By Chieu Cao, Huddlebuy.co.uk

Many small businesses and start ups need to rely on innovative ways to attract traffic, and good SEO can be the most important way to do this. There are three main areas that influence the SEO ranking of a website.

1. Code

Search engines send out web crawlers to find relevant information that relay into web results. These crawlers, also called Web spiders, use things called backlinks - essentially code that is not visible to visitors to your site - to find keywords and bits of code that categorise websites. These web crawlers are constantly being updated and the search engines are savvy enough to filter out any blatant code manipulation. So no, adding long lists of keywords at the bottom of your homepage is not going to help, sadly!

2. Links

Google gives more prominence to sites that have incoming links from respected sites. This naturally happens when a site has good content, deals and reasons for other sites to link to, but you can help enhance the natural evolution of your site's links by making connections on social media platforms such as twitter and getting involved in online forums. Links from other sites add weight to your own - and a 'heavy' site is more likely to be found by search engines than its 'lighter' peers.

3. Content

Good SEO starts with good content. This means adding relevant and fresh product descriptions, articles and blog entries. Providing people with unique, relevant and well-written content means that the visitors you attract to your site will stay there, hopefully find the information you've provided of use, which will make them want to come back, or even do business with you.

If you don't have the technical know-how to do this yourself, which most small businesses will not, it's worth shopping around to find a trustworthy agency that can help you with your SEO.

About The Author

Chieu Cao is a co-founder of online group buying site for small businesses, Huddlebuy.co.uk. He has 10 years of digital marketing, product management and eCommerce experience working for Microsoft, Yahoo! and Amazon, and has most recently been consulting small businesses on digital marketing and strategy.