1000s of new web domains are launched each day on the internet, each with the hope of striking the big-time. On the internet, as in offline businesses, most of these new sites will fail to achieve their intended and desired goals. Much too numerous new webmasters do not know what they are doing, uploading sites without doing the proper research, and doing the appropriate preparation. There are also a lot of website owners who don’t appreciate what search engine optimization (SEO) is, how it can help, and how to execute it properly.
I accept some sites are successful in spite of this shortcoming, but these are the exceptions rather than the rule. To improve the chances of your website’s success, you will need to put in a bit of effort into doing SEO properly.
When SEO is at the heart of the web venture, it will give you a significant edge over your competitors and unlike many other things you will spend your money on, SEO will nearly always have a positive return on any investment you make in it. It should be stressed here, that nothing and no one can guarantee your site’s rankings within the major search engines. That said however, applying some proven SEO techniques should see your rankings get better in Google, and the other top search engines such as Yahoo and Bing.
Much too many times, website owners think of search engine optimization merely as an afterthought, often long after their sites have been launched. Failing to understand the long-term benefits that SEO can lend to your site, while not a life and death situation, will guarantee that you are not benefiting as much from your website as you could.
Depending on the size and classification of your organisation, and website, there are certain groups of people who should be involved in SEO for your website. These can include the Marketing, as well as the IT departments. For many small sites, these functions are carried out by just one person, usually the webmaster. In most larger organisations though, it is usual to find numerous people in each department working on, and involved with the website’s SEO. Increasingly companies will hire SEO specialists to assist them get their SEO efforts perfectly right.
Generally speaking, search engine optimization can be thought of as the sum of all the work required to produce large amounts of targeted hits from search engines, third party websites, and web directories. Its utmost goal is to make the target website popular. That’s the sum and total of it in truth. SEO will involve analysis both internally, and also of third party websites. Getting the correct website development and architecture is as important as back linking.
Understanding your competition will require analysis of competing sites, and keyword research, leading to the appropriate content development and promotion. This last bit is very important, since a large component of SEO is building the right content, *and* getting people to link to you. The importance of content cannot be stressed enough, but similarly, neither can the importance of increasing the number of incoming links to pages on your website, particularly for search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Search engine marketing (SEM) on the other hand, refers mainly to the use of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns on search engines. The most popular example of this, is Google’s AdWords program. SEO and SEM do share a few common elements, however they are different. PPC advertising is generally understood to be much easier to put into place, usually delivering new visitors to your site in minutes. Therefore, many online website owners sometimes confuse SEO with SEM. Doing this however, could be very expensive.
SEO is not free. It does take work and effort, and it can be expensive too. That said though, it is pretty much the cheapest way of driving traffic to your website available today. SEO also has the benefits of delivering long term traffic and value to your site. SEM stops delivering the minute you stop paying for your PPC adverts. SEO on the other hand, will continue to deliver visitors to your site long after your initial efforts.