Yet despite how monumentally massive these industries are, there is still a lot of confusion around what these terms mean.
Let’s take a brief look at SEO and SEM, their differences and the definitions of each.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO is a method of optimizing a webpage so that it will attract more organic traffic. By organic traffic, I’m referring to users who find a website through a search engine.
Technically, SEO caters to all search engines, including Duckduck Go, Yahoo, and Bing. In reality, however, virtually all SEO focuses on the kingpin: Google.
Google is notorious for changing their algorithms in a tireless attempt to make the searching experience as effective as possible for the end user. As a result, SEO techniques are evolving rapidly.
Two things remain constant, however: The concepts of on-page and off-page optimization.
What is On-page Optimization?
As the name suggests, on page optimization is undertaken within the website itself. Essentially, these are tricks of the trade that SEO savvy content writers and web designs use to improve the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) ranking of their article.
Using targeted keywords in the title and headings of their article.
Peppering secondary keywords throughout the article in a natural way.
Achieving the highest possible page load time.
Including photos which have been SEO optimized by way of file size, file name, and alt tags.
User-friendly formatting with ample white space.
Social media sharing plugins.
Quality content that provides real value for the reader.
What is Off-page Optimization?
Off-page refers to techniques undertaken outside the website. Behind the scenes, if you will.
Link building by obtaining inbound links (backlinks) from other reputable websites.
Driving traffic through social media, A.K.A social signals.
What is Search Engine Marketing?
SEM is when a marketer pays a search engine (almost always Google Ad Words) to promote their product to a wider audience.
You’ve probably noticed results at the top of Google marked “[Ad].” These are an example of a pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-click (CPC) advertisement, which is a critical component of SEM.
SEM once referred to both SEO and PPC advertisements, although these days there is a clear distinction between the two.
Other aspects of SEM include:
Targeted advertising campaigns.
Advertisement groups with a focus on keyword variations.
Writing keyword rich ad copy.
Monitoring marketing metrics such as click-through rates and average costs per click.
SEO vs. SEM: Which is Better?
Each excels at different things.
SEO is more of a long game. The practice may not see instant results, but if done correctly, it can result in a considerable amount of organic traffic over time.
SEM, on the other hand, is capable of earning a website fast exposure which is great for short term campaigns or new companies looking to start trading with a bang.
Big online businesses incorporate both, as the two complement each other nicely.
SEO and SEM: Do I Need Them?
SEO is an essential practice for anyone looking to make money through a website. After all, if you can’t hit the front page of Google, then do you really exist?
SEM is a little more variable. If done right, it can drive massive short-term traffic to your business, but for a price.
Who Can Help Me Create an SEO/SEM Marketing Strategy?
Reno Web Design are experts at both SEO and SEM marketing. Get in touch with them today to discuss an affordable and effective online marketing plan for your business.
SEO web design is fast becoming a popular keyword searched online. What is SEO?
How can SEO help my business reach our goals?
Should I invest in learning this or can I trust an expert to do the job?
SEO is a marketing strategy that helps businesses reach customers at the point of their motivated need to find the best products and services. Imagine being in the right place at the right time. Client is ready to purchase a new car, they hop onto Google and search for something similar to “Best new cars” or “affordable new cars near me”. Being that purchasing a new car is a large investment, the time to purchase will usually be a longer one. This gives you the opportunity to build a relationship with the searcher who is in the market for your services and products.
Content creation is a great way to build up trust and product education opportunities.
Having a large website with resources to help the car buyer make sound buying decisions is a great start. Offering reviews, videos, calculators and tips for upkeep and maintenance are great ideas for sharing useful information that helps to build confidence in your companies offerings.
Before redesigning the company website or implementing a web design refresh, running a full technical SEO audit will give the marketing team a blueprint or guide to help either the website design company or in house IT team protect current SEO rankings during the site redesign.
Company and Brand Recognition
How many 5 star reviews do you have? How many are verified through a reputable 3rd party like Google, Facebook or Yelp?
