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Maximize Online Holidays Sales By Preparing Your Website

If you're a small business owner you better invest some time and energy in search engine optimization--otherwise you'll be lucky if anyone finds you online.

Originally Published Nov. 23, 2010

If you’re a small business owner hoping to maximize your revenue online this shopping season, you better invest some time and energy in search engine optimization. Otherwise, you’ll be lucky if anyone finds you. “The overall concept of search engine optimization is to make your page content relevant to the search terms that people are looking for,” says Chris Curtis, founder of Web Business Ownership LLC, an internet business strategy firm based in Newark, Delaware, focusing on small businesses.

With that in mind, it’s not too late to make some simple changes to your site so that you can reach the hordes of online shoppers hoping to score a deal. Here are three simple things you can do to maximize your online sales.

Watch: How to Increase Your Online Presence

Think Like a User.
Ask yourself: “If I were looking for this, what would I type in Google?” For example, if you’re selling “cars,” remember that “automotive” and “automobile” are both relevant keywords that need to also be within the content on your page. “Summon your most creative skills and work it out,” says Curtis. “The benefits in traffic will be worth the effort.”

Get Listed.
The more sites that link to your pages, the more important your page becomes. Post the link to your website in directories, community boards, forums, and blogs. Make sure that where you post your link is also relevant to your page’s topic. If your page is about “roses,” don’t post your link to a blog about “shoes,” says Curtis. “Doing so would diminish the importance of your link on that page—which means most people won’t click on it—and consequently not bring you much traffic.”

Name It!
Ever go to a page and want to bookmark it (add it to your favorites) only to find that the page doesn’t have a title? To avoid such issues on your site, you’ll want to ensure every page has a descriptive title. The more descriptive the title, the better your chance of being found in the search engine. Your title should also reflect the content on the page. If your page is about “traveling in Philadelphia,” then a title like “Where to Go in Philadelphia” or “Travel Tips for Philadelphia” would be beneficial to you.

Also read: Up the Ante on Your Web Presence

Use these online tools to help you fine-tune your approach to drawing more traffic online:
A resource that helps you to fine-tune your keywords and build an SEO strategy.
When in doubt, old-school methods still work. Use the thesaurus to find keywords and synonyms.
A great way to find out who’s linking to your website.

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