SEO is an important part of building your business. Understanding search engine optimization is critical for business owners.

If you are a small business owner, you’re likely wearing many different hats as you work to build your company. You’ve probably researched “web design” in an effort to get online and advertise your services or products.

Many small business owners are lured in by ads and companies promising that you can build your own website for free or nearly free, only to find that indeed, you get what you pay for.

The reality is that while creating a website may seem simple, actually getting people to visit your site and ranking in search engines is much more complicated. Even if you have a great looking site, if potential customers aren’t using it, it’s not doing you any good.

You’ve probably heard of search engine optimization (SEO) and the importance of understanding it and incorporating it into your website design.

Here are some key points that every small business owner should know about SEO and web design:

You Must Choose Your Words Carefully

While images and fonts are important to overall website design, the words (copy) that you use on your site play a critical role in SEO. You must plan for each page to have clear, concise and compelling copy on every page of your website.

In addition to great copy on your pages, you also need to make sure that you are adding relevant keywords to each post that is added to your page. SEO titles and meta descriptions should always include the appropriate key-word phrases in order to attain great search results.

URLs matter in the world of SEO. Make sure yours contains your domain name as well as keywords in each URL. This will maximize your search engine results.

Having a skilled content or copy writer is often the most effective way to boost your SEO results.

Good Things Take Time

Be wary of SEO services that offer you immediate results. The truth is that building your SEO takes time and effort and cannot be done overnight. Having a realistic expectation of how long it takes SEO to work is crucial to your business planning.

By creating a dedicated content calendar and updating your website regularly with blog posts, you will be consistently submitting to search engines and your SEO results will grow over time.

A good rule of thumb is that you need eight to twelve months of a dedicated SEO plan and content creation to get you increased SEO traffic and more importantly, results. Remember, if you are getting website visitors, but not converting customers, your SEO isn’t working for you.

SEO can be confusing to understand and time consuming. Many design firms and social media professionals offer SEO optimization services that drill down into the details of what your particular business needs in order to get good SEO results and can study the results to assure you are getting the SEO that you need to grow your business.