Web Design Resources
SEO and SEM Part 2
'Search engine optimization' (SEO) is a term coined to describe processes that go into making a website search engine friendly. There is no fixed definition for search engine optimization (SEO); it varies from company to company. SEO can be broadly defined as the sum total of all the work necessary to produce a high volume of referral hits from search engines, web directories, and other websites. The main aim of search engine optimization is to increase relevant traffic and make the site popular. It is assumed that targeting relevant traffic will increase the ROI of the website in the long run. SEO involves both internal and external assessment of the website. Internal parameters include keyword research, content development, proper web site architecture, correct HTML and as less code as possible. External factors that affect SEO include competition analysis, link building, directory submissions, and other factors. SEO is partly about building appropriate content and partly about getting people to link to you. In the strictest sense, SEO is about the on-page and off-page design strategies you can use to improve your search engine ranking.
SEO is based on a simple and valid premise - all search engines today rank sites based on certain proprietary algorithms. They never disclose these algorithms. SEO professionals try to decipher the parameters that go into the algorithms, and make appropriate changes in the website based on these parameters to achieve a better search engine ranking. Since the algorithms are a coveted secret, they can best be inferred. Most search engine optimization professionals collaborate with each other, and share their experiences on various forums in their endeavor to decipher the algorithms. The SEO community is very closely knit, for the simple reason that all of them are in the same uncharted territory (figuring out how search engines work), and it makes sense to stick together.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a term applied to processes for increasing traffic that have nothing to do directly with a company's web site. Most commonly, SEM means Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and other campaigns, aimed at improving traffic to a website by direct means like advertising. Although some elements are common to both SEO and SEM, PPC advertising is much easier to implement and can achieve immediate results, usually in the form of getting visitors to see your website in a matter of minutes.
SEO is no rocket science, but more a blend of various skill sets, and loads of experience and experiments.