What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. The goal is to achieve better rankings in search engines like Google and Bing. This involves making your website "search engine-friendly," and promoting your website through various marketing efforts.
On-site SEO involves making your website readable to search engine spiders. A spider is an automated program that reads your website. It sends the information back to the search engine so they can determine how to rank your site. Doing a good job with on-site SEO will help the search engines know what your site is all about so you can be found for the right keywords. For example, if Google's spider finds words like, "car," "repair", and "detroit" on your site, they're likely to categorize your business as a car repair shop in Detroit. On the other hand, if all those important words are in images, the spider won't be able to read them and search engines won't know what your website is about. In short, make sure you use keywords on your website that are relevant to the products/services you offer.
This involves having other websites link to your website. This serves two purposes: 1) You can receive referall traffic from related websites, and 2) If another website links to you, it counts as a vote for your website. When search engines find many links to a website, they know it must be a decent site. Getting links from websites similar to yours will help increase your ranking in the search engines.
SEO is simple to understand, if you've got the time to learn it. You can do your own SEO. However, most companies only have enough time to do basic SEO that produces only meager results. Hiring a consultant can save you the time of learning SEO from the ground up. They can show you what specifically your website needs, saving you hours of research. They can create a strategy that will help you use your time effectively. This planning can be invaluable for your business.