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How To Put Your Small Business Website On The Search Engines

By Mario Sanchez
Posted Friday, July 2, 2004

One of the most frequent questions small business owners ask me is: I've designed my website, now, how do I get it on the search engines?

Actually, having your site indexed by a search engine is not that difficult. However, making it rank high and appear in
the first results page is. Let's start with a brief explanation of how a search engine works:

Search engines store billions of pages in an archive called index. When a search engine conducts a search, it doesn't
really search the web: it searches the index. Search engines add web pages to their index through the work of a "search bot", a powerful software program that "crawls" the web regularly, following links and adding to the index all the pages it finds.

So, step number one is to make the search bots find your page. You can do this:

a) by directly submitting your page's URL to the search engine, or
b) by placing a link to your page on another page that is already in the index.

There is strong evidence that method (b) is the most effective.

Now, lets suppose that your page is already in the search engine index. How do you make it rank high? The different
attempts to answer that question have given birth to a whole new discipline called Search Engine Optimization. Search
Engine Optimization (SEO) involves following a series of techniques to increase the relevance of your page for certain search terms or keywords.

You must decide in advance what are the keywords you believe a user will type in the search engine window to find your page. This is probably the most important step in search engine optimization: if you pick keywords that nobody uses, or, to the contrary, keywords that are too common (too competitive), your page will never be found.

The keywords you chose must be used often in different parts of your page, like the title, headings, sub-headings, and
your page copy. The more your keywords appear on your page (without "over-stuffing" your page copy with them), the more relevant search engines will consider your page to be for your selected keywords.

Now, you may be thinking that this SEO thing is too easy: you could just manipulate a few page elements and you would be all set. The search engines, however, are smarter than that. To avoid this kind of potential abuse, search engines rely heavily on links from other pages. In a nutshell, the more links to your page from quality pages with content related to your site you can get, the higher your page will rank. In other words, you can have a great page, but if nobody is linking to it, you will not achieve high search engine rankings.

That's it.

In summary: chose the right keywords, utilize them often on your page, and get as many links as you can from quality pages related to your site's content, and you will be on your way to high search engine rankings. The rest is just time and patience.

While the goal of this article is just to give you a quick overview of what Search Engine Optimization is, you can further explore this topic by reading this Do-It-Yourself Search Engine Optimization Tutorial. If you found this article useful, you may also want to expand your Search Engine Optimization knowledge by reading Aaron Wall's SEOBook (

About the Author
Mario Sanchez is a Miami based freelance writer who focuses on Internet marketing and web design topics. He publishes The Internet Digest (, a growing collection of web design and Internet marketing articles, tips and resources. You can freely reprint his articles on your website, ezine, or ebook.


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