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Search Engine Marketing - Making The Internet Work For You!

Jun 3, 2008
70% of search engine users click on organic results rather than sponsored ones. Having your website in the first page of an organic listing can make or break an advertising campaign. Although you can't buy or bid for a position, there are ways to make sure your website is listed above others.

Follow these eight easy tips to get your company seen on search engines.

1. Make your website crawler friendly - It's important that search engines can crawl through your site and identify your business keywords. To make it easier for them, minimize the use of tables and avoid deeply nested tables entirely. Secondly, make sure that your business name and address are included as text on the page, not just in pictures or image files. Your page title should include your business name, address and some key words which describe your company. It's also a good idea to place a "H1" header near the top of your home page that has your business name, address, and key words in it.

2. Duplicate your business address - In addition to placing your business address prominently on the page, also include it at the bottom of the page as a footer. It helps to abbreviate the business in one of the addresses and then spell it out in the second. Abbreviated states can sometimes be misinterpreted by search engines, so by having two name variations you will have an increased likelihood of return.

3. Look for your business on major search engines - Spend time searching for your business listing. If you can't find it, you can submit a listing at Google, Yahoo, and on Superpages for Microsoft Live Search.

When submitting a listing, make sure that your information is correct and that your business description is complete. It's also important to ensure that you submit the same keywords that you are using on your web site. Your description should have all the information that a potential customer will need to contact you, including the city and the county that you are based in.

Finally, look through the photos of your business on the search engines and replace any poor or inappropriate ones. This will improve your company's image if a potential customer finds you in an picture search.

4. Get your business rated - Ask your satisfied customers to write reviews and rate your business at Google, Yahoo, and MSN. If possible, ask them to use the same keywords that you have used in the business description on your website. Make sure the reviews are unique and spaced out over a period of time.

5. Solicit local links - Find the web directories that are local to your area and ask them to link to your web site. Contact your local chambers of commerce and ask them to link to your business from their website.

6. Investigate your competition - Do a local search for your business keywords (i.e. Range Rover, Lincoln, UK) and see who your competition is. Find out who is linking to your competitors and investigate whether you can get the same sites to link to your business.

You can find their links by going to Yahoo and typing "linkdomain:" and then your competitor's web site (i.e. linkdomain:www.yourcompetitorssite.com). Click on "inlinks" in the results page to show the connections.

It's also important to check inlinks for your site and see who is linking to you. If you have been linked to, make sure that the information on those sites is correct, and contact them if it isn't.

7. Verify directory information - Look for your business listing on your local phone company site and in local phone directories. When doing this, make sure that the business information they have is correct. If the information is out of date or incorrect have it changed.

8. Create separate web pages for different cities and regions - If your business serves multiple cities or regions, consider creating separate web pages for the different locals. To avoid duplicate content issues, be sure to have unique and relevant content on each of the local specific pages. Include the county and the city when describing your business. It's also a good idea to add directional descriptors such as central, western or southern.

By following these eight simple steps you can make a great start at improving your local search ranking.

This article is free to republish provided the authors resource box below remains intact.
About the Author
This article was written by David Clarke - an internet marketing strategy consultant and partner of DBS. As part of the marketing mix DBS also recommend the use of 0800 numbers and 0845 numbers.
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