SEO 101

by Jodee Goodwin

There’s a lot of talk about search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) these days. Some companies can sink significant funds into paid SEO. But organizations with both large and small marketing budgets may need to brush up on their SEO 101.

A good SEO strategy is important to companies of all sizes, and is composed of organic SEO, search engine marketing (e.g., Google AdWords) and directory listings. The interplay of the different elements is key.

Organic SEO involves making sure key words that users would be searching for are used repeatedly—and appropriately—in the site’s content. It also calls for refreshing (adding or changing) site content on a regular basis.

Search engine marketing is also referred to as pay-per-click advertising. Google AdWords is the leader in this area, though other options are available as well. A Google AdWords campaign is a great investment for organizations of all sizes. This user-controlled paid search strategy can be very effective—for a small investment, if properly managed.

The third component of a good SEO strategy involves links and directories. The goal is to have other sites link to back to your website. This can be on related sites like industry organizations, and through white papers, PR, partner links, etc. The more links to your website from outside sites, the better. This approach requires cultivating partner relationships and/or providing content, and hence can take more work, but is worth the effort.

Working the three elements of good SEO doesn’t have to involve big budgets to make a big impact on your business.

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