80 percent of web surfers start their journey on a search engine. There are close to four billion pages indexed in major search engines. While search engines are not (and should not be) only way to promote your business online, it is one of most important.
If you have a small business website, and you want to rank well, there are a few things you need to do. First, don't think that users will search for your site for your company name. If, for example, you have a website design firm in Dallas, you should try to rank high when somebody searches for "web design dallas", or "web design company dallas". These phrases are known as "keywords", and they are first thing you must define (even before you start designing your website).
There are several ways to choose right keywords. When choosing them, remember to make sure that they are terms that search engine users actually use, or you may end up ranking high for search terms that nobody uses. For some tips on chosing right keywords you can check out my article at http://www.theinternetdigest.net/archive/keywordoptimization.html .
The next question is, how do search engines know that your page is relevant to your chosen keywords? The answer is twofold:
1) They rely on your page copy: If your keywords, and other related terms, are mentioned frequently on your web page, your relevance for those words will increase (don't overdo it, though, or search engines will treat is as spam). For more information on how to optimize your page's copy for search engines, you can check out my article: http://www.theinternetdigest.net/archive/web-page-optimization.html .