SEO Guide For Small Business…

Today is the first post in a short introductory series on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for Small Business, and why you need to be learning as much about SEO as the Spears family should be learning about contraception… Enjoy.

Google Like many small business owners, you may not have even heard of SEO before. And yet, it is one of the most critical things that you need to understand if you want your website to stand out from the crowd and actually generate positive results for your business.

Just What is SEO?

SEO refers to Search Engine Optimization. And basically, it involves making very subtle changes to your website so that it becomes more attractive to the programs running the net’s most popular search engines – Google, MCN, Yahoo etc etc.

If you’re not convinced that this should matter to you, take note that the majority of all web traffic is generated by just a few major search engines: Yahoo!, MSN, Google, and AskJeeves.

When was the last time you went to the yellow pages to find a business instead of Google? Exactly.

If these search engines can’t locate your site, then your site cannot be put into their databases. If you aren’t in their databases, you can’t turn up during a search.

In other words, you will never reach those people who are out there, actively looking for your product and services.

This isn’t just a matter of generating random traffic; it’s about ensuring that those people who are in the market to buy your products already will be able to find your site when they come looking for it. If your website is not getting listed on the first page of the Serach Engines Result Pages (SERPs) your business simply doens’t exist online…

So How Exactly Does SEO Work?

Search engines are constantly looking for ways to improve upon their services; they want to go deeper into the web and return better results to their users… That’s their business – to return (display)the most approprite sites on the internet for the ‘search term’ entered by the user.

However, it’s ultimately computer software that is conducting these searches, not a human being. As such, they’re prone to error, as I’m sure you all know by now. The good news is that these programs search for sites in a very predictable and methodical fashion. If you know how they conduct their searches, you can make the changes to your site that you need to (often, just a tweaked word here or there!) to take you from the bottom of the search pile to the top!

Why wouldn’t you want to be part of this?

In this blog series, we’re going to cover SEO at a high-level. But before we get into all that, you need to ask yourself if SEO is what you’re looking for… Why did you build your website in the first place? Was it to satisfy your ego and burn money on a slick-looking interactive brochure that nobody is ever going to read? I doubt it, but if so, then you can probably achieve that goal quite nicely without bothering any further with SEO. However, maybe your aim was to generate new leads for your business? If so, then SEO is one of the most effective means to that end in your entire arsenal.

Are we on the same page here? Have I convinced you that you NEED SEO if you want to take your business anywhere in this day and age?

If make sure you check back here in the next couple of days to read the next installment which will cover: How The Search Engines Operate… How the Search Engines Rank Your Site… and much more.

If you want to skip ahead and jump right in I highly recommend the ebook by Aaron Wall, intelligently named The SEO Book. It really does cover everything you need to know to increase your websites position in the search engines… Click here to buy now.

[tags] seo, search engine optimisation, search, engine, optimisation, google, yahoo, msn, sem, serps, pete williams, pete, williams, preneur marketing, preneur, marketing, small business, small, business [/tags]

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about-pete
Pete Williams is an entrepreneur, author, and marketer from Melbourne, Australia.

Before being honored “Australia’s Richard Branson” in media publications all over the continent, Pete was just 21 years old when he sold Australia’s version of Yankee Stadium, The Melbourne Cricket Ground For Under $500! Don’t believe it? You will! Check out the story in the FAQ section (it really is our most asked question).

Since then, he’s done some cool stuff like write the international smash hit ‘How to Turn Your Million-Dollar Idea Into a Reality’ (+ the upcoming ‘It’s Not About the Product‘) and he’s created a bunch of companies including Infiniti Telecommunications, On Hold Advertising, Simply Headsets and Preneur Group.

Lots of other people think he’s pretty good too! He’s been announced as the Global Runner-Up in the JCI Creative Young Entrepreneur Awards for 2009, the Southern Region Finalist in the Ernst & Young 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year, and a member of SmartCompany’s Top 30 Under 30.

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