How to Put Your Small Business Website on The Search Engines
by Mario Sanchez
One of the most frequent questions small business owners ask
me is: I’ve designed my website, now, how do I get it on the
Actually, having your site indexed by a search engine is not
that difficult. However, making it rank high and appear in
the first results page is. Let’s start with a brief
explanation of how a search engine works:
Search engines store billions of pages in an archive called
index. When a search engine conducts a search, it doesn’t
really search the web: it searches the index. Search engines
add web pages to their index through the work of a “search
bot”, a powerful software program that “crawls” the web
regularly, following links and adding to the index all the
pages it finds.
So, step number one is to make the search bots find your
page. You can do this:
a) by directly submitting your page’s URL to the search
b) by placing a link to your page on another page that is
already in the index.
There is strong evidence that method (b) is the most
Now, lets suppose that your page is already in the search
engine index. How do you make it rank high? The different
attempts to answer that question have given birth to a whole
new discipline called Search Engine Optimization. Search
Engine Optimization (SEO) involves following a series of
techniques to increase the relevance of your page for
certain search terms or keywords.
You must decide in advance what are the keywords you believe
a user will type in the search engine window to find your
page. This is probably the most important step in search
engine optimization: if you pick keywords that nobody uses,
or, to the contrary, keywords that are too common (too
competitive), your page will never be found.
The keywords you chose must be used often in different parts
of your page, like the title, headings, sub-headings, and
your page copy. The more your keywords appear on your page
(without “over-stuffing” your page copy with them), the more
relevant search engines will consider your page to be for your
Now, you may be thinking that this SEO thing is too easy:
you could just manipulate a few page elements and you would
be all set. The search engines, however, are smarter than
that. To avoid this kind of potential abuse, search engines
rely heavily on links from other pages. In a nutshell, the
more links to your page from quality pages with content
related to your site you can get, the higher your page will
rank. In other words, you can have a great page, but if
nobody is linking to it, you will not achieve high search
In summary: chose the right keywords, utilize them often on
your page, and get as many links as you can from quality
pages related to your site’s content, and you will be on
your way to high search engine rankings. The rest is just
time and patience.
While the goal of this article is just to give you a quick
overview of what Search Engine Optimization is, you can
further explore this topic by reading this Do-It-Yourself
Search Engine Optimization Tutorial. If you found this
article useful, you may also want to expand your Search
Engine Optimization knowledge by reading Aaron Wall’s
SEOBook (http://www.accordmarketing.com/seobook/ ).
You can freely reprint this article provided that you include
the following resource box:
Mario Sanchez is a Miami based freelance writer who focuses on
Internet marketing and web design topics. He publishes The Internet
Digest ( http://www.theinternetdigest.net ), a growing collection of
web design and Internet marketing articles, tips and resources. You
can freely reprint his articles on your website, ezine, or ebook.
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