Search Engine Optimization or SEO is basically a formulaic popularity contest. You play by the rules, you win. The more rules you are aware of and the better you can cater to each one the better you do. By what degree you win depends on many factors such as how many others you are competing with, how established you are and how well you implement your SEO plan.
How do you know if you’re popular? SERPs, or Search Engine Results Page. Those are the pages that the search engine returns after you submit your query. If you are like most, you’ve noticed that you don’t often look past the first page or two before clicking on a link. And that is why it is important to utilize SEO in your web and marketing plans.
SEO is an organic, long-lasting endeavor where one effort builds on the one before and the results are cumulative, and often exponential. One of the best features of organic SEO is that it is free. Of course websites have to be created, blogs and calendars have to be updated and those have a cost, but unlike advertising where you have to pay for your space and time in addition to the creation of the ad, SEO efforts don’t cost extra. And again, they build over time.
SEO is implemented through the design and programming of your website and extends out into the web through links. Basically, the more and higher-quality links you have coming into your site, the higher you are ranked. However, the site itself must be optimized in order to utilize the extra attention being paid by the search engines.
In addition to basic SEO capabilities, Graphic Panacea specializes in Local SEO. We make sure that you are found geographically where you need to be found, i.e., a Seattle web browser doesn’t need to find a Miami piano tuner. We ensure your efforts reach the appropriate target audiences.
SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing, which allows you to buy your way onto the viewers’ screen. In SEO you earn your ranking, while SEM allows you to bid on or buy how prevalent you’d like your text ad to appear. The better the placement and the more sought-after the search term, the more it is going to cost.
Most SEM programs work on a bid and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) structure. For example: you want the phrase ‘applesauce’ and you bid $0.60 to get it. As long as you are the highest bidder, you will receive top placement among the text ads every time a person searches for ‘applesauce.’ Once your competitor bids $0.61 or higher, they will then get the top position and you are bumped down (still paying $0.60 per ad, but now you are in second place). It is important to remember that placement isn’t everything; often a well-written or targeted ad can win a click-through over a higher placed ad. Buying PPC and getting into bidding is a complex and often too-enticing program that can quickly dwindle your budget without sufficient return. Graphic Panacea will be your guide and help you develop a plan with the proper parameters to keep you focused and within your budget.
SEM is easier to implement than SEO; it offers short-term results where SEO focuses on the long-term. At Graphic Panacea we believe in the effectiveness of SEM, but dollar for dollar we prefer the organic approach. We think of SEM as a supplemental element that is useful for specific campaigns or drives, but which won’t do your site as much good as good ol’ new-fashion SEO.
In general, it is better to earn your way to the top of the SERPs, through quality SEO than to just buy your way there with SEM. Organic links naturally have higher credibility than ads simply based on the fact that people tend to give more value to information that they’ve asked for (search results) versus information that is pushed to them (text ads). The more web savvy your clientele the more this trust factor becomes important and the less likely they are to click on an ad.
We are happy to help develop text ad campaigns if it helps you achieve your goals, but our clients’ ROI is always top of mind, so we don’t recommend SEM, or any media buys, if we don’t believe they will be effective.
Social Media gets a bad rap for being a little too…social. However, used properly, social media can yield terrific results.
Many people need to know what Twitter is, but are afraid to ask. Simply put, it is a new form of communication to help you reach your target audiences. We’ll not only help explain it, but how to use it to its full effectiveness. The same goes for Facebook and the multitude of feeds, RSS readers, blogs and the rest of the jumble of daily emerging technologies and platforms. We believe in the power of social media because again and again it has proven to be effective, but most businesses don’t know where to begin. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and help you make sense of it all.Like SEO, once we train you on social media and how to use it as part of your marketing plan, it is basically free. We can help you along the way on an as-needed basis, but the key to the success of a social media plan is your commitment to it.