How to Make a Small Business Website Stand Out in the SERPs
The Register reported on new research that suggested “49% of small businesses fail to submit their company’s website to search engines.” Furthermore, only “2/3 of Internet users told researchers that they only look at the first two pages of their online search results.” This is both a serious problem and a huge opportunity for businesses.
It’s a serious problem for businesses, because potential customers aren’t finding their website. That means Internet users are finding their competitors’ websites first, and they’re losing business. This situation reminds me of my web design philosophy, which states:
“…If people can’t find your website, let alone use your website, then there’s really no point in having a website at all.”
Luckily, there’s several things these businesses can do to usurp their competition. The research pointed to 49% of small firms that don’t submit their websites to search engines. However, submitting a website to a search engine is only one small component to search engine marketing (SEM).
Submitting a website to a search engine is an appropriate start to launching a website, which every company should do, but there are more important aspects that need to be addressed. Such as, how optimized the website is for search engines, the type of content the website has, and how the website is being marketed.
Search Engine Friendly
It’s crucial for businesses to have a search engine friendly website. Fortunately, Raven makes that process easy and free. Raven provides a free SEO Analyzer tool that quickly analyzes any web page, and produces a detailed report that states how standardized and search engine friendly the page is. Using the report, a web designer can make the necessary changes to ensure that their entire website is search engine friendly.
Original High Quality Content
Another important component to doing well on search engines is content. Original and high quality content is essential for being noticed in search engines and having good SERPs. The ideal content type is a page or tool that many people will be interested in. For example, tutorials, informative articles, or online guides are all things that Internet users find interest in, and will most likely bookmark and link to. Having people bookmark your website through services like del.icio.us, and getting users to link to you on their blog, promotes organic linking. Organic linking is when users stumble upon your content, and then provide a link to it from their website or bookmarking service. Search engines give a lot of weight to organic linking, which will in turn improve your SERPs.
Effective Marketing Strategies
How you market your website is crucial to gaining preferred traffic and organic linking. The overall design needs to be conducive to your core audience, and the website should always offer the user something that they’ll find useful or interesting. Through the use on online advertising, like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and through offering online services and valuable original content, a website can practically market itself.