Focus each page on one theme. The keyword or keyword phrase you choose for a page should directly reflect the page's content. Headlines, subheads and formatting, such as bold and italics, also should be related directly to this central subject. These indicators will signal to search-engine spiders that the keyword or keyword phrase is more prominent or prevalent than other words on the page, increasing the likelihood of a higher search ranking.

Know what you want visitors to do. In marketing lingo, this concept is known as a "call to action." A company might want a visitor to add a product to a shopping cart or complete a survey or newsletter sign-up, for example. Mr. De La Garza says he sees many small and midsize companies stumble on this step.

Make your site easy to navigate. It should be friendly not only to the human eye, but also to search-engine spiders?programs that crawl the Web looking for up-to-date information. A site's structure can make a big difference in how easily a spider can crawl it.

Use free tools from search engines. If your site hasn't added a Google Sitemap page, consider doing so. Google and other major search engines share a common feature that allows Webmasters to tell them about each page of their sites available for crawling and how often it changes and how important it is to the site.

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