Reviews are not a direct ranking factor, but do affect your rankings through click throughs. When a customer is searching for products and services, they scour the web compiling a list of companies, they then review the ratings of each. So, if you have managed to rank your website #1 in Google, but your competitors have 10 or more positive reviews, you will lose most of the leads to the company with the highest reviews online.
Best SEO practices can ensure minimal loss in Google rankings during a site migration and / or site re design.
One of the most popular search terms around SEO are: how to seo your website for free how to do seo on your website how to do search engine optimization how to seo a website
Although websites in low volume niches are easier to rank in Google for their desired keywords, larger companies who are in very competitive markets need a dedicated expert with experience in out ranking online. Digital marketing involves a great deal of resources, tools and requirements that change quite a bit. Unless you have ample time to dedicate to learning, testing and acquiring needed information in this market, doing your own SEO could cost you thousands in sales if done incorrectly.
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Now that you have your website up and running, you need to put together a simple plan to help your future customers learn about your services and products. The old adage, ‘Build it and they will come’ only applies to businesses located in high foot traffic locations, not online.
Google and other search engines need to see that other website properties find your website valuable and helpful in some way. Most websites “vote” for your website with a back link.
What is a back link?
A back link is where another website links a page on their website with a page on your website. For example, FreeWebSubmission.com is a back link to Free Web submission’s website.
Check their website stats with tools like SEMrush.com and Ahrefs.com and you will see that this website has thousands of back links. These back links are one of many SEO factors that help this online website directory rank high in Google search engine.
Although having back links can help your website rank high in search engines, you must keep in mind the following facts:
Buying back links is usually a bad idea. Having back links from spam sites can harm your SEO.
Find back links that are from websites in similar niches as your own.
Make this one of your top priorities each week for ongoing SEO support.
A backlink is a reference comparable to a citation. The quantity, quality, and relevance of backlinks for a web page are among the factors that search engines like Google evaluate in order to estimate how important the page is.PageRank calculates the score for each web page based on how all the web pages are connected among themselves, and is one of the variables that Google Search uses to determine how high a web page should go in search results. This weighting of backlinks is analogous to citation analysis of books, scholarly papers, and academic journals. A Topical PageRank has been researched and implemented as well, which gives more weight to backlinks coming from the page of a same topic as a target page. 
Some other words for backlink are incoming link, inbound link, inlink, inward link, and citation.
How can you get more relevant back links to your website?
Not all back links are created equal. Some back links have more authority. This is because the website has a large volume of its own back links as well as thousands of pages of relevant and related industry content that is trusted within the Google network.
These high value websites are often difficult to get a back link on, but are doable.
Some strategies to help you secure a high value back link are:
Write a long form article that includes a helpful and professionally designed inforgraphic. I can can help design this infographic for you if needed. (My rates are $850 per infographic).
Share this article with popular news sites looking for this type of content. Allow them to post your long form (2,000 words or more) content with custom infographic onto their news site and/or blog. Make sure to link back to your main website.
Offer to share tips and useful information for your local Chamber of Commerce website. Make sure to include a website link back to your about us page. Most people only link back to the home page of their website, this is a mistake. You should send back links to different sections of your website for the best SEO results.
Complete as many social media profiles as you can. Make sure to add a website url to your companies main website within each social media profile section. This is very time consuming, but worth the effort in the long run.
Another great blog that shares how to get more backlinks for your website…
101 Ways to Get Quality Backlinks To Your Blog in 2018
When ever we talk about SEO, we divide it into on site and off site SEO. Off site SEO mainly contains backlinks and social signals. Specially, to boost your ranking in SERP’s you need to get quality links from other authority sites. We all know the importance of search engine traffic and that getting high quality backlinks to your blog is one of the best ways to improve your blogs rankings and get better search engine traffic and results, this post will be listing 101 ways by which you can get quality backlinks to your blog.
Though before we move ahead, here are things that you need to keep in mind. In 2012, Google launched Penguin update, which is targeted to get rid of sites using spammy or paid ways to build links. Also, many ways which I mentioned in the article are not so good ways to get quality backlinks, so I will strikethrough such ways and you can ignore them.
