Some Things I’ve Learned About Search Engine Optimization

Ever since I’ve started this business blog and come to the decision that I wanted to start a web-based business, I’ve started to learn about how to get my sites ranked higher on the main search engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN). I guess because I’m not particularly tech savvy, I was just expecting simple stuff like, “submit your URL to the search engines,” or, “use a lot of keywords on your pages.” Unfortunately, the more I dig the more I find out that making your site search engine friendly is much more intense than I had originally thought.

If you do a search on “search engine optimization” a whole bunch of sites (typically pay services) will pop up, offering to help ensure your site consistently ranks in the top 10 for any particular search you’d like. By nature, I’m always skeptical of these sites with grand promises, so I’d like to share a couple of things that I’ve learned, as well as a resource I’ve come across in my search for free help.

In looking for a good free resource I came across Brad Fallon’s webpage (full disclosure – I do not have an affiliate program with Fallon’s webpage, so I’m not pushing you to click on this so I get paid, I actually thought it was a good resource). On this page Fallon writes about how he quickly increased the number of hits to the site he owns and operates (MyWeddingFavors.com) by using his search engine optimization background, and how he used this knowledge to turn his website into a million dollar a year business. In checking around the site, it became obvious that he was probably trying to sell something, however if you entered your email address on his webpage you would receive “The 7 Mistakes Search Optimizers Make” for free. I figured it was worth a shot, and was actually pleasantly surprised at the depth of the emails. I’m not going to go into detail regarding all of his tips because I don’t want to take away from his site. Take my word though; it’s worth giving him your email address.

After receiving his emails, I have tried to implement some of his tips on my business blog. One of the tips Fallon talks about is editing the “title tags of your webpage. Title tags appear at the top of your web browser, often identifying the page you are currently on. Although unlikely, you may have noticed that I have added additional items to the title tags for this blog. When I first set up this webpage, the top of your browser only said, “The New Business Blog,” and then probably the name of whatever browser you were using at the time. I have now changed my title tags to read, “The New Business Blog – Business Plan – Start A Business.”

Being the curious person you are, you’re probably asking yourself, “Why would he do that?” Well, as was news to me, putting key words in your title tags actually helps increase your site’s ranking in the search engines. The words that are listed first have the most importance in increasing your rank and decrease in importance as you move out. Choosing the best key words for your website is something you should take your time on, and be willing to play around with. The words I chose are related to what this site is mostly about; starting a business and business plans.

Before I changed my title tags, I would have to do very specific searches on the search engines in order to have my blog pop up. A typical search to bring my blog up would be “thenewbusinessblog brian carr leesburg virginia united states,” and even then, it wasn’t certain that my website would pop up! Now that I’ve entered those tags I can enter “business blog starting a business brian carr” and my site will be the first one listed. Granted it’s not much of an improvement, but it’s better than what it was. Ultimately, I would like my business blog to be highly ranked for just “business blog” or “starting a business.” It’s going to take some work and a lot of other tactics to get it there, but I’m going to give it a shot.

You also may have noticed a link for “Link To Our Site” on the right side of my business blog, at the bottom of my profile section. This is because I’ve learned of the importance that “backlinks” play in getting your page highly ranked on search engines. A backlink is a link that is directed towards your site from another site and the more backlinks you have the better. When your site has a lot of links pointing towards it, search engines are more likely to view your site as important, popular or relevant to a particular search.

By soliciting link exchanges, I am hoping to get more people to link to this blog (and in return I will link to their site) in order to help increase the site’s ranking in Google, Yahoo! and MSN. I don’t know if this has made much of a difference yet, but I have a good feeling that ultimately it will.

Needless to say, I have barely scratched the surface of ways you can make your site more search engine friendly, but the two tips I’ve listed are two pretty simple ways to help you get on your way. I’m sure the more I find out, the more I’ll be able to list.

In the meantime, don’t forget to search for “new business blog starting a business brian carr” in Google!

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    Wow! I didn’t know that! Nik plans to build the site for Beginning Bridges this summer. I wonder if he knows! Thanks and keep up the great work!!!
    Tricia

  2. Yeah, there is a lot of stuff you can do to help ensure your site is consistently ranked well in the major search engines. I’m currently reading The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Growing Your Business With Google, which has a lot of tips on search engine optimization – things you can do both on AND off your site. I’d recommend Nik glance at the book before building the site.

  3. Now, I’ve done enough search engine optimization to actually be able to search “Brian Carr Blog” in Google and come up with the number one link to this site. Granted, I’m the only one who would do that search, but it’s showing that my work is starting to pay off.