By Matt McWilliam

Search Engine marketing is by far the most important step to making your website project a success. If you do not have search engine optimization techniques applied to your website, it will fail. It is really as simple as that. Search Engine marketing is the process of creating a business website to industry standard Search Engine guidelines. Google and Yahoo create these guidelines which allow, yes, allow your website to conform so that it will not only get indexed, but placed and ranked in and amongst the search engine’s results pages (SERPs).

Most small business websites simply can’t afford a professional firm to come in and revamp their website to optimize it for their chosen set of keywords and keyword phrases. They often choose a web design and development company to do the design and coding work of the website and didn’t consider their efforts early enough on in the project. Those who plan ahead will reap the rewards by placing higher than their competition on Search Engine Results Pages.

1.) Place H1, H2, H3 Tags.

This step is commonly overlooked and it really isn’t a good thing to do this. H1, H2 and H3 tags are being indexed when search engine crawlers, also known as spiders, index your website for content and rate it for the keywords and keyword phrase you have chosen. Leaving out these crucial elements won’t wreck your entire Search Engine Optimization efforts, but they will be drastically increased if included.

2.) Place Keywords in Title Tag.

Placing your keywords in your Title tag is the first step in creating a successful search engine optimization campaign. Search engine crawlers heavily rely on your Title tag’s keywords for a description of your site and your chosen keywords.

3.) Create a Blog.

Creating a blog on your website is a great way to gain in-bound backlinks. Remember to optimize your in-bound back links by placing your target keywords and keywords phrases in the anchor text of the link. This can be done by placing “Car Dealership” and linking those two words to your Car Dealership website. In-bound back links are kind of like “votes” for your website. Because there are others competing for the number one spot on SERPs, usually the website with the most “votes” will place the highest.

4.) Write Relevant Articles.

Article writing is a great way to not only showcase to your target market that you know what you are doing and have been in the game for a while, to establish credibility, but also to gain a few in-bound text links. These in-bound links can only be placed in the resource box (the bottom portion) of the article, but will always count when Google or Yahoo index your website.

5.) Get on Local Directories.

Being listed in Google’s local business results and Yahoo’s Local directories will help increase local traffic to your small business web site. You will have to optimize your site slightly differently to rank well in your keyword’s or keyword phrases’ local business results, but being ranked here will allow you to place highly if your search engine optimization efforts aren’t working so well for your organic or natural results.

6.) Partner with Authority Sites for In-Bound Links.

Partnering with authoritative or older websites for in-bound links is a great way to get on to Google, rank well and stay there. Google focuses all of their efforts on providing relevant content to their search users. One way they judge the relevancy of content is by looking to authoritative web sites or websites that have had indexable content for longer periods of time for links to similar websites. So, if you sold Ford Mustangs in Cleveland, Ohio and linked to your website, I would be willing to bet you would rank pretty well for the term “Ford Mustang Cleveland.” Follow me here? Good. Keep reading, one more point.

7.) Hire a professional Social Media Marketer.

Hiring a professional Social Media Marketer may allow you to buy back some of your time by getting an industry professional to manage your social media marketing campaigns. Hiring a freelance social media assistant may not only save you some time, but also money in the long run. Have your social media assistant post status updates and tweets regularly. Have them publish links to your articles and links to your YouTube videos. They should also participate with others in discussions to help promote your business and gain more likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter. I highly recommend searching for a local freelance expert in social media that offers quality social media services. For more information, Google, “Columbus Website Design”.

The seven points above are unique and creative ways that many small businesses over look when applying Search Engine Optimization tactics to their website. I, of course, recommend hiring a professional web design and development company to do the work for you the right way to save you time and money.

Copyright © 2008 Matt McWilliam of Columbus Website Design. Visit Columbus Website Design for all of your Cleveland SEO company and Cleveland web design company services nationwide. Columbus Website Design provides Cleveland web hosting, Cleveland E-Commerce websites, Cleveland Search Engine Optimization, Cleveland Logo Design and more!