If you’ve never done internet marketing, you’ve probably never heard of search engine optimization. You may have heard the term “SEO” thrown around by the IT guys at the water cooler, but no one gets them, anyways.

Search Engine Optimization is what helps your web site to appear on Google’s site when someone types in a search. If you’re interested in search engine optimization for small businesses and have a budget for marketing, there are professionals that can help.

Most people outside of internet marketing think that the biggest factor is popularity. If someone visits a site about hockey 100 times, it must be better than a hockey site that is only visited 50 times, so it will rank higher on the results page, right? Not exactly. There are many factors that a search engine will look at when showing the results of a search.

Right now, Google has over 200 factors that contribute to where a web site is ranked, but they won’t tell the public what those factors are. We know what some of them are, but the majority of them are secret.

Search engine optimization for small businesses is more important that for large businesses. Let’s look at a few factors that will help your company’s web site:

Content is important. Google is a business, and a business needs customers. What do Google’s customers want? Information. If you want your site to be recognized, you need to add a lot of informational content to your website.

You need a relationship with Google in order to do good search engine optimization for small businesses, and any relationship is built on trust.

If your site can build trust with search engines by not spamming, keyword stuffing, or other black hat SEO, then they will rank you higher. Get trusted sites to link to your web site.

Make your page load quickly. If you have several large-sized pictures, it will take a long time to load them. Users don’t want to wait while your pictures load, and they won’t stay on your site. If the users aren’t happy, then neither are the search engines.

Google is the most discussed search engine because it is the most widely used. Right now, about 70% of searches done in the United States are done using Google.

Both Yahoo and Bing use the same search engine, and about 25% of searches are done through them. After that, the next highest is Ask.com, with about 2%.

For now, we don’t know exactly how Google ranks web sites, but we know enough to get to work.

Jamie Bates