Ever wondered why certain websites are ranked higher them the rest? How do you think the world of Google and search engine work? You just started a new website, probably from using wix or weebly, for your new business, and have been hopeful about getting new customers or leads from this channel. You wait and wait, and the leads doesn’t come.
Why, you asked?
You probably have not understood the terms SEO and SEM.
In simple terms, SEO is called Search Engine Optimisation – Unpaid and organic. Search Engine Marketing is paid and orchestrated.
Before we talk about the difference. I would like to discuss about how google ranks websites.
Google knows you’re looking for information, so it uses things like keywords to predict the likelihood that the content on the page is relevant to the search query. In other words, Google is going to rank these pages based on how relevant It thinks they are to this person – based on their search.
Next, Google looks at the website’s authority – essentially trying to estimate how reliable each website is. As a general rule, Google assumes that the more popular a website is, the more reliable it is – and therefore more likely to contain what the user is searching for.
These are only 2 major factors, there are a lot more and there are weighed averages, but you’ve probably heard the term algorithm used, and this is essentially the unique and secret formula each search engine uses for ranking.
So how does one do SEO?
Step 1: Learn what your customers are actually searching for
You can’t optimize your website without knowing what your customers are searching for—that much is obvious.
How do you figure this out? The best starting point is to use common sense.
Imagine that you run a hotel in Dublin, Ireland. It doesn’t take an SEO genius to guess that your customers are probably searching for things like:
‘hotels in Dublin’
‘place to stay in Dublin’
‘accommodation in Dublin’
The other way is of course, to log on to Google keyword planner. This is a very simple tool to use. It allows you to know the dynamic searches of keywords worldwide. So at any one point, you know what are the trending keywords on the internet.
Step 2: Create pages optimized for search
Keyword research is only the first step towards attracting more organic search traffic.
You also need to make sure your pages are structured well and satisfy the person behind the search to rank for the keywords you selected.
Your optimization efforts should start with making sure that your visitors are enjoying the user experience (UX) your website provides. Use design and typography that makes it easy to consume the content, and remove any unnecessary elements such as pop-ups, opt-in boxes, etc. that can annoy your readers.
Step 3: Make sure your website is accessible to both search engines and humans
When doing SEO, it’s important to remember that you’re working for two separate customers—your human readers, and the bots search engines use to index your website.
While bots are becoming more intelligent and human-like, many differences still exist between the two. Therefore, your goal should be to create a positive experience for both humans and bots.
Understanding how to create pages optimized for bots can be challenging. That’s why, while it’s important to have a strong understanding of the features we discuss in the following paragraphs, I encourage you to delegate them to a professional (preferably a developer).
Step 4: Build backlinks from other websites
Link building is critical for the success of your SEO strategy, so if you’re prepared to spend resources (time, money, etc.) on producing content, you should also be prepared to commit at least as much time to promoting and generating links to your content.
Why? Because there’s clear evidence showing that backlinks are one of the factors with a strong influence on Google’s ranking algorithm.
Step 5: Tracking your SEO success
The final step in setting your SEO strategy is figuring out how you’ll track your performance. There are many methods and metrics you can use, so it’s easy to get confused.
My advice is this: focus on the basics.
The most important metrics when it comes to SEO are a) organic traffic, and b) the average ranking position for the keywords you’re targeting.
So how about SEM?
If you want a faster method to reach out to your customers on Google. Using Google Adwords will be ideal.
Google Adwords is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform. Unlike other PPC platforms like Facebook, AdWords actually offers advertisers two basic ways to reach people: 1) through the Google Search Network and 2) through the Google Display Network.
While these approaches are functionally very different, they both use a PPC bidding system, where advertisers bid to have their ads shown to relevant audiences.
The Google Search Network allows you to show your ads to users who are actively searching for the keywords that you’ve selected. If you own a landscaping business, you bid to have your ad show up every time a user types in “Landscaper in Tallahassee.”
As you can probably imagine, these “text ads” are an excellent opportunity to capture users who are at the research and purchasing stages of the digital sales funnel. Text ads are marked with a small “Ad” tag next to the site URL.
The Google Display Network works differently. Instead of showing ads to users who are actively searching for a product or service online, “display ads” or “banner ads” are placed on websites you think your target will be on.
So, there you have it, two different methods to have your website found fast. If you think getting your website noticed is hard, think again. You can effectively get lots of customers once you get your online marketing strategy in the right direction.