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30 Google marketing tips for small businesses – Part One

October 6, 2011

Every small business owner with web presence knows the importance of getting good rankings on Google. Once your site starts to perform well on the world’s most popular search engine, you should start to receive a growing number of site visitors. These visitors are all potential customers for your products and services.

Using our experience of promoting small business sites over the past decade, we’ve compiled a series of tips to help business owners succeed with their web marketing efforts on Google.

You can read the final 15 tips here.

Top Google Marketing Tips: 1-15

1. Google pays particular attention to ‘TITLE’ tags – these are the words which appear at the top left hand corner of your browser. Take particular care when writing your title tags, and include any important words or phrases which are associated with the subject of each page.

2. In the ‘old days’, all web marketing types talked about was the ‘KEYWORDS’ tag on web pages. Site owners used to cram their pages with ‘keywords’ in an attempt to charm Google into ranking their pages higher. Now, Google is so advanced that it is thought to ignore keywords and decide for itself what a page is really about, and will rank pages accordingly.

3. Google’s ‘Pagerank’ technology lies at the heart of its ranking algorithms. Google assigns ‘importance’ to pages based on a huge number of factors. You won’t suddenly rank well for a particular phrase by tweaking a single factor on your web pages, you need to be doing a lot of things well in order to rank well for most phrases.

4. Particular importance is paid to the number (and quality) of links you have pointing to your website. A link to your site is seen as a kind of ‘vote’ of its relevance. The more links you have, the better – but one good quality link is more important than hundreds of poor quality ones.

5. If you can get other sites related to yours to link back to you, this is the best way to show Google that your site is relevant and ‘important’. It may seem contradictory to trade links with your competitors, but this is exactly what you should do. Sites which make it a mission to never trade links are destined to fail. Read our link popularity guide for more information.

6. If you are linking to other websites, from your own, it is best not to include ‘site wide links’ – i.e. don’t include the link on every single page of your site if at all possible. Sometimes this may be unavoidable, but you can always include a rel=”nofollow” segment within your link tags to prevent Google from following them.7. When building links back to your website, it is wise to do this on a gradual and ongoing basis rather than getting 100 new links at once.

8. A good way to build up links is to contribute to bulletin boards of social media discussions about topics which are relevant to your website. Include a discreet ‘signature’ with your posts with a link back to your site.

9. When you include images on your webpages, provide ‘alt’ tags which are provided to display text if your image won’t load. Not only is this good for search engine optimisation, it’s also good from an ‘accessibility’ perspective.

10. If you have a ‘links’ page, don’t call it ‘links’ – try something like ‘resources’. Also, keep the number of links on any one page of your site to under 50. Include a description alongside the links rather than simply listing dozens of links.

11. Use the Yahoo! Site Explorer tool to find out which sites are linking to your competitors’ pages. You can then use this information to approach relevant site owners and set up your own link exchange.

12. Although you are far more likely to attract links to your website if you reciprocate the favour, the best type of links are one-way ones. If you can get other site owners to link to you with nothing in return, this is the perfect situation.

13. Perhaps consider writing an article, or a product review and getting it published on another site in your industry. You will almost always be provide with a link back to your site in return. The number, relevance and quality of links between websites lies at the core of Google’s search ranking algorithm.

14. If you are looking for good keyword phrases to target on your website, and to avoid ones which are too competitive, the best place to go is Google’s Adwords tool.

15. Don’t assume you know what words potential clients might type into Google in order to find your site. You’d be suprised at what people search for in reality.

For the final 15 Google tips, click here.