This post originally appeared on Dbusiness.com.
Put yourself in the shoes of your next potential client or customer.
Right now, he or she may be out there trying to learn more about you and your organization. To quickly find this information, the choices include Google, Bing or Yahoo! After all, what appears on the Web is basically a digital representation of what the world is saying about you.
In a perfect world, search engines would point these prospects to the site or Web page you desire on the first attempt. Unfortunately, reality is often not that kind.
Our agency has received numerous phone calls from professionals who feel like they’re being cheated by the search engine system. The most common case is that a company is virtually invisible to the online world. In other situations, customers and prospects find negative information first before seeing anything positive about a brand.
If your business is facing a similar issue, the good news is that search results can be influenced and eventually changed. However, making these changes and ensuring they stay there is a process that takes time. To get you started, here are three important search engine optimization tips:
Know which keywords you should own
Start by making a list of the various terms and keywords current or future customers might use when trying to find you online. Do they spell out the full company name or use acronyms? Are they likely to search for a product or service? How about highly visible people within your organization? Creating this list and reviewing the keyword results will give you an idea of which terms you already own and where the holes exist in your online presence. If your website appears within the first three pages of results, consider that a win. If your site cannot be found, you may have a problem.
Put content to work
In order to change the results that appear within search engines, you need to create content. A website should be a living and breathing thing rather than an online brochure. To avoid getting stuck in the static content trap, create a schedule for making website updates and adding new content. This could be as simple as adding a news announcement that contains desired keywords. More importantly, think in terms of weekly or monthly updates. Simply changing site text once or twice a year may not do the trick.
Incorporate more than just text
When visitors search for specific keywords or phrases, it’s common for search engines to display more than just text copy. Video, photos and social networking profiles are now indexed and appear high within certain queries. If your company is hoping to own a specific keyword or push negative results down, creating and uploading media or public social profiles with desired keywords can have a big impact.
Since search results are constantly shifting in position, it takes a dedicated, ongoing program to force positive links to the top and push negative results down. If you follow these tips, you’ll be in prime position to start seeing some real changes.
Have additional SEO best practice tips? Share them in the comments.