Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Free Ways to Increase Your Google Ranking

How many ways do you use the internet to gather information? As our world becomes more tech-savvy and time becomes more strained, many people are using the internet to search for service providers, from auto repair to tutoring. If you have a website for your business, how do you compete with all of these service providers in your industry?

After moving my practice this spring, I found myself asking myself this question. With a new address and contact information, my website could no longer be found using Google's search engine. I had dropped to page five on Google maps for counselors in my area. I was used to getting referrals from my website, and began working on bringing my ranking back to the first page. Not only did I bring it to the first page, but now you can find my website in the top position in my area for the service that I offer. Here are 5 free ways to increae your Google ranking:

1. Use Keywords Wisely: Identify which keywords are used most frequently by people searching for the services you offer. Use a keyword tool to get ideas https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal. Make sure this keyword appears on your website. Use it in the content and titles as much as relevant, being careful not to overuse it. Then, pick 7 keywords from your page to list in the meta-tags section of your web page.

2. Link to Popular Websites: List your website on directories or websites that are frequently visited. This will give your website relevance. Places to list your website may include professional organizations, social and business networking sites, and other search engines.

3. Write Online Articles: Submit articles, newsletters, and blogs to online article publishing sites. Many are initially free, offer statistics, post an author profile, and provide training. One of my favorites is http://ezinearticles.com/

4. Use Relevant Image & File Titles: File names are another place to include your top keywords. And, make sure your images are named in relationship to your site. For instance, instead of useing File 001.jpg, rename the image with your name and/or company.

5. Use Relevant Page Titles: Although I focused on my home page in my prepartion for increasing my ranking, remember that each web page and file may be found as a separate website. The description and title should be somewhat different for each page. Keep it relevant, short, and again include those keywords that people will use when searching for services in your industry and/or area.

It took about a month for my ranking to increase to it's current position. This list is not exhaustive, as there are many more tools and services to help businesses optimize their website for search engines. And, most website hosting sites offer search engine optimization programs. If you decide to try it yourself, I hope investing your time and hard work will pay off for your business!

(c) Copyrite 2009 by Marci Payne, MA, LPC.
May not be duplicated or reprinted without written permission.

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