So let’s get started by talking about SEO. I love SEO because while it may sound complicated and can get complicated, it’s actually very easy to implement and to meet the minimum threshold for a pretty big return. SEO stands for search engine optimization which means optimizing your website so that search engines can 1) find it or “index it” 2) determine its relevancy based upon the content of your website so that 3) they can rank your website in search results. SEO has become more and more important in the last few years which really raises the bar for website quality. The reason search engine traffic is so valuable is because users are actively seeking for information or a product and if your website shows up on the first page of search results, you will get essentially “free” website traffic which turns into sales. There are 5 things that you can do today to get started with SEO. First, look at your product line & determine what keywords people are using to describe your product. Create a short list of keywords that strike a balance between competitive (e.g. Designer Jeans) and detailed (e.g. Seven for all Mankind Flynt Jeans). Remember that you don’t have to cover every single product – again this goes back to figuring out what’s your area of expertise? Or, what can you create content on? Once you have the keyword list – you can then create meta tags. Meta tags tell search engines what your website is all about. They include page title & page description. Remember to create meta tags for each page. If you have the ability to do so – customize your URLs to be specific, keyword targeted. Search engine consider URLs also to be an important indicator of what your website is all about. Because search engines want to provide the best experience for the user, they look at the amount of content on your website that should again be targeted based on your initial set of keywords as well as external links pointing back to your website. The more external links from relevant, valuable websites, the better. One way of getting these back links is by creating external content – whether it’s via a blog, content site like eHow or directory listing. This is why social media which I’ll speak to next, has risen in prominence. I’ve included some of my favorite websites which have free and extremely useful tools to help you get started on selecting your keywords and furthering your SEO education. Google Insights is very cool because it can tell you trends in what people are searching for so that you can feature or perhaps even sell the right products during the right season. So when you’re looking to build a website – make sure you find one that allows you to easily edit your meta tags and content so that you can be flexible with running promotions according to selling trends. Also, it’s important to avoid “Black Hat” tactics such as keyword stuffing, link buying and copying someone else’s content. That’s why if you do decide to use an outside SEO agency or contractor – ask them specifically about their tactics.