If you have developed and launched a business website, you may already be familiar with natural & paid search marketing practices, or SEO and SEM as they are more commonly referred to. SEO is the abbreviation for search engine optimization and SEM stands for search engine marketing. The two are very viable yet different marketing practices and are highly essential to the success of your website if you are not already utilizing them. Unless you understand how each one functions, it will be extremely difficult for you to master these two marketing techniques.
Search engine marketing or SEM involves researching and promoting a website in order to increase its visibility in the search engines through advertisements and optimization. Since SEM commonly focuses on the advertising part of the marketing formula, SEO is a subset of it. SEO or search engine optimization, on the other hand, is a strategy that ensures your website will be visible to the major search engines (Bing, Google+, Yahoo!, etc.). It is more commonly categorized as natural, organic, or unpaid search marketing.
Most internet marketing campaign strategies typically focuses on driving traffic to a website in order to increase its accessibility and online presence. The objective is to rank as high as possible in the search engine results pages or SERP’s or land in one of the top 10 spots on the very first page. This increases the likelihood of people visiting your website since no one wants to search through dozens of pages of results in order to find the company and the products or services they are looking for.
Positioning Your Website Higher in the SERP’s
As was previously mentioned, the goal of SEM and SEO is to create an online presence, increase the visibility of your website, and rank higher in the SERP’s. So the best way to accomplish a front-page ranking is to use SEM and SEO in combination with one another. Here are 3 helpful tips for mastering natural & paid search marketing:
- Focus your efforts on keyword research and development – the best keywords that you can utilize are targeted phrases although the term “keyword” implies a single search term or word. Single keywords have heavier competition so you should use more specific and targeted phrases. For example, use Chinese restaurants in Arlington, Texas rather than just Chinese restaurants or just restaurants. This will enable you to diminish the amount of keyword competition.
- Merge SEM and SEO with social media – using social media platforms such as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter in order to promote your website is a tried and true method for boosting your SEO. However, it can be even more effective when your fans and followers do the work for you when they have access to those audiences that you have not reached yet. You can make this easier for them by putting “Share” buttons on your site.
- Target your audience – developing your website’s SEO can be an arduous task whereas SEM uses smarter, targeted advertising to quickly increase the amount of visitor traffic you are receiving at your website. There are 3 primary types of advertising campaigns that you can utilize including paid inclusion, pay-per-click advertising, and traditional ads. These are all forms of paid search advertising so you will need to take your budget into consideration before investing in these.
If you have not already done so, you should take some time and determine whether or not you have been using SEM and SEO in your overall marketing strategy. Remember, the more resources and time you dedicate to this, the more profitable it will be in the long run.