The buzz term “SEO” has been around for a few years and stands for “Search Engine Optimization“. SEO describes any effort directed at “optimizing” your web content/budgets to get the most effective “organic” result from the search engines resulting more traffic! This is not to be confused with SEM (Search Engine Marketing) which pertains to buying traffic through the use of sponsored listings, ads, etc. The organic (left side) result is typically the most effective and the approach for getting good rankings is fairly simple.
Organic vs Paid – Organic listings appear on the left side of the search result below any sponsored (paid) listings. Web users have learned that these are typically their best choices and hence these listings are the most coveted spots. However, to get these listings you must convince the search engines that your website is the best choice! An SEO specialist does this for you by making sure that all your content is properly formatted and that other webmasters find your content so attractive that they to link to it from their websites.
He who dies with the most links wins! Inbound links from other websites are critical. Each link is a vote for your site. The more votes you have, the better your rank. However, not all votes are treated equally. Votes from sites that have relevant content have more value. Links from “popular” sites (ones with lots of “votes” themselves) have more value. The second step in the SEO process is for the SEO specialist to convince other webmasters (the right ones) to link to your site.
Investment or Expense? SEO is a one-time investment in your website. Even though a typical SEO campaign may last 6 months or more, eventually these campaigns come to an end. Hopefully you chose the right SEO specialist that targeted the correct terms, properly optimized your content, and got you a pile of high quality inbound links. Your site appears in the search engine results where it belongs and other webmasters frequently contact you about sharing links (because they find your content useful or relevant to their own). Learn how to choose the right SEO specialist!
Monitoring & ROI – It is critical that all SEO efforts are carefully monitored. Traffic, conversion rate, and most importantly keyword phrase rank must be continually analyzed throughout the process. Learn more about rank monitoring! Without this it is impossible to determine the effectiveness of an SEO campaign. You are responsible for determing conversion rate by tracking the number of leads that come from your website. The SEO specialist is responsible for analyzing traffic and correlating it to changes to keyword phrase rank. Learn more about keyword phrase rank and traffic!