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You know you need to rank better in Google, but what does that mean? A lot of people use the terms SEO and SEM interchangeably. In reality, they’re very different things.

– What are SEO and SEM?

SEO is a catch-all term for all the things you do to get your site ranked higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). Keyword research, content creation, link building…all these are considered SEO tasks.

Google sees sites with more links pointing at them as being more relevant than those without many incoming backlinks. So it’s important to build up your site’s authority by getting other high-quality sites to link to you.

SEM is also an umbrella term but it’s specific to PPC – or pay-per-click advertising. You’ll see this often in the form of adverts at the top and side of SERPs for searches related to a particular keyword.

PPC ads are very easy to spot because they’re almost always accompanied by a little yellow “Ad” icon. Google uses an auction system – where advertisers bid on keywords – to decide which ads will be displayed with search results. The highest bidder gets their ad space, and the cost of that click is added to their account’s total budget.

SEM includes things like:

– Setting up a Google AdWords account

– Choosing keywords and creating ads

– Bidding on particular words

– Creating landing pages to optimize for conversions.

Google only allows the highest bidder to appear in SE results, so you must set a budget that will let your ad stay relevant without spending too much or too little on your daily budget. You can also set a limit to how much you’re willing to pay per click – this is known as the maximum cost-per-click (max. CPC) bid. Let’s say, for example, that you only had $5/day to spend on SEM efforts. If someone bids $2.50/click, they’ll appear in the SERPs until all their budget is used up. At that point, Google will begin showing your ad with a lower CPC bid.

You also need to consider how much you’re willing to spend on SEO per month and when it’s best to begin your campaigns.

While SEM campaigns have a limited lifespan, SEO efforts are ongoing. You should begin SEO as early in the life of your site as possible. SEM campaigns can be added to existing sites when they’re ready to drive traffic for specific products or services – although it’s important to note that you don’t have much control over which ads show up next to your organic search results.

– The difference between organic and paid ranking on Google

It’s important to remember that both SEO and SEM are very different, but they work together in Google searches.

While most people think of #1 as the “best” ranking, it really doesn’t make sense to think like this – paid ads appear here too (you can see them right at the top of your browser) and they’re ranked by the highest CPC bid.

Organic results, on the other hand, are free to appear on search engine results pages (SERPs). These happen when Google crawls – or searches for – your website and deems it relevant enough to show up in users’ search queries. This is based on many factors including keywords, user signals (like the recency of visits and bounce rate), page speed, how often you publish content, social media signals like Facebook Likes, and many others.

SEM campaigns are especially useful for driving traffic to your website. While organic rankings can take months or years to improve through effective SEO efforts, you should see results in the form of increased traffic from SEM within weeks.

Several factors contribute to your site’s visibility in Google, including:

– Keyword/phrase usage

– Page speed and content quality

– Authority of linking sites

– Age of domain name

These will play a role in determining where you rank for different keywords – organic or paid – and different search queries.

– Differences between content marketing and social media marketing

SEM and SEO are both great ways to drive traffic to your site. While both can be used in conjunction with content marketing, they’re also useful for building a marketing strategy around social media.

Social media has become an important part of almost every business’ online presence, especially since it’s often the first place people go when looking for a product or service.

If you’re not regularly posting content on social media, chances are your competitors are! This includes Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other platforms where users can follow businesses and organizations; to keep up with the latest news and updates.

Having a strong presence on social media can help improve your search engine rankings – if people share and like your content, it sends a strong social signal to Google and other search engines. This helps push your content higher up in SERPs, which can lead to more people finding your site organically – both on and off of social media.

– Which comes first: SEO or SEM?

SEM campaigns should be implemented at the same time as, or before, your SEO efforts. You should begin building a strong presence on Google and other search engines as soon as possible – even if you’re just starting and don’t have many products or services to sell.

This is because there’s no way to force your site to rank higher than others for specific keywords; it takes time and a lot of effort to improve search engine rankings.

If you’re just starting and don’t have a large budget for marketing your website, the best strategy is, to begin with, SEO as early as possible. This ensures that you’ll rank organically for related keywords once your site starts generating traffic from SEM campaigns.

While both are important, SEM definitely gets more attention in searches because it appears above organic listings. People do click on paid ads, often because they’re looking for something very specific and the content isn’t relevant enough to show up organically.

It’s also important to remember that users are more likely to share content when they see it in their social media feeds – this can have a positive impact on your organic search rankings.

– How can I use my website to rank better for keywords?

Your website – including your domain name, design, and content quality – plays a major role in whether or not your site ranks well for specific keywords.

That being the case, you should take some time to think about how people might search for what you have to offer before you begin implementing SEM campaigns.

If you’re selling beauty products online, for example, a search for black Friday beauty sales would return results that include mostly organic listings. This means it’s unlikely your website will rank well without an SEO campaign to improve its standing.

In contrast, you can expect to see your site appear on the first page of Google for queries like best beauty products – as long as you have a quality site with relevant, helpful content.

– What are the benefits of SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization – it’s a process that helps people find your website in their searches.

It also improves your site’s visibility on Google and other search engines, which can help drive traffic to your site without you needing to invest in SEM campaigns or other types of marketing.

If you’re just starting and don’t have a large budget for online marketing, SEO is a great way to get your name out there and generate traffic. Even if you’re already doing SEM, you should continue improving the visibility of your site organically to maintain your existing rankings in searches.

Both SEO and SEM are incredibly important; if you only focus on one, you could find yourself at a major disadvantage as your competitors outrank you for related keywords.

– How can I tell if my SEO is working?

