Search engine optimization (SEO) often comes as an afterthought, and not everyone is always fully aware of its long-term benefits. Depending on the situation, SEO may involve both the IT and marketing departments. In a small business, just one (or very few) individuals will be doing everything. Other times, companies will hire specialists to help them with their SEO needs.
It can be defined as an aggregate of all the work necessary to produce a high volume of referral hits from search engines. Web directories as well as other websites help with the ultimate goal of making the website popular. SEO involves internal and external website analysis, link building, proper website architecture and development, keyword research, content development, and many other tasks.
Search Engine Optimization is partly about building appropriate content and partly about getting people to link to you. Your content is essential, but Google’s ability to count incoming links, in addition to content, was considered a major breakthrough.
Search engine marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM) refers to the utilization of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising such as through Google AdWords. 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. Marketers will often ignore (or confuse) SEO in favor of (PPC) SEM, but by doing so they are ignoring great opportunities. Search Engine Optimization is about as close to free as you can get. It takes work, and work costs money, particularly if you hire a consultant. But you won’t have any advertising bills coming in. SEO work brings long-term value.
If you operate your website for hobby or profit, SEO can be an important tool in making your website popular. Search Engine Optimization is not rocket science (or anywhere close to it). But it certainly can get as technical and detailed as you want to make it.
One could argue that the deceptive SEO practiced in its early days is long gone. Today it takes a lot more effort for sites to be ranked well. Ranking well does not necessarily translate to relative site popularity or sites meeting their objectives (desired conversions). SEO only gets the visitor to the door. It is up to your site’s content to welcome and retain that visitor.
Optimizing just for search engines may not be enough. Social media websites along with social bookmarking should be considered as well. Today’s web user demands more from websites. This evolution in site usability and interactivity, coupled with search engine technology, brings additional demands for the website owner.
Source: SEO Warrior: Essential Techniques for Increasing Web Visibility by John I. Jerkovic