SEM and SEO OverviewWhat are SEM and SEO? Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the master plan for making your site visible on the Web. This plan may include any online and offline advertising that helps drive traffic to your site.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is part of the search engine marketing process -- specifically the part that makes sure your site has all the right elements necessary for higher search engine ranking.
Optimizing a Web site involves researching the most effective keywords for your site, then implementing those keywords into the site"s content and code. Site optimization also involves understanding the elements of site design, linking structures, as well as how search engines and directories function.
Search Engines and Directories
A search engine and a directory are different entities, despite the fact that people often use the terms interchangeably. The difference is how each one finds your Web site.
In general, a directory such as Yahoo! or the Open Directory (or DMOZ) requires you to submit your site so that one of their human editors can evaluate your site and decide whether or not to include it in the category you chose. Some of the directories charge a fee to list your site which is usually the faster way to get listed (Yahoo! for example).
On the other hand, search engines such as Google use "spiders" or "crawlers" to find sites. These are programs deployed to find Web sites and follow the links from them to other sites. Most search engines start at the large directories to find sites, then they branch out from there.
You can also submit a site directly to a search engine to get indexed, but this is often a slower way to do it.
Users and Spiders
Search engines use "spiders" to scan the Web for sites, logging certain information and storing that information on servers for later access (this is called indexing). When a user types a search term into the search engine, that search engine pulls up all the sites in that index that contain the term(s).Of course, you are making your site with users in mind, so your content has to be relevant, meaningful, and useful to the person visiting your site. But, optimizing a site for search engine spiders means understanding all the factors that make a site index-able -- in other words, seeing your site as a spider sees it.
Anyone can optimize a site, but only a good optimizer can do so without diluting the usability of a site. After all, a search engine"s goal is to return the most relevant sites for the terms you type into it. So, having the best content is one of the most significant ways to make your site visible to the search engines.
Search engines and directories are the main way people find what they are looking for on the Web every day. As the number of Internet users grows, so do the potential number of people who might need what you offer.
Search engine marketing targets people searching for specific products, services, or information and it serves as a very relevant leads generator.
Optimizing your site is essential for making your site perform and attract that targeted traffic. Simply having a Web site is not good enough, so you have to develop a search engine marketing plan that fits your business needs as well as your budget.
Our SEO experts can help you develop that plan and optimize your site for better ranking. Contact us to talk about your optimization and marketing needs, or to learn more about our search engine marketing services.