Search Engine Optimization: The Best "Free" Advertising for Your Business

As the internet continues to grow as the most popular tool for gathering and sharing information, search engine optimization (SEO) is also growing in importance. This is a simple technique used by web designers and business professionals to maximize the likelihood of a website appearing in a list of search engine results.

Studies show that the closer to the top of the list that a website appears in a collection of search results, the more likely a user is to click on it. In fact, Google users prefer to click on “natural” listings 70% more than pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements.

Thankfully, SEO is easy to implement and at no extra cost to a business owner. Therefore, using SEO is one of the best “free” advertising sources for your business. How can you maximize SEO to get the best results? Use these tips to help you transform your website into a higher performing tool:

  1. Use Keywords. The best place to find out words and phrases that are commonly searched for on the internet is by performing an internet search yourself. Websites like Keyword Discovery, Word Tracker, and Google AdWords provide comprehensive feedback on the most commonly used words and phrases. Keywords change regularly so check these sites every few months for what your customers are using to search for your type of product or service.

  2. Optimize Your Page Titles. Use keywords and phrases in page titles. Search engines scour through page titles before tackling the actual text included on websites.

  3. Optimize Your URLs. Use keywords and phrases in URLs and file names on your website. Search engines use these as part of the search criteria. The more keywords and phrases you use, the more likely your page is to show up in a list of search results.

  4. Publish Content. Online, “content is king,” and the more content you publish on your website, the more likely that the search engines will rank you appropriately for your particular keywords. Consider starting a corporate blog or publishing resource articles on your website.

  5. Revise & Revisit. SEO is not something that you do one time. It is a process that must be revised and revisited frequently. Dedicate yourself to a schedule and look for opportunities to enhance SEO features on your website at least once every three months, more if possible.

Generally speaking, you can use SEO techniques on your own at no cost, or for a minimal fee with the help of a professional. SEO can enhance traffic to your website by tenfold. It is worth the investment of time to generate such a return.

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