What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) is a process of making your website more visible to search engines.
The most popular search engine at the moment is Google, so they are the ones we generally need to be concerned with, since most of the others tend to follow suit. Google generally works on the principle of links and keywords.
The more links you have to and from what Google consider to be "reputable websites", the better, especially if they are related to the products you sell. So link exchanges with non-competitors can be useful, especially if you have content that could be considered as "advice".
Also think about the way you name the pages on your site and the words you use to link through to them. For example: "click here" says nothing about the page you are linking to, where as "more dresses" tells both Google and your user what is on the next page.
Keywords are the words that are most relevant to the content on the page in question. So when writing your articles or describing content, try to think about search terms that your customers might type in and work them naturally into the text.
Google provide a free keyword tool on their Adwords website which can help to determine what people actually search, this isn't always what you might expect.
Above all, make sure that your website is useful. If you're website is both useful and user friendly, people will come back and tell their friends about it. Social networking can be useful in that respect. Facebook particularly provide a lot of tools you can use to make it easy for your visitors to share with their friends. As any business knows, word of mouth is still the best form of advertising.
Need more information?
In this article, we're really only touched the surface of what is an increasingly complicated and ever-changing process. As you might expect, SEO is an ongoing process, not just a "quick fix". Although there are certainly key principles that you should use, there is also a lot of trial and error involved.
We are developing our SEO services at present and working alongside our clients so that they get the best out of the websites. If you are interested in optimising your website, please get in touch.
For more advice on SEO, the best place to start with SEO is to go to Google themselves. See their starter guide here: http://www.google.com/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf