elcome to the Search Engine Optimization . Search engine optimization has come
to mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. In the strictest sense, SEO is about
the on-page and off-page design strategies you can use to improve your search engine
ranking. This usually means tweaking your web site, using design elements and content. And in most
cases, it also means spending no money at all.
SEM, or Search Engine Marketing, is not just SEO. More accurately, SEM includes PPC or pay-per-
click advertising. Search engine marketing is about doing whatever you need to do to ensure that
your web site ranks as high as possible in search engine results. This means not only that you make
the needed changes to your web-site design, but that you also employ other tactics, like using a paid
advertising program or investing in content strategies.
I lump them all into one category. The ultimate goal of SEM is to bring more people to your web
site. And you can do that by improving your search engines results. You can also do that by taking
advantage of a growing phenomenon on the Web, social media. Social media is a viral form of shar-
ing information on the Web. You might think of it as a more sophisticated method of sharing your
favorites or information that you think will interest other people. And using social media to improve
the traffic to your web site is called Social Media Marketing, or SMM.
I vote we do away with the alphabet soup completely. All these marketing efforts have one thing in
common: reaching your target audience. And today anyone who is not an SEO purist places all these
marketing methods under the SEM umbrella. All of them are methods for optimizing your web site
for the audience that you’re trying to reach. And as social media grow in popularity, they’re going to
be affected by and included in search engine results as well.
Every now and then, you need to step away from the crowd and stop doing what everyone else is
doing. In SEO, stepping out alone is usually rewarded with better traffic results. Everyone is doing
the same thing. And that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. What it means is that you should do the
same thing in a different way. And that’s where the Search Engine Optimization comes in.
Throughout the pages that follow, I’ll show you the best practices for search engine optimization and
provide insight into the theory behind the strategies that you’ll learn. These strategies are tested. They
work. For thousands of web sites. Use them to build on. Follow the best practices of search engine
optimization but do it creatively. Try something different. That’s how blogs became such a huge phe-
nomenon. It’s how social bookmarking and social communities caught on. Someone looked at mar-
keting in a different way and came up with a new angle.
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