Start with the basics of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

< back to SEO 01 Course 


  • Understand the purpose of SEO.
  • Appreciate that for your web content to be found online, you need to continuously work at and monitor your SEO (it is a continuous habit, not a one-off task).
  • Check your website with 
  • Plan how to improve the score that awards you.
  • Implement your SEO plan and schedule continuous SEO maintenance.


When you do a Google search, how often do you click on results in the 2nd, 3rd, fourth, or later pages?
If you’re like most people, you overwhelmingly click results in the 1st page and ignore the rest… that 1st results page has a bright spotlight on it, and subsequent pages fade rapidly away in darkness.

So if your business in any way depends on people finding your products by searching online, you need to have your products showing on the first search results page.

This is not particularly difficult to achieve, but it does take an initial effort at optimising your content for search engines, and then continuous SEO maintenance.

How does this work, and where do you start?

Search algorithms like Google trawl the Internet and rank web pages based on a complicated set of rules. The higher a page’s ranking, the higher that page displays in online search results. Successful ranking is not accidental; billions of dollars are invested in search engine optimisation with hundreds of thousands of businesses and contractors selling their search engine optimisation expertise.
Fortunately for us, barcode resellers are relatively rare in most countries, and therefore in SEO we compete with a few large businesses and a scattering of small businesses.
So for us, that first results page is achievable!

“That which you can measure, you can improve”

Start by measuring your website SEO…

  1. Do a Google search for barcodes in your country and count how far down the list your web page results appear.
  2. Check your site with This free service scores your website SEO in a dashboard:

    It also measures your performance against a long list of parameters

This gives you a baseline. Now set a goal.

For example, “Within one month my website will be on the first page of Google search results.”

What does SEO success look like?

The most obvious measure is in Google Search ranking:

You’ve succeeded in SEO when you continuously display at the top of Google Searches for defined barcode-business words and phrases in your country.

An IBN member with no competition in a small country may achieve this with minor up-front effort. Other IBN members may get away with intermittent SEO tweaks to keep them at the top.

However, for all of us, putting effort into SEO is still worthwhile as it makes it more difficult for competition to gain a foothold if / when the competition arrives.
A strong web presence could even cause potential competition to back off and look for an easier business in which to secure market share.

For many IBN members the SEO task is more complex….

  • We face a lot of barcode-seller competition that jostles for position s in the rankings, and
  • Our customers have many options, so luring them to the point of purchase is complicated.

For us, getting a top search engine ranking takes a careful strategy and continuous effort.
Our success looks more like achieving a strategic array of SEO Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), that together keep us at the top of the rankings.

More information:

  • See this Dropbox page for actions that we’ve taken to actually achieve results:  Increasing Website Traffic
  • This Learning System has three levels of SEO courses: SEO 1 > SEO 2 > SEO 3 . We’ll be adding content to these over time, based on what has worked for IBN members.
  • Look online. The topic of SEO is extensively covered online, so you can choose your level of commitment, ranging from some web page dabbling to taking free and/or paid online courses.
  • If it’s worth your while to invest in SEO, you could also hire professional help from SEO companies or freelance contractors, or simply bribe your own teenager.
  • Google rules the web. 90% of web searches are on Google, so theoretically you should put 90% or more of your SEO effort into optimising for Google. To be practical, most businesses simply put all their SEO efforts into Google.