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Understanding Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) are two terms which can leave any online business owner weak at the knees.  While SEO is part of the SEM umbrella, there is a distinct difference between the two terms.  Search Engine Optimisation specifically focuses on increasing the number of visitors to your business website while Search Engine Marketing measures the overall Return on Investment (ROI).

The Return on Investment or traffic conversion rate is paramount to any online business although using both SEM and SEO techniques are important when looking at your marketing options.

Companies which are involved in SEM will generally use a variety of ways to maximise your traffic conversation by way of paid advertisement placement as well as specific target advertising.  Pay-per-click (PPC) schemes such as Google Adwords is one such paid advertisement placement method many search engine marketing firms may adopt.  The use of this method can be very expensive for an organisation however the ROI is easy to quantify.

SEO which focuses on more organic links may seem to offer the best ROI however, with SEM, the results can be more controllable giving the business owner more of a choice as to which website page a potential customer or client will land on.

Your overall SEM plan should look to include competition analysis, focusing on improving visibility and search engine ranking as well as targeting visitors in order to maximise your market share.  In order for it to be the most effective, it should be an ongoing project allowing you to keep up with changing consumer preferences and search engine updates.

What many business owners tend to forget is that SEO results don’t occur overnight.  It may take a few months before you see any major improvements in your overall ranking which will ultimately lead to increased visitors and an increase in your profit margin.

If you’re overwhelmed, struggling to get things done, or recognise you need some assistance, organise a call with me to discuss your business support needs.

Written by: Nicole Graham


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Established in 2007, Bauhinia Solutions is a boutique virtual business support agency with a team of dedicated and experienced business specialists, administrators, and virtual assistants.