It is very helpful to know where a topic fits in to the “big picture” when you are learning about it. This is like the top of the box in a large puzzle. By knowing what is going on around it, and what this “new thing” interacts with, you can more easily understand it.
First, a definition or two:
Search engine optimization (SEO), is the process of being found on the internet by people searching for information using keywords (including phrases) via natural or “organic” ranking for unpaid search.
SEM, or search engine marketing is the process of doing pretty much the same thing, but paying for being found. The biggest advantage of SEM is it is instant visibility but the disadvantage is visibility stops when the ad budget is used up.
Taken together, SEO and SEM are about your web pages being found by people you want to find it. So, the first part of the “context of SEO” presumes you have a place to send these people to… a well designed website and that they will find what you have to offer valuable. You also need to have someway to engage your new visitor so they learn, buy, or share their information in a way that advances your objectives. Search engine optimization does not existing in a vacuum – it is just one of the ways that marketers execute promotional strategy.
Good SEO requires sound integration with your overall content and marketing strategy, knowledge of how your customers search, and the ability to leverage your existing investment in other promotional efforts. A growing facet of SEO is Search Engine Compliance (SEC) which is following best current code practices, loading speed and white hat link building. Social Media is a growing part of SEO due to the authentic nature of the links it generates. In other words, SEO is becoming broader in that is no longer just about keywords.
People providing search engine optimization services have a tendency to make SEO a dark art. SEO is not a magic bullet but it is the single most important part of long term success for your website. We sometimes enjoy the mystery of the black box, and oversell its complexity which leaves our clients unable distinguish good work from bad until they have made a considerable investment of time and money.
That approach is not good for providers who deliver comprehensive solutions based on best practices, solid marketing principles and hard work. Given that 85-90% of visitors to website come from organic ranking, which comes from long-term, good SEO practices, it makes sense to “bake in” SEO and to use is as an cornerstone of your ongoing marketing practices.
Good, lasting search engine optimization solutions are not inexpensive, but they deliver far more long-term value in driving traffic that someone promising to get you on the front page of Google for $200 a month for a term no one is searching for.
At Caliber Media Group, we offer SEO as part of a full service Internet marketing strategy. Give us a call for a free evaluation of your website’s SEO effectiveness.