We’ve all been there 🙂 You’ve purchased a clever domain name, launched a dynamic website, and even included some modern social media buttons from Facebook and Pinterest. The site is definitely ready for the masses! But for some reason, no one appears to be visiting the site. You decide to Google your name to find out what users are seeing and you realize you are nowhere to be found!

“Why are my competitors showing up on the first page and I am not?” The answer is SEO my friend. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it encompasses the knowledge and tools used to enhance a website so that it can obtain a better position in search engines like Google and Bing. Having a basic knowledge of SEO will help you develop strong keywords for your site, you will gain an understanding of how links to your site effect your Google ranking and you will be motivated to keep your content fresh, relevant and informative for users so they continue to come back for more.

For instance, if you sell the best cupcakes in New York, you’ll want to include that content on the first page of your website, specifically targeting the keywords ‘best, ‘cupcakes’ and ‘New York’. You don’t want to overuse keywords in your site but these sort of words need to be front and center for Google to accurately index your site.

You’ll also want to make sure your URL’s are SEO friendly. For instance, if your blog post is titled “How to creatively apply frosting to cupcakes” your url should contain “How-to-creatively-apply-frosting-to-cupcakes” instead of using a default url like “post.php?post-12345” which is generated for you by some content management systems.

Some additional things to keep in mind – don’t write your posts specifically for optimizing your search rankings. Create content that is valuable for people to read. If you are genuinely trying to help users, this will go much farther.

Also remember to be a good steward of the web and contribute to other sites where you can provide your expertise. This makes for a better experience for everybody and in turn just may drive interested people back to your site which will boost the value of your site, ultimately boosting your Google rankng.

The above recommendations are just a few of the many steps you should try and take to make your site more valuable to users and visible to search engines. To read more ideas, I recommend visiting SEO.com/blog as they have some great posts on the subject.