Learn about Google and Bing. No better places to start learning than at the sources, Google webmaster and Bing webmaster tools. I wrote a long post about Google SEO basics so instead of droning on about it here you can click the link if you so choose. Bing is similar except for the analytics integration Goog has going.
Besides Google and Bing. Give thought to other sources of real traffic or qualified traffic such as yp.com if you’re a local business or yelp.com if you’re a restaurant or other such local business. Hotfrog seems to do well on bing and after a little experimentation you’ll notice trends too. As for mapping beyong Google and Bing, one could try Yahoo Local and/or the iconic MapQuest.
Keyword Research. This falls under learn about Google & Bing but it bears repeating. Dont just add random keywords to your website, add “consumer keyword phrases”, or, the phrases people actually type into the search bar. Google(as a verb) “google keyword tool” for the only tool one really needs use. It’s purpose is to help AdWords users but it will help anyone with their research. Also, long tail keyword phrases are almost always appropriate in some form.
The Social Metric, whatever that means. People love Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Stumbleupon & Yelp. When someone leaves one of those sites and goes to yours it’s a plus. When someone leaves one of those sites and clicks through your website for a while, thats +++. Why do search companies use social measurement as a tool? People are creatures of habit and normally stay in their own small search bubble. If different people with no apparent social connection start liking and sharing the same thing, there is a good chance this ‘thing’ is actually real, useful and good… right?