Before we get into the topic, be aware this is a gentle introduction. Even people within the industry will be using the terms interchangeably. Often they talk about SEO when they actually mean SEM.
You may have heard about SEO and SEM, or at least you have heard about SEO. It is one of those poorly understood abbreviations, even among people who work in the industry.
SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. Succinctly, this means paying for ads in order for your website to show up (higher) in paid search results. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
While similar, SEO means making a few changes to your website so that it will naturally show up in people's search results, also known as organize search results.
Why is SEO important?
95% of searchers would not click further than the first page of search results. That is why it is extremely important for your website to be attractive enough to be on the first page, or close to that.
How does SEO work?
A search engine, bing, duckduckgo, google, startpage, among others, crawl the internet to collect as much information about a website and all of their pages. These pages are collected in an index and sorted by content, topic and other characterisitics. So, when you search for something, an
algorithm determines what you are searching for and shows the most relevant pages from that index.
How do you use SEO?
There are a few tips to appeal to both searchers and search engines. In general, a search result consists of three parts. The title, the URL, and the description. This is what we normally see when we do a search and what search engines use. Here are a few tips:
- Create titles and descriptions that are clear and relevant to the page. Make sure each title and description of a page is unique.
- Optimize your title tags and meta descriptions.
- Choose a domain name that is short, easy to read, and descriptive. Make it memorable.
- Create useful content that is worth being shared through blogs, emails, or social media.
- Learn what your customers are actually searching for and which words they are using to do this.
Find out which words people use when they talk about a business like yours.
- Make sure to include those keywords on every page.
- Add alt text to your images, and a short text.
- Organize your website in categories. This helps search engines understand your website.
- Divide content within a page in easy and understandable chinks of information.
- Make sure to regularly add new content to attract new visitors to your website.