Now that you’ve built a great site, you’ll want people to be able to easily find and visit your site. One way to do that is to simply give them the address (like www.nameofyourwebsitehere.com) so they can go there directly.
But, of course, that only works for those people to whom you have a close enough connection to provide the address. Everyone else will find your site on Search Engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. How can you optimize your site to ensure you appear as high as possible in the search engine rankings?
Start with the basics. Read our Description, Titles and Keywords article to learn how / why to add this information throughout the pages of your site.
While you're doing this, keep in mind that keywords are not made out of magic (this is explained further in the Keywords help article linked above). Just because you add a keyword to your site does not mean search engines are going to find you through that keyword. If life were that easy, we’d all be rich and retired to our own private islands by now.
Get a Google Webmaster account. Google is far and away the most important search engine (it’s not even close) and a Webmaster account can give you more control over / insight into how they’re ranking you. We show how to setup an account in our Google Webmaster help article.
Use page names that are relevant to search words and phrases. The name you provide to a page on your site is the name given to that page both in the site navigation and in the address of that page. Why is this important? Because if a word is in your address it is seen as more relevant to your site by search engines. More relevant means more likely to to show up in search results.
Use keyword phrases in your links. If you link from one page of your site to another, use descriptive text for the link. For example this:
Read our How to Create Links article to learn how to do this on your own site.
Is better than this:
Learn how how to create a link by going here.
Use Titles to headline content in your site (when appropriate). Search Engines see Titles (which are tagged as H2 -- don't worry about this if you don't know what it means) as generally more important than regular text. You can add Titles to your site via our Title element and via the Title section of any Paragraph element that includes a Title.
But don’t write all your text in a Title. That will make things worse for your site. You can’t trick the search engines like this, so don’t try.
Is your site relevant only to people in a certain area? Highlight that by Creating a Google Map that shows site visitors your location and by referring to the physical location of your business throughout the site where appropriate. Writing “Visit our San Francisco showroom” is better than writing “Come see our showroom.”
Use alt-text for your photos. This doesn’t work in our galleries or slideshows, but you can add alt-text to a regular picture by clicking on it and using the Advanced Option in the toolbar. This should be used to add a short description of the image. View our How to Upload a Picture instructions to see more detail on this option.
Get other sites to link back to your site. The more sites that link to your own site (as a general rule), the more Google trusts your site to be worthwhile. Think of other people linking back to your site as word-of-mouth that tells not just other people to check-out your site, but tells the search engines to do the same.
There is nothing more important to your ranking than other sites linking to you, but there is no get-rich-quick method to get links back to your site. Build interesting content and let people know it exists. Just as building a business takes work and time and effort, building traffic to a website takes work and time and effort.
Link to your own site from any other sites you may have (like a Twitter or Facebook profile). If you have an email newsletter, archive it via your email provider's site so that your own newsletter acts as another site linking to you. If you have a small business, list your business on Yelp and Google Local.
Maintain a Blog. A blog enables you to continually add content to your site. The search engines like to see new content on your site.
Make reasonable goals. If you're a photographer, you are not going to show up at the top of the search results for the word photographer. If you're a florist, you aren't going to show up at the top of the search results for flowers or mother's day.
But if you're a photographer in San Francisco, you can potentially get to the top of the list for San Francisco Headshot Photographers. If you're a florist in London, you can work to get a good search ranking for Valentine's Day Flowers, London. Focus on that. Focus on getting your site to show up in a search for your own name. Try to get the attention of bloggers who may write about your business. Encourage visitors to review your business at places like Yelp.com.
And if you want more tips, do a Google search for SEO Tips. A lot of different people have written a lot of different articles on this topic. This help article is meant to be a good place to start, but it certainly isn't the end-all, be-all of SEO. It never hurts to research other sources of information.