October 26, 2011
As a small food entrepreneur, as soon as you create a website for yourself you will undoubtably be bombarded with emails from people promising that they can help optimize your website and increase its ranking for search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. It certainly sounds tempting since the whole reason you create a website is to have people find it and, hopefully, ultimately find you and buy from you. Before you go spending money with one of these ‘experts’ though, make sure you do the simple things first. These are the items that you, or a web developer if you have a more complex site, can easily take care of and shouldn’t cost much more than simply the time to implement.
1. Know Your Keywords: Before you start writing any website copy (the words on your website) or, if your website is a blog, any blog posts, make sure you know the keywords that your target audience is looking for. Check out last week’s post to figure out which keywords have the most bang for their buck.
2. Incorporate Those Keywords: Once you know what keywords you want to target you should craft your content around those keywords. This does not mean that every web page or blog post should simply be a long list of random keywords. You should write your content in a way that is readable, accessible, and informative to your viewers but will also jump out to search engines. You can do this by making sure that you use keywords in your header or title, use it in the first sentance of your content, and that you use the keyword at least three times throughout the piece itself.
3. Length Does Matter: For web search engines (geez, what did you think I was talking about?!). Search engines prefer content that is between 250 – 500 words long.
4. Don’t Forget Images: Any images you use in your website can help your rankings too. To take advantage of this make sure that every image has a file name that incorporates those keywords you’ve narrowed down on. You should also use the Alternative Text area of image fields to add in those same keywords.
5. Build Links: The more links you have leading into your site the better it will rank with search engines. You can do this on your own with internal linking from one page to another. Don’t forget social media sites too. Since sites like Facebook Fan Pages and Twitter are crawlable by search engines, any posts you have on those sites that include a link back into your website will also be helpful.
There you have it – five tricks you can use to cheaply optimize your small business website. Give them a try and see if they make a difference in your web traffic!