Have you ever looked at an online card shop and wondered why they have links to their competitors? SEO is the reason why.
What the heck is SEO?
When running an online business SEO is an acronym you need to know. If you walk through the Computer section of your local book store you'll most likely find numerous books on this topic. There are also people out there making a living at it. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In short, it's the practice of getting your website favorable listings in the search engines such as Google.
If you're selling cards through Ebay or if you don't view your website as critical to your business for some reason then you probably don't have to worry about SEO. However, if your primary (only) method of sales is through your website then SEO is probably the most important thing you can do.
There is a lot to it so I'm going to break this down in a couple shorter blogs and I'll try to avoid all the technical boring stuff.
The best way for me to explain it is to describe what I've gone through with www.sandlotcards.com. When I was ready to go live with my site I told the search engines about it. Along with that, I suggested keywords and phrases that I expected people to type into their searches when looking for a site like mine. The keywords were be something like 'buying baseball cards', 'sports cards', 'hockey cards', etc. (I avoided terms like 'singles' because I didn't want to get listed as a dating site). Then I sat back and waited to find my site on page 1 of the search engines. And much to my surprise, I started finding my site listed.......on page 29 of Google.
How many times have you typed something like 'baseball cards' into a search engine and then looked at page 29 of the results to find a card shop? That should tell you how many hits my site was getting once it was finally listed. So I started researching what I needed to do to improve my 'ranking' and that's when I discovered the term SEO.
(It's getting late so I'll pick this up in another blog entry. Feel free to let me know if you want me to add more technical details about this topic otherwise I'll continue to give a broad overview).