Let’s begin with a simple example. Suppose your name is Al, and you own a small gourmet pizzeria in Durham called “Al’s Famous Slices.” Business is going okay, but you’re not getting many customers from outside your neighborhood. You do a quick Google search for “pizza durham” and your site is nowhere to be found — but three of your competitors are at the top of the list. Naturally, you want to remedy this situation as quickly as possible. How can you get your site to the top of the rankings?

The first lesson to learn with SEO is that there are no silver bullets, because SEO is a process. To understand why, we will explain some of the basics of search engine optimization in this section.