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In the search marketing world, the lingo can be a bit confusing. One of the biggest confusions we come across when talking with prospective clients is SEO (search engine optimization) versus SEM (search engine marketing). Clients will come to us and say things like “I was told I need SEO on my site to rank better,” or “Do you guys offer SEM?”

When we take a step back and make sure we’ve got all those apples lined up and all those oranges in a row, we find that clarifying the difference between SEO and SEM helps the folks we talk to have a better understanding of their needs. In most cases, a website will need both SEO and SEM work to achieve the desired level of success, so it’s critical to know exactly what each service is.

Please contact us if you’d like more information on search engine optimization or marketing services.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO tactics are designed to optimize your site. That is, put it in the best possible position for Google to like what it sees when it comes to visit. By and large, the work is about taking several aspects of the site itself and getting them in line with what will make the most sense for search engines.

As an example, let’s say that your site’s pages have boatloads of old or useless code, with what actually appears in the web browser stuffed into the very end of that code. This makes it harder for the search engines to determine what your page is about, and also may indicate that there are other errors or issues that may negatively affect the user experience. So don’t make it hard on Google. Clean up your code and add tags to help their bots do the job of indexing content correctly and determining what each page is about.

That’s just one very basic example. You’ve also probably heard a lot about “keywords.” Researching the words and phrases searches are using to find products and services like yours is a time-honored SEO tactic, which is followed by actually using these words and phrases in key areas of each page of the site.

Once we have completed search engine optimization tactics on your site, which we typically do while the site is hidden from public and search engine view, it’s time to launch the site and begin the search engine marketing phase.

Search Engine Marketing

We market your site to the search engines (SEM) to let them know what the site offers, demonstrate that the site is being updated regularly, and generally show why the site deserves to earn top rankings. If you think of your site as a house, SEO is in the blueprints and construction, while SEM is about the utilities that keep it running.

If you don’t pay your electric bill, the lights go out. Similarly, if you don’t keep updating your site and continue to promote it across the web, you won’t be able to attract new visitors. We market sites on a monthly basis with tactics such as blog writing, new page creation, social media engagement, link building, and local search.

What You Need

To reach new visitors through the search engines, all sites need ongoing search engine marketing services. Well over 95% of the clients we serve also needed some level of search engine optimization to position their site for the best possible degree of success. Our evaluation process during our proposal page takes a close look at your existing online assets and we will custom-design SEO and SEM plans to fit your needs. Please contact us to take the next step.

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