Search Engine Optimization and its Role in Search Engine Marketing
Internet marketing has rapidly grown over the years. Businesses big and small are trying to reap the benefits that an online presence offers. And an online presence for an existing business, regardless of what it may be, does often mean increased return on investment. And given increasing competition, with everyone having logged on, in a manner of speaking, just having a website is not enough.
Also known as e-commerce, internet marketing covers everything from information management to sales. Specialized areas such as public relations and customer service and many others have also joined into this complex world. Along with the common business models (business-to-business and business-to-consumer) a third peer-to-peer has manifested in the internet marketing arena where individuals exchange goods with each other.
The growth of internet marketing gave rise to search engine marketing. SEM aims at improving the visibility of a website on the results pages of major search engines. There are three main methods of carrying out SEM, a) search engine optimization (SEO) b) pay per click c) paid inclusion.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) fine tunes the content and structure of a website to achieve the closest possible match to what visitors on search engines are looking for. Also known as Search Engine Advertising, Pay Per Click advertising, is the method wherein advertisers bid on “keywords” that they are sure their target user will type into the search bar. These “sponsored ads”, as they are called, appear above the search results and an advertiser pays when the user clicks on the ad. The third method of SEM, Paid Inclusion, is rather straightforward as suggested by the name. Website owners pay search engines, typically an annual fee, in order to be listed on their search pages.
Clearly PPC and Paid Inclusion seem like the fastest methods of search engine marketing. Yet, many website owners prefer to adopt the more time consuming Search Engine Optimization method for better marketing of their website on search engines.
The name SEO is misleading because the idea is in fact to optimize the web page to attract visitors on leading search engines. Search engines work on the basis of specific algorithms, and the idea behind SEO is to keep keywords on websites in sync with these algorithms.
Once again, as your SEO service provider will tell you, the focus is not on a precise understanding of the algorithms. Here it becomes important to know your target audience, preempt the keywords they will type, and to make sure your website is laden with these keywords. The idea was to emphasis on keyword density. Keyword density, as the name suggests, is quite simply how often a predefined set of keywords is repeated on a web site. Over the years, unethical practices such as keyword stuffing has made search engines like Google wary of giving important to keyword density. Given this scenario website owners are now advised to write content meant for visitors, rather than “stuff” their website with keywords just to attract high ranking. Yet another common unethical practice is the insertion of highly searched keywords that have nothing whatsoever to do with the content on the page. This again may temporarily attract high ranking, but is bound to end with the site being caught and banned.
Affecting the keyword density and/or content rewriting is just one part of the SEO process. In order to make websites more search engine friendly navigation patterns of a website are also modified. The sole purpose of having a navigation system is for the site to be more user-friendly. Unfortunately in an attempt at being unique, web site owners and designers get carried away and end up devising complex navigation systems. Yet another element that may be changed during the SEO process is the internal link structure of a website. Website owners in their bid to have higher rankings on search engine result pages obtain a long list of irrelevant links to their sites. Modern day search engines are equipped to identify such sites, and would mostly ban them.
It is always advisable to adopt SEO starting with the initial development and design stage of a website. In other words rather than using SEO as an afterthought, it needs to be thought of as a stage in the lifecycle of website creation. This would assure a good beginning in the ranking of the results pages of various search engines. And once this groundwork is done, improving the rankings would become a less challenging task.
Global companies are now looking at partnering with Indian firms that offer SEO services. There are many Indian companies in the field that offer high-quality, cost-effective SEO services. Working with these firms you can monitor the progress made on projects, and be assured of dedicated work towards meeting desired goals.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Munish Dev Rathee is a SEO cum content writer associated with a seo India company.