SEO (search engine optimization) is a powerful and essential thing in today’s market, and yet it conjures up a misleading image in the minds of most – a complex mesh of code, keywords and internet catchphrases that sounds as if it can never be unraveled.

While SEO isn’t exactly a simplistic process, it is possible to do without spending boatloads of cash. Social media has contributed drastically to boosting SEO for business as well as the individual. What SEO does, without using a ton of complicated terms, is index keywords and web presence to shoot your business to the first page of search engine results.

Why is social media so important to SEO?

The greater your web presence, the higher-profile your business. If you Google my name, for example, the entire first page of results comes up with my modeling portfolio, my LinkedIn, and a bunch of my music sites and profiles. If you Google Maenad Creative, same thing, along with some pages on the Greek myth. But a larger problem is at play here: most people won’t be looking for you specifically. They will be looking for a specific product or service that they want or need, and that’s where social media and a well-written website comes into play.

What every business wants is to offer a product or service that will appear front-page when someone looks for what you’re offering. To that end, you need thorough knowledge of how keyword indexing works (or an employee or contractor who does), of how to appeal to a local audience (for starters, at least), and how to utilize that foundation to expand your business and thus your profits. When I started out in social media, I had a few local fans in my home state of RI for my music projects. Six years later, my fan base has spread all the way down the east coast and across the pond to Europe. Music is a tough field to make a profit in, no doubt, but during that time I’ve gone from paying for my art to seeing my art pay for itself to actually making a profit (something I feel extremely fortunate to be able to experience!).

How long does it take to see an increase in business?

Like they say in philosophy, it’s all relative. Some businesses take longer to see an increase depending on what they are offering, their location, and how well they utilize web tools. Some businesses garner attention very quickly, if they are offering a popular product or a very new and innovative service or product. An increase in business may take as little as a few months; it may take as long as a year or even two. It all depends on the aforementioned factors.