When we setup websites for our customers, one of the first questions we get asked is "Can you get us to the top of Google's search?". To that question we always answer "How much effort do you want to put into your website?".
This seems to throw alot of people off, as it is believed that just having a nice looking website or waving your hand gets you to the top of the search engines. Obviously this is not true, and search engines are constantly changing.
So what is the best way to get to the top of the search engines?
If your website does not have content, then the search engines have nothing to index. It's that simple, just add to your website and the search engines and visitors will do the rest! This is where customers will often say "But we do have content! We have a product information page, contact us, and about us pages!" That's a good start but it's not enough to get you high marks on google, or any other search engine.
You can always add more content when you think about it! Add a section to your website to discuss the latest changes in your industry, or subject matter. Other ideas for content: How to sections, tips and tricks, implementation suggestions, examples of your work, etc.
What adding content to your site does is it tells search engines "Hey there is alot of information on this site about subject X, maybe it should be ranked higher!". That is exactly what a search engine should do to rank content, it should find and display websites that have the most useful content.
Keep in mind, you can also setup your website to have your visitors or customers add content. Examples of this would be forums, product reviews, and blog comments.
Finally in regards to content make sure it is quality content! Proofread your posts, check for spelling errors, and make sure it fits your website. If you start posting information about dogs, and your a carpet company you may find people are visiting your site looking for dog information instead of carpets.
This is basically the same idea as the first point above, but I felt it needed more emphasis. Once you create content, keep it up to date! If you have a latest news section, it will not do you any good if the last addition to it was over a year ago. This also does not mean that you should go through your website and update every page just to update it, nor does it mean you should delete old pages (unless they are no longer relevent or useful) from your site either.
Examples of things you should make sure are up to date on your website:
As an example: If your product pages are out of date it can cause customers to think you are selling a product that does not exist anymore, or the product perhaps does something that it no longer does.
This might seem like common sense, but eventually most websites enter a state where they are not being maintained as much as they should. The result is the visitor no longer sees the website as useful, and stops visiting it.
How often should you update your website? Well that's more up to you, but my suggestion is no matter how small your website is, that you should try to add at least one new piece of content, or update something on it once a month.
This section should really only be done after you have done the first two items above, otherwise you will not see any benefit at all. People can't find your website if you don't tell them about it, now you may be asking "Is'nt that what the search engine is for?" well, yes and no. The search engine will help people find your website, but if you have the chance to tell someone directly about your website, why not do it?
So how does this help your search engine listings? If you tell someone about your website, and it actually is useful and has up to date information they will tell others about it, and may even place a link to it on their website if they have one.
Generally the more links that are going to your website the higher it will rank, and telling people about your website will get you the best links to your site. There are companies out there that will put links to your site on the internet. DO NOT USE THEM! These companies often spam search engines, and when they don't the search engines can often easily identify the links as search spam and ignore them (or worse put a negative effect on your rating).
Here are some ways you can tell people about your website online:
All these are good ways for people to find out about your website, and increases the chances that someone might just happen upon yoursite as well when looking for something.
Last Updated: 01/04/2009 10:17 PM