Search engines vital for websites

Most small businesses' websites are missing out on customers because they are not registered on search engines like Google and Yahoo, according to research.


Most small businesses’ websites are missing out on customers because they are not registered on search engines like Google and Yahoo, according to research.

Most small businesses’ websites are missing out on customers because they are not registered on search engines like Google and Yahoo, according to research.

More than two-thirds of SMEs surveyed by Fasthosts had gone to the trouble of setting up a website to take advantage of online sales, but they are of little or no use as Google-happy consumers are unlikely to find them.

‘Companies that believe it’s enough to register a site and stick the web address on business cards are naïve,’ believes Andrew Michael of Fasthosts. ‘If you are not listed on Google or Yahoo, your website might as well not be online. The search engines are the first port of call for most consumers, and the higher the ranking the greater the chance of a sale.’

To make a website as visible as possible it should be submitted to search engines immediately after it has been set up. From then on, submission updates on a regular basis are needed to maintain a high ranking position on search results pages.

Relevant keywords, that consumers are most likely to search for, should be included on the home page and, if at all possible, in the domain name. They should also appear in coding pages and in ‘meta tags’ (information that search engine spiders can find but which is not actually visible on the site).

As a website develops it is possible, and advisable, to make alterations to make search engines perceive them as more relevant and feature them higher on search results. This process, known as search engine optimisation, includes adapting design, background coding, text copy and building links with other sites.

(25/7/05)

Related Topics

Leave a comment