Taking Advantage of Both SEO and SEM to Maximize Your Success

As any brand is looking to strengthen their online presence and positively impact their financial successes, evaluating and utilising SEO and SEM strategies is crucial. SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) work tandem with one another, although they are not the same thing. 

Understanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is the process by which you optimize your website and its content, to improve your visibility within search engine results. 

 Greater visibility is achieved when you rank higher within search engine results (Google, Yahoo, etc). More specifically, you want your site to appear on the first page of results and near the top of that page.
For example, if you have a physiotherapy business, and a potential client types “physiotherapy near me”, you want your website to appear at the top of that list.
A majority of customers are going to click on the first page of results and select what appears near the top of those results. By improving your search engine optimization, you will increase the exposure potential customers have to your business, thus increasing the possibility that they will then use your business. 

The Challenges of Keywords and Consumer Predictability

One of the biggest challenges with SEO comes from trying to predict the specific keywords and phrases that potential customers are going to type in. Consumers brains work similarly, but they aren’t always the same. Based on experiences or types of pain, potential clients can type in a number of phrases to search for the same business. If a customer types in “support for back pain” or simply “therapist for pain”, are they going to see the results they need?

While this is clearly not the only strategy for SEO, keywords and phrases are some of the most important. In order for a site to appear at the top of a search list, the site itself needs to include multiple phrases and keywords throughout its content. This can sometimes be a challenge when well-meaning developers and content creators flood a website and pump it full of vague, nonspecific and overused words in an effort to accomplish this. 

Content is King

It’s also good to know that Google ranks by page, not by site alone. This means that when you produce quality content with targeted and focused keywords in a natural manner, that specific page has a better chance of appearing when searchers type in specific words. When you produce content and blogs on your site that cover a variety of topics, and are well-written and supported, you increase the chance that those targeted pieces will appear in searches.

You’ve probably noticed how often Wikipedia sources appear when almost anything is typed into Google. Wikipedia has millions of targeted and specific articles, each functioning as an authoritative source on very specific topics. With plenty of links and backlinks to boost their SEO, along with the keywords, it’s rare to type something in that doesn’t appear with a Wikipedia source near the top. 

Content is king, in this sense, because when you publish and produce valuable content on a range of topics within your area of expertise, you are increasing the likelihood that someone will search and discover one of those pieces.

To really boost SEO, Content should not just be mass-produced to increase the amount of times a word appears, but should inform, educate, or inspire a reader, so it receives more clicks and views and ranks optimally, directing potential clients to your website and services. 

Joining Forces- Bringing SEM onto the Playing Field

Previously, Google Analytics allowed for developers to track trending keywords and phrases used for specific services. Creators could then use this data to influence what keywords to use in their content.
While there are the obvious search results, consumers might be searching for services using obscure or uncommon phrases, making it more difficult to track search trends. Currently, Google only allows access to general, surface level views that can infer what users might have searched for. This means the potential to miss out on crucial traffic to a website.
As part of search engine marketing, Google Ads helps level that playing field. When a business owner uses Google Ads to help improve visibility and to increase the traffic to their website, they are also provided with more data. This data can be used to help target specific trends and phrases to use with SEO. 

When a business pays for Google Ads, their ad will appear when potential clients type in a range of keywords and phrases into the search bar. The service also allows users to identify specifically what phrases are used for similar services, which can then be used to maximize SEO. 

It’s a dual benefit- one for the data produced, and another for the initial benefit of a posted advertisement.

Since the ads are pay-per-click based, you only pay when the ad is clicked, meaning it is seen and viewed by potential customers. Harnessing the benefits of Google Ads is a powerful tool to use at your disposal, as it functions as part of your SEM, but also produces valuable data to improve your overall SEO.

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