When we talk about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), we refer to the optimization of a website for the so-called organic searches. That is, just to be clear, when a website appears on the front page for free.
On the main search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing), for each search two types of results are presented: organic (free) and paid.
The results of the organic search appear on the left, in the main part of the page.
When a potential customer is looking for information about the kind of products and services your company offers, he’s likely to click and come visit your website if you’re on the front page.
The organic search is free because when the visitor clicks on the link to your website, the company doesn’t pay for anything.
It’s the search engine that offers this free service to those who browse, offering links in the top positions to the content that the engine considers most relevant.
The SEO logic is therefore conceptually simple: the conquest of the top positions depends on how much the engines consider your website relevant in relation to the words that the user has entered.
Paid results are from sponsored ads.
These are, for example, the ads that appear in the right column of Google, and that can be placed for a fee. This type of search is called Pay-Per-Click (PPC), because the advertiser – for example your company – only pays when the visitor clicks on your ad.
The most famous Pay Per Click system is currently Google’s, called Google AdWords.
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SEO and Search Engine Marketing
SEO is a technical activity that is part of the discipline called Search Engine Marketing (SEM) (or Search Marketing), or the study of how to get visibility on search engines.
Search Engine Marketing means doing marketing with search engines.
The goal is therefore marketing, and the search engine is the tool, the means.
Therefore, we recommend that you never delegate your marketing to search-engine experts, because they are technicians, not marketing experts!
If you aren’t convinced, think about who you would entrust the design of your house: an architect, or – with all due respect – the bricklayers?
Which of these is your website?
The website provides a number of prospects of your ideal target audience.
It’s optimized according to the keywords that generate more traffic, and the positioning is very good.
The website is optimized but doesn’t appear on the front page for any of the searches related to your products. Those who find you in Google already know you and search directly for your company name.
Website to forget
The website isn’t optimized, and there is no way to find you on the internet.
Your competitors are all on the front page.
If you fall into the first case, congratulations. Do not lower your guard and continue to refine your website continuously.
If you fall into the second or even third case, first define a search engine marketing strategy, and then begin to apply consistently SEO techniques.
SEO strategy that works
The activity behind the SEO optimization of websites on a search engine is nothing esoteric.
It takes “only” a methodical and persistent work.
Little by little we need the pirate techniques (called “black-hat”) that some geek technicians successfully put into practice until some time ago. Today, search engines are increasingly sophisticated and able to recognize black-hat techniques.
Therefore, if you want to be on the front page tuck your hands in and start working hard.
The most important thing you need to know about SEO is this:
CONTENT MATTERS MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE
AND INCOMING LINKS MATTER EVEN MORE
There are hundreds of books, newsletters, SEO training programs. Lots of technical measures. All very useful. But without content and incoming links, you won’t go anywhere.
That said, the SEO activity involves five phases:
- identify your ideal target: who do you want your visitors to be? Try not to tell everyone everything because you’d end up not seeming interesting to anyone;
- identify the keywords your ideal visitors use on search engines;
- improve the website compared to the keywords you have identified. Make good use of it, without overdoing it. Optimisation requires a series of actions to be taken BACK to the website, i.e. on the pages of the website itself (so-called on-page factors). And a series of interventions to be carried out OUTSIDE the website (off-page factors), so as to generate inbound links to it. But remember that the backbone – as mentioned above – must be the content. No one will ever put a link on his website, pointing to yours, if your content isn’t relevant;
- (re)publish the website, providing food to search engines so that they can find and index it;
- identify important websites in your industry and have them linked to yours. What are the “important” websites? They are for example those of trade associations, magazines, independent organizations, or portals dedicated to your products and services, etc.
Then, start monitoring your progress constantly, and make the necessary adjustments from time to time. Search engine algorithms change frequently, you must always be up to date and ready to adapt accordingly.
Don’t expect to see results overnight. Optimizing a website takes months (6-9-12 months) before you see results. Then, suddenly, if you have worked well, you can be on the front page.
If you want to generate immediate traffic to the website, you should start with Pay-Per-Click, refine the website with respect to the keywords that will give you the best results, and then devote yourself to optimizing the website in a SEO perspective for those same keywords.
Remember, however, that the website must be designed for people, not for search engines. As we say in our post on how to design websites, a good website is useful to visitors, not to engines.
So, if you optimize your website thinking about engines and not people, that’s a big mistake.
If you develop a website that real visitors find interesting, you’ll see that the engines will also reward you.
Do you want to improve the indexing of your website so that your potential customers can find you?