Organic Search Engine Listings

Also called natural search engine listings, these are listings that search engines do not sell. Search engines use search engine robots (computer programs also called search engine crawlers) to find web pages. Once these web pages are found, the search engines used sophisticated techniques to determine what a web page is about and compare that web page with all other web pages that they have found. They then rank those web pages in order of importance–and when a search is performed at their search engine they display a listing of search results that includes those rankings.

Organic search engine listings are different than Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, which is also displayed on a search engine’s results pages. A company must use a search engine optimizer to optimize their website’s web pages and perform a strategic link building campaign in order to achieve top organic search engine listings. It is often very time consuming to perform these tasks, and as a result, usually costs more than Pay Per click advertising. However, the rewards can be much greater as potential buyers of a company’s products or services view the organic search engine listings different than paid advertising, perhaps more un-biased.

Link Building Campaign

Linking from one website to another is an essential part of the internet. In fact, even before most of us used search engines, we used links on website to find and discover new websites and related websites. A link building campaign, also called a linking campaign, is the act of purposely finding and seeking out links from other websites to a company’s website.

Search engines use linking popularity (how many links a website has going to it) as a major part of their search engine algorithm–they’re especially looking for outstanding websites that are considered to be authorities on their subject. They determine this based on the number of on-topic links a website has going to it. The search engines essentially let the internet community decide which websites are the subject matter experts–and they assume that if a website has more links to it than another website on the same subject it must be important.

A linking campaign is an important part of the overall search engine marketing and optimzation process–without appropriate, on-topic links to a company’s website, the website will not be considered a leader in its field and thus will not be listed well in the search engines’ organic search engine listings.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is one of the most important part of Search Engine Marketing and Optimization. Keyword research involves the investigation of the most important words and phrases that describe a website’s content and a company’s products or services. A search engine marketer, when performing keywords research, focuses on finding the search terms and phrases that will yield the highest return on investment. The search engine marketer tries to put themselves in the minds of the potential buyers to figure out what they would search for when they’re are looking to buy products or services that a company sells. Keyword research involves using online tools and services to determine exactly what is on the mind of searchers. Once keyword research is done, the most-used keywords–and those that will bring the website its greatest return on investment–can be incorporated into a company’s website content, used in search engine optimization, and used to purchase listings in Pay Per Click advertising.

Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click, also referred to as PPC, is a method of charging for advertising based on results, not on the number of times an advertisement is displayed. The advertiser agrees to pay a certain amount (called a bid) for every click that users make which results in that user being redirected to the advertiser’s website. In many PPC business models, advertisers bid on keyword phrases–and the higher their bid the higher up they will appear in the search results. Search engines such as Google and Yahoo! keep their Pay Per Click advertisements separate from the organic or natural search engine listings, although they will appear on the same search results page (usually next to or above the search results). By using Pay Per Click, websites can appear in a search engine’s search results (guaranteed) within a few days rather than having to wait a few months to be listed in the organic or natural search engine results.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization, also referred to as SEO, is the act of changing or manipulating a company’s web pages so that they show up towards the top of a search engine’s search results. Search engine optimization involves both on-site manipulation (strategically changing the words that appear and where they appear on the web pages) as well as off-site manipulation (making sure the company’s website is seen as the leader in the company’s field). The Search Engine Optimizer helps to make sure that the search engines know exactly what the company’s web pages are “about” by including keywords and phrases that are typical to a company’s field of interest. And the Search Engine Optimizer uses off-site techniques such as linking buiding campaigns to make sure that the company’s website is listed on websites other than search engines that are related to the company’s business.

Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing, also referred to as SEM, is the act of marketing a web site via search engines. A Search Engine Marketer uses techniques to purposely improve rank in organic or natural listings, purchased paid listings or a combination of these and other search engine-related activities so that more visitors and potential buyers find a company’s website. When a potential buyer is looking to purchase (or is in the “research mode”) they often turn to search engines such as Google, MSN, and Yahoo! to search. A Search Engine Marketer, using generally accepted Search Engine Marketing techniques, can increase the chances of a company’s website showing up in a search engine’s results when that potential buyer searches for a product that the company sells.