If the title of this article just made you WTF, don’t worry, you’re not alone. When it comes to digital marketing strategies, one of the most common questions is which channel to pursue—Search Engine Optimization (organic traffic) or Search Engine Marketing (paid traffic)? In other words, what the difference between SEO vs. SEM?
SEO and SEM share a common goal—driving traffic to your website. Of course, small business owners have to be careful. When every penny counts, running two campaigns can seem a tad luxurious, but many of our clients have found terrific success through strategic campaigns that combine both search engine optimization and search engine marketing. That’s because while they work similarly and share an overarching goal, the results they deliver are quite different.
SEO for small businesses in Vancouver
Optimizing your website for search engines is a powerful means for strengthening a website and extending its reach. It allows you to better connect with customers and increase visibility on your brand. It stands to reason that if a small business can be found easily through Google, it’s going to grow faster.
Built-in benefits of SEO include:
- A more user-friendly website
- More traffic
- Higher conversion rates
- Increased brand exposure and awareness
SEO is designed to generate traffic from a target audience to a website through a customer’s own searches. For example, a client looking for SEO services in Vancouver might enter queries like “SEO Vancouver” or “SEO Consultant Vancouver.” Through a complex series of digital techniques, search engine optimization works to increase the quantity and quality of online traffic to a website. It increases online exposure for your brand and strengthen a company’s position among the competition.
For small businesses that don’t have the resources to hire an SEO consultant, the process can be difficult. Moreover, each website can only be optimized for a finite number of keywords (usually one per page). However, here are a few tricks that can help get you started:
Research your keywords
Take time to research the queries customers are using to find your service or product. This will help focus your efforts and more effectively create a website with optimized content. Make sure keywords are strategically placed in your content such as in titles, subtitles and add them throughout the body of each page.
There’s a reason people do this. Google likes to see fresh content. Websites that add fresh content regularly enjoy an advantage over those that don’t. Make sure your info is current and relevant with links that lead to relevant resources.
In this day and age, social media provides one of the most extensive methods to reach your audience and promote your business. It’s a fabulous way to post your articles and build-up backlinks for free. Frankly, as a business tool, most businesses can’t afford to neglect this.
Create a Google My Business Account
This helps you appear in local search results and ensures that you add all the necessary information about your business, including images. Be sure to also claim your physical address (particularly if your business has a physical location where customers will go) on Google Maps.
SEO Vs. SEM
Unlike SEO, SEM (Search Engine Marketing) allows you to buy a spot on page one of Google search results. Investing in paid advertisements will guarantee that your small business ad appears when people enter the relevant keyword queries (and you only pay if people actually click through to your website).
As a result, SEM produces fast results by targeting audiences while making sure your business is seen by people who are actually looking for your products and services—warm leads. It allows small businesses to stand shoulder to shoulder with their larger, brawnier competitors and often delivers a substantial return on investments.
Benefits of SEM
- Fast results
- More targeted leads
- Highly customizable budgets
- Targeted campaigns
- Great ROI
With approximately 74% of internet users performing local searches and 61% of local searches resulting in purchases, SEM efforts can be incredibly advantageous for businesses who need to jumpstart their sales.
While both strategies have their own pros and cons, when combined, they act synergistically to form a very cohesive digital strategy for sales acquisitions online. SEM lets you quickly capitalize on targeted searches (keywords that might not be applicable through SEO) while SEO lays the foundation for long-term success and helps attract and retain traffic.
Thinking about short-term and long-term success is imperative to any business, and that’s what combining SEO and SEM does. To learn more about services for SEM and SEO in Vancouver, give INKYKISS a call at 778-989-6738.