Web marketing is gaining popularity as the economic downturn forces business owners to find less expensive forms of marketing.  Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) have both shown huge returns for those who have taken advantage of the new technology.

Search engine optimization generally refers to the tactics that are used to make a website more appealing to Google.  While there are things that can be done to the site itself, there are also things that can be done off of the site to improve the rankings on Google.  We’ll start with some of the more important on-page factors.  Then we’ll hit on the #1 off-page factor that should never be overlooked when marketing any site.

On-Page Factors:

  • Content – It’s true what they say.  Content is still king on the Internet.  Sure there are other important factors but content provides the dual benefit of adding content for Google to read (and rank your site for) and content for your visitors to read.  While writing great content for your visitors, you’ll simultaneously fill your pages with relevant keywords that people are searching for.  By writing great content, you’ll boost your odds of being found on Google when people look for your topic.
  • Code – Poorly written code generally results in poorly ranked sites.  Sites that are programmed using tables are naturally ranked lower than those that use cleaner, more concise CSS coding.  Google looks at webpage and they read through the code looking for the paragraphs of text to read the content on the page.  If the code is long and bloated, it’s difficult for Google to find the actual content.  By shortening the code, you mak Google’s job easier.  If you make their job easier, they’ll reward you with higher rankings.
  • Frequency of Updates – Google is constanly looking for new content.  They’re in the business of selling advertisements to put on their pages.  The more content they find, the more blank billboards they’ll have.  So, Google is constantly looking for new material.  Sites that add new stuff are also rewarded.  If your site sits there stagnant, they’ll all but quit visiting your site.  You may post a new press release on your site and not have it picked up by Google for months if your site has a reputation of not adding new content.  Adding a blog to your site can make it easy for you to put new content on your site.  Google loves blogs so much that the word has become known as an acronym for Better Listings On Google.  Adding a post every few days is often all it takes to get Google to read through your site every few minutes and show preference for the content you write.
  • Internal Linking – This one is often overlooked.  Sure you naturally link your pages together because you use navigation menus, however, strategically linking your pages is important to how Google ranks your pages.  It’s not just about your visitors and how they navigate the site.  It’s also about Google and how they see your pages.  Unfortunatly, the topic of internal linking is far too complex to address in this post but we’re happy to discuss our process if you’d like to learn more.

Next week, we’ll continue this subject and take a look at off-page factors that can contribute to your website’s success.

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