If you work for a company in the year 2017, chances are you’ve heard the acronyms, SEO, SEM, SEA, etc. But what do these really mean? Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Advertising are two branches of Search Engine Marketing. Still confused?

When the concept was first coming into action, SEO was a means of improving your search engine ranking with the use of keywords. As search engines have become increasingly more sophisticated, the algorithms in use now go much further than your chosen list of keywords. In fact, the use of too many keywords will often be flagged as spam sites.  Search engines are being programmed to think like a human would in order to optimize the searcher’s experience. Now, search engines are able to crawl through an entire website to index its content and relevance for its online searchers.

Websites are no longer ranked on how many keywords are hit by a searcher, but on the quality of the content in terms of what the searcher is looking for. This puts more work on the website designer to benefit the potential target of said website. The two major indicators a search engine will use to classify a website is its content and its inbound links. Inbound links must be from quality, reputable sources, and content needs to be unique and relevant.

This doesn’t give an excuse for a website to have page after page of laborious text making sure to hit every buzz word a potential target may consider searching, but lets you get creative with your content creation that is imbedded in your site as well. Search engines will send bots to crawl through websites and index the content. For this to work in your favor, your website must be structured in a readable format for these bot crawlers.

There are several ways to improve SEO simply with the web design. Using your keywords in your URL, embedded image files, and internal links will increase the efficacy of your website rankings. This level of attention to detail can seem daunting, but the ROI will speak for itself. How-to guides are offered by various sites including HubSpot and Google for DIY SEO, or you can always consult your local PR firm in achieving the ranking your company desires.