How to use SEO (and how not to)

There are some business truths that don’t change when you make the jump to online sales. People care about quality, returning customers are essential for stable cash flow, and you have to get people through the door before you can make a sale. With so many eBusinesses out there, many of them selling similar products, it’s easy to lose sight of that fact when you first get started.

When Google indexes the web, they assign every web site a Page Rank rating which is used to determine where it comes up in search result. A high Page Rank means you come closer to the front and are more likely to be discovered through Google. Since Google dominates the search market, search engine optimization (SEO) has become a catch-all term for anything that increases your websites Page Rank rating. The Page Rank algorithm is closely guarded secret, and some people spend a lot of their time trying to game the system using so-called black hat SEO techniques.

 Good marketing should strengthen your business

The problem with that is that it loses site of the ultimate goal of SEO: building your brand and creating loyal customers. Black hat SEO is the IT equivalent of advertising free beer at a book store, you may get plenty of people to walk in the door, but don’t be surprised when they stomp out a few seconds later. You can hire all manner of underhanded experts to increase your Page Rank, but if it isn’t improving your business, can you really say that it ‘works’?

The right way to approach SEO is to focus on creating value, and then structuring your website so that Google can recognize all of the hard work you’ve done.

 Give People a Reason to Return

The best thing you can do to improve your page rank is to give people a reason to return to your website. You don’t have to post all the time, but if people know that there will be something interesting to read every day, week, or month they will keep coming back. Advertise your content through social media, and encourage people to link back to your site so that your audience can expand.

In the long run, it’s the people who come back to you that help your business most, so your website needs to cater to them – regardless of what other SEO techniques you might use.

Let Google Know What you’re Up To

To make sure your web site is indexed correctly, make sure important keywords are used throughout each page. Most of the time the right keywords will come out naturally when you write, but it helps to see exactly what people are searching for. Use Google Trends to get an idea of what search terms are being used the most and should be incorporated into your content.

For honest businesses, choosing the exact keyword is less of an issue than you may be led to believe. Creating content that brings people back again and again is the best way to stay relevant online, getting indexed by Google is just making sure you have signs posted along the way.


Six Great Ways to Improve your Page Rank

  • Post new, high quality content regularly.
  • Use keywords so that Google can recognize what your content is about.
  • Encourage people to link to your site.
  • Stay active in social media (without becoming known for spam).
  • Work with other websites to build a common audience.
  • Always give people a reason to return to your website.

Why not voice your opinion. Everyone is doing it.