At this point, most businesses with an online presence understand the value of having an optimized website. The emerging industry of search engine optimization is providing the online market with a new way to be found by your target audience and, hopefully, potential customers. But in this time of belt tightening, there are a number of businesses who can’t afford the services of skilled SEO firms and they adopt a “Do-It-Yourself” mentality. Other decision-makers who choose to employ a third-party SEO company just like to know exactly what they are paying for. Either way, there is a learning curve involved with search engine optimization, especially because of its constant evolution with the web. There is a certain amount of time and energy required to bring yourself up to speed, in order to succeed in SEO. No matter the size of your business, or how you want to go about your SEO implementation, there is a basic foundation of knowledge you need to learn, in order to succeed online. Here are some insightful tips that can help you get started.

2. Learn Who To Trust

There is a lot of advice out there, and not all of it is good. Just like any other marketing niche, SEO has some shady individuals that will take you for the proverbial ride. But, there are some trustworthy sources that will give you a quick run-through of the basics of SEO and SEM. Check out SEOmoz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO for a good place to start. Take a few hours and learn the basics. This will raise your preliminary knowledge to a level where you can make an educated decision. This can also make the task of choosing a trustworthy SEO company much easier. If you are DIY, then it will give you a great start on optimizing your own site.

3. Learn What Your Customers Search For

Google has this great resource called Google AdWords Keyword Tool, that will give you great keyword ideas for your website and business. Enter in the keywords or terms that you think your target audience and customers are searching for the most, or how you think they would describe your business, and AdWords will tell you how they are performing. You want to optimize for the keywords and terms that Google shows a lot of volume for, but not a lot of competition.

4. Create a Web Presence, Not Just a Site

Did you know that you can submit your business information to Google’s Local Business Center, Yahoo Local, and now Bing Local to get found in local search? You can also start business profiles on social media sites like Facebook Twitter, Yelp or start a blog using Drupal, a free and easy open source platform that has tons of free and affordable themes. Check out Top Notch Themes for great ideas.

The education needed to succeed with SEO can be done with a little time and effort. If you are a smaller business, then it may be optimal for your budget to DIY. But if you don’t have the resources or capacity, then you will only be doing yourself a disservice.

Volacci is the leading Drupal SEO company and very passionate about your online success. By the end of your contract you will have at least as much additional business from your web site as you spend on our services… or we’ll work for free until you do.