A small business website is incomplete without the implementation of the tools and techniques needed to achieve search engine optimization. SEO is the process of increasing a web page’s visibility on a search engine results page. Several factors determine the order of Web pages displayed on a search engine results page, including keyword relevance and visitor interaction.
Google’s PageRank is a mathematical algorithm that assigns a numerical value – 0 to 10 – to a Web page based on its number of backlinks, also known as inbound or incoming links. Backlinks communicate the popularity of a Web page to search engines by indicating whether or not other people have found the page valuable enough to link to from their own websites. A Web page with no incoming links will unlikely achieve a PageRank greater than 0, regardless of the quality of its on-page search engine optimization.
The credibility of the website from which a backlink originates influences page rank. Social media websites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, provide a free and simple way to establish backlinks on popular websites. Users simply create profiles and status updates that contain the link to the desired Web page.
Web directories also provide valuable backlinks for small business websites. Web directories, such as the Open Directory Project, Best of the Web, and Yahoo! Directory, are compilations of Web pages organized into distinct categories. Through a Web directory, sites are found by real people who are seeking highly-targeted content. Getting a visitor from a Web directory provides automatic confirmation of a page’s attractiveness.
Using on-page SEO, such as Web page-specific keywords, descriptive meta tags, header tags, and a title tag can still have some influence on a Web page’s likelihood of appearing near the top of a search engine results page.
Creating a sitemap and using the primary keyword in the page title, <h1> tag, opening sentence, closing sentence, and in an internal link at the close of the article furthermore makes it easier for a search engine to index and crawl the Web pages on a small business website.