If you’re using Google Analytics to track website visits, page views, and bounce rate – which is something we recommend that all WordPress users do – you can easily see if your site is performing well for specific keywords.

If you notice that traffic to your website has increased over a short period of time, there’s a good chance you’re doing something right with your SEO efforts. Similarly, a drop in traffic may also indicate that changes need to be made to help improve organic search rankings.

– Are you using the right social media platform for your business needs?

There were over 200 million active users on Instagram as of last year, so it’s clear that this platform has become one of the most important social media channels for businesses.

If you’re using Facebook or Twitter to market your business, you might want to consider creating an account on the visual-focused photo-sharing site.

It may be a good choice if you already have a strong customer following on other networks, as Instagram allows users to follow profiles and see posts from those accounts in their feeds.

– Why do I need a responsive website that displays well across all devices (including mobile)?

With so many people accessing the web on their smartphones, it makes sense to have a website that works well for mobile users.

If you’re using WordPress, or even another platform like Magento or Wix, you need to ensure you have a responsive design that looks good on large screens and smaller mobile devices.

You can test how your website looks on various devices by browsing it with different browsers on computers and phones. If you notice that some things are cut off or difficult to read, try resizing the browser window to see if it helps improve the experience for visitors.

– What is the difference between mobile SEO and local SEO?

A major part of mobile optimization involves ensuring your website is easy to view and navigate on a range of devices, regardless of what browser or operating system is being used.

Local SEO, on the other hand, relates more to a physical location; it’s used to help people find brick-and-mortar stores and other places that they can visit in person.

This type of optimization can be particularly important for local businesses, as people are more likely to visit a site if it’s clear how they can get there.

– Should I invest in PPC or SEO?

Both PPC and organic SEO have their pros and cons.  

Ads are usually purchased on an ongoing basis, so you need to make sure that your advertising budget is sufficient to maintain the level of traffic that you’re getting.

With SEO, on the other hand, there’s no guarantee that all your efforts will pay off; similarly, without regular maintenance and care it might be difficult for search engines to find and recognize your content or website at all.

The cost of hiring an expert to undertake SEO work can vary, but it can often be beneficial to get a professional involved so they know exactly what needs to be done.

– How can I prevent competitors from stealing my SEO?

If you’re concerned about your website being penalized for any reason – which is something that happens on occasion when new rules are implemented or existing ones are updated – it’s important to pay attention to the content that you’re sharing on social media.

The more often you publish unique or original material, the less likely it is that you’ll have any issues with your site being penalized for duplicate content.

If you know which websites are linking to yours, using Google’s Disavow tool can help to reduce the chances of your website’s rankings being affected.

– What is click-through rate (CTR), and why it’s important?

Click-through rates are based on how often people choose to follow a link that you’ve shared, as opposed to getting distracted or moving onto another task before they make a decision.

If your CTR is lower than average, you’ll want to test how well your messages are being communicated, as there may be a problem with the titles you’re using for posts or the content itself.

– What is social signal vs backlink?

A social signal refers to any action that’s taken on a social media platform that could indicate that someone has visited your website – such as clicking a link to go to the homepage.

A backlink is essentially just another word for a link and can be included in any type of post you might publish across social media.

If your website doesn’t already have many quality backlinks, try focusing on generating more social signals that can lead to this type of exposure – such as asking other influencers to include a link in their posts.

– Is the Google penalty permanent?

In most cases, the answer is yes.  

Once you’ve been penalized by Google’s algorithms for any reason, your rankings might not ever recover unless you take steps to ensure that your site complies with all of their requirements and adheres to current best practices.

This is where hiring an expert to manage your SEO work can be valuable; they know the latest rules and requirements and will know how to keep you safe from future issues.

– How long does it take to recover from a penalty?

There’s no guarantee that you’ll ever be able to recover, even if your website has been penalized in the past.

Google’s algorithms are constantly evolving, so any old issues might become less relevant over time – but it’s also possible that new problems will develop as a direct result of changes made to the search engine’s requirements or preferences.

If you want to recover from a penalty, you’ll need to invest much more than just effort into promoting your website; depending on the penalty that was applied, it might take months or even years before you start to see any real results.

It can be difficult to tell the difference between SEO and SEM.

They both have their own unique benefits, but it’s important not to confuse them for one another. In this article, we’ve covered some of the key differences between these two services with a few examples that will help you decide which is best suited for your needs or budget. If you’re interested in learning more about how our team can help with either SEO or SEM Services please contact us today! We offer a free consultation as well as competitive rates on all projects big and small!  We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Optymizer is the website’s best friend!” – Stefanie Bruder, Director of Marketing & Communications

“Optymizer not only increases traffic to your website, but it does so in a way that’s environmentally friendly and sustainable. We are happy to be recognized for our efforts with this award.” – Doris Kearns Goodwin, Bestselling Author

“As a non-profit, we were looking for an affordable way to get more traffic. We’ve had wonderful results from Optymizer and would recommend their services to anyone!” – Mary Paulson, CEO

Optymizer Technologies is a full-service digital marketing firm that specializes in search engine optimization, pay-per-click management, social media marketing, blogging & content development, and website analytics. We offer a full suite of services to help your business grow online.

Contact us if you would like for us to review your website and show you how we can help increase your organic ranking (SEO) or gain more traffic from search engines (SEM).  

We also provide a full digital marketing checklist for your business including:

• Website design, development, and/or optimization (SEO & SEM)

• Social media profile creation and management (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter & more)

• Blogging & content development

• Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)

• Search engine marketing (SEM)

• Website analytics & reporting

Optymizer Technologies is now offering FREE website analysis – no strings attached.

Take advantage of this opportunity to see how we can help your business grow online!


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