Understanding Search Engine Optimization can be a daunting task for any small businesses. How does it affect your business? What are the advantages of search engine optimization? How do you go about choosing an SEO Company and most importantly, how do you measure results?
This and more are the questions we seek to answer in this Complete Guide to Search Engine Optimization for Small Business we created. Below is an excerpt from the book.
Enjoy your reading!!!
What is Search Engine Marketing?
There are various ways by which search engine marketing (SEM) can be described. Search Engine Land; one of the leading Search Engine Magazine described Search Engine Marketing as the process of gaining traffic and visibility from search engines through both paid and unpaid efforts.
Wikipedia defines Search Engine Marketing as a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through optimization and advertising. SEM may use search engine optimization (SEO) that adjusts or rewrites website content to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages or use pay per click listings (PPC).
From the above definitions, it is seen that Search Engine Marketing is only one of the means of promoting a website. Other Internet Marketing methods include Email Marketing, Paid Advertisement, and Social Media Marketing etc.
If we break down the definitions above, we will notice that there are two main forms of Search Engine Marketing technique. The first is known as Search Engine Optimization or SEO and the Pay per Click or PPC.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization or what is known as organic listing is the process of increasing the visibility of a website. Since people research information using any of the search engines, by increasing a website ranking, the website gets higher or increased impressions. This increased impression will lead to more traffic. The more traffic a website has, the greater the potential that such traffic would result into sales for the brand. This is the founding basis for organic listing or SEO.
Due to the complexity of the organic listing and its fluctuations, inorganic listing or what is now referred to as Pay per click advertising became a second option.
What is Pay Per Click (PPC)?
Pay per Click advertising is an advert method in which a website pays a Search Engine to place its advert on its SERP based on how much the website is willing to pay when such advert is listed or displayed. This in theory means that the higher your bid, the higher placement you receive on the inorganic listing. Rarely does it happen this way.
ANATOMY OF A SERP.
A Search Engine Result Page is broken down into various pages with each page listing 10 websites. The maximum default number of pages is set at Two Hundred. This listing is done with the intention that the most relevant results are arranged in an increasing order with website on placement 1 being the most relevant and website listed on the 200the position being the least relevant.
Based on a series of research, it has been noticed that in highly competitive industry, once you get past the first five pages, you start seeing irrelevant results. Based on this, searches hardly move past the first two pages. Once a searcher notices that he doesn’t get value for the results he want on the first two to three pages, the query is rewritten.
As a result, the only grail of SEO is to achieve the highest maximum ranking for your website on the first position of a search engine result page.
HOW DOES SEARCH ENGINE ARRIVE AT THEIR RESULTS.
Search Engines list results on their SERP page based on a number of ranking factors or what is known as “Algorithms“ in the SEO world. These ranking factors as seen in this image are seen as signals which the search engines use to determine the relevant placement of a website.
The Infographic above shows the total number of ranking signals that Google use when it is calculating the relevant placement position for a website in its search engine result page. While most of these signals have not been officially confirmed, actually about 200 of them and they might even have been more, it is worth noting that both Onsite Optimization (Technical SEO) and Backlinks (Off-page optimization) places a key role in the signals considered. Therefore in the next chapter, we will consider what an Onsite optimization is and how is it being done. We will also look at Backlinks and how you or your SEO Consultant should approach link building in an age where what was once known as White Hat can become black hat in a jiffy.
Want to know how search engine marketing can be used to grow your business? Download the complete guide to search engine optimization for businesses.