Last time we talked about Pay Per Click: what it is, what the benefits are, what the ads look like. So today let's take a jaunt into the world of organic Search Engine Optimization.
Organic search engine optimization involves several phases:
- Keyword research. This is the first phase for both PPC and SEO. It involves a SEM professional researching what key phrases your audience is searching for, how tough the competition is and which of these key phrases fit your content. At the end of this phase, you receive a list of key phrases that will be used for your PPC or SEO campaign.
- Optimizing copy. This phase is where a copywriter combs through your copy and inserts key phrases and phrases similar to them (for example: if your phrase is "Northeast Indiana incentives" the copywriter may also use the phrase "Northeast Indiana incentive programs" or "incentives in Northeast Indiana" - each year search engines recognize similar phrases more and more). They copywriter may also alter your copy to make it more search friendly in its formatting and sentence structure.
- Optimizing code. This phase involves a copywriter or search expert writing code that will be inserted behind every image, link and download on your page. This person will also write what is called Meta Data, which is a list of keywords and a page description which will a. be indexed by Google and affect your ranking and b. be used as a description under your result in a Google search. This phase also involves writing title tags, which are the little description that appears at the very top left of your browser for each page.
Benefits of SEO:
- Searchers are more likely to click on the organic (usual) Google and Yahoo! results
- You don't pay for each click, which means that after the up-front cost, if your SEO is working well for you, your "cost" per click becomes less and less over time.
SEO takes longer to affect your site (could be up to 6 months, depending on the newness of your site, implementation of SEO and so forth), but in the long run you end up with more clicks for less. This also places you where the user is most likely to trust and click on your link.