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In the first part of this article we talked about the first steps to take when taking your small business online. We talked about how a website isn’t something to create and then ignore, but that it takes a lot of care and work to build a valuable website.

In Part Two I’m going to cut through the SEO clutter and explain in the simplest terms possible how to get your site ranking well.

How to Rank
So you’ve got your website and you’ve done some reading on SEO and you either don’t understand it or you’re overwhelmed. All the guides talk about so much and you just don’t know what to believe or what to focus on. So here’s the rub. There are a million different things that have a small affect on how well your site ranks but only a few of those things create big changes in the Search Engines.

The big factors are:
• Domain name – Try to fit a keyword into your domain name or URL. All other things being equal domains like Book.com or Shoes.com have a huge natural advantage over their competition. Keep your GenericBusinessName.com domain, but redirect it to RelevantKeyword.com. Unless you’re a powerful brand, having keywords in your domain will be more useful than having your business name in there.
• Title Tags – This one has a lot of power with Google but can be a bit harder for non-web developers to understand. Figure out how to edit the title tags for your pages and make sure they have some keywords sitting front and center.
• Content – Content is King. The more you have the better your site looks to the search engines.
• Links – Remember in part one when I said that the search engines want to provide the most authoritative results possible. The information on your site is a powerful factor for them to determine authority. Links (or backlinks) are the other.

Think of links like personal recommendations. The more links pointing at your site, the more recommendations you’re getting, the more convinced the search engines are to rank your site higher.

There are a lot of ways to get links, but I’m not going to dive into those methods because there are already a bunch of posts on SEO Desk detailing how to get backlinks. Just know that initially you want as many links as possible but very quickly you will want to start getting links from other relevant and qualified websites.

Hopefully the information I’ve given you is useful and helps simplify the complicated process that comes with owning and managing a website.

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