Achieving Search Engine Success

The most common question we get from new site owners is how can they get their site to show up at the top of the Google search rankings. And sometimes the question is, why when they search for their brand new site in Google is it nowhere to be seen?

This page is not meant to be a complete guide to website marketing. These are the key points to understand to get you started on what is an on-going and evolving process:

1. If you have a brand new site, it can take several months for your site to show up in searches for your target phrase or business name. You will need to have some patience.

2. You can greatly increase the odds of your site coming up by optimizing your website, which we discuss below.

3. Some phrases are more competitive than others. If you want to rank well for a phrase like "Japanese garden landscaper - Eugene Oregon," your odds of being successful are quite high. If you want to rank on the first page of Google for the phrase "landscaping", your job will be extremely difficult and you likely would want to enlist professional help. In general, the more specific the phrase, the easier it often is to achieve higher rankings. (Although some specific phrases are still extremely competitive.)

4. Some website owners are successful in meeting their goals with some minimal up-front effort. If your goals as far as volume of traffic or sales revenue are quite high, and you do not have expertise in web marketing you will likely need to have a monthly budget and enlist the help of a professional.

5. Beyond just optimizing your site (which is a good first step to take) there are several other steps that can contribute to your success. We will touch on some of these below.

Initial Search Marketing Steps

If you haven't already done so, you'll want to have your site's pages optimized so they will be viewed favorably by the Search Engines. Search Engine Optimization is a highly specialized skill. We have included some basics here and recommend reviewing our more extensive article on Using MightyMerchant to Optimize Your Website for Search Engines.

1. Make a list of phrases that that you would like your site to be found under. These phrases should be specific and represent the phrases you think your potential customers would type into Google looking for your product or service. If you are selling baby clothes, it would be unlikely that you could get listed on the first page for the word "baby" nor is it highly probable that a person searching for "baby" is actually looking for "baby clothes". Better phrases would be "winter baby outfits", "cotton baby clothes" or some other 2-3 word phrase that a person would likely type into a search engine. Go to Google and type some of these phrases in yourself and see what kind of results you get. Although less people might type these specific phrases than would type a more general phrase it is likely that the competition is less stiff and if someone does type a phrase that is specific, there is a good chance that they are a real shopper.

2. In each page on your site, select 1 or 2 of those phrases and make sure they appear in the title of your page as well as at least one location in the body of the page. HEROweb has set up your Site Manager to make this process straightforward. Each product and category has an optimization page for you to enter Page Titles and edit your descriptions. It you enter your keywords and Save your changes, the keywords should show up automatically on your pages. A possible page title would look something like this:

Winter Baby Clothes - Outdoor Cotton Baby Clothing - Baby Longjohns

Some descriptive text at the top of the page that could be useful for your users and valuable for search engines would be:

Check out all complete line of winter baby clothes. We have original baby clothing made from cotton. Whether you are searching for outdoor clothing, pajamas, or, longjohns for your baby, we've got you covered!

Although there is a lot more to search engine success than optimizing your page titles and descriptive text on the pages of your website, it is a VERY important step for you to complete.

Adding Pages Over Time
Some search engines - including Google - look favorably on sites that are broad and comprehensive. In other words, the bigger your site, the better. Over time, you will want to continually add "content-rich" pages that focus on specific keywords. If you are using the MightyMerchant Site Manager, you can easily add pages to your site.

Additional Steps You Will Want to Take

In addition to doing the initial optimization, we recommend the following steps.

1. Set up a Google Analytics Account and link it to your website.

2. Set up a Google Search Console account.

3. If you have a local audience for your business, go to Google Local and Bing Local and claim your local business listing.

4. Consider any way that you can get other websites to link to your website. That starts by having a good website with valuable information or great products.

5. Consider other methods of driving traffic to your website, including promotions, social media exposure, and paid advertising. We don't recommend spending money on advertising until you have first taken the simple steps to optimize your website.

If you have additional questions on search marketing, please let us know!