Google It, Bing It, Search It – SEO and SEM

We have all “Googled” or “Binged” before whether it was for school, for work, or just some random question that has been itching your brain, like ‘how many stripes does a zebra have?’

Ever wonder how exactly these search results were acquired?

Well first it is important to note that when using a search engine, you are searching the index of that search engine, not the entire web. There are three steps in the process of acquiring search results: crawling, indexing, and ranking. Crawling occurs when the search engine uses an algorithm and uses these things called “crawlers” or “spiders.” Using the algorithm, it first decides which websites to crawl and how deeply to crawl them, which will lead to the discovery of new pages. Then it will decided how often to crawl those websites, which in turn leads to the discovery of when new content has been updated on an existing website in the index. Indexing refers to where all the information is organized and stored. During the indexing stage, the search engine will again use algorithms to interpret the content and the importance of a page in comparison with other pages. Ranking is when the pages are numerically ranked in their importance according to the specific keywords that are being searched. The search engine will check their index for the closest matches. Ranking may also be according to a personalized search results, which is typically based on that persons search history.

Leveraging SEO and SEM

The ways in which companies can leverage Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Management (SEM) for inbound marketing vary.

One way companies can leverage SEO is by being aware of the content on their website. It is important to have interesting, relatable content that the intended audience will enjoy. Furthermore, the language you use to convey this content matters. To be able to convey the information in a way that people will understand it and also in a way that is more searchable is what will help companies achieve greater traffic on their website. When using a search engine and typing in specific keywords, the search engine will typically find the websites that uses those keywords the most on their page (there are of course other factors in the ranking process, such as having the keywords in the title or the URL). Knowing this, companies should be using enough content and enough keywords that are relevant to the company to acquire a better ranking in the search engines.

Companies should also have an active and updated site. Although, it is important to be aware that new changes will not have an immediate effect on the rankings until the page has been re-cached.

Another way to leverage SEO is through social networking. Social networking has become important to search results; if people are sharing and talking about a page on a social media website it will provide additional information to the search engine. This will allow the search engine to change the ranking for that particular site. Therefore, companies need to get people talking about their company on the Internet. It may be helpful for them to create a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and so on. That way people can start following the company and sharing it with their friends.

Setting up various Google accounts may be another helpful strategy in leveraging SEO. It will increase the search results, and in turn increase the traffic to their website. If the company were to setup Google Place or a Google Merchant Account (whichever accounts are applicable to the specific company) then their website will have a better chance of popping up in the search results.

Using these various strategies to leverage SEO and SEM will help companies become easily searchable which will achieve better inbound marketing.

The common zebra has 26 stripes per a side, in case you were wondering.

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