Here are three telltale signs that you may need to focus on search engine optimization (SEO) to improve and enhance your online presence:

  1. When you type your name or your business name into Google, you don’t come up on the first page of search results. (People typically won’t search past the first page.)
  2. When you type a commonly searched term into Google, such as “financial advisor” or “investment advisor,” along with your city name, you don’t come up on the first page of search results.
  3. When you type a search term that is trending on Google, such as “investment protection,” “retirement income solution” or “alternative investments,” you don’t come up.

If any of these apply to you, here are six solutions and most of them are free.

  1. Have a meeting with your website provider to update your meta tags, site descriptions, headers and other things that tell the search engines what your website is about.
  2. Set up Google Analytics (www.Google.com/analytics) so you can find out which search words people use to get to your site. (This is free.)
  3. If you haven’t already, make sure you have set up a complete Google Profile for yourself (profiles.google.com) that includes your contact information, website address, services offered, picture and video. (Again, this is free.)
  4. If you haven’t already, make sure you have a full local business listing using Google Local (www.Google.com/local/add) as well as other local listings such as Bing and Yahoo. (This, too, is free.)
  5. When you search for your company name, you may find many sites with profiles you yourself did not create. These could include Yelp.com, insiderpages.com, manta.com, etc. If this is the case, claim these and control the content by adding your information.
  6. Finally, if you have done all of these things and you still are not getting traffic, consider hiring an expert. When done correctly, SEO can really help you dominate your market.

SEO is a must if you want to be found online.

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Maribeth Kuzmeski is the founder of Red Zone Marketing, LLC, which consults to Fortune 500 firms on strategic marketing planning and business growth. For more information, go to www.redzonemarketing.com.