when taken as a whole leads to good rankings.Optimizing the meta keywords element is virtually worthless. Google and most search engines ignore it in their ranking algorithm because it has been sooooooooooo abused by blackhats and spammers over the last decade. Yahoo! is still using it to rank pages as Danny Sullivan (a renowned SEO) proved just days after a Yahoo! exec announced at SMX that Yahoo! did NOT use it. I include a meta keywords element in all of my pages just for completeness (not for rankings). I use 5-10 keyword phrases and ONLY words/phrases that appear on the page.The meta description is also ignored by Google and most search engines for the same reason it is not displayed on the page so it has been abused by spammers and blackhat SEOs. BUT optimizing the meta description element is VERY important since having a good meta description with a call to action can greatly improve click-thru-rate when your page appears in the SERPs and the meta description is shown as the snippet of text for your organic listing. At Google they only show your meta description if all keywords in the user’s search phrase appear in the meta description. So I recommend including all keywords from your title in the meta description since the keyword phrases in the title should be the pages most often used to find your page if it is well opiiztmed. This will maximize how often it is shown as the Google snippet.As far as off-page factors (which are the absolute MOST important ranking factors at almost all engines):The link text used in hyperlinks pointing to your page give the search engines STRONG clues as to what your page is about. Using Click here as link text for a hyperlink is worthless it only helps you rank for the keyword phrase click here . Be very cognizant of how you link to your pages both on your site on from other sites where you might drop a link.Inbound links from relevant and/or high PR pages on external sites with your targeted keyword phrase (from your page’s title) or slight variations are the MOST important thing you can do to help your page rank for its

  • As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content and HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic

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