Back in 1999, to get ranked in the search engines you’d need to go to each search engine directory, register your web site, and then optimize your metatags on your web page. Now that advice is no longer relevant. Most major search engines completely ignore the metatags of your page. Search engines ‘crawl’ the web and getting registered is as simple as having someone that is known to search engines link to your site. 

Now that the rules have changes, what can you do to improve your search engine ranking?

1) Register your site with DMOZ!
Register your site at dmoz.org, the "open directory" of the Internet, which Google spiders regularly. You have to spend some time inputing information about your business in order to classify your site correctly. This may possibly be the number one thing that Google uses to rank you site: DMOZ’s classifications of your site.

2) Relevancy (Having Lots of Links to your Site) Is Key
Now, most search engines rank in searches based on relevancy, meaning mainly that:

  1. You have lot’s of sites (which they themselves rank high) linking to your site.
  2. The content in your page matches the search keywords.

So you can have a nice domain name like that above, register it with the search engines, and start out with almost no hits at all. Once you have several other sites linking to your web site, then the traffic starts to pick up.

The relevancy of the site that links to you if really important. If CNN.com links to you once, that can rank you higher than having 50 smaller sites linking to you.

After you do a PPC (pay per click) campaign, your ranking goes up in search engines. Something out there ‘notices’ your site when you do lot’s of PPCs.

3) Domain Name With Keywords Helps You Rank Higher
Having domains with the keywords in them can help you in search engine ranking. For some reason, having dashes in the keywords actually ranks you higher (i.e. doing www.medical-technology-experts.com would rank higher than www.medicaltechnologyexperts.com). See this article for details.

Even without the domain, things like www.mysite.com/23434322/medical-technology-experts  (where the keyword is later in the URL) can help you rank too.

4) Press releases, Articles, and Syndicated Content
Having press releases (that are published on other sites) or articles published on other sites that link back to your site is a great way to increase your ranking. Post press releases and get great coverage and distribution for free at prweb.com/.

5) Write A Blog
Blogs are the new, great way to do this, if you have time to write compelling content. More on this in a separate post later.

6) Be Realistic And Patient
Only about 7% of most sites’ traffic (even the most successful ones!) comes from free search engines listings — the rest comes from referral URLs from articles, reviews, word of mouth, pay-per-clicks, banner ads, direct link (since they heard about it via an email, direct mail, phone call, etc.). So search engine optimization should only be a small component of your overall marketing strategy. But 7% is 7%!

Be patient: seeing your ranking go up  in the search engines can take months. It can take a month to six weeks after you perform the above items to see any impact in showing up in search engines.