This article by Michael Sebastian found on Ragan.com, about helping your company land on the first page of a Google search, has some valuable information for PR professionals and business owners alike.
John Spagnuolo, president of the New Media Institute, provides tips for enhancing company visibility on the Internet. Spagnuolo is an expert in search engine optimization (SEO), which as defined by the article is, ¨the tactics a site employs to improving its prominence on search engines like Google. SEO applies to "organic" (unpaid) searches, not paid advertisements.¨ Two important factors that play into your Web site´s SEO, are content and credibility. See a previous post of mine about this topic on The PR Lawyer.
Content and credibility play into where your site will land on a Google search. Content deals with what is written on your site. Credibility is a bit more complex, because it deals with what other sites link to yours and in turn, their credibility as well. Other sites will inevitably link to your site if your content is interesting and informative. Thus, these two factors are tied closely to one another.
How you can improve your corporate Web site:
- Determine your site's credibility. Type "link:yourdomain.com" into Google. For instance, to check the links to Ragan, type "link:ragan.com." This search will reveal all the sites that link to your page.
- Download the Google toolbar. The toolbar allows you to view the ´page rank´ of every site you visit. Higher ranking page numbers equals greater site credibility. If your page rank is high but your site is still appearing low on search engines, re-evaluate your content and be sure to use SEO keywords that relate to your business. The article provides tips on how to incorporate keywords into your site content.
- Don't forget that the credibility of sites linking to yours matters when using a search engine. Spagnuolo notes that one link from The New York Times Web site is more valuable than 100 links from MySpace.
- Build your credibility. Get people to link to you! Spagnuolo suggests you ask others to link to your Web site, or that you issue a press release with your Web site address. If your Web site is on the press release and other sites post it, then it becomes recognized by Google. PR Web is a great free source for issuing press releases.¨ Videos on YouTube are also a great way to build credibility and boost links to your site.
- Avoid hurting credibility. Spagnuolo warns against launching a campaign with a new Web site because people will link to the new site and not the primary business site. Instead add a sub page to your Web site to maintain the same URL and credibility.
- Be sure to continuously monitor site traffic. Spagnuolo suggests visiting www.google.com/analytics, a site that tracks number of visitors to your Web site and which pages on your site they browse the most. This will help determine what pages need to be expanded and updated most often.