For most people SEO could mean just about anything, and Search Engine Optimisation seems almost as vague. So, what is it, and why should I need to know about it?

Well, it is simply the practise of making sure everything is done to your website so that it has the best chance to be in the results on a search engine search.

And why would you need someone to do that? Today we see an ever increasing reliance on web based search engines for all our information requests. Do you even open your yellow pages or do you simply hop online to do a search through google or yahoo? Now with the iPhone even more people are simply using their phones web connection to do searches.

If you are not in the results, people simply won’t know you are there or be able to find you.

The search engines keep it a secret how their software works for sorting results, so it is an ongoing requirement to keep on top of your search engine optimisation. There is no magic bullet or secret to get to the valued number 1 spot in all the search engines.

Although you can get a book on SEO, the engines change so much and so quickly, even a book that is six months old may be out of date and useless for SEO. (or worse give you a negative result from it’s advice!)

To select a SEO firm, make sure they have a process in place for measuring results, and are able to show positive gains for previous clients. I remember a client coming to me saying the other design agency had simply told the client to ‘make a blog, that’s what the search engines need to rank you highly’ it was a terrible piece of advice they got, and one that didn’t reflect the needs of the client whatsoever. My advice was to find a specialist in Search Engine Optimisation and talk to them about what sort of package they could offer to them. (without the need for the business to generate a blog that they didn’t need, want, or have the time to maintain.)

Having a specialist in the field look over your website can show up simple errors or things that can be fixed to help push up your ranking simply by having it done right whereas your competition may not have it done in the right way for the search engines.