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"'Ask the Small Business Professor' is a must read for small business owners looking for free expert business advice. Using a Q&A format, Bruce Freeman covers important small business topics weekly by bringing in recognized experts on subjects including accounting, legal issues, trademarks marketing and sales. Don't miss it!"
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Get Your Web Site Found in Google
Dear Professor Bruce:
We are a small two person business and just spent $2,000 for a web site. When I do a search on Google or any of the other major search engines, we are the 48th listing (page 5). I do not think that if someone were searching for our product or service, we would have much of a chance. What do you think?
Sad to say, many webmasters don't think about search engine results when they design a web site. The web designer’s job is to create a web site that represents your company in the best light and acts as an effective sales tool for your business. That means your web site should be good at converting visitors to customers. To bring in those visitors, though, you need your web site to be easily located on search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN.
Being listed on Page 5 of the results isn't likely to bring many visitors to your web site. Almost no one looks beyond the third page of results, and many people give up after the first or second page. To get your site listed in the top couple of pages requires that your web site be optimized for the search engines. Most small business web sites I know have had to be reworked after their initial design to get good search engine visibility.
It is possible to optimize your web site yourself, though it's not easy and not quick. According to Bill Treloar, search engine optimization consultant and owner of Rank Magic, "there are two basic things that govern where your web site ranks in all of the search engines: Relevance and Reputation."
Relevance means that a page on your site contains the same words or phrase that your potential customer is searching for. According to Treloar, "The first step is to do research and find out what keyword phrases your potential customers really search for. Usually, it's not what you might think."
"Next, make sure those phrases appear on the page of your web site most relevant to that topic. Use them in text and in headlines. Use them in the 'page title', which shows up as the headline in the search engine results and on the top bar of a web browser when someone visits your page."
The Reputation part is based on your link popularity: the number and quality of other web sites that link to you. Get web sites that are related to your business to add links on their web site that let someone click to go straight to your web site.
"Don't fall for quick tricks or shortcuts", warns Treloar. "The search engines look for shady techniques and things like links purchased in bulk. If they find you dealing in that, your rankings can suffer - perhaps permanently."
For further information, you can contact Mr. Treloar at www.RankMagic.com.
"there are two basic things that govern where your web site ranks in all of the search engines: Relevance and Reputation."