Essential SEO Principles for Small Businesses

SEO Business Internet Marketing

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a marketing strategy which focuses on tailoring your website so that it can attain the best possible position in search engine rankings. SEO is a growing field and is becoming increasingly essential to the success of modern businesses. However, despite its growing importance, SEO is still relatively unknown to the general public, and even those who are familiar with it tend to have a poor grasp of its basic principles. In this article we will discuss several of these principles and explain why SEO is vital to the success and growth of your business.

The Google Algorithm

Before discussing the basics of SEO strategy, it is necessary to give a cursory look at the so-called Google Algorithm. The Google Algorithm is the mechanism by which sites (and website pages) are ranked to determine their order in searches. The algorithm is highly complex and is modified on a regular basis so as to prevent the accumulation of too much knowledge of its functioning. For the scope of this article, it is enough to say that this algorithm plays a central role in SEO and so business owners should at least be conscious of it.

Link Building

Regardless of whatever changes are made to the algorithm, one SEO strategy which is almost certain to remain effective is link building. Link building involves reaching out to other websites in an effort to receive links back to one’s own site. This is achieved through a variety of means, but one of the most common means is through content sharing (i.e. contributing material to the foreign site). Link building is predicated on the fact that site authority is “shareable” in the sense that highly authoritative sites share their authority when they link to a different site — the algorithm treats this reference to another site as an endorsement of its content and so the other site is regarded favorably as a consequence. Link building requires a considerable amount of effort and knowledge to be done properly, but if it is done right it can be an extremely effective SEO tool.

Original Content

Along with link building, another bedrock principle every business owner should be aware of is the value of original content. Though things like keyword frequency, meta tags and social media promotion are undoubtedly important, the creation of original, high quality content is absolutely essential to the health of a site. The algorithm does not reward laziness; in fact, it punishes laziness. If a business owner tries to cut corners and pilfers content from a different site or from off the web, the algorithm will catch this and penalize the offending site accordingly. It is critically important that every business owner produce high quality, original content for each and every page of the company website. What’s more, new content should also be added on a continuing basis: if a site goes stagnant and fails to refresh itself with new content, this is regarded unfavorably.

The SEO Pyramid

By now, most readers can probably tell that it’s not possible to cover all of the principles of SEO in this article. In truth, SEO is a very involved field and requires a considerable amount of time to become well conversant with. But, along with the strategies identified above, there is one other SEO fact which business owners must be aware of — this is the SEO pyramid. Business owners should look at SEO as a hierarchy of priorities: just as with a pyramid, they need a strong base, a solid middle and an apex. In the SEO pyramid, the base represents the content, the middle is occupied by keyword strategies, internal anchor text, on page targeting and link building, and the apex represents social media. When building your site, always be certain to construct a solid base and sturdy middle otherwise you may lose a competitive advantage.

To learn more, view the following webcast on SEO

Image credit: Surminga WN

You can learn more by viewing the following webcast


About the author

Seattle CPA+John Huddleston has written extensively on tax related subjects of interest to small business owners. He is a graduate of Washington State University and the University of Washington School of Law.

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