If good rankings with internet search engines like Google and Bing are important to your business — especially if there are competitors in your niche — you need a visibility strategy for your web sites.
And you need to track your rankings over time in order to make informed course corrections. Why such vigilance? The internet is a shifting landscape, including how close to the top your site appears in search results. After all, whenever another site in your niche alters its content or SEO and moves up or down in the rankings, it can affect the ranking of your site, too.
Optimizing for good rankings in search results
Search-engine optimization (SEO) is the art of safely achieving and maintaining appropriately high rankings in the search engines. It requires specialized knowledge, mindful of what can happen when good intentions go awry.*
SEM vs. SEO
What are they? What’s the difference?
SEO — search-engine optimization is sometimes called on-page SEO:
- For any given web page, identify keywords and phrases people might naturally type into a search engine in order to find the content of that page.
- For each desirable keyword or phrase, ensure it is used (a) in ways that signal to search engines the importance of that topic on the web page — and (b), where visible to site visitors, the usage should be natural and relevant to the page’s content.
SEM — search-engine marketing includes on-page SEO but goes farther, such as:
- Garnering in-bound links from higher-traffic sites serving a related subject.
- Coordination with social-media marketing campaigns.
- Pay-per-click campaigns via agencies like Google AdWords.
*A web site’s owner may pay the price for bad SEO practices, even if unaware of those tactics, by having their site(s) de-indexed. If you choose to use an SEO service, be absolutely certain they are reputable. Equally, if you elect to do this job in-house, be sure your staff stays up to date on search-engine best practices.