Kyle T. Webster

Since the answer to “Where did you find that?” is often, “I Googled it,” businesses work hard to be top-of-page. The goal: Optimize the chances that the searching “spiders” find your company.

Even if a Web developer works on your site, you should know enough about search engine optimization or SEO to be able to ask the right questions, says Josh Lowery, owner of We Make Nice Websites, in Rochester, N.Y. He suggests looking at the following to improve SEO.

  • Fresh content: Blogs — and their comments — count as new content. Facebook and Twitter updates help.
  • Backlinks: These are links to your site from elsewhere. Some are “worthier” than others. A lumberyard connection is juicier to the spider than a hairdresser backlinking.
  • Keywords: Relevancy raises your rank. Instead of saying “We do remodeling,” specify “kitchen remodeling,” etc.
  • Density: Keep keyword density between 1.5% and 3%. Over 5.5% and Google considers it spam: If 800 words in a 2,000-word document are “kitchen,” you’ll be demoted.
  • URL and title tag: The address (URL) is important, but the title tag — browser label for individual pages — may be more important. Code each page with a specific title tag using keywords to make it easier for the spiders to find.
  • H1 and <p> tags: H1 is code for “header tag” and <p> is for “paragraph.” It’s not enough to bold a word, for instance. Text must be coded. Search engines see these as more important sections and are more likely to hit on them.

—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.