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by: Tony Payne
Maximum Exposure SEO
I feel that every small business needs to use basic SEO techniques in their website design. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the rock, or foundation, upon which a small business can build their Internet marketing strategy. Using SEO could mean the difference between a 100th page search listing and a top 10 for a particular keyword phrase. One would think that every small business owner would use proven SEO techniques on the pages of their website? This, however, is not the case. A look at web search results will tell you that most small business owners, and their webmasters, don't have a clue what best practices SEO involves.
I have had a retail custom jewelry website since early 1999. One of the first things I realized is that the pages of my site needed to be ranked highly in organic search results to receive any customer traffic from search engines. The top ten listing for my keyword phrases seemed like a worthy goal for which to strive. That's when I discovered SEO. This was free advertising on the web. I learned the SEO basics and changed my site design to reflect this newly discovered knowledge. SEO really worked!
I have been following SEO industry developments as part of my website's marketing strategy and many things have changed since 1999. New search engines came as old ones went. The search engine algorithms, or ranking formulas, constantly changed. The hardware kept getting better with faster download times.
Today there are three major search engines with Google being #1 by far. So I feel a small business needs to optimize for Google alone and let the rest fall where they may. Learn what your basic keyword phrases are and optimize for them on each webpage. Get as many inbound relevant (non-paid) links from other sites as you can with the keyword phrase in the text. These two techniques will greatly increase your organic search ranking and will only cost some time. It will be time well spent.
If all of this sounds overwhelming, then hire a SEO professional to get the job done. If they apply generally accepted SEO techniques to your web pages, the money paid will be small compared to what is received in return. The changes will bring more qualified customers, conversions and an increase in return on investment (ROI) for any site.
For long term online success a small business should make SEO the rock upon which they build their Internet marketing strategy.
Tony Payne has been a custom jewelry designer for over 20 years. He built a custom jewelry website in January 1999 and has been studying the art of SEO since then.