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30 Google marketing tips for small businesses – Part Two

October 6, 2011

Here are 15 more web marketing tips to help small business people promote their sites on the world’s most used search engine.

For the first 15 tips, go to Part One.

Top Google Marketing Tips: 16-30

16. Google is known to dislike too much duplicate content on websites. Try to use original content wherever possible on your site, otherwise your pages may be penalised (or simply may not rank well in Google’s search results). A good way to find out if other sites are using the same content as you, try Copyscape.

17. If you have a UK-focused website, it’s best to may sure you use a UK-based web host. Although you can get very good value hosting in the US, if you have a .com domain hosted in the US, your pages may not appear in Google’s UK index. If you have a .co.uk domain name, most evidence suggests that your site will appear in the UK regional results regardless of where it is hosted.

18.Get an XML site map created and upload it to your web server. The sitemap will let the search engines know about all the pages present within your website, including some which may not have been indexed yet. A good free service can be found here.

19. Domain age is an important factor in Google’s ranking methodology, probably in an attempt to prevent new sites from rapidly gaining good rankings on the index. You might benefit from buying an older business domain name, or otherwise you must be patient for your new site to yield good results on Google.

20. Use HEADER tags within your web pages. <H1>, <H2>, etc. tags are used to create ‘headers’ within web pages. Headers imply the text contained within them are ‘important’, so include your keyword phrases within them. As with all the tips on our site, use them all in moderation!

21. Don’t include unnecessary code within your web pages. Examples include chunks of Javascript code which you can simply ‘include’ in your pages from an external file. You should also use stylesheets to define the layout of your pages, rather than using row upon row of HTML code.

22. Although they’re hardly used these days, try to avoid using FRAMES on your website. Search engines find them hard to index.

23. Make sure your site code is accurately put together. You can use a handy HTML checker for this purpose, like this one.

24. As well as getting other sites to link to yours, spend time on your internal navigation. Make sure all pages within your site are easily accessible from the others, and create links to other pages within your article pages.

25. For the benefit of your users, as well as Google, try not to cram your pages full of slow-loading images. A slow loading site will make visitors leave instantly, and page load speed is one of many factors which search engines are believed to use to determine site rankings.

26. Blogs (such as WordPress and Typepad) tend to be smiled upon via search engines who are always after regularly updated websites. You might consider setting up a blog hosted by either company, or you can download the software and host the blog on your own web server.

27. If you have ‘printer friendly’ pages, or folders on your website containing content you don’t want Google to index, you should create a robots.txt file which tells search engines which parts of your site they should ignore.

28. If you’re creating a new site today, it will take some time before you hit Google’s Top 10 rankings for any phrases in a meaningful way. You really need to be patient, as it could take many months before you see any benefit from your hard work.

29. Whatever you do, don’t get penalised by Google. There are no short cuts to getting good rankings on the world’s leading search engines. Don’t cram your pages full of repetitive keywords, or submit loads of similar pages (or ‘doorway’ pages crammed full of keywords which redirect to your ‘real’ site). Google will penalise your rankings if you use dubious web marketing techniques, and may even ban you if you’ve been really bad!

30. Probably the most helpful tip for managing your site is to get a Google account, and you will have access to its ‘Webmaster Tools‘, This critical service will show you all types of diagnostics about your site – how often Google indexes it, if you have broken links, if you have duplicate page titles, and a lot more. You can also manage your sitemaps from here, see how many people are subscribing to your newsfeeds, and tell Google to remove pages you don’t want it to index.

For the initial 15 Google tips, click here.