Each week, we publish a mishmash of ecommerce related, insight infused articles for you to smash through. Just as we collect business information across all of a merchant’s channels in a single place, we’re doing the same for ecommerce related content from a variety of top tier content creators. If you find the material filling your appetite for knowledge, feel free to share this post, as well as any article you see here.

Namaste, and no, this isn’t your yoga class. This is a self-help post covering the basics of SEO, that frustrating marketing practice that makes even the most mentally sound merchant jittery and irritated. It sometimes seems overcomplicated, it occasionally seems hopeless, but it’s always going to be an essential part of your small business’ well being.

Uncovering the Meaning of SEO

For many small business, SEO is the essence of their marketing’s life, but understanding it can be just as complicated as real life. For a holistic view of what it’s all about – from keywords, to site audits – read over this article by Ecommerce Platforms for all you need to know about SEO. It’s pretty in depth, plus it has pictures to walk you through tools like Google Keyword Tool, Moz’s Open Site Explorer, and more.

Take a Long, Hard Look at Your Long Tail SEO

If you’ve got a long face every time you view your ranking in the engines, long tail SEO might be something to consider. Practical Ecommerce defines what long tail SEO means for your business, and how you can go about giving it some TLC. While a good chunk of your keywords will likely be popular ones, such as basic products like “computer,” or “tank tops,” specific keywords should make up your long tail SEO that captures clear-cut searches, like “lightweight cheap computer.”

Finding Internal Linking Peace

There are tremendous benefits to internal linking from both an SEO and content perspective (the latter is also a key part of your SEO strategy!), but scattering a bunch of links around your site isn’t all that effective. For maximizing each internal link’s impact on your site and SEO, Econsultancy has your back. Whether it’s a customer feature or a page of cat gifs, some content is better than others, emphasize your best content through internal linking. It’s also important that you go about the proper housekeeping as you link, and that means having specific anchor text, proper URLs, and more.

Facing a Changing SEO World

Facebook itself has become somewhat of a miniature (although massive) search engine – businesses, locations, and products are all over the site with consumers searching for them as if it were Google. Search Engine Land covers the pros and cons of Facebook Local Search, and why you may want to give it some attention. Above all, Facebook has an advantage compared to other forms of search in that it knows what its users already like, which may help it tailor searches to businesses, specific posts, or products.

An Existential SEO Threat

But for all your search engine optimizing, a giant marketplace casts its shadow over the rankings, capturing 44% of all searches in a study of 2,000 consumers by BloomReach. All small businesses are familiar with the daunting challenge Amazon poses to them, but there definitely is a way to take them out of the picture: personalization. Consumers are willing and eager to purchase from businesses that are personalized, with 87% of the respondents saying so. Whether that means highly engaging content, brand tailored products, a niche focus, or a user experience that puts Amazon’s structured website to shame, it’s a competitive edge worth pursuing.