By performing a few simple search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques, small businesses can improve their listing in Google’s search rankings and earn significant amounts of business as a result.
But what sets SEO apart from search engine marketing (SEM). Once you understand both terms, the difference is pretty clear. SEO traditionally refers to both on-page and off-page activities that you do in order to improve the ranking of your website organically in the search results.
That can include anything from meta tags and image tags, to factors such as how long it takes each page of your website to load, privacy statements and contact forms. It means creating clear navigation pages as well as rich, organic content so Google knows you’re not spamming your audience.
Therefore, SEO is something most businesses are already doing on a daily basis – or at least, they should be. It means keeping up with changes to Google’s algorithm, but having an effective SEO strategy in place will reap rewards in the long term.
However, SEM is a different story. Put simply, SEM is paid-per-click advertising. Whether that’s on Google or anywhere else, and regardless of what the ad type is – SEM simply refers to paid efforts in order to gain clicks.
Essentially, SEM is more about strategically creating a brand so you ensure your company pops up in organic results. That means you should be developing such a cohesive brand that when people search for your product, you come up in the results.
SEO still requires a lot of time and effort, but in the end is much simpler – just make sure your site is easy to navigate, and that you’re producing great content.
Off-page efforts are important too, including backwards-linking, guest blog posts, Facebook, Twitter, links pointing back to you, and more.
For many time-poor small businesses this can be complicated which is why it can be easier to seek a marketing services company to help out.
Whether you are using SEO or SEM to boost your website’s rankings, you’ll also need to find a way to measure your marketing efforts to reveal which strategies work for your particular business.