What is SEO and why should your company care?

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If you run a business that has a website, you've probably heard the term "SEO".  SEO stands for "Search engine optimization" and refers to the art/science of making your website more attractive to search engines like Google.  By optimizing your site for search engines, you increase the chances of potential customers finding you on the internet because your site will appear in more search results.

SEO might sound intimidating, but it can pay off in big ways.  The last company I worked for increased website traffic by over 1000% in less than a year by using some basic SEO tactics.  Less Annoying Software is still very young, but we're starting to see more and more traffic coming from Google and it may very well end up being our main source of leads eventually.  Oh, and it's completely free so you can build a self-sustaining source of free leads.

Hopefully you're convinced that SEO is worth looking into, but what exactly do you need to do?  There are tons of different things you can work on, but here's one example of what you might do to get started:

Change the title of your homepage

The text that shows up in the top bar of your web browser when you're looking at a website is called the page "title". Google pays close attention to page titles, so you want to make sure that yours uses the right keywords.  

For example, our home page originally had the title "Less Annoying Software Home Page", but then we realized that no one is fighting for the keywords "Less Annoying Software" on Google.  We were the #1 result either way, so we changed the title to help us show up in more relevant searches.  Now the title of our homepage is "Easy Online Customer Management Software".  That's probably still not perfect, and over time we'll work to improve it.

Hopefully that gives you a good idea of what SEO is.  There's a lot more to it than just changing your titles, but it's all about making Google show your page when people search for keywords relevant to your business.

Now the question is if SEO is right for your company.  If you have a website, there's no question that it's worth it to at least work on some basic SEO.  You can dramatically improve the searchability of your website in just a few hours.  The real question is how much SEO is right for your company.  Well, that's outside the scope of this post, but I hope to address that down the road.  If you find this topic interesting, let me know in the comments and I'll spend more time on it.

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