Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to a process by which the landing page of a particular website appears on a list of results displayed by a search engine whenever a user searches for specific content using keywords related to that website.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a procedure where a website is promoted using paid advertising to increase its visibility on the results pages of search engines. The process usually involves incorporating SEO practices.
Organic SEO is no doubt the best marketing strategy for long-lasting results. This is because the websites that rank high based on their organic SEO implementation and keywords get to enjoy constant traffic, industry recognition and so many other merits of SEO. Websites using SEM on the other hand have to spend funds in order to get targeted traffic and the moment the payment stalls, the traffic ends.
On-Page SEO refers to the SEO practices you can implement for the content on different pages of a website to enable their optimization for certain keywords. The aspects of these pages that can be optimized include meta titles, headings and subheadings [H1, H2, etc], meta descriptions, body, correctly formatted URLs, image alt texts, etc.
Off-Page SEO is all about getting backlinks to your website. Backlinks can be described as references or links from other websites to your site. When many websites link to the content of your website, it allows search engines to trust your website as an authority in the subject. Your site ranks better when popular websites link to it on their pages.
There is a plethora of reasons why SEO is important. Some of the reasons include:
- Search engine users looking for specific content are more than likely to click any of the top 10 suggestions in the search engine results page (SERP). If your website constantly appears among that list, you will generate more traffic and conversions or sales.
- Good SEO gives users a comfortable experience when they visit your site.
- Your website’s trust is guaranteed when it consistently appears in the top results pages of search engines.
- Users who come across your website while looking for content are likely to share it on their social media handles. This spreads growth for your website and will eventually affect your business positively.
- SEO can help lift your business over your competitors. For instance, if you’re selling a common product or service that can be obtained from other websites, the platform that is best optimized will likely make more sales and boast more customers or clients.
After making all the necessary changes to your website and optimizing it as best as possible for search engines to pick up, it can be quite disheartening when you don’t see results after a couple of months. The truth is, SEO takes time. Research, analysis and content production are all phases that you have to spend time on while infusing SEO on your website. At least, that’s an aspect you can control on your part. Search engine like Google takes time to identify your website among the several billions of pages out there. When you make changes to your website, it takes time for Google to analyze and recognize it. The same thing happens when visitors start trickling into your website and the traffic starts coming in. The results of an SEO campaign can vary from 4 to 12 months. That looks like a lot. We know. However, there are many variables that come into play to determine how quickly you see results and by results, we mean the web traffic coming to your website. Some of these factors that can determine how quickly you see results include relevant keyword topics and quality content, site design, website domain age, bounce rate or the time a user spends on your site, location, competition, your response to trends and updates and how swiftly you make relevant changes. When you consider all this, then you’d realize that as long as you want your online presence to continue its growth, SEO practices should be a continuous process. The moment you witness an early spike in your web traffic, you should maintain that growth and not stop because if you do, your competitors might overtake you on search engine results pages and you’d end up losing new potential customers. If you insist on getting traffic much faster, then employing an SEM campaign is your best choice.