If you have a Web site, or if you are advising clients who have a Web site, there are steps you can take to improve your rankings in the search engines, so that your site will be easy to find. Getting noticed is all about getting the search engines to think your site is an important site. It's kind of a Catch-22 - you need to build traffic in order to impress the search engines, but we need to be found by the search engines in order to build traffic. Here are some tips for building traffic and winning the search engine popularity contest.
1. In the beginning, there was the Web site. If you haven't built a Web site yet, get busy. You have to have a presence on the Web before you can be found. Choose an easy-to-remember name, and then use that name often (on cards, e-mail, brochures, etc.). Don't let your site get stagnant. You should add new material on your site frequently - at least once a month, but once a week is better. The fresher the content, the more interesting the site appears to the search engines.
2. Get linked to by people who have a lot of traffic already. Find legitimate sites that people who might search for you go to, and then get yourself added to their directory of links. All you have to do is ask the site owners to add your site to their "Favorite links" list.
3. Have somebody independent write a usable and acceptable Wikipedia article about you. You can't write one about yourself. Figure out what makes you unique and then find someone to write and submit the article.
4. Do something that will get Internet media to mention your Web site. Participate in community events and then send a press release about your activities to major news publications. Write an article that gets published in a major publication. Make yourself available as an interview candidate to newspapers and magazines (both print and online).
5. Trade links. Search for sites that have to do with what your site is about - tell them about your site - get them to link to you - and find out what you can do in return. The more important they are, the better.
6. Create content that's unique and interesting. James Rock, a publisher in Florence, South Carolina, suggests that these days, the most cutting-edge content is audio/video. "Give yourself a YouTube and a Facebook presence, post something interesting, and then encourage people to link to that. For example, if you're an accountant with a niche practice serving publishers, produce a three-minute YouTube video that would be interesting to publishers. Hire an artsy-fartsy friend or relative or co-worker who knows how to make a video interesting. Send that out as a link and encourage people to send it to other people. Post it on your Web site. Twitter about it, blog about it, send it to customers, potential customers, or to the sites where those people go."
These are just a few tips to get you started. What have you done lately to get noticed on the Internet?