WHAT IS IT?
SEO is a process used to positively affect a website's visibility with search engines. It is recognized that the earlier a site appears on a search engine search, the more visitors it will receive, which is of course the goal of any website.
SEO takes into account what people search for, how the search engines operate, and which search terms and keywords will benefit the search optimization. Depending on the goal, SEO may target image searches, local searches, video searches, or academic searches.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORGANIC AND PAID LISTINGS?
Keeping in mind that the earlier a site appears on the search engine, the more views that site will receive, most often paid listings will appear at the top of the search page. Obviously, this is an advantage, but it is also an expensive means of advertising your site. Often these paid listings are on a "highest bidder" basis, meaning only the top two or three bids will appear at the top of the first page of listings. For small to medium companies, this expense can be prohibitive.
Organic listings are those that are not paid for; they appear in an order determined by the search engine criteria, which is based on a number of algorithms. The more criteria that your website meets, the higher your search engine rankings will be.
This, of course, leads to a debate of which is best, organic, or paid? The major detriment of paid listings is the prohibitive cost. It can often reach several hundred dollars per day, and few companies can afford that sort of marketing expense. Secondly, studies are now showing that much more weight is being given to relevant content and quality results, and that sites will not experience full benefits unless their site pays attention to the search engine algorithms.
BLACK HAT VS WHITE HAT
When applied to SEO techniques, the debate over black hat vs white hat refers to acceptable vs questionable.
White hat techniques adhere to the search engine guidelines, which are fairly strict to avoid increasing spamming in the industry. Black hat techniques often involved hidden text or a practice called cloaking, which is the substitution of another page depending on who is doing the search.
Black hat techniques are most often used by companies that believe their website will be banned shortly because they do not follow guidelines, so they attempt to steer as many viewings as possible to their site in a short amount of time.
To be effective, a SEO campaign must be individually designed with a specific client in mind. All businesses are not the same, and that truth is behind the implementation of different campaign strategies depending on the business being served.
Different SEO strategies may include:
• Keywords and key terms
• Updating content to keep pace with search engine guidelines
• Using properly designed meta tags
• Using proper and search engine friendly titles
• Press releases
• SEO copywriting
• The proper use of photos and videos
The importance of the internet in today's business world cannot be understated. Learning to work with the search engines will improve your company's chances in this new business arena, and SEO is the tool that will enhance your chances for success.