De-Mystifying Search Engine Marketing
Many local businesses are familiar with SEO and the need to be found in Internet search engines like Google.
But how does a small business owner optimize a website so it can be found through search engines? Do you pay for ads? Do you blog or use free social media?
It might seem easier to just pay for an online ad and hope it reaches your target audience, but these days you need a more comprehensive strategy.
“Strategy” might sound intimidating, but it’s not rocket science.
Most SEO experts agree that effective search engine marketing involves both paid ads and “organic” methods. Here’s a simple distinction between the two:
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) = strategies designed to increase traffic to your website that mostly involve time (labour) and free online listings
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) = strategies designed to increase traffic to your website through paid ads and online listings
A successful online marketing strategy should involve both SEO and SEM.
One prominent SEO source (Search Engine Land) prefers to combine SEO and SEM efforts into one unified strategy called search marketing. I like that.
Search Engine Land also has some of the best and simplest explanations of these two strategies.
This article explains search engine optimization in plain language (and video). There are links for further learning.
This article explains paid search engine marketing in plain language (and video). There are links for further learning.
Quality Content for Search Marketing
Underlying both SEO and SEM is the need for quality content. I have discussed the small business benefits of quality content for local search elsewhere. I can’t help but come back to it in almost every discussion about search engine marketing and SEO.
Search engine marketing techniques and advertising methods come and go. The one constant is content.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the latest techniques. But the fact remains that if you don’t have anything valuable to say, people lose interest. If you don’t have useful information, images, or video to share that will benefit your target audience, you will not be able to create a sustainable following.
Always keep quality content at the forefront in all your search marketing efforts, organic or paid.
About Lighthouse Marketing
Lighthouse Marketing Inc. is an 18 year old company specializing in visually appealing, mobile friendly website design. In addition to our existing website services, the past 3 years has seen dynamic growth in the area of SEO services, particularly with regard to local search. Our evolution to a full service SEO company means that we now offer complete online business solutions that involve Google local search as well as an effective social media strategy.