Search engine optimization
SEO or search engine optimization is a term that is used in the web technology field to refer to activities done on a webpage or document on the web in order to increase its chances of being on the top listings of the search results when a query reflecting the segments it contains is assessed on the search engine. SEO might sound at times as if it means optimization of the search engine itself but reality is not the case. Websites and web documents are tweaked in order to do well or to appear on the on the top listing of the search results (Powell et al., 2011). The results displayed on a web page contains link to documents or websites with relevant information to the search query passed. Complex algorithms are used in determination of the relevance of a web page. These algorithms used are constantly changing as search engines try to keep in line with the ever-changing user requirements (Surowiecki, 2004).
Results displayed on a webpage vary depending on the geographic locations. The search engine in determining this considers many factors. For example, Google’s Italy page will differ considerably with that of Australia’s webpage results. Various types’ information is considered. These include information regarding to language used, physical location, and website servers among others. In Search engine optimization, therefore some of these factors have to be considered.
SEO is keyword-centric meaning that the words used determine the relevance of the results being obtained. Words and phrase to be used have to be chosen carefully in order to target the required audience. Professionals optimizing document have to put in to consideration the most likely phrases that users or the target population are likely to use in the execution of their queries (Powell et al., 2011).SEO is related to search engine marketing or SEM. Search engine marketing focuses on deliverance of related advertisement aspects on the document. The adverts placed on the webpage should be related to the information on the page or capture the interest of audience in respective locations (Gentle 2009).
SEO influence the search engine rank of a website when a query is passed. Some factors influencing the rank of a website on the search results page can be controlled by administrators however some cannot. Some of the factors that can be controlled include, page structure, content, tags among others.
Social media is defined as the application of Web 2.0 technologies in improvement of interactive communication between people. Some of the technologies that can be implemented in social media include the use of mobile technologies and web based technologies to improve communication processes. Kietzman et al (2011) put forth an argument that social media has transformed the communication industry to a more advanced sector which has gained extensive changes over the last few years. In his argument, Kietzman et al (2011) point out the fact that interaction between communities, organizations, individuals have changed considerably, and that the ease with which communication and interaction occurs using these services makes the industry the leading industry in development and application of advanced technology in its processes
Forms of social media
With proliferation of technology in all parts of the world and with the advancement of data transmission speed, coupled with increased technology in relation to web development, social media has been increasing rapidly in the last five years. Many forms of the same have emerged, that have allowed many people and organizations to come up with their own social media platforms. Some of the common forms of web social media include Internet forums, web blogs, social blogs, micro blogging, Wikimedia, podcasts photographs editing and video editing among others (Scoble, &Israel 2006). Kaplan and Heinlein (2010) developed a classification process for social media based on six categories. These categories covered collaborative projects social media, which include Wikimedia and Wikipedia’s. The second category is blogs and micro blogs such as twitter while the third form of social media identified by these scholars is content communities like YouTube. Facebook is considered to belong to a group of social media called social networks (Bernoff 2008). Facebook is considered to be asocial network site because it connect diverse people, thereby improves their interactivity. Virtual game word is another category identified in social media. In this category, an example identified by the authors is world of War craft while the last identified category is the virtual social world (Harris 2008).
Small and Medium Enterprises
Small and Medium enterprises is sometimes referred to as small and medium businesses or SMBs. These are enterprises that comprise of a small number of employees running the business. Different states and countries have varying definitions of what constitutes small and medium enterprise. The EU standardized the number of employees or participants in a business that can be termed as small or medium (Smilor 2001). Small enterprises is considered to be an enterprise which constitutes of less than fifty employees n the European Union while that which consist up to maximum of two hundred and fifty employees or business actors are considered to be medium. The United States however uses a different approach in classification of businesses as small and medium. Some of the criteria used by the Small business administration in the United States include industry of the business, ownership structure of the business, revenue collected by the business and the number of employees. All these factors are considered in the determination of a small or medium business enterprise (Harris, 2003).
In India, the term commonly used is the Macro and small Enterprise or MSEs. It is estimated that the sector plays a great role in advancement of economic prosperity in India as compared to large enterprises. 40% of the manufacturing output is contributed by this sector with more than 30% of country export coming from the sector. In terms of employment opportunities, MSEs sector contributes to employment of an estimated 30 million people who come from over 13 million enterprises (IMF, 2004).
In Africa, especially South Africa, the term used for small and Medium Sized enterprises is SMME which stands for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises. Some countries in Africa however use the SME terminology while referring to such enterprises. On the other hand, Canada’s definition to small business is based on the number of employees in the enterprises. A small business is considered one with less than 100 employees for goods and product production, while the businesses in the service industry qualifies to be a small business if the number of employees are less than fifty in number(IMF 2004).
There is wide diversity in definition of small business depending on different countries and states. However, small and medium business is characterized by the same simplicity in which the business operations are run. Another notable characteristic of small business is the low operational balance or low financial balance.
Small and medium enterprises contribute to a high percentage of economic development in most countries. In EU, it is considered that SME represent more than 98% of all the business enterprises in the region. There are however some difficulties which these small and medium enterprises face in their operations (EBRD 2004). The key challenge is competition from large and established enterprises offering the same services or products. In order to compete fairly SMEs have adopted web presence in carrying out their business. To ensure that they appear on the top listing of business providers on the search page, search engine optimization has to be done. SEO would ensure that such small and medium businesses get a fair appearance in the industry and thus customers and potential clients get to be aware of the services they offer.
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