Setting up your website or blog on the internet is the first step in getting the message out about your product or cause, but won’t be very effective if people don’t know about it. The second, and harder step, is making it really attractive to the search engines. If you apply a few SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques to your website, it will rank higher in the search results and drive more people to your site. The hard part is knowing what simple tricks you can apply to your site to make it stand out to the search engines, and make them rank you higher. Knowing what the search engines use to rank your site is the most important thing about SEO. Even though it is true that the various search engines have their own special algorithms for rankings, they all share some basic rules for initial ranking and these are what you care most about. Tweaking your site to take advantage of the other more obscure ranking criteria is not worth the time or effort. You can get great results by paying attention to a few simple concepts when you create and update your site, and get into the first few pages of any search engine.

SEO Tips

Pick the right name – The single biggest thing you can do to improve your site’s ranking is making sure you pick a great name for the site. Having the main purpose of the site in the name of the site is incredibly important. So many people pick a name that sounds “cute” or interesting to them, only to find that they have to spend a ton of time and money because the name has very little to do with what they are trying to promote. For example if you are interested in selling mulch, having a name like “” will be immediately ranked high for mulch in all of the engines. If you instead pick the name of your company like “” instead, it could take you months to show up on the search engines for the sale of mulch. Now there is nothing wrong with registering both site names and pointing them to the same landing page. This gives you the added advantage of having a name your customer will recognize, and having another site that will quickly be a magnet for anyone looking for mulch.

Pick a bunch of names – As previously mentioned, a lot of folks get caught up in trying to setup a site that reflects their business name and there’s nothing wrong with that. The challenge is always that you want to give your current customers an easy way to find you on the web, but are also interested in attracting new, laser focused, customers as well. The trick here is to register a few names. Say your business is Smith Landscaping. You could easily find an open domain name that reflects your business and carries your brand onto the web. Now let’s say that you register “” and start to set up your site. This will be an easy way for your current customers to find you and a great way to expand your sales to them. As you create the site, you might have sections that deal with lawns, flowers, trees, and mulch. Anyone hitting your site through the domain you have created will hit your main landing page and make their choice from there. But let’s say that you have a really good source for mulch and want to sell as much as you can on the web. The answer to this is to setup an additional domain that has the word mulch in the URL like “”. This immediately gives you a great ranking in the search results for people looking for mulch, and still allows you to direct those visitors to either your main landing page for Smith landscaping, or even better, the specific mulch page to make their purchase. This allows you to sell to those new customers while still servicing your existing customers. Additionally, this gives you an organic link from another website. This link will help raise your ranking for both sites even further.

Get a bunch of links going – The next most important thing a search engine cares about when indexing your site is how many other sites like you and are linking to you. It does this calculation through a mechanism called “back linking” and this is a very important metric to the search rankings. It’s mostly important because it gives the search engine a good idea of how many other sites think your site is important enough to link to it. Even more interesting is that the search engine also considers how high the ranking of the site that is linking to you is. This means if you get a link from a very well ranked site, you have a higher clout with the search engines than a site linking to you that is ranked lower. Getting these links set up is a pretty important activity and something you should spend a little time on. It’s a very democratic statistic if you think about it and is easy to improve in a few ways. There are services out there that will sell you these backlinks and set them up on sites that already rank high in search results. These backlinks will drag your ranking up just based on the association and this can be a quick way to boost a sites ranking. There is a charge for this service, so it’s technically not “free”, but can be a very small fee. The next best way to get a lot of links setup quickly is to start blogging. There are a lot of sites out there that will allow you to set up a blog for free and write about anything. Visit a few of these free blogs and start posting. Be sure to concentrate on the subject you are trying to promote on your main site. So for our example earlier, set up a few blogs on mulch and start posting content and link back to your main site. This will help in two ways. By having the links, you raise the ranking, and as the blogs get more hits, they raise in the rankings and drag your site along with them by association. Also, it’s pretty easy once you get blogging to trade links with other bloggers to further amplify this activity.

Keep the content fresh – The last technique that will help dramatically with the rankings is to keep the content on your site fresh and update it often. You might consider having a link on your main page to a daily or weekly topic related to your site. In the earlier example, this could be something as simple as a page each week (or daily) on flowers, or lawn care. It really doesn’t matter what you write about as long as you write and update often. The search engines love content that changes and have a ranking criteria for how “stale” your website is. The more dynamic, the higher the ranking. Now a lot of people have a hard time coming up with fresh content daily so this can be a challenge. To overcome this, there are services on the web that will supply content specific to your site on a daily basis for a small fee. Again, this isn’t free but can be a good alternative for those times you need to update but have a case of writers block. Another thing to remember is that if you get into a pattern of updating your content often, the search engines will notice this and index your site more often which may further help with your rankings,

There are a lot of tricks you can apply to your site to help it’s search engine rankings. These techniques are not hard to implement once you have figured out what excites and attracts the search engines. Take some time to try these methods on your site and the search engines will love your site in no time.