Online Marketing 101 – SEO and SEM Basics

Online Marketing SEO and SEM

Online marketing is a broad term that refers to the marketing of goods and services using available digital technologies. This article will encompasse both SEO and SEM basics. The most common digital technology used is the internet. A company or business that has a website is already doing online marketing to advertise their business; promote their product and service offerings; and/or announce sales, promotions, news, and events. But the extent to which they are successful with their online marketing efforts is a different question altogether.

You already know how important online marketing is to the survival of your business. If you don’t market your company – or market it well – potential customers may never know you exist and they will shop elsewhere. By understanding the basics of online – digital – marketing, you have the knowledge and power to put digital marketing strategies and techniques to work for you.

As technology and digital platforms have evolved in recent years, so has online marketing, which, today, comes quite close to being an exact science. Online marketing is also known as internet marketing, digital marketing, and web marketing, and the phrases are often used interchangeably. Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are two strategies that fall under the online marketing umbrella. They work in concert with each other to produce the desired results of increasing and enhancing a company’s online presence and relevance to targeted users – that is, to clients and potential clients – to improve conversions, increase web traffic, provide more qualified leads, and ultimately, grow the business and profits.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – involves taking steps on a website with the goal of increasing the site’s ranking and visibility within search engines, so that it can be easily found when people search for the goods or services the business offers.

  • SEO –

o   Follows and reacts to how search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing operate

o   Takes into account how users query and perform searches on the internet – including what they search for and the words or terms they use when performing a search

o   Looks for relevance and value in a website’s content

o   Involves having quality (well written) content and relevant backlinks, as well as a properly managed and maintained website in terms of HTML coding, sitemap, etc.

o   Requires removal of items and issues such as broken links that restrict a search engine’s ability to properly index a website

 

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – is placing paid online ads that appear alongside other search engine results when a user performs a search and meets the targeted location, demographic, and other criteria associated with the ad.

  • SEM

o   Can be an extremely valuable component in your company’s digital marketing efforts

o   Is also known as paid advertising, pay-per-click/keyword advertising, targeted advertising

o   Lets you to reach a target audience by placing an online marketing message directly in front of them

o   Involves bidding on the advertising and then paying when a viewer clicks on the ad

o   Incorporates SEO of keywords and phrases to increase traffic to your website as a result of a natural (organic) search query

o   Increases the visibility of your website by placing paid ads alongside user search results when they enter queries into search engines for the products or services you offer

o   Can be used in conjunction with social media marketing

SEO and SEM strategies both require close attention and maintenance to know what is, or is not, working. Savvy web developers continually test, monitor, and adjust ads to ensure each ad investment returns the maximum results. They track which keywords perform the best and can make real-time adjustments if they see something is not working or is performing poorly.

Why Do SEM?

The benefits of doing paid advertising include attracting more customers and new website traffic. A properly run ad campaign will rank well in search engine results, and ensure ads appear in front of the very people who are looking for a company’s specific services. This ensures the people who visit their site are the most qualified and are more likely to follow through with a phone call or inquiry.

Occasionally, the way search engines index web pages and websites and present results to search queries can change. Such changes can affect the performance of SEO and SEM which, in turn, may require a change in the strategy a company uses when doing its online marketing. Good web developers follow and stay abreast of the trends and updates in internet marketing that affect their clients, and inform and educate them on the topic. If your own web or IT team is too busy managing other aspects of your business or website to keep up with the lightning-fast changes that occur with internet and search engine marketing, contact a reputable web development company for information on the latest requirements. Some will even perform an audit of your website and recommend changes or updates you’ll need to make to ensure your existing digital marketing efforts remain effective.

Perfexion, Inc. specializes in online marketing and understands what is needed for a website and all related digital marketing efforts to perform at optimum levels and achieve maximum results and profitability. We are a Philadelphia-based web design and development company located in Plymouth Meeting just outside King of Prussia. We specialize in making sure clients’ websites are technically sound and perform to the best of their ability at all times.

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