Although I'm not a search engine expert, I do have some suggestions about how to make sure your web site ranks as high as possible in the top search engines. Each suggestion is easy to follow and is very cost effective.
- Make sure your meta tags are as complete as possible, most importantly your "keyword", "title" and "description" tags. (For a brief explanation of these terms, read this.) Any word that could be used to describe your site or a particular page should be used. This might even contain obvious mis-spellings. For example, if your business name is "Lee's Gift Baskets", you might also include Leigh, Lei and Leah. These words and descriptions will be part of the information you will discuss with your designer.
- After your site has gone public, make sure you include your domain name in every correspondence you send. Add it to your email signature, business cards, letterhead, envelopes, post cards - and don't forget to make sure it's on any advertising!
- Invite your friends, business associates and partners, and customers all take a look - you can even play it up as a grand opening! The number of "hits" on your site affects the rankings in some search engines.
- When it's possible, have your site linked to other related sites. For example, if your site showcases the embroidered and knitted items that you make and sell, you might want to have a list of the craft guilds where you're a member, as well as other related sites your viewers might be interested in. You want to make sure that as many of these sites as possible link back to your site, since that also helps with search engine rankings.
- Make sure your site stays up to date - this may sound like a pitch to keep your web designer in business, but look at it this way. Imagine you've got a favorite store where you shop. You've been shopping there for a long time. Are you more likely to keep going back if they have new things to catch your attention, or if they stay exactly the same for years on end. New products, new layout, or even old products presented in a new way are all ways to keep your customers and visitors coming back for another visit. Not only will updating keep your visitors coming back, it will also keep your rankings higher in the search engines. They tend to look at whether sites are updated or remain static for a long period of time.
These are just a few suggestions, but I hope you find them helpful.