Business Overboard – Staying Afloat in Congested Digital Waters

Small businesses have enough on their plate at the moment simply making ends meet. As a result of the economic downturn and reduced consumer confidence there is just less and less money to go around.

In these times of squeezing personal budgets and the resultant squeeze upon your business, you may not have considered the potential power of your business website to help address the problem.

Your online presence

Do you have a commercial website for your business?

For those that do have a fully functional business website, does it attract visitors which subsequently turn into customers? The fact is that many smaller businesses have some form of online presence but just do not know how to maximise it. Spending a little time addressing your online business ‘address’ may well be the answer to many of your problems.

The old adage ‘if you build it, they will come’ does not really apply to websites in cyberspace today. Long ago when the internet was filled with just a few million web pages the chances are, you could be easily found and your services offered.

Not in today’s’ internet I am afraid.

The Mighty Google

Even during the infancy of the mighty Google which established itself during 1998 and immediately indexed over 26 million pages, saw that figure rise to over a billion in just two short years. In 2008 it revealed a massive one trillion URL’s had been catalogued and this number just keeps increasing.

This just illustrates the amazing popularity of the web and just how saturated it has become. Therefore, gaining a foothold for your business in these congested digital waters is difficult to say the least.
It is however not impossible, in fact with the right direction it can be quite a simple process.

There are a number of basic fundamental aspects to getting your site appreciated by the search engines and therefore ‘presented’ to searchers. By considering these fundamentals and applying them to your website you stand a much better chance of being recognised online.

4 Simple Steps You Can Use to Review Your Business

1. Title tags – are your title tags () used to display the headings of the pages on your website?

This important tag is one of the first a search engine spider will pick up and needs to contain information relating to the page. This is the tab at the top of the browser window which displays the title of the page. It is also the title which is displayed within the search engines results page and therefore needs to be clear and enticing enough for users to click.

2. Heading tags – do you make use of the H1, H2, H3, H4 tags within your content?

These are highly valued by search engines to help them establish just what your content is about. Think of your page content as a newspaper article, with headings separating the different sections of content on the page.

3. Description tags – are they fully completed and do they contain relevant information?

Again, this something which is used by search engines but more importantly is the snippet of information which is presented to users within the index. A good description and compelling call to action will dramatically increase your visitors.

4. Site Structure and navigation

This is a big issue, does your website have a good linking pattern and is it easy for users to travel around the site? User behaviour is very similar to that of a search engine spider in that links to different pages will be followed by both the visitor and the bot. If you have pages which are not visible from the home page both visitors and bots will not be able to find them.

These are just a small sample of actions you can take to review your small business website which if implemented should serve to better your website for both visitors and search engines.

Graham Turnbull

Graham Turnbull is a freelance writer based in the UK. He is currently partnering with RMG SEO Services a leading search engine optimsation company.