SEO is an acronym that is getting a lot of attention these days, but what is it, exactly? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it means taking steps to help the search engines not only find you, but also make it easy for them to categorize your site when they do find it. Companies and individuals alike pay a lot of money to have someone do SEO for them. Like the early days of the wild, wild west, there are no laws or rules to govern who can and cannot call themselves an SEO Specialist. And since the benefits are sometimes hard to quantify, most people can’t tell whether or not the person they have paid all of this money to is doing their job or not.

The first goal of SEO is to get your site indexed by Google. Yes, there are many other search engines, but the lion’s share of searching is done through Google, so if you want to be found by the majority of the searchers, you will need to be listed in Google’s index of websites. If you do nothing at all, you will probably get listed within 30 days. If you don’t want to wait that long, then you need to call attention to yourself. Sign up for a free service like and “amplify” your posts. This should get you indexed quickly.

The next goal of SEO is to tell Google what your site is about so they can classify you correctly. You do this in several different ways. One is to use a title that describes what you do or what you sell. Another is to have short, concise description of your website. Google will only show 120-130 characters, so you have to make your sales pitch short and sweet. The last way is to list your keywords, the words or phrases that you think people will use to search for you. For this one, you want to use every keyword or phrase you can think of, but don’t use words that don’t pertain to your website. For instance, the word “iPhone” gets lots of searches, but don’t add it to your keyword list unless your site really does have information about iPhones. Google will randomly visit sites looking for this, among other things. If they catch you doing it, they will drop you so far back in the rankings your own mother won’t be able to find you.

I know all of this sounds like it should cost a lot of money, but you can do it yourself for free if you are using WordPress software to create your website. There is one single plugin called All In One SEO that will handle the title, description and keywords, all on one easy to use screen. Simply fill in the blanks, leave the rest of the settings on the default selection, and you are good to go. In one fell swoop, you have told Google everything they need to know about your website.

There are other, more in-depth techniques that can be used to reach the number one spot in Google’s search engine results, but installing the All In One SEO plugin and signing up for (and using!) an account will put you ahead of the majority of small business owners that put up a website then sit back and wait for the world to find them.