Monday, 12 april 2021 | Redacción CEU
Imagine that you are the owner of a shoe store on a busy city street and that some construction work prevents your shop window from being seen. Only people who have once visited your store know its location or those who happen to pass by it might eventually enter and buy shoes. They will not be as many as they could be, right? The same is what happens when a company has a presence on the Internet and does not make use of a brand-positioning strategy. What is SEO and how can it help your business?
Users have many ways of going on websites: directly typing the address in the browser, clicking on an ad, following a link... However, a high percentage of the users who find them do so through a search engine, Google being the main one in the case of Europe and America.
How does a search engine work?
Search engines like Google work by means of bots, which are also known as web crawlers or spiders. They are computer programs that apply algorithms to crawl and index throughout the entire website. Broadly speaking, their goal is to discover what all websites deal with to help users in their searches. By organizing this information, users can then find related sites containing the information they are looking for and access them easily.
SEO, the key to appearing at the top in searches
At this stage, it is logical to wonder how search engines organize information, since whoever appears better positioned in searches will have a significant advantage: greater visibility. At this point is where the so-called Search Engine Optimization (SEO), also known as natural positioning or organic positioning, comes into play. It is a strategy that seeks to identify and understand the keys to achieving a better ranking on search engines (since algorithms are constantly changing and this data is not always public) in order to, consequently, deploy an effective strategy.
In other words, a company that is on the Internet and carries out a good SEO strategy appears among the best positioned results on search engines. Not only does it do it when users specifically look for its brand name, but when they want to find information on a topic that is related to it. This aspect may have a really significant impact on its visits, contacts, sales and even advertising income. In the case of our hypothetical shoe store, this would mean removing the construction work that obstructs the view of pedestrians, even placing a free advertising poster of significant size pointing directly at it.
Differences between SEO and SEM
The term "free" in the previous paragraph may have drawn your attention. Indeed, there are two ways to show up on the first position in search-engine results. SEO is the organic or natural strategy, which is the one that does not resort to ads to achieve a better positioning. There is also another strategy known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM). This one resorts to the use of sponsored ads to improve brand positioning. Nevertheless, both strategies are compatible and can be used in combination for best results.
Other differences between SEO and SEM which are less obvious than the use or non-use of ads are:
- The number of keywords: reduced in SEO and unlimited in SEM
- The time that is necessary for the strategy to be effective: medium and long term in SEO and short term in SEM
- What you pay: optimization work in SEO and payment for visits and campaign management in SEM
It might seem that SEM has more advantages, but it is a strategy in which there is also a lot of competition. It must also be taken into account that a high percentage of users do not click on ads but do so on organic results. Therefore, both strategies may have a high profitability if they are carried out well.