SEM and SEO for Small Business
Paid vs. Unpaid and the Answer to the Ultimate Question… IS IT WORTH IT?
Paid / SEM
Paid “SEO” is referred to as Search Engine Marketing (SEM). It can include a variety of pathways but the most common is through Google Adwords.
The biggest hurdle with SEM is getting QUALITY leads to visit your website.
This is where hiring a professional is KEY because they understand how to monitor and research keywords, track search terms that are leading directly to your site and make recommendations. They will understand bounce rates and how to build an optimized landing page on your website to funnel these leads to get the most out of them.
Unpaid / Organic
I won’t lie.
Boosting your organic SEO is going to take a plan and some TLC.
To optimize your website you need w o r d s. What kind of words? Relevant to your industry obviously. The most effective way to achieve this is through a BLOG as well as through STAFF BIOS, press releases, etc. Once your website starts to be seen (through words) to be about your industry, then it starts ranking.
Not sure where to start with a blog? Just think to yourself… what have my clients asked me about lately? What is a major challenge that I helped someone overcome in my industry? Then take that and write about it. Chances are, if one client expressed confusion to you- many of your other clients are facing the same challenge as well.
ADD VALUE through words.
Okay so, this is going to get a little “techie” sounding for a moment. But it’s really important so just repeat to yourself… “I AM A TECHNICAL GURU.” Okay, good.
So META data is extremely important in this process. When META is lacking – Google and search engines are essentially BLIND to your content. There are some different ways that your website will look for META, for example, wordpress has a plugin called YOAST SEO that when utilized correctly (and actually filled out) will work beautifully and work as a guide to show you how well you built your page.
Without this plugin it is still always there. You can typically spot it because there is something that says “slug” which is literally what the internet understands your page to be about and then a space for an Excerpt. Make sure your slug appears in your excerpt and in your Header and content. That way you’re making your slug super happy and getting the most out of your hard work.
Is it worth it?
This topic can be hotly debated by many of the top market researchers in the industry. In the past five years, however, there is no debate that the way that consumers shop and search for services and products has CHANGED. The amount of money that you invest in SEM should largely depend on how you use your website.
Definitely do SEM if…
…your website is VITAL in your profit. This would include online retailers, graphic designers and marketers who depend on visual portfolios, photographers who depend on their photos and blog to bring in leads… etc.
Save your Money and Spend your Time on SEO if…
… you are a local shop, restaurant or boutique and your website is mainly used for people to access directions, find your phone number or learn more about you. Instead we recommend focusing on building your organic SEO by using the tips recommended above. It will take time to see a difference, but all good things are worth the wait.
If you have some questions, we’d love to help you with an SEO strategy session. To get started click here.