Spotlight

Making SEM and SEO Work for You

Search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) are critical to business success, but what exactly is the difference–and how can your company maximize its potential in these areas? In this and coming Spotlights, we’ll explore SEM and SEO in detail and offer guidance to help you succeed with both.

Increase Your Visibility with SEM

The goal of SEM is to help your website appear more prominently on search engine results pages (SERPs). Since 75 percent of users arrive at your site from a SERP, high visibility on these pages cannot be underestimated. Top SEM methods include:

  • Paid placement or pay-per-click (PPC)—this places your ad in the sponsored results section of SERPs. You compete with and bid against other advertisers for placement, and you only pay when a user clicks on your ad.
  • Paid inclusion—when a search company charges fees for inclusion of your site in their index; some search engines offer this, and others don’t.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)—an ongoing process of improving your site’s ranking in a search engine’s organic or unpaid results.

Improve or Maintain Results Rankings with SEO

SEO is an art and a science with no guarantees. While SEO experts know how to work with the complex algorithms search engines use to rank keyword results, regular people can improve their rankings doing the following:

SEO is an art and a science with no guarantees. While SEO experts know how to work with the complex algorithms search engines use to rank keyword results, regular people can improve their rankings doing the following:

  • Select relevant keywords, using a blend of short, general keywords that generate a lot of traffic, but not necessarily sales, and longer, more specific keywords that produce fewer hits but higher conversion rates.
  • Optimize each page of your site, so that both the user-facing and technical content are relevant to the keywords and improve your rankings.
  • Build a network of quality links to improve the search engine’s all-important calculation of your site’s authority.

Keywords and Relevant Content Pays Off

Integration of targeted keywords into relevant, well-written and well-constructed pages is critical for both SEO and SEM. This practice can help you:

  • Improve the ranking of your site on the list of unpaid results (SEO).
  • Ensure prominent placement of your ads at low per-click rates (PPC).
  • Encourage customers to click on your SERP listing and initiate engagement with you.

In the end, the SEO and SEM are inextricably linked, and can help you build a network of quality links, that also contribute to social media optimization.

What about SMO?

Successful SMO can also improve search ranking because the participatory nature of social media influences search engine results. Social media optimization (SMO) is a separate form of Internet marketing that goes beyond search engine placement to include brand building, customer engagement, and driving traffic from other sites.

Search engines incorporate things like tagging and ranking into their algorithmic calculations. Your efforts around social media can create a proliferation of links that enhance search engine perception of your site’s authority and relevance.

Bottom line: Maximize the specific opportunities SEM and SEO offer and you’ll create symbiotic relationships across the Internet that can deliver even more marketing prospects and customer engagement opportunities.

For additional help, contact one of the many Pinpoint partners who specialize in SEO/SEM.