“The objective is not to make your links appear natural, the objective is that your links are natural”

-Matt Cutts, Google

Once you get a business up and running, you’ll undoubtedly get emails and calls by companies wanting to try and boost your SEO rankings.  That is, help your webpage to the top of the search results when someone types in a relative term(keyword) into the Google, Yahoo or Bing Search.   Google gets about 65% of the searches, while Bing has around 20% and Yahoo 10%

small business search engineSo SEO, or search engine optimization, optimizes your site to rank high for selected keywords.   Google keeps getting better and better at sifting through sites and ranking the most relevant sites.   So, even if you spend a lot of money on SEO, you may still not rank as high as a site that has grown organically.  SEO trys to replicate this organic growth.

Having first page or top rankings on Google can bring windfalls to your business, however, there is a right and a wrong way to do it.   One way can get your site banned or “sandboxed” and another can keep you permanently on top.

White hat SEO methods encourage organic growth and mimic it well.  It’s a lot of manual work, like engaging with potential customers on forums and blog comments that are relative to your website.

Black hat SEO methods try and imitate organic growth of your website.   It’s done by software and sneaky tactics.  One example would be automatically adding irrelevant comments to 100s of blogs not related to your website.

A lot of the SEO done is black hat, even if they say they are white hat.  The only legitimate way to speed up your push to the top of the search engine rankings is to optimize your website(on page) and promote your website and content(off page)

 On Page Optimization –

This means optimizing your website to be easily navigated and found by search engines and people.   There’s a formula to on page optimization, and much of that is built around keywords.   Keywords are the terms folks use as they are typing in the Google/Yahoo/Bing search bar.  You can see what terms people are looking for related to your business using the Google Adwords Tool, or with Software like Nichebuilder, which has an API direct into Google.

So, creating your website with the customer in mind is the advantage you have using keyword research.  You’ll also need good meta descriptions, 404 pages, internal and external links, along with loads of good content to have your website optimized properly.   If you already have a website, go on over to Woorank to see how your website is optimized.  They offer a free report.

 SEO for small BusinessOff Page Optimization –

This is generating backlinks on other sites around the internet, casting your web wide to generate more interest and traffic.   It’s essentially participating on other sites, and including a link back to your site.

Common off page practices are:

Press Releases – announcing your website or products

Social Bookmarking – Bookmarking your website links and relative links

Article Marketing  – Releasing helpful and original articles that include links back to your site

Forum engagement – participating in forums, generating goodwill and including your links there.

Social Media Participation – Adding helpful content, and engaging with other users providing exposure to your links and website

Blog Commenting – Commenting on relative blogs and including your links.

Other linkbuilding strategies – Asking for a link from other relative sites, link exchange, Web 2.0 profiles.

If you’re ambitious and want to do your own off page SEO, checkout this linkbuilding course

There another resource called Google Supremacy which you should definitively checkout

SEO is quite and undertaking, and definitely not something to trust to an overseas company charging $150/month.

Most SEO companies will spam the internet with your links, and you’ll wind up with a Pinterest with links from fictitious Justin Bieber, when your website is about autoparts.

Ask some hard questions, monitor where your backlinks are coming from, and make sure you are doing relevant SEO.

For more advanced SEO Backlink Building, Checkout Elite SEO Backlinks