I recently launched a new business with my mom, gift•ify, kind of an offshoot of my current business, note•ify. In preparation for the launch, I have been researching Search Engine Optimization, aka SEO, tips and tricks. In addition to running these two businesses, I also do some website design for friends - I was art director and designer in the advertising world for 10 years prior to starting note•ify. Between the websites I was designing and coding, and my own new website, I thought I better brush up on SEO. Here are some basic tips I came across that I found to be helpful. Please note that I am not following all of my own advice, YET.
If you are offering a service, or you make something, do you have a photo of yourself on your website? People visiting your site like to see an actual person and get to know who you are. It's a trust thing (this will be a theme).
Do you update the website often, create new content, list new products, write blog posts? Search engines love new content; they are crawling the web for it. The more you have, the more they crawl your site, and the higher you fall in the search results.
Use Google+ Local
Have you claimed and customized your Google+ Local page? To play the game, you have to follow Google's 'rules'. Claim your page and add a description and some photos. Don't worry if you are a home-based business and you don't want your address to show. Once you verify your address, you can hide the actual street location.
Reviews and Testimonials
Have them. Solicit them. Good or bad, (hopefully they are good, if not, work on that) reviews help people trust you. Search engines view reviews as other people 'knowing' you, which means you are real, and they can put you higher in search results. You'll notice for some businesses (restaurants, dentists, etc.), their Yelp page comes up in the search results before their actual website. This is because Google trusts Yelp and wants to weigh them higher in the results.
When writing for your site, make sure to add descriptors such as 'eco-friendly San Francisco themed kraft paper note cards', instead of simply 'SF cards'. You need to distinguish yourself from others.
Hopefully this is a good starting point for creating some good SEO for your website, but if you need some more help, I recommend contacting Stormy Knight of Net 101, and she can get you on the best path for success.
Stormy Knight \ Net 101 \ firstname.lastname@example.org \ 707-490-4542