In today’s market, a website functions as a virtual storefront for almost any business, and search engine optimization is the equivalent of the old adage “location, location, location”. To increase the chances of your business being found, you want to make sure that customers who are searching for your product or service online are finding you, not your competitors. In general, searchers will visit the websites that appear highest on the search result page and a good search engine optimization (SEO) strategy will help you move up the list. Here are a few guidelines to help you start climbing.

Understanding Search Engines

First, you need to know how search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing work. They use complex algorithms to travel the internet searching websites for information such as keywords, the frequency at which a website is visited, and how often it is referenced by other quality sites. The website deemed most relevant will appear at the top of the organic search results (which are the results that appear below the promoted ads). You can help your website come up higher by paying attention to keywords and content.

Keywords are Key

Search engines crawl and index websites to match the searcher’s terms with what they find on both the back end and front end of your website. Use a variety of accurate terms and descriptions of your product to increase the chances of your site being matched to a potential customer’s terms. To ensure you are using the most popular terms do research to see how often your keywords are being searched, and how your product or service is being talked about online. There are free keyword analysis tools online, like Google AdWords, to help you do this. Keywords are only part of the picture though. As quickly as the potential customer clicked on to your site they can click off, it is your content that will hold their attention.

Content is King

Your website’s content will depend on your approach and product, and includes everything on your site (like product descriptions, company information, and blogs). Original and quality content can help build a strong online presence. For example, Jennifer Roberge, founder of the successful online retailer “The Eczema Company”, has a blog on her website about her personal experiences having a son with eczema. Because she is generating high quality unique content, it is likely to be shared ―driving up her search ranking and building her authority. Jennifer had help developing her business from YES (a Quebec non-profit that provides entrepreneurship support including business coaching). Creating quality content, as Jennifer does, is a win-win strategy as it is more likely to be shared by other sites and on social media, increasing your online traffic which will also help your search ranking.

A solid SEO strategy will incorporate quality, unique content supported by popular and relevant keywords. This can help bring more than traffic to your site, it can bring customers. If you need help building your online marketing strategy or with any aspect of your business, YES can help. Learn more about their services at

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