My customers don’t use social media!

Even if your target demographic is not on social media, you can harness the power of the Web by making it easier for search engines like Google to find your website (known as “search engine optimization”). This is not hard, but the approach takes some time to gain momentum.

First step: Pepper your website with well-trafficked key words. How to pick them? Go to the Google Keyword Tool and enter about 20 or more generic terms that relate or describe your product or service; look for relevant terms that get several thousand monthly queries. But it’s not enough to find popular key words. You have to find ones where your site can compete–that means finding words that, if typed into Google, will spit out a page of results where your site ranks nice and high.

The key to ranking high on a search results page is to have as many high-quality sites as possible pointing links to your site (this goes for articles, information graphics and other forms of content, too). A high quality website is chocked with content and follows Google’s Quality Guidelines. How many high-quality links do you have to attract? There’s an easy way to get a feel for that number. For each key word, copy web addresses of the top sites that pop up in Google when you search on those key words.

If the first 10 addresses you chose are each attracting tens of thousands of links, it’s probably not worth your time to try to compete on that particular key word to get quick exposure on search engines. However, if the third or fourth site down from the top of the search results page is only attracting a few hundred links, you just might be able to hoist yourself onto that top search page in a few months or less with some concerted effort.

How to increase the number of links to your site quickly? Start by courting relevant bloggers. Find the most active scribes by searching relevant keywords on Google Blogsearch. Send each blogger a short, not-too-sanctimonious email saying you’re a fan of their work, and that you might have some content you think their readers would really enjoy; include a link to your site in the message. Interested bloggers will refer to your link in their articles, making it more popular in the eyes of the search engines.

See? Not so hard.

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