From our previous posts, you should have an idea of best practices for SEO. We’ve spoken about things that can help your website ranking; we’ve talked about things that can ruin your efforts; and we have explained how to get into the local listings through local seo. In this article, we’d like to discuss the differences between SEO and SEM and whether or not you should be buying SEO services for your site.
Naturally, you’ll find SEO companies using the two terms interchangeably and you’ll find just as many calling everything seo services. In reality, SEO means “search engine optimization” and SEM denotes “search engine marketing”. Yes, the two concepts do look and feel similar, but the precise difference is that SEO is only one component of SEM. There are various ways to promote your website through marketing, while seo refers to specific best practices.
Moving forward, search engine optimization has the goal of increasing exposure or rankings in order to get free, organic traffic. Conversely, search engine marketing includes both free and paid techniques for attracting visitors.
Google’s Adwords program is one way to get into the search results on the right side of the page and at the top of the page. Advertisers bid on keywords and then their ads are placed accordingly. Other search engines have similar programs, so this method is not limited to Google alone. In fact, it is possible to buy ads on millions of sites.
SEO has basically two tenets
On-site, which includes title tags, good keywords, natural speech, internal link structure, meta descriptions and alt tags.
Off-site which refers to safe and valid backlinking.
To be honest, if you only focus your efforts on search engine optimization, you are limiting the potential of your site. You cannot and should not rely on third party sites to provide you with an income. It is your responsibility to find creative ways to gain more exposure and subsequently a viable income.
Now, I know some of you are wondering why you would bother to pay for advertising when you can get it free. There are two reasons why you cannot rely on organic search engine traffic.
First, the search engine algorithms change all the time and you could be ranking for an hour or two and never again see the first page of the search results. Remember, that not everyone can hold the premium positions.
Second, generally speaking, the people coming from free search methods are often tire-kickers. They are not buying. They are only looking. And the bottom line is the greater percentage cannot be converted. With paid search, however, these people tend to be better leads. They are qualified to a certain degree. SEM often provides a solution to a problem, hence buyers are more likely to click and purchase.
So, you can see how SEO is not your only focus when growing your business and website.
Now, to take the discussion to the next level, you might inquire about paying for SEO Services. And just to clarify, this is not the same as Paid Search that we explained up above. This is about paying individuals or companies to take over your search engine optimization tasks. In a nutshell, we say NO.
Let’s look at the reasons why we think it is futile to outsource your SEO work.
Thousands of people out there will guarantee you a ranking position within a certain amount of time. The truth is no-one can state that they can get you to the top of the search engine. The factors to get there and the algorithms are secret. Plus, they change incrementally on a regular basis. It is impossible for anyone to guarantee either a time limit to achieve ranking or even more sinister, that you will rank at all. These are lies, plain and simple.
It takes a top-notch honest company to help you with proper search engine optimization. Most people do not have the available cash in the budget to meet the fees charged by professionals. It is very costly and again you are not really sure of the outcome. This is not a one-time task. SEO is ongoing throughout the course of your business lifetime.
You take the chance of running afoul of black hat techniques. The seo services seller is not going to tell you his methods. By the time you figure out that bad practices were used, the damage will be done and in most cases, it is difficult, to the point of near-impossible, to repair. Your brand and reputation will have been ruined.
To conclude, SEO is a function of SEM and SEO Services are generally not acceptable website business practices.
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