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Search engine optimization consists of all the tactics, strategies and efforts to ensure that your website will show up in the top of Google when searchers look for one of your target phrases (and the research to determine exactly what the target phrases should be). It also refers to the same efforts to ensure this with Yahoo/bing (however, most people focus on Google given that it accounts for approximately 70% of all searches.)


  • Find the best search phrases to target

  • Ensure that your website shows up at the top of Google when the search phrases you’re targeting are searched for


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Finding the correct search phrases to target is normally done through proprietary software. The goal is to examine historical search volume and trends to determine what search phrases are searched for the most, have the most commercial intent, and are the easiest to impact using search engine optimization techniques.

The perfect search phrase has lots of people typing it into Google, results in great leads or purchases, and has little competition from others trying to perform search engine optimization for the same phrase.

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Without some ability to do this research, it is very difficult (impossible) to determine whether “raleigh nail salon”, “raleigh nail salons”, or “raleigh manicure” is the best search phrase to target. Choosing the wrong one could result in a waste of time and resources

After the search phrases are decided on (normally 1-3 are picked as targets), the actual search engine optimization process can be started. The easiest way to describe it is as a popularity contest where the “votes” are links from other sites. So, at its simplest form, the site that has the most links from other sites will be highest in the search engine rankings.

There is more to it in that not all links are equally counted, and HOW you create the links impacts the search phrases you rank for,however, a popularity contest is a good way to think of it.

The ability to get the best links from other sites in the best way is what determines success in search engine optimization.


  • New customers – Search engine optimization is typically a great way to attract new customers as people search for products and services that they’re interested in and will come across your site

  • Keep existing customers – Not normally as powerful here, however, many people use Google as their yellow pages/ address book. For example, a searcher (in Raleigh North Carolina) may be an existing customer of Nancy’s nail salon who wants to make her next appointment.

Instead of having the salon’s number handy, she searches for “raleigh nail salon” assuming Nancy’s will pop right up. If it does, everything is great for Nancy. Otherwise, if some other place shows up, she may be tempted to try elsewhere.

  • Increase revenue from each sale – There is usually not much of an impact here from search engine optimization.