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How to Help Google Find Your Website

If you manage a website, perhaps your business site or a personal blog, there are some actions you can take to help Google better find and rank the site.  This process is called Search Engine Optimization, or “SEO”, and is an effective means of driving prequalified traffic to your website.  Here are some top tips.

#1 Pick the Right Keywords
Start SEO by selecting the right keywords.  A keyword describes what you offer and where you offer it.   Pick short, multiple-word phrases that include a topic and location.  Ask yourself: “What phrases are my potential visitors using when they search online?”  

#2: Create Quality Content
Good content is the most important aspect of SEO.  Search engines read by sending electronic programs (‘bots’ or ‘spiders’) to your site where they copy the content, categorize it by keyword, and store it in the search engine’s database.  Viewers don’t like seeing the same old stuff over and over, and neither do search engines.  A site that is too stale will get penalized and gradually drop in search results.  Avoid this by regularly updating your site or blog.  Give the bots a hand by including topic and location keywords in the content.

At the same time, do not ignore the human viewers.  Content should always give visitors a reason to come back for more so provide content that educates, inspires or entertains.

A note of caution about keywords: repetition of keywords (keyword stuffing) is considered spam by search engines and you can be penalized for this.  Ultimately, the text is meant to be read by human eyes as well as by bots.  A good test is to read your copy out loud.  Does is make sense and sound natural?  If not, you’ve overdosed on keywords and should scale back.

#3 Add Page Titles
Don’t overlook the extra step of adding page titles.  Page titles are a key aspect of your code that bots use to categorize and rank your page.  A title should be a descriptive phrase.  Human readers see titles as the clickable links on search engine result pages (big blue text) so it needs to make sense.

#4 Monitor the Results
An SEO marketing firm will provide you with regular reports showing how the site is performing over time.  You can do it yourself by simply typing your keywords into Google or Bing to see how far down your site appears.  As you invest in optimization you’ll see your site move closer to the top result.  Monitoring results will allow you to adjust your efforts and maximize traffic.

The goal of ongoing SEO is to make your site easy to find and easy to read for both humans and search bots.  With time, attention and monitoring you will see the payoff as your site rises to the top search engine rankings.

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