For businesses, you’re not the only one searchable on the internet, so are millions of other businesses around the globe. You’ve gone from having a small, local business that was only accessible to people in a town to be able to service anyone on the planet. So how do you make sure people can find you in a crowded virtual marketplace? With SEO!

If you’re new to SEO or you want to refresh your skills, we’ve put together a guide to help you maximize your SEO potential. But first, let’s go over the basics.

How Search Engines Identify the Best Results-

Before you can begin to optimize your website and other content for search engines, you need a basic understanding of search engine functionality. Search engines use an automated system that relies on an extremely complex set of mathematical formulas known as algorithms. Algorithms are, at the simplest level, conditions or rules that then build on each other to become more sophisticated and produce the desired results. At the start of the internet age, search algorithms were much simpler, and unfortunately, open to exploitation or abuse. Today’s search algorithms are much more sophisticated and nuanced. Algorithms won’t fall for simple keyword stuffing techniques anymore.

 SEO Is Mysterious, But Not Impossible to Understand-

The biggest challenge with finding ways to increase your ranking on search an engine is that Google isn’t telling anyone exactly what works and what don’t. While Google itself has some suggestions on how to improve search rankings, the key pieces of information, such as what their algorithms are and what they are looking for, are trade secrets that Google won’t share with anyone. So while they provide good, general advice they do not tell you precisely what variables will raise or lower your ranking.

There’s no denying that now when most people want to find something, their reflex is to go looking for it online. Using a telephone to call up information, or even resorting to the old standbys like the thick “Yellow Pages” phone books are things of the past. Why go through all that when you can pull out your Smartphone and type or even verbally ask a question and get an instant answer from a search engine like Google?

Collecting Results-

If you don’t have the company funds or qualified staff to do this, that doesn’t mean that you’ll never know how effective your SEO efforts are. It’s quite feasible for any business, medium, small, or otherwise, to conduct a test for the effectiveness of SEO practices. The best way to conduct an SEO test involves having time and a “test area.” You don’t want to severely hurt your main website since that would harm your potential business. The best way to conduct an SEO test involves having time and a “test area.” You don’t want to severely hurt your main website since that would harm your potential business. So, if you can designate a part of your site as an area where you can conduct tests, that is a safer option. The other thing you should be willing to do is to invest time. The more time you devote to a test, the more data you will get and the better your results will be.