Do you own a small business? Are you interested in SEO and want to use online channels to drive sales and revenue for your business?
While many business owners want search engine traffic they don’t understand the fundamentals that enable websites to “work” online.
The danger in that the lack of knowledge is that it can lead to a very uninformed decision when selecting SEO services or working on an SEO strategy.
Here is a list resources small business owners interested in search engine marketing should read first, before engaging in an SEO strategy or hiring an SEO consultant. I would bet the bulk of this material could be read and worked through in less than a week’s time.
An HTML Tutorial
HTML is the foundation for how web pages are built. While it’s true that most sites incorporate more advanced programming than HTML, there are always core properties of a web page, rooted in traditional HTML.
How Web Servers Work
Being able to build a web page is one skill, but actually publishing and managing a website is another. We (those writing about SEO) often forget many business owners don’t have much familiarity with an HTTP response, FTP transfers or the DNS settings of a domain. This tutorial will give a business owner the high level overview with enough detail to answer some of the common web administration questions that arise.
Choosing a Web Host
Taking the time to research hosting packages may seem trivial, since there is a variety of low-cost providers competing for a company’s business. However, the wrong web hosting package may impact the ability for you – or an SEO specialist – to build an SEO friendly website.
I’d like to write a post on how SEO can be impacted by the selection of a web hosting package shortly, but here are 2 articles on selecting the right hosting service from a business perspective.
- How to Choose a Web Host – a high level overview and quick read.
- Best Practices for Choosing a Web Host – a more in-depth analysis from CNET (a bit dated but covers material in a more detailed manner).
Search Engine & Search Engine Optimization Tutorials
Before getting absorbed in top 10 SEO tips posts and “SEO success in 10 seconds”, invest in learning how search engines work and how the technology has evolved to what it is today. It’s important to understand why specific variables – on the web page and connected to the web page – impact a website’s visibility in search engine results and how these variables have changed over time.
These 2 resources are old (by Internet standards) and somewhat dated but will give the new user an understanding of the evolution of the SEO industry. At the least, it should initiate better questions and discussion when evaluating a proposed SEO strategy.
The Long Term Investment in SEO
Small business owners do not need to master these tutorials to be successful with SEO but they should familiarize themselves with the information. Even if the decision has already been made to hire a consultant to handle the SEO strategy, understanding the core fundamentals of web design, web administration and search engine technology will allow for better decision-making in the hiring & evaluation process.
- Prequel to the SEO Playbook – What To Do Before You Take The Red Pill
- How To Create Search Engine Friendly Websites
- What Should Be Evaluated With Each Link Opportunity
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