If you’ve talked with anyone about making an online marketing plan in recent years, you’ve probably heard the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and how important it is in internet marketing communications. That is, unless you did what many people do: assume it’s too complicated, insert fingers in ears and hum loudly.

While SEO can be complex if you’re a huge, publicly-traded corporation under pressure to convert every visitor into a sale, it can be pretty simple. Basically, SEO is matching what’s on your site with what people are looking for.

To practice basic SEO, ask yourself three questions:

  1. What do I think people are searching for? Think of the questions people ask when they need you. Those are the same questions they’re typing into Google, so include those questions in your website text (i.e. “How do I …?”).
  2. How can I best answer my customers’ questions? Write content that provides detailed answers. Don’t disappoint visitors by just listing questions followed by only your contact information. They shouldn’t have to call unless they’re ready to do business.
  3. How else can people find my site besides Google? Use social media to drive visitors back to your site. Include links to your website’s pages often. Also, consider asking if you can write an article for someone else’s blog. Hire a writer if you need to. The point is to have plenty of links out there sending people to your site.

If you want to get a little more technical, you can explore Google AdWords. It has a free tool that generates lists of common Google search phrases so you can include those terms – like “marketing communications” – on your site.

Want to know more about SEO? Just ask.