It’s a great feeling when you finally see your new website online. You send an email to your family and friends, maybe even do some print marketing or a press release about the new site.

Now all you have to do is sit back and wait for the world to find you… among the other billions of websites out there. How do you reach the many potential web visitors who have never heard of you? By using the power of search engines.

A search for your website by name on Google is one way to measure how well your site is being recognized, but it actually just measures how effective your business name is as a search term.

The key to attracting new visitors is to have your website show up when people don’t search for it by name. When the your site is optimized for search engines, your website will appear when searches are made that include words about what you do, where you are, skills you offer, professional jargon, descriptive phrases and slang terms. These terms are called keywords.

Start collecting a list of keywords for your business and add to it as you go along. Look for opportunities to use keywords on your website as often as possible.

Search engine optimization has evolved into a science of its own, with formulas and strategies unique to the specialty. Consultants and specialists abound. But you can get your website off to a good start by following these 10 basic rules.

  1. Review site statistics to find the keywords people use to find your site and build on them.
  2. Be consistent – navigation names should match destination page headlines. Page titles should match page headlines as well.
  3. Use alt tags to describe each image. This also meets accessibility requirements.
  4. Use a title on each link that describes the destination page.
  5. Include keywords in links, titles and copy
  6. Include misspellings of all keywords, terms and names. Allow for sloppy typing.
  7. Link between pages in the website
  8. Link to other websites about the topic
  9. Provide a site map (Google loves them)
  10. Update content frequently.

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