Are you confused about SEO and SEM? There’s a lot to learn and even the terminology can be confusing. Here, we present the basics in terminology and process to help get you started. Often people will find your website by doing a search on a search engine – such as Google or Firefox.
No doubt you’ve done searches yourself by typing a word or words onto the search page and then looking at all those thousands of results. Because there are so many web pages on the Internet the goal is to get your site positioned toward the top of the search results list. So, how do you do this? With SEO and SEM.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization – basically the process of improving your website so it’s “friendly” to search engines like Google and Firefox. Ways to improve your SEO includes the flow of your website, your keywords, and content, meta-tags,1 as well as a host of other tactics.
Search engine marketing – SEM – is a way of marketing your website through “paid placement” tools such as Pay-per-click (PPC – you pay when someone clicks on your ad) and
“contextual advertising”2 (the search engine shows advertisements that are related to the keywords used in the search).3
1. SEO and SEM Begin with Keywords
The idea is to utilize specific words and phrases that your potential customers would use to find your business or product. Treat each of your website pages as individuals, when it comes to keywords and phrases. Once you’ve selected a few relevant phrases, then you should develop your well-written content around those.1 Here’s a google keyword tool you can use to find keyword ideas.
2. SEO – Html Meta Tags
Html Meta tags include the title tag, description and keywords tags. Your title tag should include one or two of your most relevant keywords or phrases. Your keywords meta tag should list the words or phrases that “best describe the contents of the page. The description meta tag includes a brief one- or two-sentence description of the page.”1
3. Pay Per Click Basics
Once you’ve developed your keywords into content and put in your meta tags, you can begin with an SEM pay per click account, if it’s in your budget to do so. SEM accounts are organized into three tiers: account, campaign, and ad group. Each campaign has its own budget and each ad group contains a set of ads that relate to your chosen keywords.
4. SEM and Your Landing Pages
When you write each PPC ad you will want to send the customer who clicks on it to the landing page with the information or product mentioned. Choose the page of your website that is most relevant to the product or service described in this ad. Your ad content should always reflect the landing page and should be relevant to your keywords.
5. Targeted Ad Copy
Write your ads to describe the product or service you’re advertising. Ensure your ad headlines relate to the keywords being searched. For instance, if you’re working with the phrase 4×6 postcards, and other related terms, you will create a postcard campaign, write ads about 4×6 postcards, and decide how much money you can put into that campaign. In general, the more specific (tighter) your ad groups are, the more success you will have. Making them tighter means you want as few keywords as possible in each ad group so everything can be highly targeted. Try and have no more than 10 keywords per ad group. Over time you will see that some ads give you better results. Pause the poor performing ads and shift more of your budget to the better performing ones.
SEO and SEM are closely interrelated. When you use both, and are consistent with keywords across all your marketing methods, you will get better results which includes higher conversion rates. SEO and SEM can seem daunting when you’re starting out but there is a lot of great information available to help.
Link: Quick SEO/SEM Glossary5,6
- Search engine marketing, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Wikipedia: Contextual advertising
- SearchSOA.com Definitions
- Pay Per Click Universe: Glossary
Co-wrote with Chloe Nguyen