Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the magic dust (or marketing jujitsu) that ranks your website above other websites with similar or competing content, appealing to potential customers who trust the “top hits” and are disinclined to scroll through lists to reach websites buried at the bottom. Here are our SEO tips for businesses this year:

Choose your keywords. Think like your target audience and brainstorm three to five phrases they’d likely use, focusing on those with low competition in your area or region. Then deploy them generously on your site.

Walk your fingers to Wikipedia. Type your keyword into Wikipedia and check out the content box that appears; it will display related searches and topics so you can place creative spins on key phrases.

Plant keywords everywhere. Embed keywords and key phrases in your URLs, blog posts, and even description tags and “ALT” boxes for images. Favor simplicity and directness over cuteness and cheekiness – people should be able to deduce your topic or industry from your URL.

Get fresh. In the sense of new, that is! Frequently updated content resonates with search-engine indexing.

Register with Google Local. It’s Google’s version of the Yellow Pages and yields a major boost in searches. Also make sure to register your local address, if your business has one, on Google Maps.

Get mentioned… Encourage clients, vendors, colleagues, and friends to link to your website from their own sites and social media profiles. In the same vein, add social sharing buttons to your website and blog to make it easy and effortless for readers, fans, and followers to spread the word around the Web.

…And mention others. “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” applies perfectly to the realm of SEO. Share links to other relevant sites to build your network and boost the odds they’ll reciprocate.

Make your website mobile-friendly and fast-loading. Meeting your users where they are and optimizing their experience will endear your site to their hearts (and fingers).

Diversify your media. Think about how your customers like to approach and absorb information, then dive into the niche that gives you impact and presence. Slideshows? Videos? Online tutorials? For example, placing video on a landing page makes it 53 percent more likely to appear on the first page of Google results.

Frame keywords in relevant content. Strong writing that’s relevant, compelling, and practical—from web pages to blog posts—will give people a reason to visit, return, follow, and share. Although it seems counter-intuitive: write for people, not for engines.

Based in Rochester, New York, Netsville is an Internet Property Management company specializing in managing the Digital Marketing, Technical, and Business Solutions for our customers since 1994. For more information, please click here.