Every business owner hopes to attract new customers to his or her website. Optimizing your site for major search engines is one of the best ways to increase traffic. Some recent studies show that as many as 97 percent of people research purchases online before buying. If consumers can't find your website, you're missing out on a lot of potential sales. Use the following tips to make sure you're getting the most traffic possible to your website.

1. Verify Your Coding
The code that makes up your website needs to be in HTML in order for search engines to read and categorize your site. If your code is stored in PDF documents or programmed in Flash, search engines won't be able to read your website or determine how it should be ranked.

2. Optimize Your Keywords
Before writing content for your website, think about what search terms potential customers might use when looking for your products or services. In many cases, the best keywords for your website will be a relevant term combined with your location, such as "Miami auto repair shops" or "Philadelphia real estate agents." Adding a location to your keywords helps you attract more searches from local customers. If you're not sure which keywords are most relevant for your company, check out Google's free keyword tool.

3. Use Your Headlines
Add keywords to your headlines as often as possible to show search engines which posts are most relevant. Additionally, be sure to code your headlines as HTML tags instead of using image files. This helps search engines read the text and categorize your site properly.

4. Add Title Tags
A title tag is the short text that appears on the top bar of your web browser. Many companies add their business names here, but you should also add your targeted keywords to get the best results.

5. Write Meta Keyword Tags
Meta tags don't affect your overall search engine rankings, but they can attract more clicks. You can also look at meta tags from your competitors to figure out which keywords they're targeting by viewing their source codes.

6. Optimize Your Content
Your keywords should also appear within any content you post on your website. Generally, each average-length post should naturally include a few mentions of your keyword. Avoid overuse because it can make your content difficult to read.

7. Update Frequently
Search engines also base your rankings on the freshness of your content. Updating your site often with new blog posts, articles, photos or information is a good way to show search engines that your site is relevant to potential consumers. Additional updates also give you more opportunities to optimize your keywords.

Attracting new visitors and building leads should be the top priorities for your website. By implementing these key strategies, you can improve your chances of getting higher search engine rankings and more traffic.