SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
According to Wikipedia, Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the "natural," or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic"), search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine's users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.
As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content and HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic.
The acronym "SEOs" can refer to "search engine optimizers," a term adopted by an industry of consultants who carry out optimization projects on behalf of clients, and by employees who perform SEO services in-house. Search engine optimizers may offer SEO as a stand-alone service or as a part of a broader marketing campaign. Because effective SEO may require changes to the HTML source code of a site and site content, SEO tactics may be incorporated into website development and design. The term "search engine friendly" may be used to describe website designs, menus, content management systems, images, videos, shopping carts, and other elements that have been optimized for the purpose of search engine exposure.
Organic Search versus Paid Search
Organic search results are listings on search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms, as opposed to their being advertisements. In contrast, non-organic search results may include pay per click advertising.
The Google, Yahoo!, and Bing search engines combine advertising and search results on their search results pages. In each case, the ads are designed to look similar to the search results, though differ in formatting enough for readers to make distinctions between organic results and ads, such as their background colour and/or placement on the page. Further, the appearance of the ads on all major search engines is so similar to the genuine search results that a large majority of search engine users cannot effectively distinguish between them. Google claims that their users click (organic) search results more often than ads. The same report by Pew shows that users avoid clicking "results" that they know to be ads.
What does it all mean?
1. Most people don't even look at the paid ads. So don't waste your money.
2. Yes, I can promise you a number 1 spot in the major search engines using paid ads. (refer back to #1)
3. It is a bunch of little things that help your site get found. There is not a silver bullet. A few tips below.
a. Good content, filled with keywords relevant to your business.
b. Social Networking with Facebook, Twitter and youtube.
c. Email Marketing: involves directly marketing a commercial message to a group of people using electronic mail.
d. Blog Marketing: Typically, corporations use blogs to create a dialog with customers and explain features of their products and services.
e. A domain name that includes your keywords.
f. Correct use of meta tags, title tags, header tags and more.