Everyone’s talking about SEO and how it can help your business. But many small business owners don’t know what SEO is, or why SEO matters. Yet SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is vital to maintaining an active Web presence that will gain your business new clients and more sales.

Even before the Internet, small businesses have always struggled to stand out from the crowd. Growing your business and staying ahead of the competition is always a challenge. And offering high quality products and services that buyers want isn’t always enough to achieve this.

Making your business available online is the first step toward attracting a wider customer base, but even this can prove to be a disheartening experience for some businesses when they realize how much competition is out there. Do a quick Internet search for a company like yours and you’ll see how difficult it can be for customers to even find your Web site, let alone choose you above the others.

Why SEO Matters

Here’s why SEO matters so much. Search engine optimization is the process by which a Web site is adapted or updated so that it will be more visible in Internet search results. This is achieved by regularly updating your Web site with unique, keyword rich content that will drive traffic to your Web site more efficiently.

For instance, when someone searches the Web for a specific product, say air mattresses, the search engine will return every single page that has ever mentioned that product. And on top of that, only the most recently updated, keyword rich sites will appear in the first few pages of search results, leaving many businesses drowned beneath hundreds and hundreds of pages of links that will never see the light of day.

So, how can a company use SEO to stand out from the crowd? There are several different ways to implement SEO techniques on your Web site that should help you start to see a difference in the amount of traffic you get. Many of these techniques are things that you could potentially do yourself, but as a busy business owner you will probably find it much easier to hire an SEO firm to handle the process for you.

Using Keywords to Draw Targeted Business

The most common technique used in search engine optimization is the use of keywords within the content you post. These keywords are common phrases and words used as search terms by someone looking for a business that sells what you sell. Coming up with the right keywords to use is a vital part of the SEO process because there’s no point in using keywords that not many people search for.

Keywords should reflect specific products, services, and information from your company’s Web site that you particularly want to draw attention to. These keywords also need to be used appropriately. For instance, blasting your business page’s blog with lists of keywords is not only unprofessional, but it’s unlikely to achieve the results you’re hoping for. Keywords need to be arranged with a certain density within the text and should appear natural in the blog or article, so that anyone reading your content can actually appreciate the information provided for what it is, not simply as an advertisement for your business.

You can also use locally significant keywords in your content to help your business find nearby customers who need the products and services you offer. This tactic will help you to maintain a steady stream of traffic from those in your geographic location, allowing you to maintain a solid customer base within your community.

If you don’t have the time to write regular, unique content for your Web site or don’t know the best way to implement your keywords, an SEO firm can help you tremendously by using their expert knowledge of the field to gain you more traffic. And more traffic to your Web site equals more sales.

Another technique that can be used to optimize your Web site for better search engine performance is to provide useful information that potential clients and customers will find helpful. This can include anything from articles on how to use the products you sell to posts about how your products are made. Providing useful content that users won’t find on other related Web sites means you are more likely to get promising results from the Internet searches these people are doing.

Starting with Free Built-in Tools

GreenGeeks web hosting offers its customers advanced SEO tools built right into the the web hosting services to help your business grow and flourish. Tools such as search engine submission and Attracta’s SEO tools will help you get a kick start on your search engine optimization.

Finding an SEO Firm

Now that you’re thinking seriously about using SEO to help grow your business, you’ll want to consider how to choose the best SEO firm for the job. Here are a few tips on how you can make sure you hire an outstanding firm to assist you in this exciting new step for your company Web site.

When you first search for SEO firms on the Internet, be aware of what you have just learned about keyword usage and regularly updated content. The SEO firms who are implementing the techniques they offer for sale on their own Web sites will, of course, appear nearer to the top of the search results. Remember, the first few sites you see are not necessarily the best. Try scrolling through several pages of results to see what other options are available. Next, think about exactly what services you want to buy. Perhaps, in addition to SEO, you would also like to hire a company to help you redesign your Web site or add additional pages. Many SEO companies offer a wide variety of different services for Web site design and maintenance but others do not, so, before you hire one, make sure you can get everything you need from that firm to avoid having to hire multiple firms.

Another thing to keep in mind when looking for the right SEO company is reputation. When you find a company that looks promising, read some of the reviews other customers have left to find out what kind of feedback they are getting. You can also search the Web to find other sites where previous customers may be talking about the firm in question. You will also want to find out what kind of customer service the SEO company offers. How do they handle queries and are they prompt in responding? Try calling and Emailing a few companies to get an idea of how their customer service departments work.

The main thing to keep in mind when selecting an SEO company is that you should ask a lot of questions. Finding out everything you want to know up front is the surest way of finding the firm that will serve your Web site best.

Now that you have a basic understanding of what SEO is and how it works, you can begin deciding on the specific services you want for your Web site to help your business grow. Remember, the more views your Web site gets, the more sales your business receives. And if you want your business to stand out from the crowd, the use of SEO is simply none-negotiable.

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