Company websites are one of the most important pieces to a successful marketing campaign and even business plan. Companies that focus their efforts on creating an engaging experience for their customers online, tend to out perform their competitors.
The look and feel of a custom web design is paramount to its success, but what lies beneath that branded website, is where SEO audits redirect their focus.
Most of the new SEO auditing services we provide each month, come from new clients who started to lose SEO organic traffic and wanted to know why.
The usual culprit is a site redesign.
A full technical SEO audit shines light onto areas of the new website design that may not be up to par with Google’s SEO requirements. Most of the findings fall along simple and careless changes done by the ad agency or web design company.
SEO audits can take up to two weeks. A full report includes action steps needed in order to correct the issues. After these errors are corrected, we can get a websites rankings back within a few months or less.
A full technical SEO audit details all the areas within your website that need improvement, repair and/or bolstering in order to save, increase or stabilize your existing or non existent search engine rankings in Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines. Looking at a website from a forensic view point discovering hidden errors and problems that could dramatically increase your websites rankings in short order. Most clients see improvements in their SEO rankings in a month or less.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the art and science of optimizing pages on your website to rank in search engines for your most important keyword phrases.
How Can A SEO Audit Help My Company?
Identifying errors and missed opportunities for improvement has increased rankings and quality leads for my clients. Most websites have room for improvement. Speed is usually the first area that I look at in regards to finding where the big problems are within your website. Google ranks speed as one of the top indicating factors in ranking a website in their SERPS (search engine results page).
Some of the most common errors found in a full technical SEO audit are:
Mobile responsiveness and layout issues.
Missing schema markup.
Missing alt and meta data needed for SEO with Google and all other search engines.
Duplicate content problems.
404 missing pages.
Do You Offer a Free SEO Audit?
Yes, this is a quick review of your website that highlights some of the problems holding your marketing back online. Send in your website address, phone, name and email for your quick SEO audit.
Can You Help Fix These Problems For Us?
The short answer is yes. The full answer will require access to your host, database and analytics. We document all activities within a site and monitor their immediate results in Google Analytics and Google Search Console. A full forensic style SEO audit can take up to a month to administer. Some clients prefer us to fix the problems as soon as we document them. Others prefer a full report to analyze with their in house teams and implement the requested improvements.
Are SEO Audits Expensive?
That depends. I offer an introductory SEO audit for free to help small businesses understand some of the common issues that need resolved. Most of my Full Technical SEO Audits can cost $1900 – $10,000 range depending on the size of the website and number of web properties to analyze. Most of my SEO projects fall in between $2,000.
Can A SEO Audit Service Recover A Penalized Website?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is hopefully. I have experience working within these banned sites or penalized site issues with Google. Some sites only require me to fix items on site, resubmit to Google index and wait. While others are more serious in nature and depending on the type of website property that is penalized, may never recover. A quick SEO audit review can often shed light on whether this is a project that can be salvaged or needs total re-branding and marketing plan. Most Google penalties can be repaired.
SEO Audit Terms You Should Know
Is the text that appears highlighted in a hypertext link and that can be clicked to open the target web page.
The title tag is an HTML title element critical to both SEO and user experience that is used to briefly and accurately describes the topic and theme of an online document. The title tag is displayed in two key places: Internet Browser – Title Tags display in the top bar of internet browsers.
A 301 redirect is a method of telling web browsers and search engines that a web page or site has been permanently moved to a new location. Usually a 301 redirect includes the address to which the resource has been moved.
The meta description is a ~160 character snippet, a tag in HTML, that summarizes a page’s content. Search engines show the meta description in search results mostly when the searched for phrase is contained in the description. Optimizing the meta description is a very important aspect of on-page SEO.
A search engine results page (SERP) is the page displayed by a search engine in response to a query by a searcher. The main component of the SERP is the listing of results that are returned by the search engine in response to a keyword query, although the page may also contain other results such as advertisements.
Webby Award Winning Web Designer & Marketing Expert