Breaking Out of the Online Crowd

Getting to the top of a search engine listing for a particular phrase or keywords is not as difficult or as costly as you might think. On a popular search term, the top 3 results are typically sponsored listings. These are businesses or individuals who have paid mega bucks to be there on a specific location or worldwide search. Google and some other search engines also place sponsored ads on the side of your results too. The remaining results are fair game for anyone smart enough and willing to do the work to make the search engine work in their advantage. This is referred to as Search Engine Optimization also known as SEO.

SEO is a process implemented on your website to show your content to search engines. A website should be coded in such a way as to show the important parts of its text content and value of each page. A website can rank higher in a natural or organic ranking based on keywords and phrases within your content and emphasis placed on it. The process of making a website more appealing to search engines to various code and content optimization is essentially what the entire process is about. Your search engine credibility is also boosted when you have links from relevant creditable sites.

Here are a few of the core places your website should be optimized:

Meta Tags

Meta tags were originally set up for search engines to help them find content. Meta tags are code behind your content that gives the first true description of your website. It's recommended that you use three to give key meta phrases per page and a brief description. A description should be no more than 250 characters. Some search engines truncate the description on the search engine results.


The title of your page is the first thing people see in search engine results and what they click on. It is the highest point for search engine rank. Your title should include the primary purpose of the page and in a phrase that a user might search for. It's best to limit this to 90 characters.


Content on websites is looked at different from search engine to search engine. Content is important because it's one of the many factors the search engines use to rank your site. Your content should be kept three to four paragraphs per page with keywords a user might use to search for your site. This is how search engines increase your relevancy for the returned results. Keep in mind that search engines can't read graphics or text in graphics. It's important to have lots of quality text.

Home Page

Your home page is not only the usual first place your visitors see, it's also your highest ranking page for your business. It's important to have all of the above core elements on this page to maximize your site optimization for your home page. This is where the keyword and phrase targeting should be the strongest.

Link Popularity

Just like in high school, everyone knows who is most popular. Search engines work much the same way. This process takes place outside your site, but can push up your rankings by at least 50% if done right and naturally. It's important to have quality, credible links. Having your site linked to bad directories or unrelated sites can actually hurt your ranking.


Activity is one of Google's newest additions to its search engine ranking algorithms. Activity around the internet talking about your website generates popularity, which in turn creates higher rankings. This can be done through a variety of platforms and technologies. Some of the more popular platforms include Facebook business profiles, twitter, blogs (I.E.:, YouTube video post, or a custom newsletter or blog on your website. If you find someone talking about your website or a page within your website, it's important to provide a link. Google provides a free service called Google Alerts that will email you if it finds a certain phrase (I.E.: your business name) allowing you to make an inbound link to your website.

Want to see how your site ranks for search engine friendliness and social media? Check out This website will give you several pointers on how to optimize your code and achieve maximum exposure.