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Simple Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Small Businesses and small sites

You can do a few easy things on your site to give it a competitive chance to be ranked well in the search engines

Page Content for Search Engines, Spiders, and Indexes

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is necessary so that sites appear highly ranked when searched by Google, Bing, Yahoo and many others.  SEO is an art, a science, an industry and a career.  Companies literally spend tens of thousands of dollars to get and keep their sites highly ranked.

Concepts and techniques:

  • The internet is also known as the World Wide Web (hence the www) and is technically analogous to a spider’s web
  • Literally, the search engines (SEs) “crawl” web sites to create indexes of site content.  The software crawling sites is known as a “spider” (or spider robots, aka “bots”)
  • SEs use important site words that have been indexed (aka “key words) when they produced search result for SE users
  • A significant content of words on each page help the SEs create a much varied index

The SEO goal of any site is to have the site appear no further than page 4 of the search result and preferably on the 1st or 2nd page when site and business appropriate terms are used by SEs users.

Important Page Components for Search Engines indexes (SE Indexes)

Page Content visible to users, including:

  • Page header (Header, size 1 aka H1 - limited to one per page)
  • Other headers on page (h2, h3, etc.) not limited, the more of these legitimately used, the better for SE indexing
  • Bolded and italicized words and phrases
  • Paraphrased and repeated phrases
  • Significant content
  • Site links to other site pages
  • Site map on a visible site page.  Simply a list of all your pages on the web with links and a very short description of each page.  The sitemap helps SE's index your page
  • Conform your pages to current web standards.  See our Web Compatibility page

Page metadata (content invisible to users), including

  • Page title (SEs results show first 70 characters – including spaces)
  • Page description (SEs result show about the first 156 to 160 characters)
  • Keywords. (SEs highlights keywords in search results)
  • Image titles (known as “alt” tags – SEs indexes these words for image search and considers them part of page text)
  • A site map in xml format - a file created by a utility and published to your site.  You can create a site map for your site for free at xml-sitemaps.com

SEO rules continually change because SE software bots regularly change their indexing logic and techniques so that search results become more accurate / filter spam etc


  • Google, Bing and Yahoo consider YOUR site more important when OTHER sites link to you.  This is the number one factor in getting your site highly ranked!
  • The invisible metadata should reflect the visible page content
  • Considerable page content gives the SEs more to index
  • Change and update your pages on a regular basis (at least every 6 months).  This gives the SE's more indexing opportunities, you can keep up with your competition and you can enhance what the search engines are ranking.
  • Review you search results using you host's search and page views analytic tools and the Web Master tools listed below.

Search Engine Assets / Webtools

Web Master tools are available free of charge from Bing and Google.   The tools will help you identify site traffic, indexing, problems, getting new pages submitted, submit a sitemap and much more.


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