Search Engine Optimization – SEO Overview
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization is a marketing tool used to promote your website. Traditionally, SEO could be broken down to 2 parts – organic SEO and paid SEO.
Organic SEO refers to the non-sponsored search results – the organic search engine results pages that rank your website’s content, structure and relevance against the search query (the search query being the keyword phrase typed into the search box).
Paid SEO is the sponsored search results, more clearly indicate at Google, for example, by the boxed top and right sections. These are advertising spaces that you pay for, through paid SEO, which is more commonly Search Engine Marketing.
Through Search Engine Marketing, such as Google’s AdWords program, you can:
- run advertising campaigns in text, graphic or video mediums;
- build a relevant keyword list, set a bid for each keyword (because search marketing is an auction), and select your target market by geographic location and/or other demographic such as age range;
- run your ads on the search engine results pages, other Google properties, such as YouTube, or other website that are not Google properties, but participate in their Display Network through AdSense.
Your paid SEO campaigns are designed around a purpose, much like any other marketing plan or advertising campaign – you set your ad schedule and your budget, or you can build your brand by increased exposure. For most small businesses, a regular monthly advertising campaign can bring new visits and increase sales using a pay-per-click model. But for new businesses, industry leaders, innovators or new business goals and products, the pay-per-impression campaign model will produce the brand exposure goal of the advertising campaign, which should align with organic search engine optimization goals, and be accompanied by other traditional and innovative marketing techniques.
- increasing and modifying website content and markup to match or exceed the leading competitions efforts,
- build online credibility through a vertical SEO campaign,
- increase website exposure with a local search campaign and
- implement monitoring tools to measure your campaign’s success.
It might sound easy, but businesses have built entire marketing divisions to fulfill these requirements and employ information technology personnel to ensure that their website technology makes the marketing campaign possible. This view of large corporations structure, status and success leads to the argument that marketing should be managed by advertising/marketing professionals and website technology should be handled by technology professionals, which has already been covered by countless blog entries and the ensuing and unending opinionated comments.
Attempting an organic SEO campaign on your own can be done, provided you have the knowledge, dedication and capability to perform the work and understand the results because organic SEO doesn’t cost anything but your $time, $patience and sometimes $frustration. Often small business owners are frustrated and dissatisfied because SEO is an entirely separate business from their own.
Business owners should be available to run their business and be professionals in their industry, investing their time and efforts in other integral parts of their business that others cannot do. Additionally, if the business runs it self well, business owners can be responsible for building a following and building credibility through advisement, consulting, customer support, becoming a resource in a forum, managing social updates, feeds and website or blog content.
As the business owner, you know more about your company, industry and services than anyone – make sure your company’s marketing goals align with business goals by sharing information and generating ideas with your small businesses services’ teams and representatives.