As a business owner with a website and an online presence, wouldn’t you like to appear first whenever a customer searches Google for something related to your products or services? If you don’t already appear on the first page of Search Engine Results Pages (SERP), you likely are not performing SEO marketing.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it is one of the most important forms of digital marketing available to businesses. In many regards, having or not having strong SEO can make or break your business.
Consider when you are searching Google for something; how often do you click past the first SERP? Or consider how often you look at a top listing and notice that the page’s description is cut off with “…”? Understanding SEO is the key to understanding search engine user behavior.
What is SEO?
The overall goal of SEO is to have your website appear first whenever a search engine user searches for one of your keywords. For example, if you are an Indian restaurant in Kuala Lumpur and a user searches “indian food KL”, you want to appear first.
To appear first, your website and the data you make available needs to be optimized for the search engine you think your customers are going to use. For most, this is Google. In an instant, Google will “crawl” the internet for the keywords a user searches. It will then amass all the pages that contain those keywords and rank them according to how valuable it thinks they are.
Google determines value through complex algorithms, but it is very transparent about how the algorithm works. Using that knowledge and updating your website and marketing strategies to play into Google’s algorithms is SEO marketing. Everything from the content on your page to how your meta description and page titles look on Google is part of SEO marketing.
Get Long-Lasting Results with SEO Marketing
Google is constantly updating how their algorithms work and what they value, but generally, the changes are tweaks as opposed to global revisions. Despite the constant changes, Google has a duty to its users to highly rank the best website based on the search terms. Because of this, marketers and business owners need to make their websites the best they can be.
By performing SEO marketing, you not only optimize your website for Google rankings, but you also improve your website for your customer’s benefit.
SEO vs SEM
The type of SEO marketing discussed above is considered “organic” marketing since it is performed free of charge. One other main type of SEO marketing is called Search Engine Marketing, or SEM.
SEM differs from SEO because a website will pay the search engine to have an ad appear atop a SERP. You may have noticed these ads on Google; they look almost identical to a normal search result, but with a little more detail and a small indicator that says “ad”.
As paid marketing, SEM is instant and effective but lacks the longevity and cost-effectiveness of SEO. Luckily, marketers don’t have to choose which type of SEO marketing they wish to perform – they can do both!