One of the biggest mistakes that new online business owners make is thinking once their websites are up and running on the Internet, they just need to sit back and watch the customer inquiries and orders roll in.
This is a mistake because if no one knows your website exists, or can’t find the website when they’re searching for the type of product or service you sell, then you’re never going to make any money. Even if you have a top-notch web store, if potential customers can’t find it then they can’t buy from you, and your business is likely to fail.
To avoid this unfortunate situation, it’s vital that once your website is live (or, even better, that you take these issues into account as part of the process of building your website), the Internet search engines know about your site.
If Google, Bing (Microsoft’s current search engine) and Yahoo don’t know that your website exists, or what type of business you conduct, then they can’t include links to your website as part of a search results page. To make sure the search engines consider your website in the way you want, there are a couple of steps you need to take.
First, you should identify the keyword phrases that are most appropriate to your products and services. Think of them as being the words and phrases potential customers would type into a search engine if they’re looking for your products or services.
Second, you’ll need to build each of the website content pages around those phrases, and make sure the search engines will be able to “find” the pages you’ve made. Search engines use computer programs called “spiders” or “robots” to review millions of web pages every day, in order to determine what type of information is contained on those websites. (You might also hear this process referred to as “crawling”.) This information is reported back to the central database of that search engine, where it is then categorized.
Each search engine uses a different technique to determine which individual web pages are most relevant to any particular keyword phrase. The exact algorithms are secret, and it is thought they change over time. Since search engines are businesses themselves, they’re always trying to provide the best service to their users.
If you take the necessary steps to optimize your website, these search engines are able to drive large numbers of targeted visitors to your website, especially if a page of your website appears near the top of the natural search results.
Not only that, but search engines provide results in order; meaning the web pages which are considered to be most relevant and helpful to the key phrase will appear near the top of the results list. Since most of us tend to consider and click the links near the top of the list first, it’s important to not only get your web pages properly indexed to desirable keywords, but also to get your web pages near the top of the results page. Accomplish this and your business is destined for long-term success and profitability.