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Home > Lowe's for Pros > Optimize Your Search Results

Optimize Your Search Results

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Small businesses need to understand how to make the web work for them-and it can, in ways unimagined even 10 years ago. You think you're okay because you have an effective and well-designed web site, but it takes more than that. Employing search engine optimization (SEO) can increase the number of visitors your site snares and boost your bottom line.

Quantity and Quality

The purpose of SEO-a form of search engine marketing-is to increase the quantity and quality of online users who find your site by doing a simple search engine query. SEO uses algorithms to increase search engine relevance by improving the site's position in the search results. It is often used in conjunction with other marketing techniques and strategic plans. Unlike pay-per-click advertisements, SEO is essentially free, and works by changing your site's code-positioning your site to work better with search engines-and by acquiring links from other sites.

It's all about the content

Without question, the key to SEO for any business large or small is very simple-content, according to Matthew Wilson and Cord Silverstein, web developer, and director of engagement marketing, respectively, at Capstrat, a strategic marketing firm. The search engines do not care if you are a Fortune 100 business or a guy working out of his garage; the search engines' algorithms are designed to recognize the sites that are offering the best information to their searchers. In the eyes of the search engines, their customers are the people searching, so they want to display the best results possible.

Wilson and Silverstein suggest these tips on implementing SEO:

  1. Prepare. Determine what terms will generate the most business for your company. What are your 'money' keywords based on your business as well as the amount of times they are searched on the Internet every day? There are several free online tools that help track this information.
  2. Write, write write. Develop content around and about your keywords. As a small business, start out focusing on your core products and competencies. Put yourself in your customers' shoes and answer questions they would have about your company. Marketing speak, euphemisms, catchy titles and opaque technical jargon make a web site difficult to find, so keep your content straightforward.
  3. Keep writing. Set a goal for yourself that each week you will create a certain amount of pages until you have a content-rich site. Each time you think to yourself that you might have enough, type in your top keywords into Google and see who is number one. Unless you pop up on the first page, keep writing.
  4. Link. Once you have conquered the content, the next consideration around SEO is linking. It is critical to have both quality and quantity when it comes to establishing links to and from your site. Developing relationships with partners, customers, bloggers and related service providers are all great tactics.

"It is not about meta tags and HTML anymore," Wilson and Silverstein say. "It is about content, links and relationships."

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