SEO and SEM are technical terms which can be hard to understand. In this post, we shall assume that you (The reader) has a business website that helps to promote your business.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing tool that enhances the web traffic of a given website. It provides targeted traffic to a given website as it only appear when certain keywords that people would search for. The algorithms in these search engines such as Google, would then rank your website based on those calculations. These “Crawlers” would crawl through every part of your website to pick out certain keywords. These keywords would be essential when someone searches a query in the search engine web.
SEO vs SEM
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) ignores the keywords on your website. It is a paid advertisement. Just like posters in the shopping mall, users would have to bid for certain keywords to be placed on top of the page. For example, for a delivery company, the company would be interested in users who search for the word delivery service. Therefore, the words delivery service might cost $3 per clcik (CPC- cost per click). The company would then have to pay $3 to be on top for paid advertisements and for every click it receives.
In an article written by Ravi Sen (2005), he mentioned that there are more search engine users clicking on displays on the editorial section as compared to those clicking on the sponsored links. SEO could help generate more traffic into the website as compared to SEM. However, Sen (2005) also mentions that although SEO is able to generate more traffic at lower cost, it is inconsistent at times as the search engine algorithms changes from time to time. Furthermore, to start implementing a SEO plan, it has a high implementation cost as well. However, in the long run, SEO would be a better way to generate more traffic and more cost effective.
So here are 3 tips from MOZ.com on how you can improve your SEO ranking on your website:
- To have indexable content
The way the “Crawlers” on search engine platforms view your website would be different from how your website is designed. (Fig 1.) Therefore, it is important to convert most pictures, Flash or Java plug-ins or videos with html text and transcripts. By adding those in together with your graphics, it would enable these “Crawlers” to detect the words your graphics are showing.
- Create a crawlable link structure
Links like this helps the “Crawlers” to navigate through your website. These links are like a bridge to another page. If there are no bridges, “Crawlers” would not be able to reach the page through the homepage. Despite good keywords and design, the search engine would not be able to reach the page if there are no links leading to the page from the homepage.
- Keyword usage and targeting
This would be the most important point for improving your SEO as the entire search engine is based on finding keywords on websites. An example of a keyword would be if you are selling shoes on your website, do ensure that the words shoes appear on your website so that the search engine would be able to pick up the words and rank your site for the word ‘shoes’. In addition, do take note that the keywords which you would want to rank should be on your titles, text and tags on your post.
These are just some brief tips on how you can improve your SEO ranking of your website. For a more in-depth guide on how you can improve your SEO ranking, you could go to MOZ.com “Beginners guide to SEO” where they have a step by step guide on how you can improve your SEO and prevent others from stealing your SEO ranking.
I hope you found this article useful and would start to implement SEO into your website. Do let me know what your thoughts are on SEM and SEO, which do you prefer and why?
Till the next post~