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This is the first of a three part blog series on how to be your own best SEO guru.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the most searched keywords.  It counts for an average 11.1 million global monthly searches.  You’ve probably noticed a number of companies offering SEO services and a growing number of SEO consultants offering a wide variety of services to get your business noticed more.  My blog is not about whether or not to use their services. It is about the planning and dedication that every small business owner or marketing executive needs to make your website generate more business.

What is SEO?

A SEO optimized website gets a better search ranking and will even possibly show up in the top 10 search results.  This sounds really great for a small company.  With proper SEO optimization, your company website will show up in the top 10 results when a potential customer searches for products and services that your company sells.  Most SEO service providers or consultants can provide tips and technology to improve your ranking.  However your content, meta descriptions, head tags, title tags, alt tags and keywords pretty much decide your website ranking.  And whether you know it or not, you are probably already equipped to generate those items in-house.

How to plan and where to start?

Start with the content of your website.  No one knows your business like you.  You are the best person to start writing the content of your website.   Think about how best to represent your company on the web.  It is more or less similar to how you would organize your storefront or office.  You plan your storefront to give an easy, rich and comfortable experience to your customers or prospects from the moment they enter the store to their final purchase.   Along the way, you have small conversations with your prospects to make sure they feel valued and want to be a returning customer. You should follow the same strategy for your website. But the difference is you are physically present in your store and not on your website. The most important aspect you should consider is how your web store/web front can provide the same store level comfort and experience that your customers would get if they were visiting you in person.  This is your guiding principle when designing the website.  You decide how many web pages you need, what type of images and how to position them on pages, etc. You can use a site builder such as Yahoo by paying a small fee or you can hire a website developer.

What about the content?

This is the most important part of your website.  The content should represent you and your business as genuine, authentic and real. Lots of small companies fail to project that image on their website. Keep in mind that your website is inanimate and heavily dependent on your content to communicate its authenticity.  So, take time and write content that truly represents your business.

Please read the helpful articles on http://www.google.com/webmasters/

Tomorrow, in part 2, I will blog about keywords, keyword tools, PPC and some other SEO features and functions.

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