At least once per day we get a phone call from a client, a friend, or a new prospect, wanting to know how to optimize their website for better search engine results. It’s a popular question because these days so much of your success depends not only the quality of your website, but also how well your website shows up in search results when customers are looking for your products, services, and information.

First of all, I must point out that this is a long conversation. But the general rules of better search results can be summarized as follows in this order of importance:

  1. Create a Site Map. Make sure every page of your site links to a Site Map page within your site. The Site Map needs to have a link to each page / section of your website. Search engine robots find your different pages by “virtually clicking” links that are on your pages. If the only way to get to the various pages of site is by clicking a drop down menu in your navigation, chances are you’re missing out.
  2. Provide Accurate & Relevant Content. Stop and think, “What phrases would a customer type into a Google / Yahoo search box if they were looking for my product or service?” Those phrases need to be incorporated into the content of your website. Relevant words should not be part of images, but should be editable text. Search engines cannot read words on pictures.
  3. Make page Titles, Meta Keywords, and Meta Descriptions accurate to your actual content.
  4. Do not participate in link sharing programs. Some companies will offer to link TO your site “FROM thousands of other websites.” Don’t fall for it. You may even get black-listed. That’s not good. However, it is good to have quality links from large, reputable companies TO your site, especially when they are part of your industry. For example if you sell computers, and DELL has a link from their website to yours, that’s golden.
  5. Be patient and don’t try to trick the system. Better search results OFTEN take place after months have passed. It’s not overnight. So don’t get frustrated and try to trick the system by filling your website with B.S. content and B.S. links. Doing so can actually put you lower in the results.

Chances are, your site needs some help. If your site was designed more than two years ago, you may need a lot of help. As recently as 2 years ago, many website developers did not know the necessary steps to help improve search engine results. If you would like a free analysis of your website for search engine optimization, click here, or write to info [at]